Eat Your Breakfast: Prevent Weight Gain and Hormone Imbalance

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Eat Your Breakfast: Prevent Weight Gain and Hormone Imbalance

Breakfast is the easiest meal to skip—mornings are rushed and many people don’t have an appetite when they wake up. Some people even feel nausea in the morning, which suggests a possible blood sugar dysregulation. If you skip breakfast you may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts, increasing your risk of weight gain, blood sugar disorders, hormone imbalances, and robbing your brain of energy.

Skipped breakfast leads to weight gain and hormone imbalance

Breakfast is the first meal after a long night of fasting. In the absence of food, the body must release stored glucose to fuel the brain or create glucose by breaking down muscle tissue. This process is made possible by by the stress hormone, cortisol.

Skipping breakfast when your brain and body are starved for energy exaggerates this stress response, forcing the body to continually pump out cortisol to fuel the brain. This persistent increase of nighttime cortisol is what causes some people to wake up and experience nausea. Although it seems counter-intuitive, eating can actually relieve that morning nausea by inhibiting the stress response.

The habitual stress response caused by skipping breakfast and other meals can promote weight gain, cause hormone imbalance, increase inflammation in the body, and decrease brain function. It can also lead to symptoms such as migraines, depression, mood swings, shakiness, lightheadedness, brain fog, and sleep disorders.

Eating meals high in sugar and carbohydrates also contributes to this problem by causing energy to continually spike and crash throughout the day. Eating breakfast regularly is an important strategy when it comes to preventing weight gain and fatigue.

Skipping breakfast leads to overeating and poor food choices

Skipping breakfast can increase your chances of overindulging or making poor food choices later in the day. When your energy is crashing and your brain is starving for fuel. A well-fueled brain is better equipped to make healthier choices and not succumb to a mad grab for the nearest source of quick energy (like sugar, or something processed).

A recent study showed that those who skipped breakfast were more likely to seek out high-calorie junk foods and that dieters who skip meals are more prone to gain weight over the long run. Their brain scans showed skipping meals stimulated the brain in a way that made high-calorie foods seem more appealing. Those who skipped breakfast also ate about 20 percent more at lunch.

What to eat for breakfast

Breakfast should emphasize healthy proteins and fat (avoid sugary, starchy breakfasts) to start the day on an even keel and maximize brain function. Eat frequently enough to avoid blood sugar crashes, and include protein, healthy fat, and fiber (vegetables) with every meal to sustain energy and prevent fatigue throughout the day.

At our Portland natural health clinic we can help and support you and your health goals. Contact us with all of your questions and to schedule an appointment.