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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Just in case you needed a little more convincing

Why Breakfast IS One of the Three Most Important Meals of the Day

(A little article I found that I thought would be helpful)

Many of you do not eat breakfast, for a myriad of reasons. Please take the time to read about why you should not skip this meal, no matter what your excuses may be.

The body expects to be refueled a few times a day, starting with a healthy breakfast. When meals are skipped, the body misses out on tons of nutrients and energy in the form of calories. When the body consistently is deprived of these essentials, it thinks that you are out in the wild and food is scarce, so it slows down your metabolism so your body can burn less fat and hoards fat from your next meal so you have more energy in the reserves to survive the “fast”.

A lot of people skip breakfast because they think it’s an easy way to lose weight. This could not be further from the truth. Eating breakfast is actually good for weight loss. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast every day are a third less likely to be obese than those who skip the meal. In addition, they were half as likely to have blood sugar problems, which increase the risk of developing diabetes or having high cholesterol-- both of which are risk factors for heart disease. Other studies point to a connection between skipping breakfast with weight gain and memory impairment in adults of all ages. It also has been shown to help people start their day thinking more clearly and in a better mood, and I can tell you that no one at Bykota Fitness Center wants a grouchy stupid hungry old person working out there.

Eating first thing in the morning may help stabilize blood sugar levels, which regulate appetite and energy. Many people find that when skipping breakfast, they are ravenous by lunchtime and end up consuming more calories later in the day. The proper way to fuel both your body and your mind is to spread your calories throughout the day. By doing this, you are assuring your body that there is a plethora of food available and you can provide it with constant energy, so your body doesn’t need to hold onto fat and it can speed up your metabolism again, accelerating fat loss and increasing energy.

Studies show that people who eat breakfast—especially a healthy breakfast—are more likely to:

Consume more vitamins and minerals and less fat and cholesterol during the day

Have more strength and endurance

Have better concentration and be more productive throughout the morning

Control their weight

Have lower cholesterol, which reduces the risk of heart disease

Some people believe that working out on an empty stomach increases the amount of fat you burn. Studies show that fat burning does not begin until about 20 minutes into your workout, so if you’re working out with an empty fuel tank, your body will use other sources of energy to keep you going, including muscle. So while you may lose weight by working out before eating, you are losing the muscle that you are working so hard to gain and maintain, especially if your workouts do not last much longer than 20 minutes.
There are some other benefits to eating before your workout:

It can boost recovery and strength gains

It can help you sustain longer, more intense workouts

It can help you avoid low blood sugar, which can make you feel dizzy or nauseous

It can make your workouts more enjoyable (since you're not thinking about eating the whole time)

So now that you’re convinced that it’s healthier and wiser to eat breakfast every day, let’s talk about what to eat. While eating a less-healthy breakfast is better than eating nothing at all most of the time, here are some suggestions about how to get the most out of your meal.

First, let’s examine why we shouldn’t hit up McDonald’s for a sausage egg and cheese on a croissant artery-clogging death meal. Research found that those who consume one high-fat meal per day, specifically breakfast, are more prone to suffer the physical consequences of stress than those who eat a low fat meal. Read: very bad for those of you already dealing with high blood pressure. After a fatty meal, arteries lose their ability to expand in response to an increase in blood flow, with the effect peaking four to six hours after eating -- just in time for the next meal. So those of you with coronary disease, you may actually increase your risk of a cardiac event during the 4-6 hours after you eat a high-fat meal like the croissantwich. If you choose to do this anyway, please do not come into the Fitness Center during this 4-6 hour period of increased risk.

The breakfast that is most commonly considered the healthiest is a serving of whole-grain cereal, non-fat milk, and a fruit. Ideally, the cereal should have more than 3g of fiber and less than 4g of sugar, 200mg of sodium, and 2g of fat per serving. If cereal is not your favorite, some other healthy options include bagels with peanut butter or cream cheese, oatmeal, yogurt, eggs or egg-white omelets, and whole wheat toast. Make sure you pay attention to serving sizes so you are not overdoing it calorie-wise.

The bottom line is to aim for a variety of foods with plenty of fiber and protein to keep you full and energized until lunchtime. Include some carbohydrates for fuel and a little bit of fat, preferably the healthy unsaturated kind, and you’re off to a great start.



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