We've all known for some time that breakfast is an integral part of the day. Now research has shown that, regardless of physical activity, eating high fibre cereal in the morning at least three times a week leads to having a lower body mass index. This study followed 2,300 teenage girls over ten years, and was conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in the US.
One reason people skip breakfast is because they are trying to reduce their overall calorie intake. Whilst its important not to eat too many excess calories, having breakfast, even if its a simple smoothie, or a couple of pieces of fruit, will reduce the urge to snack on chocolate or other unhealthy options, as well as improving your performance at work and reducing fatigue. Sometimes its not just the overall calorie intake, but the types of foods we eat as well. Grab a couple of carrots instead of some toast - not only will you be getting fiber, but the phytochemicals such as carotene and other vitamins will help you get the most out of your body and your day. And if you're a bit disorganized with buying fruit and vegetables, visit the local fruit street vendor on the way to your local coffee shop before work. It beats a muffin nutritionally.
And for the final word on going overboard with calorie restriction, recent research found that even though mice will live up to 50% longer by eating less, humans don't. The most having a low calorie diet over your life would do is extend your time span on this earth by 7%.
Physiologically, having breakfast will in fact boost your metabolism. And its certainly a cheaper way to do that than investing in a bottle of diet pills.
A couple of weight loss tips for parents and expecting mothers. Early research has suggested that those mothers who eat excessively (think Britney Spears) have children who are more prone to being overweight by the time they are toddlers. This sets up food difficulties from a young age. And beware of teenagers or children who develop poor eating habits, combined with sedentary activities like playing playstation or xbox games too much, and watching television at the expense of even non-athletic activities like having a job or joining school clubs. These kids will have a greater tendency of growing into overweight or obese adults.
One key to integrating changes in your diet, whether with the goal of losing weight, or simply being more healthy, is to add variety. Its easy to get into a food rut, stuck for something tasty to eat that is also going to support our goals. Planning ahead, and doing a little research, can be one way of mitigating those moments when the urge to grab something unhealthy is driven by both hunger and unappetizing dishes.
Following are three breakfast recipes that will add a little variety to that all important meal, as well as supplying essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fiber.
Delicious Tropical Muesli
Serves 2 to 4. Preparation time - 10 minutes.
* Muesli - 100gm
* Wheat flakes- 50gm
* Apple - peeled and grated - 1
* Low Fat or Skim Fruit Yogurt- 500gm
* Mango - peeled and cut into strips - 1
* Passion fruit - pulp of 2
* Flaked almonds, toasted - 11/2 tsp
Mix together muesli, wheat, apple and half the yogurt in a bowl and refrigerate covered overnight. Divide it into four serving bowls. Top evenly with remaining yogurt, mango, passion fruit pulp and flaked almonds and serve.
Choose plain low-fat yogurt for the fewest calories. Fruit and flavored products have extra calories. Nonfat yogurt sweetened with artificial sweetener is an option for dieters. Plain yogurt is the best choice for cooking.
Serves 2. Preparation time - 10 minutes.
* Mango- peeled and chopped -125 gram
* Chopped pineapple - 1
* Papaya- peeled and chopped- 125 gram
* Kiwi fruits - chopped- 2
* Tropical fruit juice - 150 ml
* Honey- 2 tablespoon
Mix all the fruit pieces together and pour the fruit juice and honey on top. This is an excellent dish to start your day.
Summer Special Salad
Serves 4. Preparation time - 20 minutes.
* Water melon - 1 (medium size)
* Tomato - ½ kg
* Celery - 20 gram
* Orange -4
* Grapes -100 gram
* Pineapple (chopped) - 1 cup
* Raisins - 12
* Salt and pepper - to taste
* Salad oil - 6 tsp
* Mustard -2tsp
* Chopped onion - 2
* Pepper - 2tsp
* Sugar -1 tsp
Blend all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a mixer.
Chop all the fruits and vegetables. Take the pulp out of the watermelon and put all the chopped fruits and tomatoes into the outer covering of the watermelon. Pour the salad dressing on top. Garnish with raisins.
Eating fruit and vegetables raw gives you many of their vitamins undiminished by cooking processes. It also means you get enzymes which are great for helping the digestive process. Watermelon is rich in vitamin C and is also one of the few sources of lycopene, others being tomatoes, red grapefruit and guava. Lycopene is a particularly effective antioxidant.
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Rebecca Prescott runs a natural health website that includes articles on green tea weight loss and metabolism, cla for weight loss and whether it works, and reviews of Dr Atkins diet, and the zone diet.
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