Fitness & Wellness

Healthier Alternatives To White Sugar

Healthier Alternatives To White Sugar

If it were just a matter of cutting out the added sugar in coffee or opting out of that candy bar after work, cutting down on added sugar wouldn’t be a problem. However, today sugar is in everything. In fact, each year the average American consumes approximately 152 pounds of sugar in a year. That’s three pounds or six cups a week. Great-great-great grandma and grandpa at only about two pounds of sugar 200 years ago. Can you avoid sugar entirely? Are there healthier alternatives to white sugar that you can use to avoid the health issues too much sugar causes?

Sugar provides extra energy, but that means more calories.

The same is true of sugar substitutes, at least most sugar substitutes. Stevia is one of those exceptions. Stevia comes from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana bush in South America. It’s 200 times sweeter than sugar, but has zero calories. Unlike sugar, stevia has certain properties that may help lower blood pressure and aid in preventing metabolic syndrome. Its ability to lower blood pressure is the reason you should take care if you already have low blood pressure. Some medications react negatively when you consume stevia.

Fresh fruit can be used in place of sugar.

If you bake, using natural applesauce to replace both the oil and the sugar in the recipe is an option. A paste made of dates is also another exceptionally good sweetener. You can sweeten most desserts naturally by adding fruit. For instance, if you buy yogurt and fruit in the grocery, it normally has added sugar. Make your own by chopping fresh or froze natural fruit into yogurt. While these options do add calories, they also come with nutritional benefits and are far more filling. Date paste is also a great option for diabetics, since it has a low GI rating.

Have you ever tasted monk fruit?

Like stevia, monk fruit has been valued for years for its sweetness. It’s about 150 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. It doesn’t affect blood glucose levels and has no calories. Monk fruit is also known as Luo Han Guo, longevity fruit and Buddha fruit. It was used by Buddhist Monks in early medicine for upper respiratory problems, and has been proven to reduce mast cells that produce the histamine that causes symptoms of allergies. It also boosts the immune system, since it’s high in vitamin C. It also can promote heart health and reduce inflammation that can cause pain and serious conditions. Not everyone likes the taste, which is different than sugar and leaves a residual taste in the mouth. That’s why some manufacturers add other ingredients that affect the nutrition of monk fruit. Some people shouldn’t use it, like those who have pancreatic problems or allergies to pumpkins.

  • A newer entrant in the sweetness market is the yacon plant. It has a flower like a daisy, but a root like a sweet potato. It can be eaten raw, tastes like a combination of apple, celery and watermelon and has the texture of water chestnuts. The root is boiled down to get a sugar substitute that lowers blood sugar.
  • While 100 grams of honey is only slightly lower in calories than 100 grams of sugar, honey contains enzymes, iron, antioxidants, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, vitamin B6, riboflavin and niacin. A tablespoon of raw honey has a lower glycemic impact than a banana. Darker honey is more nutritious.
  • Coconut sugar has a third fewer calories than table sugar. It is high in iron, zinc, polyphenols, potassium, antioxidants, calcium and other plant nutrients. It’s a good sugar substitute for baking.
  • Sugar alcohol, such as xylitol and erythritol have proven beneficial for diabetics and packed with antioxidants. Xylitol may prevent tooth decay, reduce the risk of infection, has a low GI, but also may cause diarrhea and gas.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

Are Artificial Sweeteners Really That Bad?

Are Artificial Sweeteners Really That Bad?

New clients at Habitat Health and Fitness in Lakeland, FL, ask me about sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners. It’s normally in response to the initial cravings of giving up sugar. Choosing to opt for an artificial sweetener may mean you’re loading up your body with chemicals and that can be as bad or worse as using regular cane or beet sugar. In my estimation, giving up food with added sugar is one of the biggest obstacles in living healthier. Once you change your eating habits, you won’t find adding sugar necessary and be able to taste the sweetness of fresh fruit and vegetables.

There are a number of artificial sweeteners according to the FDA.

The most common types of artificial sweeteners are acesulfame potassium, neotame, saccharin, aspartame and sucralose as the five types of artificial sweeteners. Each of these has a difference chemical formula and react with the body and brain differently. Artificial sweeteners change how the brain and taste buds perceive sweetness. In fact, many are far sweeter than sugar and create an overstimulation of the sweetness receptors in the brain. They can change how the brain perceives natural sugars and how low sugar foods like meat and vegetables taste. Those changes can make it difficult to stick with a healthy diet.

