Saturday, 28 May 2016

Eat & Move Series | June 2016 Goal

Eat & Move Series | June 2016 Goal | Importance and Creating a Well Balanced Breakfast
You know the importance of a having breakfast, and a good one at that.  Yet, many a time, you find yourself rushing out of the house without so much as a glass of milk, or orange juice.
You convince yourself that you can wait until you get to work, grab something on the way, or skip the first meal of the day entirely, because you're just not hungry.

Whether your goals are to make gains or cut down, none of these options are beneficial to achieving them, or to your overall health!  A substantial breakfast is necessary, and doesn't have to mean a full brunch spread that no-one has time to prepare on a weekday morning, which never seems to have enough time.
Importance and Creating a Well Balanced Breakfast
This month in the Eat & Move Series Mini Goal I'm focusing on Breakfast
Breakfast marks the end of a 6-9 hour fast during sleep where your body has not received any nourishment.  It is essential to begin the day with the right fuel to jump start your metabolism for your body to perform everyday and essential tasks.  Also whether you work out first thing in the morning, sometime during the day, or its the last thing on your daily agenda, having breakfast will determine your workout performance and efficiency, and optimize your results.

If you're still not convinced you need breakfast, here are

5 Breakfast Benefits

Increased Metabolism - after a long period of time without eating (eg sleeping) metabolism slows down to conserve stored fuel, which results in burning less calories with daily activities.  Prolonging the time before providng the body with food increases this action.  Eating as soon as possible, and every (approx) 4 hours signals to your body that there is an ongoing supply of fuel and results in increased metabolism
Increased Energy - food is the body's energy source.  Without it you will find yourself lacking energy and unable to perform simple tasks without effort.  Breakfast provides the energy necessary to power through your morning.
Increased Focus and Concentration - the energy obtained from breakfast allows the brain to perform, specifically carbohydrates, which are broken down into sugars.  This is why when you feel lightheaded or dizzy it is suggested to have fruit or fruit juice to quickly replenish your energy.
Reduced Irritability - can you say hangry?  Need I say more?
Reduced Calorie Consumption throughout the day - the longer you wait to eat, the more you will consume when you finally do just to satisfy your hunger. When you're hungry, you don't necessarily make the best choices in what you're consuming, you simply reach for anything that is quick and available - vending machines and drive thrus are always ever present at that time, and don't always have the best options.  You also consume more in a shorter space of time to satisfy your hunger.
Now that you're on board with having breakfast, how do you create a good well-balanced meal that will result in you attaining these benefits?

Specifically what constitutes a well-balanced substantial breakfast for each person will be different.  A fruit bowl, a smoothie, pancakes and eggs, cereal and milk, are all good options, but not all for the same person or purpose.  Many factors, including objectives, activity, and palette preferences to name a few, go into determining the elements and composition of the meal.

This is my approach to Creating a Well-Balanced Breakfast over the next month and going forward.
You can implement these as well to help you in successfully managing this meal as part of your health goals on this journey.

Ensure these  4 components are present to create a 1/4 of your daily caloric needs

Carbohydrates (preferably simple carbs) - as mentioned needed for energy, focus and concentration
warm cereal eg oatmeal (not instant) with added fruit, spices, and even nut butters
cold cereal with min 5g fiber and limited added sugar, add natural sweeteners and fruit
whole grains in cereal and other items eg breads, muffins provide long lasting sustenence and fiber
fruits are naturally sweet and also provide vitamins and fiber

Protein - 1/3 of your daily needs should make up breakfast.  Protein keeps hunger at bay as it takes longer ot digest than carbs, and are the building blocks of muscles
eggs some people equate eggs with cholesterol, however with moderation and eliminating some of the yolks these are classic breakfast staples
milk nut milks (almond, cashew) and coconut milks can be added to cold cereals and smoothies
yogurt is a very good protein source, also provides calcium. Add natural sweeteners, spices, fruit, or create a smoothie.  Avoid flavoured varieties and check sugar content.
cottage cheese is another good protein and calcium source, can be eaten with fresh fruit
lean meats such as chicken, turkey or beef cuts are great options all high in protein
sausages  opt for natural and organic brands with low sodium, stick to turkey or chicken varieties, and consume in moderation

Fat - healthy fats are essential at every meal and regulate blood sugar levels
nut butters eg almond and cashew can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt or eaten with fruit
avocado creamy and delicious on its own or in smoothies or on toast
fish eg salmon or tuna are great oily fish that can be added to omlettes
olive oil to prepare fried foods or added to smoothies
coconut oil to prepare fried foods, added to smoothies, or a teaspoon on its own
supplement if your breakfast options don't otherwise include fats, a good supplement is your alternative

Eliminate or Avoid as much as possible
Instant Breakfast including instant oatmeal and cereal bars, which may be convenient but tend to be extremely high in sugar and low nutritional content
I will continue to use the app 'Calorie Counter' to record my meals.  I will specifically be focusing on the nutritional breakdown - carb/protein/fat - of breakfast.
The first week will be my base without alterations
I will then assess and make adjustments over the following 3 weeks to achieve my optimum breakfast options.
Consistent well balanced breakfasts.  In 3 weeks I should have at least 5 standard options.
Even if you're not on an active health mission and nothing I've said thus far seems to apply to you, I want to share this for your General Health. Different studies have shown that
skipping breakfast increases the risk of Diabetes in women
people who skip breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to be obese
eating breakfast is associated with a lower incidence of heart disease in men
eating breakfast is likely to improve cognitive function related to and boost short term memory
So, there isn't really a question of whether to skip or have breakfast, now is there?

4 Reasons Why You Should Never Skip Breakfast
Breakfast On The Go
Got Breakfast? Learn Why You Should!
Health Benefits of Breakfast: 7 Reasons Not To Skip Your Morning Meal
Starting Your Day Off Right: Breakfast!
Why You Should Eat Breakfast

~ Josie Jo ~
Do you currently have or skip Breakfast regularly?

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