Tag Archives: Weight management

Categories Free Resources, Wellness

Is breakfast that important?

Have you heard these before:
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”
“Having breakfast will keep you properly fueled all day long”
“Eating breakfast can help with weight loss”
There are probably many more sayings, expressions and slogans we heard throughout our lives.
So let’s see what we should really know about breakfast.

What is breakfast?

As implied, having breakfast normally breaks our fast. As most of us sleep during the night, and will not eat during that time, our body would normally be in a fasted state during these hours. Therefore, the first food we consume after that fasting period will break the fast.

Is there an ideal time to break a fast?

Well, yes and no. Some people will benefit from eating soon after waking up, some would do better waiting a bit and some would max this process to their advantage by fasting for a few hours before their first bite.
The test of time, the effect on our energy levels, hormones, our overall health and many more factors, all come into play when it comes to one’s ideal breakfast time.

What about Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting or IF basically means allowing ourselves a smaller window to consume foods during the day. Within a 24-hour period of time, a common window is 6-8 hours for food consumption, while the rest of the time would be for abstaining from eating. Does IF provide any health benefits? Some. To certain people. Is it something everyone should do? Nope. Is IF helpful with weight loss? If the caloric intake is smaller than the caloric expenditure, then yes, but in that sense, that would make IF no different than any other weight loss regime. Overall the best answer to these questions (and most nutrition questions) would be: It depends.

Will I be tired if I skip breakfast?

Another hard push on breakfast is the concern with energy levels throughout the day. We are concerned that by not having breakfast early enough, we may not be fueled properly to successfully go with our day. As we are all different, some people do not feel hungry in the mornings and imposing breakfast on their body may create certain discomfort. Others may feel more inclined to have a large, satisfying breakfast following which they do not feel hungry for long enough.

My key messages are:

  • Breakfast is the first meal that breaks the fast after a night’s sleep. It does not necessarily have a specific time attached to it. One can enjoy breakfast at 7 am and the other can equally benefit from it at 10 am or later. It changes from one person to another depending on a variety of factors and goals.
  • Having breakfast or not does not necessarily translate to weight management. For weight loss, we need to consume fewer calories than we expend, which can be reached in a variety of ways.
  • Our choice of eating schedule should match our goals, lifestyle choices, preferences, health, hormones and many other factors. As we are all different, there is no one plan that fits all.
  • Breakfast contents and sizes vary throughout the world from one culture to another and from one person to another. A proper breakfast would be a nourishing, healthy, satisfying one that will fit the individual, their lifestyle and goals. The timing of such a breakfast would be a personal choice as well, provided the individual is in an overall healthy state.
  • The quality of our breakfast and overall daily choices of foods are not less important than the timing. We should put an emphasis on the quality and quantity of foods we choose to eat, in addition to the timing.
Categories Free Resources, How To’s, Wellness

7 important things to know about protein intake

How much protein do we really need? How do we get enough of it? Should we follow a high-protein diet?
Protein is found in every cell of our body and has many functions. It is involved in many chemical reactions and is an important macronutrient for putting some meat on our bones, making blood, skin, hair, enzymes and more.
To keep our body in a healthy state, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) per day for an adult is 0.8 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight. However, depending on our sex, age, lifestyle, frequency and intensity of physical activity, goals and other factors, an individual may need more than that. Let’s look at some important points to consider:

1. Too much of a good thing

Although protein is an important macronutrient, the expression “the more, the better” does not apply to its daily intake. A healthy diet should consist of all 3 macronutrients which are properly balanced and designed to the individual and their personal goal.

2. Remember your personal goal

Different people may have different goals when it comes to weight management, health and fitness. If someone is a bodybuilder, while your lifestyle is sedentary, the amount of protein requirements will be substantially different for the two of you. Your protein intake should be matching your goals, life choices, biology and other factors. Remember we are not all the same.

3. Consider the source of protein

Protein can come from animal and plant foods. When choosing your protein, remember it comes in a package that normally includes other macronutrients or other characteristics. For example, animal protein such as beef, chicken, fish, dairy and eggs, will also include some fats. While fats are an important macronutrient, some animal protein provide high amounts of saturated fats aside from protein. Saturated fats should be consumed in moderation.
On the other hand, protein from plant sources may have a reduced bioavailability. Being aware of that and incorporating cooked veggies and grains into our food intake can help increase bioavailability.

4. Adjust the total food intake

When our goal is to maintain or lose bodyweight, whenever we increase the intake of a certain macronutrient, we should make adjustments so we do not consume more food than we require. Meaning, if you have not changed anything in your diet except increase your protein intake, you may experience some weight gain due to overconsmption of calories. Swapping foods can be a good solution in this case. For example, instead of snacking on a couple fruits, swap with a few carrot sticks and hummus dip, while maintaining a similar caloric amount.

