We’ve heard time and again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It may be true, but getting a nutritious, filling breakfast can be hard for those who are trying to lose weight. While many breakfast-food commercials show us a bowl of cereal can be a part of a balanced breakfast, most people don’t know what goes into one. Instead of asking a nutritionist whose job it is to eat healthy, researchers decided to ask regular, healthy weight people what their secret was.
A research team from the Cornell Food & Brand Lab created an online Slim By Design registry to find out characteristics and behaviors of people with a healthy weight, who also don’t struggle with weight problems. They recruited 147 people — 118 female — and asked them about their breakfast patterns. The main question they wanted answered was, “ On an average day, what would you have for breakfast?”
For slim people, the most common item eaten for the supposed most important meal of the day were fruits, with 51 percent of respondents saying they ate them. Fruits were followed closely by dairy at 41 percent, and cold cereal or granola rounded out the top three at 33 percent. Only 4 percent of people responded by saying they skipped breakfast altogether, which is great, since research shows skipping breakfast can elevate your risk of a heart attack or coronary heart disease.
“One important takeaway from this study is that a very high rate of slim people actually eat breakfast instead of skipping, which is consistent with previous research on the importance of breakfast,” lead author Anna-Leena Vuorinen said in apress release. “But what stands out is that they not only ate breakfast, but that they ate healthful foods like fruits and vegetables. Also, egg consumption was higher than we expected.”
Though breakfast was the main focus of the survey, the researchers also found slim people had a number of different preferences when it came to the type of food they consumed. A majority considered chicken to be their favorite meat, while only 7 percent called themselves vegetarians. Thirty-five percent said they didn’t drink soft drinks, and 19 percent didn’t drank alcohol.
As far as exercise went, a majority of them said they were physically active one to three days a week, and nearly half of the participants said they never dieted.
Though this might not be incredibly beneficial to those who are trying to lose weight, it does give insight to how slim people stay the way they do — through healthful eating and regular exercise. The Cornell Food & Brand Lab has a phrase to go with its findings: “Do what slim people do.”