Are artificial sweeteners good for weight loss?

Because of their super sweetness, artificial sweeteners give you the sugar flavor with fewer calories than sugar. While you might think that cutting out the calories in sugar will automatically help you lose weight, that’s not necessarily true for all artificial sweeteners. There are studies that say artificial sweeteners increase your appetite and those that suggest some really do cut your appetite. The problem may not be the artificial sweetener, but that people feel they’re saving calories, so they indulge in other foods that contain more calories.

Diabetics may benefit from using artificial sweeteners.

Diabetics need to avoid foods that cause a rise in blood glucose levels, so artificial sweeteners may be a good option. However, as with all studies, there are always contradictory findings. Another study showed that people who drank soft drinks with artificial sweeteners increased their risk of developing diabetes significantly. Heritage may play a role in your body’s reaction to artificial sweeteners. A study of Hispanic women showed their blood sugar level rose 14% and insulin levels rose 20%. if they drank an artificially sweetened soft drink before they drank a soft drink with sugar.

  • Recent studies in seniors showed that those who drank the most artificially sweetened soft drinks had the biggest abdominal circumference measurement. Another study showed they increased the risk of diabetes by 67%.
  • Studies showed that people who drank more than 24-ounces of artificially sweetened soft drink had a 23% increased risk of stroke compared to those who drank 12-ounces or less.
  • Using artificial sweeteners can change the gut microbiome, which affects all parts of the body, including the brain. Some sweeteners have a negative impact on digestion and can cause gas and diarrhea.
  • If you have diabetes or a metabolic disease, always check with your health care professional before changing your diet. For most people, giving up food with added sugar can be tough at first, but then the true sweetness of fruit becomes more apparent and added sugar isn’t necessary.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

What Causes IBS?

What Causes IBS?

IBS— irritable bowel syndrome—causes abdominal pain and changes in your bowel movements that include constipation, diarrhea or both. It all depends on the type of IBS you have. Other symptoms include the feeling you haven’t finished in the bathroom, even though you just went, bloating and white mucus in your bowel movements. It can cause considerable discomfort, but normally doesn’t cause digestive tract damage. Unfortunately, IBS can last years.

Your brain and your gut may not be working together well.

If there’s a problem with the brain-gut interaction, it can affect the functions of the body. One of those indications are the symptoms of IBS. It may cause food to move too slowly through the digestive tract or make it move too quickly. Both of those can cause bowel movement changes, an abnormal amount of gas and pain.

People with IBS may have similar problems.

When studying IBS, doctors did find some factors that were common to most people with IBS. Not all people have had all these things occur in life, but may have one or two. Depression, anxiety and somatic symptoms are common in people with IBS. Digestive tract bacterial infections are as well. The gut microbiome is often unhealthy with bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines and/or a change in the type of bacteria in the small intestines. Stressful events in early life like sexual abuse or physical abuse can also be one of the commonality among IBS sufferers. IBS sufferers often have food sensitivities and intolerances. Genetic make-up may also play a role.

The treatment will vary based on the individual.

For some people, lifestyle changes may be all they need to get help with IBS. Changes include eating more fiber, identifying and avoiding food you can’t tolerate, such as gluten or dairy, reducing stress and increasing physical activity (which can also reduce stress). Adequate sleep is important, too. Some doctors recommend probiotics if they find a problem with gut microbes. Sometimes mental health therapies can help, such as relaxation training, hypnotherapy to improve gut health and cognitive therapy to help change behavior and thought patterns that affect IBS. Doctors may also prescribe medication to help with diarrhea, constipation or spasms.

  • Adding more fiber to your diet may be a help. Soluble fiber is a prebiotic that feeds beneficial microbes. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stools. Studies show soluble fiber helps most. It’s found in fruit, vegetables, nuts, oats and beans.
  • Maybe gluten is your problem. Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley. It can cause many of the symptoms of IBS, even if they don’t have celiac disease.
  • Try a low FODMAP diet. A low FODMAP diet strives to reduce food that contain certain hard-to-digest fermentable carbs. Wheat, garlic, onion, certain fruits and vegetables and beans contain them.
  • IBS used to have many names, such as colitis, spastic colon or bowel and nervous colon. About 12% of the population suffers from IBS.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health and Fitness

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

At Habitat Health and Fitness in Lakeland, FL, identifying the causes of preventable health issues and making lifestyle changes to avoid future damage, can boost health and vigor. One common problem faced by many people is consistent high blood pressure—hypertension. About 45% of all people have or will develop it. It’s a silent killer, because left unaddressed, it can lead to stroke, kidney damage, hardening of the arteries, dementia and early cognitive decline. In the early stages, most people don’t realize they have a problem because there often aren’t any symptoms.

