What is one thing that lean people have in common more than anything else? They do not skip breakfast.
Having a Body Mass Index or BMI that is within your lean range is linked to so many aspects of our physical health. If you are overweight or obese there are significant health risks associated with a higher BMI. Want to improve your energy, your sleep, blood pressure, cholesterol, and other aspects of your overall health? Returning to a healthier weight through starting one habit, eating breakfast.
Let’s talk about insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is released by our pancreas when our blood sugar levels get too high. This role with blood sugar moves excessive sugar from our blood and stores it in our fat cells.
Most of us skip breakfast as it can make us feel hungry by mid-morning or we just don’t have the time. Eating foods that are slow to raise your blood sugar, low-glycemic, allow these nutrients to be used for fueling your day. Spiking your insulin with high sugary or fatty foods takes the calories you just ate and stores them in your fat cells instead of using it for immediate fuel. That’s why we feel the need to eat so quickly after a high-glycemic meal.
A calorie is not a calorie.
This was developed as a scale where 100 is the effect of glucose, or pure sugar, on our blood sugar. All other foods have a number that is lower, so a number of 30 will raise your blood sugar more slowly than a food with a number of 60. The more complex the food source typically the lower the glycemic index score. (For example the GI for celery is 35; while the GI for instant oatmeal is 79.) Keeping your blood sugar at a more stable level reduces the highs and lows of insulin. A blood sugar spike stimulates more insulin release, storing the excess energy in our fat cells.
Fat is a great energy source but it packs a lot of easily accessible calories with an opportunity to increase your insulin too quickly.
The goal is to keep your insulin from having too many highs and lows but to maintain a more consistent level. Reducing our overall calorie intake below our daily needs triggers a release of energy from our fat stores. This can be a safe and consistent way to burn our fat stores and return to an optimal weight for our height and age.
Having enough protein helps protect our muscles from being used as an energy source.
Blood sugar spikes stimulate more insulin release, storing the excess energy in our fat cells.
One last thing, energy density is something to pay attention to. A lot of elimination diets use rice as a staple. The problem with rice is that while it is good for a reduced sensitivity diet it is rich in calories and has a very high glycemic index.
A Mediterranean Diet is a lower glycemic diet while watching portion control or food energy density.
Eat a low-glycemic breakfast with balanced carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Shoot for 10 to 12 grams of carbs, with dietary fiber as the biggest part of this, 4 to 5 grams of fat, and higher protein, > 10 grams.
PAUSE AND REFLECT
When you reach for a snack pause and let your brain get involved on your choices. Are you following a past story such as 'cleaning your plate'? What is the cue or trigger that is causing you to reach for that potato chip or cookie?
PAUSE AND REST
When eating take a break and pause. Give your body time to digest. You will enjoy your food more and give your body time to feel full.
Glycemic Index Chart
“The most reliable way to assess how your body is affected by certain foods is to test your blood sugar two hours after a meal.”