Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The First Meal Of The Day

When it comes to health, fitness, and staying happy, every positive thing you do for yourself helps. So, why not start at breakfast? According to Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons, author of “Potatoes, Not Prozac”, there are four simple rules you can follow at breakfast time to help you shed pounds, fight sugar crazvings, and boost your mood to boot.

1. Get into a daily habit. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy, well-balanced meal in the morning helps you sustain your energy levels and can prevent those late-day sugar/carb snack cravings that are a lot of people’s downfall.

2. Don’t wait. Breakfast packs the most energy sustaining punch if you eat it within an hour or so of waking up. When you first wake up, your brain is still washed with a chemical that masks hunger pangs, but your blood sugar is low. To cut those sugar cravings that will come later, eat early - even if you’re not hungry.

3. Eat complex carbohydrates. Go with things like whole-grain cereals, steel-cut oats and/or high-fiber fruits. The fiber helps your blood sugar stabilize and the bulk helps you feel full longer.

4. Bump it up with protein. Protein in your stomach slows digestion, it acts to keep your blood sugar on an even keel, and protein containing a bit of depression-fighting tryptophan helps your mood. The Doc suggests eating 1/3 of your daily protein at breakfast.

Need more reasons to make a healthy breakfast part of your routine?

Studies show that people who eat breakfast have greater success at weight loss and weight maintenance than those who don’t.

A high fiber breakfast will help you stay more alert than if you start your day with a high-fat meal.

Eating whole rather than refined grain cereal can lower your risk for heart disease.

Are your mornings rushed? If you don’t think you’ve got time for breakfast in the morning, stock your fridge with ready-to-eat goodies for the go. Throw some fruit and veggies in one sandwich bag and a hard-boiled egg in another. Then, grab a yogurt cup (and maybe a napkin while you’re at it) – and you’re off. Eat an early, nutritious to-go meal like that and you won’t be hit with those sudden hunger pangs that make the drive-thru seem tempting later on.

30 comments:

Christopher said...

AWESOME advice. When I was a kid, I was never a breakfast person. I usually skipped it but I never really had weight or fitness issues. The older I got, the more sedentary, no breakfast meant eating more later in the day which equated to big fat guy having to lose weight.

Later, when I started losing weight, I also read about having a breakfast and how important it was, so I started drinking those Slim Fast shakes and a protein bar a few hours later. It worked pretty good when it came to losing weight but it got to the point where it stopped working. Not enough calories? I told Nick (waiting for Nick to chime in) that I consume about 1,800 calories a day and he felt that I should take in more calories.

So, part of that was to switch from the 200 calorie Slim Fast to around 320 calories of fat free milk and Cheerios. Still do the 100 calorie protein bar a few hours later. Works like a charm, THANKS FOR THE FEEDBACK NICK. I can already feel the difference in my energy levels and drive to keep up my workouts.

Good article, good advice, always a good read Tony. Thanks man.

Christopher Ortega (menelaus)
chris@chrisortega.com

nick from ny said...

Tony,

Yeah, man, for years breakfast was only for champions and jocks? Right?-:) Well, it's good to see that most of this great nation is starting to "get it right" when it comes to caloric balance and proper nutrition. We still got a long way to go, especially when I'm walking up Broadway every morning and watch the artery-clogging, kidney-busting goo people are stuffing into their mouths while rushing to work! Not a pleasant sight I must say-;)

I currently have the luxury of pressing play in the morning, so my system is prime for nutrition uptake. As you so rightly say, high fiber with a little bit of protein goes a long way...those old afternoon cravings for chips and cookies are in the rearview mirror now and will be forever, yeah! One of my favorites is Irish oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder and a crushed banana. Or a one-yoke, two egg white omelet with spinach and peppers. Whatever you eat in the AM will directly affect your appetite and mood in the PM, that much is true! Let's all keep that insulin pump from going berserk! Stabilizing blood sugar levels throughout the day is key to health and longevity, and maybe even happiness.

Oh, and Christopher! DUDE! With that insanely wonderful workout regimen you described to me earlier, it was a miracle 1800 calories was getting the job done! Tony, you should see this guy's routine--it's like Bruce Lee meets the X factor! -:) I'm glad you're feeling stronger, man! Keep fighting the good fight!

Bless us all,

Nick

lizzy said...

Hey Everyone!
This post came at exactly the right time for me! Yet, I am still a little confused. . .If you eat first thing in the morning-- within an hour of waking up, how soon after eating can you work out? I know from the P90 (what I am currently doing) literature that it is recommended that you be a bit on the hungry side when you work out, but if I wake, eat and then want to work out-- well, you get the picture-- it's a timing question. As it goes now, I wake, eat oat cereal, blueberries milk, or eggs and whole grain toast-- and then wait about 45 min before working out. . .or could I work out sooner? Any feedback is appreciated! And thanks, Tony! You have helped me change my life for the better, and I will always be grateful!!!

Big hugs, from my ever growing muscular, yet shapely and yet still a little flabby arms,

Lizzy

Seth said...

I actually workout about 445-5 am and wake at 430-440 am. I dont eat prior to my workout (P90X) use recovery drink a little during and finish it after. then into the shower and about 30 minutes later usually oatmeal or Kashi with Protein powder rice milk banana and maybe some turkey bacon. sometimes add low carb bread with almond butter. Should I try to eat prior to workout or is it ok to push play on the empty stomach??

C.L. said...

You rock,Tony. I have been using your workouts for 3 years and I never knew you had a blog until a few days ago.

Luckily, I've always been a breakfast eater but sometimes, I didn't make the right choices. Now that I'm in my 30's I've had to become alot more aware of what I take in. As soon as I get up in the morning, I take my wheatgrass and eat a serving of nuts. It carries me through my workout and gives me the energy to take the beatings you give me via DVD. lol!
After my workout (about an hour), I eat breakfast. It's always 1 of 2different meals. Mon, Weds, Fri, Sun: 2 oz. roasted chicken breast, 10-15 kashi 7 whole grain crackers, 2 TBSP, hummus, 1.5 cups organic spinach. The whole meal is about 290 calories. My alternative meal on Tues, Thurs, Saturdays is 2pieces turkey bacon, 3 egg whites, 1 cup of fresh strawberries.
Having a big breakfast like that stops me from grazing all day.

Love your other blog entries, btw. Happy belated 50th

Zach McIntyre said...

Thanks for these tips, Tony!

I've been having trouble eating breakfast lately because I exercise early in the morning. Hopefully this will help.

Bring it!
Zach

Cathy From Colorado said...

Thanks Tony!.... Im not a good breakfast eater but... you sold me !Like you say knowledge is power is change. This is change for the good ! Thanks for the helpful tips. Cathy From Colorado

Anonymous said...

P90x is 100% on the mark but you must follow it to the letter. In my case I travel and it’s a difficult to maintain. johda@hotmail.com

Chris said...

I workout before breakfast in the morning, I usually have just a glass of orange juice and take my supplements which is about 1 hour before I workout (P90). Right after my workout I have a whey shake, and within an hour of that have my breakfast.

Works well for my energy level.

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I always start my day with Smart Carb bread which is by far the best low carb bread on the market. It is made by the Julian Bakery and has 1 Net Carb with 12g of Protein & Fiber per slice.

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