Do you know how sumo wrestlers "get fat"? They skip breakfast!
To their detriment, many athletes think skipping breakfast will help them "get thin" by saving a few calories. Wrong! Think again!
My typical weight-conscious client complains, “Every time I go on a diet, I end up blowing my diet and gaining weight.” This has little to do with will power but rather physiology. Just as a person cannot breathe normally after staying underwater for too long, a dieter cannot eat normally after having eaten too little food for too long. That’s the physiology of hunger. The body wants to overcompensate for the perceived “famine” (diet).
My words of wisdom to dieters are: If you want to lose weight, enjoy a hearty breakfast and lunch, and then “diet” at the end of the day so you can lose weight when you are sleeping, not when you are trying to train and perform well. Please, do not eat like a sumo wrestler!
With best wishes for high energy and low body fat,
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“If I eat breakfast, I feel hungrier all day” complained a working mom who came to me looking for help with losing 10 pounds. She was a breakfast skipper. She believed skipping breakfast would save her some calories and help her shed a few pounds. Plus, when she ate breakfast, she reported she felt hungrier the rest of the day.
The reason she felt hungrier when she ate breakfast was because she did not eat enough breakfast. She’d have just an English muffin with a dab of jelly. That was only 200 calories. Her body wanted at least 500 calories – English muffin plus a tablespoon of peanut butter on each half of the English muffin plus a banana plus a ½ cup of milk in her coffee!
If skipping breakfast was truly an effective way to lose weight, she would not have needed my guidance; she would have successfully lost weight on her own. But that was not the case. She described her eating as being “so good during the day, but so bad at night.” That is, the minute she got home from work, she’d devour cheese and crackers and then a big dinner and then graze some more.
She thought her nighttime eating was the problem. It was actually the symptom and the result of her having dieted “too hard” during the day. I suggested she experiment to determine if eating MORE breakfast would curb her evening appetite. Although she shuddered at the thought of eating more food, she completed the experiment and discovered that the heartier breakfast did stay with her and enabled her to curb her evening over-eating.
If you believe that breakfast makes you hungrier, think again and trust that eating a heartier breakfast is indeed the best way to start a day of dieting. Give it a try?
For athletes on the go, the best breakfast is something that’s fast, easy, nutritious and delicious. Here’s a super sports breakfast idea from Nina Marinello, PhD, Coordinator of Sports Nutrition at the University at Albany. So good, you might want to enjoy two of ‘em! Thanks, Nina, for the tasty idea.
Whey to Go English Muffins
• Toast a whole wheat English muffin.
• Top each half with part-skim ricotta cheese.
• Sprinkle on cinnamon and add sliced bananas, your favorite fruit or fruit spread.
This breakfast has just what the sports nutritionist ordered: carbohydrates for energy and protein to repair and build muscle. As a matter of fact, ricotta is a good source of whey protein which is essential for repairing and building muscle.
To add more energy-providing carbohydrates, muscle-building whey protein, and health-enhancing vitamins and minerals, top this breakfast off with a glass of low-fat chocolate milk. You’ll have a breakfast that’s a real winner!
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