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Wilburn: A daily breakfast makes managing diabetes easier

POSTED: November 5, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Often people who want to lose weight decide to skip breakfast. This is NOT a good idea.

If you asked dietitians what was one of the most common traits of those with weight problems, they would say not eating breakfast.

The National Weight Control Registry of people who have successfully lost weight bears this out. Consistently, they report that they eat breakfast daily. In fact, they make it a habit to never skip any meals.

Why does this work? Because eating is one way we raise our metabolism. Yes, it burns calories to consume and digest food. That is why you may notice that when you eat breakfast, you seem hungrier before lunch. You literally have woken up your system.

By eating breakfast, you are consuming more calories during the part of the day when you are more likely to be active. Also you will be less likely to be ravenous later in the day when you are tired and less likely to work those calories off.

People who skip meals usually overeat at night and then have a huge drop in energy. All they want to do is sink into the couch and zone out in front of the TV.

Plus, you cannot maintain diabetes control while overloading yourself with carbohydrates and calories all at one time. Even if you can adjust your insulin to cover the carb load, you likely will gain weight.

Your body and your diabetes medicines will work better if you consume smaller amounts of food about every four hours during the day. Your blood glucose readings and weight loss goals will decide whether you need any snacks. If you do not snack before bedtime, you will be hungrier for breakfast.

Breakfast does not have to be huge. Some cooked oatmeal with nonfat milk or some whole-wheat toast with peanut butter or an English muffin with an egg or low cholesterol egg substitute may be enough.

Once you get use to it, you will look forward to that healthy start. The real reward will be when you see those pounds disappear as you eat more food in controlled amounts throughout the day.

Source: Diabetes Life Lines, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension

Debbie Wilburn is county extension agent in family and consumer science with the Hall County Extension. Contact: 770-535-8290.



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