Hi everyone and happy October. This is our first post on nutrition and it’s an important one!
Here at the Health Heads we believe in an hollistic approach to exercise and diet. First off, I don’t like to use the word diet. A diet, in my opinion, is a temporary fix. Instead, I like to use the word nutrition, which to me means a long term habit.
There is so much misinformation online, it’s no wonder people have become overwhelmed and cling to any so-called “experts” opinion or new diet trend. Many “nutritionists” will have only done a weekend course, or lost weight themselves. Think of it this way- just because someone takes medication and recovers from an illness, does that now make them a medical expert? I don’t think so.
I studied Exercise and Health for four years full-time in Ireland. During that time a major part of the course was exercise and nutrition science. I’ve been working with personal training and team clients for over 5 years now and my greatest passion is to see the positive changes in each person I work with. To date I’ve never had a client or friend not lose weight from my intervention.
Despite my qualifications, I’m usually met with early resistance from clients or friends when it comes to nutrition. It’s because I’m not telling them what they want to hear.
What I tell them is this: Balance and consistency are key. It’s not the quick-fix solution or crash diet for fast results that bring lasting results. But more on this in posts to come.
Today I want to explore the importance of breakfast. Just last week, I was away with work and met a women who wanted nutrition advice. It became clear to me what the big issue was early on…breakfast. She skips breakfast and instead waits for lunch time to have her first meal of the day.
The purpose of breakfast is to literally break the fast. If you ate the night before, at say 7pm, and you don’t eat until 12pm the following day, that’s 17 hours of no food intake. You may be thinking, so what? Well, it’s not just your muscles that need glycogen (energy store in muscles), your brain also needs its fair share of energy. Your body becomes stressed during a long fast and the vital functions need more energy, but there’s no immediate source available. You will feel fatigued not just mentally but physically. Don’t expect to be on top form if your energy stores are low. After a long converstaion with the woman at work, I convinced her to consume a breakfast everyday for a week. On a side note- I did want to bet her some money that she would lose weight! So 6 days went by and I get a random facebook message. These were her exact words, “Started eating breakfast on Sunday… down 1.5 kilos^^.” (^^ is the Korean smiley face!)
So how can I get maximum benefits from my breakfast?
My staple breakfast for the last 5-6 years has been porridge (oatmeal for the North Americans). Porridge keeps me full for 3-4 hours leading up to lunch time. Try to avoid the sugary cereals as your energy will not last as long because the high GI value and sugar content will not provide sustained energy. Slow releasing foods will give you the best bang for your buck. Some examples would be eggs, bacon, porridge, or natural yoghurt with fruit and granola to name a few. These are just some examples, find whatever works best for you, and stick with it. Going back to my principle of consistency, eat a consistent healthy breakfast for the best results.
Another crucial aspect of breakfast is eating until you are satisfied or full. The calories that are missing at breakfast will come back to bite you later in the day, as an unhealthy snack or binge eating on some other type of food.
Here is a sample breakfast breakdown that I would eat on a daily basis.
Oats: 2-3 cups….. 350-500 calories
Peanut butter: 1 tablespoon…… approx 100-150 calories
Banana: 1 …….70-100 calories
Cinnamon: 1 teaspoon …..minimal calories
This has worked wonders for me over the past number of years. I’ve never been more than 2 pounds either side of my current weight. If I get sick of this combo then I change up the toppings!
If you have any questions or want more specific advice on your breakfast time then get in touch, we’re here to help.
Thanks for reading,
Until next time,
The Health Heads