High blood pressure means your heart has to beat harder.

Your blood pressure is a measure of the force your blood exerts against the blood vessel and artery walls. The top number is the systolic blood pressure, which is the force that occurs in the arteries as your heart beats. The second number is the force that’s in the arteries between beats. The higher the number, the harder your heart is working. That can make the heart work less efficiently. The tissue inside your artery walls is delicate and subject to damage over time. It can cause tiny tears, which bad—LDL—cholesterol creates plaque that sticks to those damaged walls and builds up to narrow the arteries even further.

Changing your diet can help.

Not only does processed food contain few nutrients and minimal fiber, it contains salt, sugar and additives that can affect your blood pressure. The sodium in salt has a direct impact on your blood pressure. It pulls in fluid to your vessels from surrounding tissues and increases your volume of blood. More blood equals more volume and higher pressure. Salt is a common ingredient in processed and restaurant food. A bad diet can also cause weight gain and the more you weigh, the more blood the heart has to pump, increasing blood pressure.

Lack of exercise can affect your blood pressure negatively in a few different ways.

Not only will sitting too much, not getting adequate exercise, cause weight gain and less muscle tissue, it can affect your blood pressure. First, the less you exercise and the less muscle tissue you have, the more prone you’ll be to weight gain. The heavier you are, the higher your blood pressure will go. Blood pressure is affected by a sedentary lifestyle another way. When you have adequate aerobic activity, it helps keep your blood vessels more flexible and makes them less sensitive to changes in hormones. Exercise helps slow arterial hardening that makes both your blood vessels and heart work harder.

  • Elevated blood pressure starts when the systolic number—the top number—is over 120. Stage one hypertension starts at 130/80. Stage two begins at 140/90. A hypertensive crisis occurs of you systolic number is higher than 180 or the diastolic number is higher than 120.
  • Bad habits can cause high blood pressure. Too much alcohol or a tobacco habit can increase your blood pressure. Binge drinking can cause build up of arterial plaque, while the nicotine in cigarettes can increase blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Stress can cause blood pressure to rise. Exercise is one way to relieve stress, but so are meditation and breathing exercises. Getting together with friends and socializing can also help lower blood pressure.
  • Some people are genetically prone to high blood pressure, but still can help delay the onset of it. Making lifestyle changes can help prevent early onset high blood pressure and reduce the damage it causes.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health and Fitness

Foods That Give You More Energy

Foods That Give You More Energy

Exercise is king at Habitat Health and Fitness in Lakeland, FL. However, when you eat healthier and consume foods that give you more energy, not only will your workout be better, so will all aspects of your life. Foods that give you energy aren’t sugary treats that spike your blood sugar momentarily and then plunge you into the pit of exhaustion. They’re high quality foods that keep your energy level at its best throughout the day.

Have some salmon or tuna for lunch or dinner.

Fatty fish are more than just a good source of protein, with plenty of omega3 fatty acids, they are a good source of other nutrients, too. They’re high in vitamin B12 that aids folate in making red blood cells. It helps promote the use of iron by the body. When you have more red blood cells and use iron more efficiently, you’ll be less tired and have more energy. The Omega3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, which can cause you to be tired.

Foods high in fiber boost your energy level by keeping your blood sugar in check.

Brown rice has tons of vitamins and minerals, particularly manganese, that can keep your body functioning at its best, but what keeps your energy level high is the fiber content. The fiber slows the digestion of the carbs, so it provides a level blood sugar level throughout the day. Sweet potatoes are another high fiber vegetable that keeps your energy level high. Apples not only contain fiber, they have antioxidants that slow carbohydrate digestion to extend the energy release process.

Some snacks are excellent for sustained energy.

Have you tried snacking on edamame or made a hummus dip? Both will boost your energy levels longer. Edamame are immature soybeans that are steamed, blanched or boiled and often served with salt or condiments. While being lower in calories, they’re high in protein, fiber and carbs. They contain folic acid, manganese and other vitamins and minerals that boost energy levels. Edamame also contains molybdenum, which is necessary to produce the enzymes to break down nutrients for energy. Hummus contains healthy fat, too. That helps slow the absorption of carbs and prevents blood sugar spikes that can deplete energy levels.

