We’ve all known for some time that breakfast is an integral part of the day. Now research has shown that, regardless of physical activity, eating high fiber cereal in the morning at least three times a week leads to having a lower body mass index. This study followed 2,300 teenage girls over ten years and was conducted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the US.
One reason people skip breakfast is that they are trying to reduce their overall calorie intake. Whilst it’s important not to eat too many excess calories, having breakfast, even if it’s a simple smoothie, or a couple of pieces of fruit will reduce the urge to snack on chocolate or other unhealthy options, as well as improving your performance at work and reducing fatigue. Sometimes it’s not just the overall calorie intake, but the types of foods we eat as well. Grab a couple of carrots instead of some toast — not only will you be getting fiber, but the phytochemicals such as carotene and other vitamins will help you get the most out of your body and your day. And if you’re a bit disorganized with buying fruit and vegetables, visit the local fruit street vendor on the way to your local coffee shop before work. It beats a muffin nutritionally.
And for the final word on going overboard with calorie restriction, recent research found that even though mice will live up to 50% longer by eating less, humans don’t. The most having a low-calorie diet over your life would do is extend your time span on this earth by 7%.
Physiologically, having breakfast will in fact boost your metabolism. And it’s certainly a cheaper way to do that than investing in a bottle of diet pills.
A couple of weight loss tips for parents and expecting mothers. Early research has suggested that those mothers who eat excessively (think Britney Spears) have children who are more prone to being overweight by the time they are toddlers. This sets up food difficulties from a young age. And beware of teenagers or children who develop poor eating habits, combined with sedentary activities like playing PlayStation or Xbox games too much, and watching television at the expense of even non-athletic activities like having a job or joining school clubs. These kids will have a greater tendency of growing into overweight or obese adults.
One key to integrating changes in your diet, whether with the goal of losing weight, or simply being more healthy, is to add variety. It’s easy to get into a food rut, stuck for something tasty to eat that is also going to support our goals. Planning ahead, and doing a little research, can be one way of mitigating those moments when the urge to grab something unhealthy is driven by both hunger and unappetizing dishes.
Eating fruit and vegetables raw gives you many of their vitamins undiminished by cooking processes. It also means you get enzymes which are great for helping the digestive process. Watermelon is rich in vitamin C and is also one of the few sources of lycopene, others being tomatoes, red grapefruit, and guava. Lycopene is a particularly effective antioxidant.