I have heard from many of you that you are concerned about maintaining a healthy weight during this time of confinement. Emotional eating and being bored can lead to frequent exploration of the pantry and, if you combine that with a decrease in activity, the result can certainly be weight gain.
One thing that might help to keep you on a healthy track during the day is to make sure you start off with a nourishing breakfast. Consuming a well-balanced breakfast helps to kick start healthy habits for the day. The food you consume at breakfast, or whenever your first meal of the day might be, can influence your hunger levels as well as your mood.
I know there are differing opinions on the importance of breakfast. Traditionalist believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, while others believe that skipping breakfast and prolonging the overnight fast has superior health benefits. In my opinion, it is not when you eat “breakfast” or the first meal of the day, but what you are eating that is most important. The food you consume, no matter what time you break your fast, will influence your hunger levels, your energy levels, and your mood for the remainder of the day.
Starting your day off with a bowl of Cheerios, soaked in skim milk, accompanied by glass of orange juice will most likely leave you feeling hungry, lethargic and moody by mid-day. Here’s why: A breakfast of refined carbohydrates and sugars, even the sugars in fruit juice, will set off a blood sugar roller coaster. These simple carbohydrates rush into your bloodstream causing a spike in insulin (a hormone that lowers blood sugars) followed by a blood sugar crash. This, in turn, leaves you feeling hungry, sluggish and reaching for more food. Not only more food, but most likely more sugary foods, since sugar is highly addictive. The sugar coaster rolls on.
The consumption of refined, sugary foods also depletes many of our neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that affect our mood. Depletion of these neurotransmitters can contribute to symptoms of anxiety and irritability. So eating a breakfast high in refined carbohydrates can exacerbate the tension that many of us are feeling right now and sabotage positive thinking and healthful behaviors.
A balanced breakfast of protein, fats and complex carbohydrates will have an opposite and positive effect on your brain and your body. These foods take longer to digest, help stabilize blood sugars and will keep you satisfied for hours. Protein-rich foods actually aid in the synthesis of neurotransmitters that can boost your mood and increase brain function. Healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, also play a role in helping you manage your moods and can ease depression. Eating whole grains provides a source of fiber, along with B vitamins that support energy levels and mood, and minerals that nourish every cell in your body.
So focusing on what you eat at breakfast can truly support healthy behaviors for the rest of the day. Better mood, more energy, and less hunger will decrease your temptation to turn to food later in the day to satisfy a sugar craving or lift your spirits.
Combining healthy meals that will satisfy your brain and your body with daily exercise, will allow you to successfully avoid the quaren-10.
is a Physical Therapist,
Nutrition Consultant and
Doctor of Integrative Medicine.
She has been treating women with osteoporosis for over 30 years and is dedicated to helping people achieve
lasting good health and vitality.
Want to learn more about how you can improve your bone health? Contact me for a free 15 minute phone consult to learn more about the BONES Method™ and how it can help you achieve strong, healthy bones for life!