Started a plant-based diet to lose weight? We've talked about why skipping breakfast probably won't help you reach your goals. But what kind of breakfast should be part of your plant-based weight loss diet? A big one. Here's why.
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The human race has evolved on a day-night cycle that affects our intrinsic clocks. This is what chronobiology studies. Our eating, fasting, sleeping and wakefulness patterns, body temperature, hormone production, and digestion are controlled by these internal clocks.
What does any of this have to do with your plant-based weight loss diet, you ask? Good question. Here's the deal: recent research indicates that when you eat may be just as important as what you eat, suggesting that timing your meals could aid weight loss goals.
There's a natural circadian rhythm to human hunger. It's why you can go 8+ hours without eating overnight while you sleep and don't exactly wake up ravenous; but if you go 8+ hours without eating during the day, you feel like you could eat everything in sight!
And as Dr. Michael Greger points out, "the circadian rhythm of our appetite isn't just behavior, it's biological." Studies show the powerful impact of chronobiology, as researchers put people in conditions of total darkness, and their bodies continued to work according to the 24-hour circadian cycle.
And when it comes to weight loss, meal timing can curb appetite and speed up the process –– and help you keep the extra weight off for good.
Timing is key when it comes to the human diet and nutrition. Studies show that people who eat late at night are more likely to have a higher BMI and a higher body fat percentage than people who limit their food intake later in the day.
Why? Changes in metabolism throughout the day.
And it turns out the same meal, with the same caloric amount, can lead to weight loss when consumed in the morning....but not when eaten at night.
Unfortunately, in today's society, many of us have grown more and more accustomed to eating most of their calories at night, which may be a driving factor behind the obesity epidemic.
It turns out that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day when trying to lose weight and maintaining a healthy body.
An early time-restricted meal schedule may indeed help you to lose weight and body fat, but it is not a miracle lifestyle.
What you eat still matters, so if health and plant-based weight loss are the goals, it's important to avoid excessive eating and focus on healthy, nutritious, plant-based foods.
No amount of meal cycling can outdo the consequences of a poor diet.
A well-designed whole food plant-based diet will not only help you achieve your weight loss goals, but also promote overall health and reduce the risks for an array of nutrition-related disorders, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.
When it comes to plant-based breakfast, choose high fiber and high protein meals to stay full and happy all morning.
Kickstart your plant-based weight loss by whipping up these wholesome meals at home!
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- Chronobiology is the study of biological rhythms and among many things, it's helpful in understand how our metabolism changes throughout the day.
- If you're following a plant-based weight loss diet, you may want to try to eat a hearty, filling breakfast in the morning to help speed up the process, and avoid eating later in the evening.
- The best breakfast to eat for weight loss is a whole food plant-based one, high in fiber and plant-based proteins.
Rafaela Michailidou is a Vegan Lifestyle Coach, and a freelance health and wellness content writer, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.