Why You Shouldn’t Skip Breakfast

Some describe it as the most important meal of the day. To others it is something that is better left skipped in an effort to lose weight.  But which is the truth?  Is breakfast a must eat or something you can safely ignore? 

This may surprise you by fat loss studies have shown that eating breakfast will actually help you to lose weight!  Obviously we are not talking about a calorie and fat laden fry up here, but a healthy cereal or some yoghurt and fruit can set you up for the day, help stop you from feeling hungry. 

Why does this work? 

How a Breakfast Helps You Lose Weight 

1. When you sleep your body’s metabolism also sleeps.  Your calorie burning slows down.  To bump start it you need to eat, otherwise your body will be in permanent ‘starvation mode’ and you will be using less calories to do simple things.  This can add up to make a big difference.

2. By eating when you get up and before you are hungry you are less likely to eat a lot at lunch time – as your body will already have been provided with some of the fuel that it needs.  By having breakfast you stop yourself from needing to ‘pig out’ at lunch, which is often the hardest meal to do healthy – with eating out when in the office etc.

3. You stop yourself snacking.  Having an instant hit of energy that continues throughout the day you are far less likely to snack than if you skip and start feeling peckish.  Considering how unhealthy many snacks are that is an important difference.

4. A good size breakfast stops you thinking from about food.  You eat more when you think about food – that is why dieting can be so hard, it is always on your mind.  If you eat breakfast it is far less likely to be playing on your mind throughout the day.

The Importance of Goal Setting in Weight Loss

We are complicated creatures. We have a number of conflicting driving forces, from our natural, almost animal instincts to our often contradictory conscious decision making and wishes. It can be hard to motivate ourselves to keep going down one path – we tend to listen to different motivations at different times.

Sometimes the motivation to lose weight will be strong, and we won’t even be tempted by that tub of ice cream sitting in the freezer. Running out in the cold and rain will seem worth it. But then other times we wonder why we even care, we feel the call of chocolate or the sofa and it can be hard to resist.

Goal Setting and Weight Loss

With so much contradictory motivations causing us to act in certain ways how then do we keep ourselves focussed on trying to lose weight?

First of all let us say that you will slip up from any plan you put in place, it is human nature. Accept that it will happen and don’t give up on your weight loss plan when it does. Just get yourself back on track and accept that the slip up was part of the ‘journey’.

More important is goal setting. Goal setting falls into two different types.

1. Short term goals
2. Medium to long term goals

and both types are important to losing weight.

The long term goal is usually what makes us decide that we want to lose weight. The idea of losing 10lbs, 20lbs, 80lbs – whatever you may want, is what will trigger us to start in the first place… and so it is an important motivating factor.

From time to time, when you lose sight of why you are trying to lose weight, it is important to remember that long term goal. Remember what you wanted to look like, remember why you are doing this. Use it to keep yourself on track, to see the ‘bigger picture’, and remember it is the picture that is bigger – not you!

We are often motivated by the here and now though, which is why short term, achievable goals are so important in weight loss. A short term goal will help keep you from straying right now. Want to lose 2 or 3lbs this week? You know you won’t do it by reaching for the ice cream. So a short term goal is more likely to effect your decision making in the ‘here and now’.

What the goals are depends on you, what you are trying to achieve and how well you know your own mind and body. But 99% of the time goal setting is a powerful tool to help you stick to a weight loss regime, so don’t skip it out and decide on the general ‘I just want to lose weight’ idea instead – that won’t get you anywhere.

5 Ways to Keep Yourself Motivated to Lose Weight

Deciding that you are going to lose weight is an easy decision to make – many of us want to lose at least a few lbs so it is no thought at all to decide that we are going to make the effort to lose it now.  But the problem doesn’t come from your initial motivation, it comes from what follows. 

Not liking what you weight, how you look is enough of a spur to trigger the initial thought process, to lead you to starting a weight loss journey.  But for many people who want to lose weight that initial trigger will only provide them with the momentum to try lose weight for a week or two. 

This is no surprise, weight loss is hard, it takes sacrifice – you can’t simply do what you want and lose weight.  In fact it was probably doing so that gained you the weight in the first place!  What you need to do is find triggers and motivation to get you passed the first couple of weeks. 

Motivational Triggers 

1. An old favourite, but one that works, is the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photo’s – or in this case just the before one.  Take a photo of yourself (possibly naked if you have a partner you can disrobe in front of) and pin it to the fridge or anywhere you think appropriate.  If you dislike your figure at the moment it will remind you just why you are putting the effort to lose weight in.

2. Join a club.  Weight watchers, for example, works for a reason – because being with others going through the same thing motivates us.  By going to a club you become responsible to others for your weight loss, you have to tell them why you failed to lose weight, if you do.

3. Work with a partner.  For much the same reason that joining a club works working with a partner does to, only it is more intimate and friendly (a partner could be a friend or family member).  You will often get competitive and try ‘beat’ what the other is losing.

4. Spend money.  Not for everyone this, but if you are spending money on trying to lose weight – on gym membership, clubs, membership sites etc, you will be more inclined to make that money worthwhile, to show it was well spent.

5. Set goals.  By setting numerous, small goals, you get in the habit of trying to ‘out do yoursef’, to beat the goals and deadlines you put in place.  Losing 4 stone is not an achievable goal quickly, and could put you off.  Losing 3lbs in a week though is a target you  might reasonably set yourself (depending on your weight) – and then you can set another for the next week.