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Is it Really Bad to Skip Breakfasts? Some Scientists Say No

Is it Really Bad to Skip Breakfasts? Some Scientists Say No

It is commonly known that eating breakfast is important because it helps boost your metabolism. This early meal also helps you lose or maintain your weight by preventing cravings. There are many other benefits to eating breakfast, including enhanced memory, improved cholesterol levels, improved mood throughout the day, improved cognitive ability, and increased attention span. New research challenges the idea of breakfast. Before we explore these theories, let us look at the facts.

One research experiment regarding breakfast intake and weight maintenance was conducted by Monash University Gastroenterologist, Alex Hodge. Dr. Hodge looked at a group of 32 participants who had fatty liver disease. He directed them to fast between 8pm and midday. The research concluded that skipping breakfast could actually help to shed weight. The participants lost weight over the experiment’s 12-week period, reducing their waist circumference. There was also not a significant change in food intake throughout the day despite skipping out on the early morning meal.

Another 16-week research published in the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION, examined the effect of skipping breakfast for weight-loss in 309 unhealthy overweight and obese people aged between 20-65 years old. This conflicting research study found that skipping breakfast did not affect the study participants’ weight loss.

However, some researchers say that the conclusions from research studies should be interpreted with caution. You can already notice the stark discrepancy between the two mentioned experiments.

There are limitations in the research studies looking at breakfast effect, including the size of participants. There are also other control factors not accounted for, such as frequency and quality of other meals throughout the day. Nutrition research studies are often very challenging because of the difficulty controlling the participants other lifestyle habits (such as smoking and level of physical activity). They are often not 100% controlled intake studies.

Even though research shows that skipping breakfast does not affect weight, it is advised to not skip long term. Nutrients provided by eating breakfast are important for tackling the day. The experts advise us that breakfast should not be about weight maintenance, it should be about encouraging people to eat healthy. The hope is to form a habit for kick-starting our day with essential nutrients.

A healthy breakfast should include the following:

Whole grains. Examples include whole-grain rolls, bagels, hot or cold whole-grain cereals, low-fat bran muffins, crackers, and Melba toast.

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Lean protein. Examples include peanut butter, lean meat, poultry, fish, and hard-boiled eggs.

Low-fat dairy. Examples include milk, plain or lower sugar yogurts, and low-fat cheeses – such as cottage and natural cheeses.

Fruits and vegetables. Examples include fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, 100% real fruit juice without added sugar, as well as fruit and vegetable blended Smoothies. Make sure you choose low-sodium versions of beverages, though.

By following these guidelines, no matter how busy you are, you will soon see the effects of a quick healthy breakfast. This value should not be underestimated.

Here are some tips for fitting in breakfast on a tight schedule:

Cook ahead. Make breakfast the day or night before.

Prepare. You can also prepare any dry ingredients and any bowls or pans for use in the morning.

To-go. Make an easy to transport breakfast the night before. In the morning, you can just grab it and go.

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Sometimes you have the drive to eat right, but you just need some inspiration for what to eat. An apple is an apple, but about something more exciting?

Here are some examples of quick and healthy breakfast recipes:

Berry-nana Soy Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup vanilla soymilk

1 cup frozen blueberries, or frozen berry mix

1 banana, sliced

1 tablespoon soy protein powder

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1/2 cup ice cubes

1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Prep time: 3 minutes

Directions:

Puree all the ingredients in a blender on high, until smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Cereal Sundae

Ingredients:

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A bowl of fiber-rich bran flakes (about 1½ cups)

8 ounces of low-fat milk

¼ cup of nuts, or fresh/dried fruit , such as chopped pecans or blueberries.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients. Serve immediately and enjoy.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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