We’re told to eat our 5-a-day in veggies and fruit…eat whole grains…eat less saturated fat…exercise more. We all know that we should eat in a healthy manner, but how many of us actually do that?
As you know, I’m trying to stay on the healthy path and probably some of you are, too. So for those of you struggling a bit, I thought I would offer some tips to help you along the way.
One of the most important meals is breakfast. Breakfast helps us start the day by fueling the body with nutrients. It keeps you alert and gets you ready for the day. Think of a car….it won’t go without fuel, so why do some people think that they can go throughout the day without food? People who think that not eating is the way to diet are only hurting themselves. Without food, your body goes into starvation mode and will want to hold on to everything, including those lovely blobs of fat! Studies have shown that people who ate breakfast lost more weight than those who didn’t. So if you want to lose weight, EAT BREAKFAST!
OK, so now you know that breakfast is important. However, you need to eat the right kind of breakfast. Two fried eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and white buttered toast slathered with jam, along with coffee and sugar and full-fat milk is not the way to go. Yes, it sounds really good and tasty and will fill you up, but think of all the fat and sugar you’re consuming in this one meal.
You may as well eat a stick of butter!
If you eat healthy, then having this meal on occasion won’t hurt. However, there are some changes you can do to make this better for you and still taste good. Try this: two poached eggs, turkey bacon and/or sausage, wholewheat toast with a low trans-fat spread and sugar free fruit spread or natural peanut butter (no sugar) with sliced bananas. Leave out the hash browns completely. Add in some sauted mushrooms and tomatoes cooked in olive oil. Use a sugar substitute or no sugar and low-fat or skim milk in the coffee.
There are other things you can have besides a big breakfast like this; how about a fruit and yogurt smoothie? Throw some berries/banana/mango (any combination), plain non-fat yogurt, a spoonful each of oat bran and natural peanut butter and a little milk and a few ice cubes into a blender and whiz it about to make a nice smoothie shake. You can add a bit of honey or agave nectar for a bit of sweetness. Add in a spoonful of plain cocoa powder for a little chocolate hit. Use your imagination.
A bowl of oatmeal/porridge is good also. Add some dried fruits while you’re cooking it…yes!, use oats that you have to cook, not that pre-packaged stuff you just add hot water to. Throw in some raisins, currants or apricots. Add in some walnuts or pecans. Sweeten with honey or sugar substitute and add a bit of low-fat milk. Throw in a SMALL bit of butter, about 1/2 tsp. as the fat helps the carbs digest more slowly. I usually eat porridge when I know I may not be able to get to my snack later on as it holds me longer and keeps the hunger pangs away.
You should eat three meals a day along with a snack in between each meal. You want to eat every 2-3 hours to keep your blood sugar level. When blood sugar levels drop, that’s when you get hungry and reach for the closest thing, usually something sugary and sweet. Reach for a piece of fruit instead…a banana or an apple is always handy.
OK, so there’s the morning meal sorted. I’ll be talking about lunch next time.
Now, go eat some breakfast!