Breaking the Fast, aka breakfast


Hi Fusers!

Happy Saturday everyone! You guys all did a kick-ass job this week with your workouts, thanks for keeping us constantly inspired 🙂

All through July we’ve been talking food at The Fuse. Unsurprisingly, a lot of us like to eat 🙂  We’ve been sharing awesome healthy recipes on our Facebook page, supporting one another in eating clean, and even exchanging some healthy, homemade snacks. It’s a good community we have over here I tell ya. This post is going to cover the importance of eating breakfast. Which is awesome, because I sorta love breakfast 🙂

Remember when you were a kid, and your mom constantly proclaimed, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” It turns out mother knows best, as usual.

motherknowsbestThe name breakfast was coined to represent the meal that would break the fast after the night’s sleep, and would provide energy for a long day of work. The pros of eating a healthy breakfast are huge, while the cons can have some pretty negative effects.

First the Bad News

Many people skip breakfast in an effort to lose weight. Consume less calories in the morning, create a little deficit and the pounds will shed, right?

Wrong. When the body is in a prolonged fasting state, such as when you have not eaten since dinner the night before and you skip breakfast, the body begins to panic that it might not get food any time soon. As a protective instinct the body begins to store fat (think of bears prior to hibernation). Consequently, instead of shedding weight the reverse can happen.

Simply put, the body breaks down and when you resume eating normally (not skipping breakfast/meals) you might actually gain weight because your metabolism has significantly slowed down and cannot burn calories as effectively. Double whammy.

bfastwinniethepoohThe Good News

By eating a healthy breakfast, you are revving your metabolism and kicking it into gear for the day. This in effect, helps you to lose and/or manage your weight. You will be able to have more control over your hunger throughout the day, helping reduce the urge to overeat because suddenly you’re “starving”. You will be more likely to make nutritious and healthy food choices all day long, because you will have helped stabilize your blood sugar levels, which helps keep sugary and carb cravings at bay. Also, your mind will be clearer and you’ll experience increased energy levels and higher productivity. You can’t go wrong with these benefits.

What to Eat?

Healthy breakfast choices include foods high in protein, fruit, and veggies. Keep away from sugary, processed foods (muffins, sweetened cereals/oatmeals, donuts, pastries) and include whole, nutritious foods. A few ideas that don’t take much time are eggs scrambled with veggies (spinach, kale, mushrooms, onions, peppers), protein smoothie (almond milk, frozen fruit, handful of spinach, protein powder), make ahead frozen protein pancakes, Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts, a banana with almond or sunflower seed butter, or leftovers from dinner the night before. Breakfast does not have to be a certain type of food. Think of breakfast simply as a time of day. Don’t feel limited in what you can eat, leftovers could be a great, healthy choice.

breakfast

So whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply maintain your healthy weight, remember what mom told you, breakfast IS the most important meal.

Yours in Health,
Kristin at The Fuse Fitness

To Snack Or Not To Snack….


Hi Fusers,

As you may already know, each month we invite members of The Fuse Fitness to challenge themselves to take their fitness to the next level. For example, last month we focused on practicing perfect form when exercising.

perfect-squat

This month’s challenge has been inspired by our very own members. As group exercise instructors, we have noticed that during classes, in between huffing and puffing, many of us are talking about what we are cooking, eating and experimenting with in the kitchen. So, we thought, let’s invite everyone to share the healthy meals and recipes they eat when enjoying breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

Everyday People Eating Everyday Foods

This challenge is not advocating for any particular diet or eating regime. In our opinion there are too many fad diets, drinks and services that capitalize on a “weight obsessed” culture. Instead we want to hear what healthy foods and recipes everyday people are buying, cooking and eating.

Snacking – Eating in Between Meals

We start the healthy eating conversation and challenge with snacks. Most of us love them, some of us more than others. There are many studies weighing the pros and cons of snacking and the influence on our overall health. There is also a great deal of discussion regarding the reasons people snack. These reasons are complicated, a combination of cultural, social, practical, and personal influences are involved. For the purposes of this article, we will not be exploring either area of inquiry. We will work under the assumption that many of us like to snack and we will look at ways that we can make snacking work for us.

to snack or not

Snacking Over the Years

Snacking is different for different types of people: active versus inactive; young versus old; under versus overweight. Children and adolescents, for example, may need to recharge their energy with snacks. Athletes often eat between meals just to keep up with their daily caloric needs. Some elderly people may not have an appetite for three large meals a day, so nibbling on smaller meals throughout the day may be a good option to keep them going. If you have questions about snacking for you, your children or aging parents, you might want to talk to a registered dietician.

Does Size Matter?

There are a few variables to consider when it comes to snacking. They include: portion control, nutritional value, timing and total daily calories.

1. Size of the snack
Many experts recommend a portion size of about 200 calories. Plan your snacks just like you (ideally) do you meals. If you shop for and pre-make your snacks everyday you will be more likely to stick to the 20 calorie portion size. Do not just open the fridge or pantry and start to graze from food containers. To help stick to the 200 calorie count, measure out the portion then sit down and enjoy the snack.

2. Nutritional value
According to Susan Bowerman, RD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, look for a balance of carbohydrates, protein (about 10 grams) and fiber (5 grams) for a snack of about 200 calories. Here are some sample snacks to have ready:

Edamame
Canned tuna on whole-wheat crackers
Cottage cheese-filled avocado
An apple and skim milk
Hard boiled egg plus 6 whole grain crackers
6-ounce container of low-fat fruit Greek yogurt
1 oz. of pistachios in the shell
String cheese plus a peach or nectarine
1/4 cup hummus plus 10 baby carrots

snacks

3. Timing of Snacks
Professionals recommend that you snack only when you are feeling hungry. If you are craving a snack due to stress or boredom, it will be better for your health if take a ten minute walk to energize your body and distract your mind.

4. Total caloric intake for the day
Balance an increase in snacks within the context of your total daily calories including your breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. Eating between meals will only induce weight gain if you regularly eat more calories than you need given your age, gender, weight, activity and goals. Check out what your ideal caloric intake is here. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/estimated-calorie-requirement

Share What Works for You

We want you to weigh in with your thoughts as well as your snack ideas and recipes. Where do you shop, what do you make and what foods are helping you on your health and fitness journey?

Yours in Health,

The Fuse Fitness