Tag Archives: diabetes

Why Breakfast Is So Beneficial

This one’s for my non-breakfast-eating sister (she’s trying though!!) as well as all you other non-breakfast-eaters out there:

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day? Well, let’s just say they’re all very important, but there is enough research out there that may make you take a second look on skipping breakfast. It’s easy to forget breakfast when we hit the snooze button three times and bombard ourselves with an hour worth of morning tasks squeezed into thirty minutes. Who has time to prepare a meal? And how can you even be hungry when you’re running around trying to prepare yourself for the next 12 hours? Believe it or not, that one choice of breakfast or no breakfast has more of an effect on those next 12 hours than you may think. And to clarify, no, a giant cup o’ joe does not constitute as breakfast, sorry.

It’s time to put an end to this breakfast boycotting once and for all. Eating breakfast can have a drastic effect on your whole day. Here are some reasons:

-When we sleep, our bodies fast and our metabolism begins to slow down when we are not fueling it with food. The first meal of the day, breakfast (break + fast) is a means to help kick start our metabolism again for the day. Eating breakfast gives us the energy we need to get us through the morning until our next meal or snack. Without breakfast, we’re going sometimes 10+ hours before we fuel our bodies from the night before.

– Breakfast skipping has been shown to have the largest effect on children, causing uncontrolled appetite throughout the day, a harder time staying focused on tasks and schoolwork, and a harder time retaining the information given. This can be due to the fact that our bellies growling at is can be very distracting as well as the fact that even our brain requires calories in order to function properly. It is thought that children’s small stature may be the biggest culprit to their higher susceptibility.

– When our bodies are in a state of hunger, we tend to crave carbs, and not necessarily the healthy ones, like fruit. Ever notice that once you eat a healthy, filling meal, you no longer really want that plate full of pasta or cookies or whatever else looks fat and delicious? When our bodies go too long without fuel, it knows it needs calories, so it seeks calories and a lot of them, as quickly as possible. This leads to eating unhealthier options and overeating.

– Many people cut out breakfast as a means to burn up any fat when their body is showing them signs to hunger. What I always tell my clients is the best thing to do is listen to your body. When it’s hungry, give it nutrients (NUTRIENTS though, not doughnuts). When it’s full, give it a break. The best way to learn what’s best for our body is to be completely in tune with it. When we feel sluggish after a meal or our stomach is crying out for help, chances are, what we ate wasn’t all that healthy. When we cut out breakfast in order for our body to “eat what fat it has”, we’re actually just the opposite of what we intend. Our bodies sometimes aren’t on the same page as our minds. What our bodies try to do best? Protect us. When we starve it and don’t listen to its hunger cues, it starts to go into survival mode, spiking blood sugars and storing any sugars we take in(almost everything has some amount of sugar in it) as fat instead of using it as energy. Calories are actually called “energy” in other countries, because, guess what, that’s what it is. When we don’t take in any calories for a period of time, we break down that muscle before we get to the fat store. survival mechanism at its finest…or worst in this case. We also make it more difficult to fuel our lean muscle when depleting it of nutrients. And lean muscles, sirs and madams, helps to burn fat. So, in fact, skipping a healthy breakfast is rather counterproductive in this attempt.  Which brings me to my next point…

– Skipping breakfast will not cause you to get diabetes, but keep in mind that it will spike your blood sugar, making you more insulin resistant. For the average healthy person, this is a risk because we’re not metabolizing the sugar we’re eating properly. For the already diabetic person, this is a greater risk when they already have issues with blood sugar. This is why it’s best for diabetics to eat every couple hours, to keep their blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

Mood swings and irritability are a common symptom of low blood sugar. An unhappy belly can easily lead to an unhappy person. The sun is up and it’s a new day for new adventures. Start it off on a happy note. 

Robin LeAnne, a highly recognized blogger who writes about everything from a healthy lifestyle to fashion advice, recently did a “90 days to a new me” article where she made breakfast (something infrequent in her daily routine) a priority. Check out how much it has made a significant effect on her day and her health in just 90 days at http://francescasflops.wordpress.com

Breakfast should always include a fruit/vegetables and protein. Protein should of course be with every meal, because it wards off hunger the strongest and the longest. And as mentioned before, protein is needed for those strong muscles that help us bust fat easier. Protein can be anything from egg whites to tofu to yogurt or meats. Fruit and yogurt smoothie or veggie omelet anyone?

Please keep in mind that we’re not doing our body significant damage by skipping a meal every once in a while, but making a habit of it can start having detrimental effects. Hopefully these points can convince you to bust that breakfast boycotting now.


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Glued to the Tube?

The average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day. For a 65-year old, that’s nine straight years glued to the tube. That’s a whole lot of telly!  HowellMainFour.com says it best- “They are spending all these hours watching a manipulated version of reality instead of living their own”.

What happened to the days of spending your free time on board games with the family, going outdoors with friends, or simply eating meals at the dining room table? It’s a shocker today to go into an American home that doesn’t have a television set; almost 100% of American households have at least one, and almost two-thirds spend their mealtime watching it. TV watching is not a good habit to make.  Not only does pushing the ‘on’ button suddenly cause a distraction from any type of near-future activity, but it can also have lasting effects on your health.

The first two years of a child’s life is considered a critical time for brain development. Many studies link excessive TV viewing at this age with later attention problems. Electronic media can distract from exploring, playing, and interacting with others.

The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study, a large survey of almost 12,000 Australian adults, found that for every hour of television viewed by a person over the age of 25, their lifespan is reduced by 22 minutes. In comparison, smoking one cigarette is said to reduce life expectancy by about 11 minutes.

There is an abundant amount of evidence out there that links the sedentary habit of tv watching to obesity as well as evidence that proves that simply cutting back on even a little bit of tv time has been helpful in weight control.

If that’s not incentive for the big guy on the couch, let’s at least do it for the little guys. A Harvard study released in February of this year found that men who watch 20 or more hours of television a week had a 44 percent reduction in sperm than those who did not clock any television time. It was also found that men who work out at least fifteen hours per week have 73 percent higher sperm counts than those who logged less than 5 hours a week.

There’s no harm in restricticting your telly time to two hours a day…literally. Studies have shown that even those who watch two straight hours of television have significantly lower risks associated with it than those who watched four straight hours. In an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers combined data from eight different studies and found that for every additional two hours spent glued to the tube, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by 20% and the risk of heart disease increases by 15%. According to an American Journal of Public Health study, an adult who watches three hours of TV a day is far more likely to be obese than an adult who watches less than one hour. The Nurses’ Health Study, following more than 50,000 middle-age women for six years, found that for every two hours the women spent watching television each day, they had a 23 percent higher risk of becoming obese and a 14 percent higher risk of developing diabetes. “The most striking feature of prolonged sitting is the absence of skeletal muscle contractions, particularly in the very large muscles of the lower limbs,” says David W. Dunstan, a professor at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia. “When muscles don’t contract, they require less fuel, and the surplus, in the form of blood sugar, accumulates in the bloodstream, contributing to diabetes risk and other health concerns”.

So, go ahead and watch your favorite show, but keep in mind that a half-hour show can easily turn into a five-hour boob tube session.  If you refuse to nix it all together, try spending commercial time doing jumping jacks or push-ups.

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