  • Make lentils part of your meatless Monday and boost your energy, while giving your budget a break. Lentils are high in fiber, folate, zinc, manganese and iron. Those nutrients aid in the breakdown of energy and the release to the system.
  • Start your day with an energy booster, oatmeal. It has beta glucan that slows digestion and the absorption of glucose. It also contains iron, manganese and B vitamins to keep energy levels high.
  • Another snack that can keep you running at peak performance is yogurt. It’s a great combination of protein and simple sugars. The sugars give you immediate energy, while the protein digests more slowly and provides energy for later.
  • Healthy fats, fiber and B vitamins all make avocados a great energy booster. The healthy fat helps you absorb nutrients or used later for energy. Avocados also are high in fiber to level off blood sugar.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

How Many Calories Should You Eat A Day To Lose Weight?

How Many Calories Should You Eat A Day To Lose Weight?

Your calorie intake and energy expelled determines whether you gain weight, lose weight or remain the same. If you eat too many calories, your body stores the excess as body fat. If you eat too few, your body breaks down body fat or muscle to supplement your needs. Eating the right amount to balance calories burned with calories consumed is the ideal, unless you’re trying to lose weight or gain it. Most people want to know how many calories to eat a day to lose weight, but there’s no simple answer. It’s all based on your body and needs.

There is a way to estimate how many calories you require.

Not everyone has the same metabolism or the same level of activity, so the calories each person burns varies. Your weight, sex and body composition make a difference, too. The more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn, if everything else is the same. Consider the extra weight to be similar to carrying weights. The muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. That’s because muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does. Your age also factors into the equation. Younger people burn more calories than older people do.

Calculating the calories you need each day should consider all factors.

Height, weight, gender, age and activity level are used to determine how many calories your body requires, yet it’s still an estimate. If you’re the “average” woman age 20-50, you need about 2,000 calories to maintain your weight and 1500 to shed a pound a week, since you’ll lose one pound for every 3500 calorie deficit you experience.

You create a calorie deficit by eating healthy and working out regularly.

While you can’t control your age or gender, you can control your activity level and the amount of muscle you have. Working out regularly improves those things. Eating a diet that’s higher in quality protein can increase your metabolic rate, while also providing satiety throughout the day, so you’ll eat less. Protein boosts you metabolism, since it takes more energy to digest. Studies show a diet higher in protein can increase the calories you burn by as much as 100 calories a day.

  • If you’re looking for some easy ways to cut out calories, check out what you drink. Sugary soft drinks, drinks with added sugar, fruit juice and even chocolate milk can pack on the pounds.
  • Choose water and plenty of it. Drinking a glass of water can increase the number of calories you burn for as long as 90 minutes, plus it boosts your energy level. Drink it before a meal and you’ll eat less.
  • Cut out foods with added sugar and refined carbs. Not only will you increase your energy level over the long haul, you’ll also be healthier and improve your metabolism. When you eat carbs, choose whole foods with fiber.
  • Get more exercise and make sure to include strength building. Lifting weights burns tons of calories, while it builds muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. While other types of exercises, such as cardio, are important, they aren’t as good as strength building for weight loss.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

Are Protein Supplements Beneficial?

Are Protein Supplements Beneficial?

At Habitat Health and Fitness in Lakeland, Florida, FL, we focus on fitness through exercise, but that doesn’t mean we discount other lifestyle changes that can make you healthier. Eating healthy should be a top priority. Some people question whether protein supplements should be used on that quest toward a healthier body. As with most things related to fitness, it all depends on you and your needs. Protein supplements can be quite beneficial for some and unnecessary or even dangerous for others. Older people who may have a difficult time of eating and don’t process protein as efficiently, may benefit from a supplement.

Taking a supplement doesn’t replace healthy eating.

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen is people that take a fistful of supplements in the morning and wash them down with a protein supplement as a breakfast or lunch. That’s the wrong way to use supplements. There are phtonutrients in plants that you can’t get in a supplement. Real food has the right balance of nutrients to work in synergy for a healthier body, plus you get the satisfaction of eating, which is one of life’s pleasures.

Not everyone needs a protein supplement.

