Is Breakfast The Most Important Meal Of The Day?

Is Breakfast The Most Important Meal Of The Day

Many of us were brought up to believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A parental reminder generally came before a bowl of sugary cereal, some burnt toast and a glass of orange juice!

So, is breakfast the most important meal of the day? And what happens to those who skip it??

A recent study of 38 lean individuals over 6 weeks found no benefits to metabolism or body fat / composition when eating breakfast every day. So it definitely doesn’t seem to be essential for those with weight loss goals.

But what are the negative effects of skipping breakfast? They are often focused around the impact on mood (#hangry) or heart health, but studies have shown that this can be linked to breakfast consumption being an indicator of general, behaviour-related health. Researchers found that those who skipped altogether ‘were – among other traits – more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure, frequently consume alcohol, smoke, and eat high levels of red meat’.

Personally, I like to skip breakfast and save the calories for a bigger lunch and dinner later in the day. You might find food cravings easier to manage early in the morning and I find a generally lower appetite as a result of eating my first meal later in the day.

It’s also worth noting that a lot of traditional breakfast foods can be extremely high in sugar / carbs – think cereals, granola, croissants etc – and this will be a major consideration for any muscle gain / weight loss goals you have. Your diet should always be focused on total calories consumed against what is required and how you choose to use these throughout the day has little impact where it counts.

Do you skip breakfast? And what do you consider to be the most important meal of the day??

Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.

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Three Healthy Foods To Avoid – Part 1

Three Healthy Foods To Avoid

We all have a rough idea of what constitutes a bad food choice but things can get pretty confusing when trying to make a healthy pick. There are a whole host of ‘superfoods’ available which, on the surface, seem to be healthy options but are absolutely packed with hidden calories and sugars.

So, to help eliminate some of the misleading foods that may be sabotaging your diet, here are three healthy foods to avoid…

Fruit Juice & Smoothies

Making the ‘clean’ choice by skipping soda for fruit juice? It might not be the smart move you think. A Naked Superfood Blueberry Smoothie contains 29g of sugar per serving. Sound bad? It gets worse! They count one 750ml bottle as THREE SERVINGS(!) meaning that this ‘superfood’ clocks in at 87g of sugar. To put that into context, a bottle of Coke the same size will hit you with just under 80g.

Protein / Energy Bars

In a similar fashion to fruit juices, hidden sugar content can be a real problem with some of these bars pushing up to 20g per serving. A Peanut Power Protein Energy Bar from TREK comes in at 21.5g of sugar – compare that with a Mars bar which contains 0.7g less!

It is also worth looking for the actual protein content as some, like the Fiber One Protein bar, come in with a negligible 6g per serving.

Granola

My favourite late night snack is chocolate granola – at least it was until the day I decided to properly read the label! Each portion of Crunchy Nut Oat Granola from Kellogg’s contains 224kcal, not too bad right? Well, a serving is judged to be only 45g – dig out the scales and enjoy that moment of shock when you find out just how little that actually is. I was easily eating 4 servings at a time, bringing my evening snack in at an eye-watering 1000kcals!!

So, do any of these ‘health’ foods need removed from your shopping list? And what makes your list of healthy foods to avoid??

Hit me up with recommendations for Part 2 on Twitter or in the comments below…

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How to Train for Weight Loss

It’s true, training for weight loss isn’t the most enjoyable part of any fitness or bodybuilding journey but it is one we will all tackle at some point. There are millions of complex diets and fad products preying on those with weight loss goals but, truth is, the core drivers of weight loss are fairly straightforward.

So, to help you along the way, and keep you away from the fit teas, here are some tips on how to train for weight loss…

Lower the Calories

Weight loss will be achieved through creation of a calorie deficit – the bigger the deficit, the more drastic the weight loss. Initially, you should aim to eat at around 300-500 calories under your maintenance requirements per day as a starting point. Anything more than this will risk muscle loss alongside the fat.

Increase the Cardio and Up the Volume

Another way to maintain a calorie deficit, particularly if you enjoy your food (and don’t we all!) is through an increase in cardio work. Coupling this with your diet is the most sustainable plan and the one most likely to deliver results. Just keep in mind that it’ll take you 20 minutes on the treadmill to burn off that bar of chocolate!

An unfortunate by-product of training on a calorie deficit is that you will notice a decline in strength. It’s inevitable and almost impossible to overcome for natural lifters. You’ll need to accept this and may benefit from focusing more on volume rather than strength during your workouts.

Maintain Consistency and Continually Adjust Macros 

This might seem like an obvious point but weight doesn’t fall off in even measures and you might go some time without any noticeable drop in the scale. Remember, as you lose weight, you will need to keep on top of your daily calories and macros as they will drop as your weight does. For example, if 1,800 calories took you from 170 – 160 pounds and your goal is to lose more, you’ll need to recalculate, and lower to account for your new weight.

Keep your Protein Intake High

Maintaining muscle through cutting weight is the most difficult element for those not partaking in questionable substances. Your best chance of keeping the gains is by sticking with a protein intake of around 1g per pound of body weight.

So, those are some tips on how to train for weight loss. Do you equate minutes of cardio with chocolate bars? How do you deal with declining strength on a calorie deficit??

Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.

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