Breakfast of champions?

In Monday’s Dispatch (“How to eat like an Olympian—without gaining weight”), I pointed out some of the meals the Olympic Athletes eat to replenish the tremendous amount of calories they burn. But what makes a true breakfast of champions, scientifically speaking?

Well, before I get into the specifics, let’s take a look at some of the general, proven facts about eating breakfast…

Research has shown that people who eat breakfast generally have lower levels of body fat. Having a morning meal sets the pace all day for weight control, by helping you eat fewer calories overall. People who eat breakfast also tend to make healthier dietary choices overall. And these effects appear to be even stronger in women.

Physiologically, your breakfast choices—or lack of them—can set off a cycle of hunger and blood sugar fluctuations. Which can undo your efforts at weight control. So it’s important to start the day stabilizing your blood sugar.

So what’s the perfect breakfast? To find it, you may have to start thinking outside the cereal—or doughnut—box.

In fact, doughnuts, pastries, and sugary cereals are the worst breakfast options there are. They’ll immediately start the cycle of hunger cravings and blood sugar fluctuations that undermine your efforts.

If you’re going to choose cereal, opt for a whole grain variety. According to one study, people who ate a hot whole-grain cereal for breakfast reported feeling more satisfied than those who ate refined wheat bread. They also reported feeling less hungry over the following eight hours than the wheat bread group.

And there’s always the “incredible, edible egg.” A study of people between the ages of 25 and 60 years who were on a weight-loss regimen found that those who had two eggs for breakfast lost 65 % more weight than those who ate bagels. And they also reported having higher energy levels throughout the day. This study showed no effect of egg consumption on cholesterol levels (consistent with what I explained in the August issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter).

But you certainly shouldn’t feel limited to so-called “breakfast foods.” As I mentioned in my report “The Top of the Food Chain Cure for Obesity,” it’s perfectly fine if you prefer a small turkey sandwich or last night’s healthy dinner leftovers to traditional breakfast foods. 

Of course, many people don’t leap out of bed ravenously hungry. If you’re just not a “breakfast person,” it’s fine to wait a couple of hours. Just be sure to plan ahead. Pack something nutritious and satisfying—like a handful of nuts or a hardboiled egg—to eat when you do feel like it.

And whatever you do, don’t accept invitations to those horrendous breakfast business meetings. (The only thing worse for your health is a luncheon business meeting.) Any truly important business can wait for dinner. Or at least cocktails (in moderation).

And Speaking of eating like a champion…there’s no greater champion–or eater–than the bear, as I detailed in my special report “Top of the Food Chain Cure for Obesity” (free to all Insiders’ Cures subscribers). Just check out this live webcam of the great Alaskan brown bear hunting for its next meal. It points out yet another great choice for breakfast–a bit of fresh salmon. (Though I prefer mine smoked and not in the middle of the river!) What a great show!