There are a lot of things that determine the amount of protein you need. If you’re working hard to build muscles, your protein requirement increases. That doesn’t mean you have to get all your protein from supplements, they’re called supplements for a reason. People who have tough workout schedules and seniors are not the only people that may need more protein. Your weight and sex also determines the amount of protein you need.

You should do your homework before choosing a protein supplement.

While some protein supplements may contain other healthy ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals, they may also contain some not so healthy ones. If you’ve ever tasted protein powder with no additives, you know it doesn’t taste good. That’s why some manufacturers add ingredients to make it more palatable, like sugar or thickeners to give a better consistency. Some supplements even have chemicals to extend their shelf life. Protein supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, so private organizations that test them sometimes find everything from rat feces to metal shavings in them.

  • If you’re in a rush and don’t have time for a meal, adding fruits and vegetables to a protein shake can fill the gap, but shouldn’t be used on a regular basis.
  • If you opt for a protein bar, read the ingredients first. Many of these types of supplements are more like candy bars than healthy options. If you find a good supplement, use it only as a supplement and don’t over use it. Remember it has extra calories, too.
  • You can get too much protein. It can lead to seizures, blood vessel disorders, liver disease, kidney failure and cardiovascular disease. Protein deficiency is very rare in developed nations.
  • Check the label of the supplement for a third party endorsement or seal. For example, Clean Label Project tests for contamination and tests for truth in labeling.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

Can Cardio Burn Belly Fat?

Can Cardio Burn Belly Fat?

If you run miles a day and do tons of cardio workouts to burn belly fat, but find you’re not getting the results you want, there’s a reason. Steady state cardio isn’t necessarily the best route to take. Belly fat—visceral fat—is the hardest type of fat to lose. There’s no special exercise to take it off your belly either, since spot exercises simply don’t work that way. To lose belly fat, you have to lose fat all over your body. While cardio does burn calories, there are downsides to cardio that can sabotage your efforts.

Cardio burns lots of calories, but they come from both fat and muscle.

When you do a cardio workout, the calories come from burning both fat and muscle. Why is that important? Muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain, so the more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn. If you choose strictly cardio, it can burn that muscle tissue for energy, leaving you with a slower metabolism. That makes it even harder to lose any fat, let alone belly fat.

You still need cardio, but need to make some modifications.

Whether you’re trying to lose belly fat or just get fit, you need cardio workouts. You can modify your cardio or endurance training to maximize the benefits. Turn your cardio into a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout. All you have to do is modify how you do the cardio. If you’re running, run at top intensity for a minute or two and then switch your pace to a recovery pace for the same length of time or longer. Switch back and forth between the two levels of intensity for maximum calorie burning and benefits. Studies show HIIT workouts burn far more calories than steady state cardio.

For the fastest results, combine your HIIT workout with strength training.

Strength training builds muscle tissue and the more you have, the more muscles you build. It also burns tons of calories. If you make your strength training also a HIIT cardio workout, you’ll get the best of both worlds, burning calories from fat, while you build muscle tissue. You’ll notice many of our workouts are tough and have an element of cardio and strength training. This is just one reason for that type of workout.

  • How do you make strength training cardio training? You do your strength training sets for various body parts with no rest between the exercises. You’ll maximize the benefits of both.
  • HIIT training can help cut down on workout time. It also produces after burn, which means you continue to burn calories long after your workout ended.
  • Not all your workouts should be HIIT or resistance training, even if you’re trying to lose belly fat. You still need cardio, like swimming, walking and stair-climbing to decrease the risk of type2 diabetes, osteoporosis, depression and some types of cancer.
  • Our trainers at Habitat Health and Fitness will create a program designed specifically for your needs no matter what your goal. It will be based on the latest scientific information to help you reach your goal more quickly.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

Food Labels - Understand What You're Eating

Food Labels – Understand What You’re Eating

There’s a reason that food labels provide nutritional information. It’s to help you understand what you’re eating and the nutrients or additives that food contains. You can watch people in any grocery aisle in Lakeland, FL, and at least one or two are reading labels. A lot of the time they end up tilting their heads quizzically or trying to hold their glasses differently to read the small print. It’s supposed to make eating healthier easier, but, does it? The answer is yes. Once you understand what the label is telling you, healthy eating is easier.

The label contains many of the basics.