5. Get to know your protein powder

Some people may choose to incorporate protein powder into their food intake. While such powders are a great way to supplement our diet with protein and a great solution when you are in a hurry or on the go, we should learn what is really in our powder. Such powders may come from different sources (dairy, eggs, plant-based) and can often contain other ingredients such as vitamins and minerals, thickeners, added sugars or other sweeteners, as well as artificial flavouring. When choosing a protein powder, make sure to read the nutrition and ingredient labels first and see if you are okay with the final product.

6. High-protein diets

A very high-protein diet normally encourages an extremely low carb intake which may translate into overall minimal consumption of fruits and vegetables. While high-protein diets may offer certain benefits to certain people for a limited time period and under clinical supervision, studies have shown over and over again that daily consumption of enough fruits and vegetables contributes to our health in many ways and can be helpful and even preventative for many diseases.

7. Protein for vegetarians and vegans

Getting enough protein from non-animal sources is possible. Although a bit more planning may be required, achieving the protein intake requirements only through plant protein can be done. While vegetarians who eat dairy, eggs or fish can meet their protein intake requirements quite easily, vegans need to plan a bit more but can still get enough protein regularly. A common concern in some vegetarian diets or a vegan lifestyle is unintentionally creating a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. If you plan to become a vegetarian or vegan, a professional nutritional guidance or in-depth planning should be done to avoid such deficiencies.

Categories Free Resources, Wellness

What if I don’t like to exercise?

“I don’t like to exercise”. “I don’t have time to exercise”. “I can’t afford to go to the gym”. “I will never attend a gym class”. “I’m not comfortable with other people seeing me exercise”.
Maybe you resonate with one or more of these statements. You are not alone. Exercise, for many of us, can be attached to certain emotions that can detain us from doing physical activity although we all know it is one of the components of a healthy lifestyle. But when we are reluctant about it, some choose to completely stay away from exercise to avoid any challenges, discomfort, or even disappointments.

Physical activity can also bring up a certain image in our minds that makes it feel even less attainable. This lean, energetic, healthy-looking person with a zest for life, works out 5 days a week and always watches what they eat. That can be intimidating and might even make us feel more discouraged.
I get it.

But what if I told you there is an underrated way to keep active, without any special equipment, designated clothes, membership to any facility or a long commute?
What if I promised you no special skills are required?
What if I assured you anyone can do that anywhere, and anytime?
And, it can be as beneficial as many other forms of exercise!
Sounds good?
Keep reading.

One of the best, most underrated exercises which provide us with a wide variety of benefits and requires very little is walking.
All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes. That’s it.
You can have full control over how far you will walk, how long, how strenuous it would be, when, where, with a company or by yourself.

Still need a bit of a push? Here are some helpful points to keep in mind:

Energizing

A short walk outside in fresh air has been shown to increase energy levels and help with exhaustion. It might be the fresh air, the change of scenery, the increase in endorphins that help us feel happier or all of these together.

Social time

Need to catch up with a friend? You could go for a walk together. That could also help with accountability and encouragement.

Music to your ears

No time to listen to music, favourite podcast or audiobook? Go for a walk with your headphones and catch up on these on your walk.

Wintertime

Too cold in the winter or the pathways are icy? Try walking at the mall. No fresh air, but you still get the movement. You can do that on your way home from work.

Walk the dog

Having a dog can help us commit to going for a walk daily. Don’t have a dog? Imagine you have one to help you commit in the same way.

Emotional health

Studies show that walking in the fresh air can contribute to our emotional health.

Repetition is key

Going for walks daily can help your body get used to the new habit and crave it. After a while, you may notice that you need your walks and can’t wait to get out there.

Lower chance of injury

If you take the necessary precautions (ice, snow, rain, heat, traffic etc.), walking can be one of the safest forms of exercise.

Walk for sleep

Going for a walk can help with falling asleep faster and staying asleep. Make sure there is enough downtime between your walk and bedtime to allow the body to reduce endorphins and relax.

Enjoy your walk!

Categories Free PDFs, Free Resources, How To’s

10 Ways to Manage Waist Size After 40!

10 Ways to Manage Waist Size After 40!

For some reason our 40’s and 50’s end up showing around our belly. Here is how to take better care of this stubborn area.
Get your copy to learn about 10 ways you can manage your waistline.


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    Categories Free PDFs, Free Resources, How To’s

    Holiday Season Without the Extra Pounds

    Celebrate the Holidays
    Without the Extra Pounds

    Food is a part of most celebrations. Gathering loved ones, sharing some delicious food and indulging together. But it may come with a price. Here are some ways to enjoy the holidays without the extra pounds.


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