Recently I read an article titled “Tapping the Power of Protein” by Christopher R. Mohr in Idea Fitness Journal. The basic gist of this article is that while we often consume more protein than we need, we aren’t consuming it during the right times of the day for it to be of any use to us. We eat little protein for breakfast and a lot of protein at dinner. The body has a limited capacity to store protein, so all of that protein you consumed at dinner is generally excreted. To give your body the best chance at building muscle throughout the day, it’s best to consume an ample amount of protein in the morning, about 20-40g, when your body is catabolic from having not consumed anything during rest. A decent breakfast meal of protein can look something like this:
- 2 eggs
- Toast with avocado
- A cup of plain greek yogurt with fruit
In fact, I attended a live chat sponsored by ACE a few weeks ago that advised we eat a sizable breakfast so that we’re less likely to overeat during the day. A sizable breakfast consisting of whole, nutritious foods can keep you full longer than eating several small meals throughout the day. Thus, doing this teaches you to eat only when you are hungry. If you eat a decent breakfast, you should be able to go five hours without needing to eat anything else. Granted, everyone’s dietary needs are different, but no one also wants to count calories, so it’s simply a good template to use if you want to change your eating habits. This doesn’t mean eating a gigantic breakfast. This just means, again, to eat a protein-packed breakfast since protein is naturally filling to begin with.
The way we eat also has a lasting impact on gene expression. “Epigenetics and Food” by Teri Mosey in Idea Fitness Journal challenges the perception that our genes are uncontrollable. The research presented in this article explores the idea that certain chemicals in foods can switch certain genes on and off. Basically, you can no longer use the excuse that your genes are the reason why you struggle with weight, as foods can affect gene expression. By eating the correct foods, your genes won’t work against you but will instead work with you toward a healthier lifestyle.
I think it’s common knowledge to say that most people have no clue how to eat. If we did, we wouldn’t need fad diets promising instant results that don’t last. We wouldn’t have pseudoscience supporting juice cleanses. We wouldn’t have this mistaken belief that all we need is a solid exercise routine to lose weight.
Food is everything.
In order to change how you eat, you need to understand that the best foods to eat are whole, nutritious, minimally processed foods. Thus, if you decide to purchase something that is packaged, look at the ingredients. The ingredients themselves should generally be whole, or the ingredients list should not be as long as your grocery list. I don’t want to say that a third grader should be able to pronounce those ingredients since we shouldn’t be relying on third graders for reading comprehension, but those ingredients simply need to be easily understood.
Cut out the soda, including diet sodas. Cut them out entirely. Limit your intake of added sugars. Read nutrition labels when making food purchases. I also challenge you to have a label-free day, where everything you eat should lack a nutrition label, like some fruits and veggies.
*”Breakfast porridge” by Denna Jones. Edited using iPiccy.com.