Whether you’re reading a can of corn or a bag of chips, knowing both the calories per serving and the serving size is important. Everyone has those weak moments when they simply gorge on unhealthy food. I know I have. It’s those times when you justify that it’s only 160 calories for a serving of chips, but don’t check how many chips are in a serving, or worse, the bag either describes the servings in ounces or number per container, which makes it harder to judge. In the case of chips, even if you knew there were just 15 per serving, would you stop there? If so, you’ve used the information wisely.

The nutritional content of the food is given.

Labels provide information on everything from the amount of dietary fiber to macro and micronutrients and the percentage of the required daily value. Knowing your dietary fiber intake is important. Dietary fiber can help keep your elimination system working its best and also aid with digestion by acting as food for healthy microbes and keeping them happy. The amount of fat is shown and also the number of grams and dietary percentage contained. The amount of trans and saturated fat is also shown.

The label not only breaks down the type of fat, it also breaks down the type of carb the food has.

Cholesterol and sodium content are listed and extremely important for people on special diets. The two other macronutrients, carbs and protein are listed. One excellent piece of information now given is the actual number of grams of sugar and the number of grams from dietary fiber. If the food has 15 grams of carbohydrates, it will obviously be a healthier option if those came from dietary fiber, rather than sugar.

  • The next section lists the percentage of the DV needed based on the average 2000 calorie diet. It includes vitamins A, C, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and B9 (folate) plus calcium and iron.
  • At one time, only the ingredient list was given, which meant manufacturers could sneak in far more sugar or unhealthy ingredients, by listing several types of sugar to make each one lower on the list. Now, showing the actual grams of total sugar helps.
  • You can check the ingredient label for specific items that you may not be able to tolerate of have an allergy. Labels show you additives, while also giving you an idea what you’re getting for your money. If water is listed first, not a fruit or vegetable, you’re getting less for your grocery dollar.
  • Check for foods that have the least number of ingredients, such as natural peanut butter whose only ingredient is peanuts.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

Is Eating Breakfast That Big Of A Deal?

Is Eating Breakfast That Big Of A Deal?

For years, eating breakfast has been praised as important for your health. While that might have been extremely important when most Americans made their living farming and the work was grueling physically, is it that important now? The first meal of the day does help improve cognitive performance, focus and task performance in children, so for children it’s extremely important. Once the child reaches adulthood, then whether breakfast is beneficial or not is up for grabs and often a matter of personal preference.

How can you benefit from eating in the morning.

Eating in the morning is also beneficial for adults, specifically, those that workout in the morning. It’s also important for anyone that has a chronic health condition, particularly diabetes. You don’t have to load your plate like a lumberjack or eat a farmhouse breakfast, but eating some carbs and protein will help keep you full and provide energy for the rest of the day. It’s an opportunity to eat a serving of fruit and even some veggies in some cases.

Studies show that intermittent fasting can provide many benefits.

What is intermittent fasting and what does it have to do with breakfast? Intermittent fasting can be fasting for a day and eating other days, but it’s also eating between certain hours and not eating the rest of the time. In many cases, an 8/16 option is chosen, where you eat between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm and don’t eat from 7 pm to 11 am. That pretty much knocks breakfast out of the picture, yet studies show it’s a very healthy way to eat that can keep your body younger, even at a cellular level. Some people actually eat this way normally.

Eat a good breakfast to be healthier or NOT?

While studies do show that intermittent fasting can make you healthier, they also show that eating a healthy breakfast does the same. How can that be? Which is it? They both can be true. Some people simply aren’t breakfast people, but if they eat healthy at other times and cut out late night snacking, they’ll benefit. Others who eat a healthy breakfast are also getting good nutrition. Some studies show that people who eat breakfast have lower LDL—bad cholesterol.

  • If you want to lose weight, it’s more important to pay attention to your hunger pangs and plan around them. Don’t eat if there aren’t any. Eating mindfully and knowing when you’re hungry is important.
  • Some typical “breakfast” style foods, like oatmeal, provide many health benefits for the heart, it could be the type of breakfast food you choose. Oatmeal, for instance, is heart healthy.
  • Skipping breakfast can cause you to be ravenous mid-morning. If you get hungry mid-morning, be ready with a healthy snack. Have fruit, nuts or seeds ready in your desk for a quick healthy snack.
  • Eating breakfast gives you one more opportunity to get all the nutrients your body needs. You can increase your vegetable intake by making scrambles with loads of fresh veggies.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness