Trying to lose weight on a plant-based diet and wondering if skipping meals will help or hurt the process. Technically, skipping breakfast would result in the consumption of fewer calories in the day, leading to a steady decrease in your weekly caloric intake. But nutrition science shows us this may not matter when it comes to weight loss, at least in the case of breakfast. Here's why you may want to rethink skipping breakfast as part of your plant-based weight loss diet plan.
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Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast have lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol than those who skip it.
But the most dramatic effects of skipping breakfast have to do with blood sugar levels. People who regularly go without breakfast have a high risk for developing Type II diabetes.
At night, your body is more sensitive to insulin, suggesting that you should aim to consume the majority of your carbohydrates during the day, and especially in the morning. Skipping breakfast has also been linked to increased blood sugar levels, and spikes in blood sugar when carbs are consumed later in the day.
Is working out part of your plant-based weight loss diet plan? Don't step out on breakfast.
It has been observed that people who skip breakfast do not have as much energy to engage in physical activity, compared to people that regularly have breakfast. Long-term, this means that your activity level decreases, leading to a halt in your weight loss progress or even a slow weight loss. On the contrary, people who enjoy a nutrient-dense breakfast, have more energy and motivation to engage in physical activity throughout the day.
Like to workout in the morning? Load up on these high protein vegan breakfasts first.
OK, but the real question is: can skipping breakfast help you lose weight?
Research has found no link between omitting breakfast and weight loss. Actually, the age-old nutrition ideology that, "a calorie is a calorie" may not hold true when it comes to breakfast. The same meal, with the same caloric total, is significantly more fattening at dinner than it is in the morning.
So if plant-based weight loss is the goal, breakfast might not be worth skipping.
OK, so if you ARE eating breakfast and you want to lose weight, what should you eat? Focus on whole, plant-based foods for breakfast. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for a steady release of energy.
And stay away from processed food, and foods high in fat and added sugar.
Also, go big or go home! Studies show if a BIG breakfast is beneficial for weight loss.
Need some plant-based breakfast inspiration?
Accelerate your healthy weight loss with these 5 plant-based breakfast ideas!
- A plant-based weight loss diet SHOULD include breakfast! Breakfast is very important as it prevents blood sugar spikes, and dips, and sets the tone, nutritionally-speaking, for the rest of your day.
- People who regularly skip breakfast have an increased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type II diabetes.
- Those who have breakfast are more willing to engage in physical activity (which is especially important if you're on a plant-based weight loss diet).
- Research shows weight loss cannot be achieved solely by the omission of breakfast from your daily diet.
- A healthy, nutritious whole food plant-based breakfast promotes a healthy lifestyle and can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
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.