The Big Breakfast Diet

You know it’s the most important meal of the day, but your busy schedule keeps you from getting a good breakfast every morning.

However, one fairly new diet insists that if you make the most important meal of the day the most calorie-laden meal of the day, you may be able to lose weight.

Think it’s an idea birthed by the cereal and milk industry? Read on to learn how this early morning diet is supposed to work and whether it can give your body a weight-dropping wake-up call.

Look for 600

The main step of getting into the Big Breakfast Diet is to eat a breakfast with about 600 calories. To make sure your big breakfast goes for the distance, you’ll want to fill up on plenty of carbohydrates (Atkins dieters, beware!) and protein. Then, get a move on your day.

According to the folks who praise the Big Breakfast Diet (and those who invented it), eating a substantial breakfast does more than fuel you through the day. It keeps you full until the day is over, effectively keeping you from going after high-calorie snacks that don’t do much for your good health. And avoiding temptation is something anyone can appreciate.

All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast – John Gunther

Look for Results

So how does the Big Breakfast Diet fare with real people? To find out, researchers grabbed 94 obese women who were physically inactive and an average of 30 years of age. Splitting the women into two groups, the researchers had one group eat a diet low in carbs. On average, these women consumed a little under 1,100 calories a day. The second group ate about 1,250 calories a day, with 600 or so being eaten during breakfast.

The weight-loss results were about the same after four months. In fact, the low-carb group actually lost five more pounds than the Big Breakfasters (28 compared to 23 pounds). But when the ladies went another four months, the Big Breakfast Diet showed that it was a force to be reckoned with. While the low-carb dieters regained an average of 18 of their 28 lost pounds, those who participated in the Big Breakfast Diet lost an additional 16.5 pounds per person.

Look for Application

Now for the big question. Is the Big Breakfast Diet just what your waistline needs to regain its trim shape? It might just be. After all, getting a dense breakfast filled with powerful protein and carbohydrates keeps you moving strong all day and keeps you from munching on those miniature candy bars on the receptionist’s desk.

Whether you decide to go Big Breakfast or not, this should serve as a wake-up call if you’ve been skipping breakfast or treating it as a lesser meal. While you may think avoiding breakfast isn’t going to do anything but give your calorie count a shove in the right direction, think again. Having control over your appetite means eating smart, and it starts with a calorie-filled breakfast!

How to Get It

Jamming 600 calories into your first meal of the day isn’t an easy task. Actually, you may be wondering how you could get so many calories into your breakfast. If you’re considering the Big Breakfast Diet, you can grab an impressive 600 calories by eating the following:

  • a bowl of cereal with at least 8 ounces of milk
  • a piece of pizza (that’s right-you can feel good about eating pizza for breakfast)
  • a strawberry smoothie
  • a couple scrambled eggs with cheese, ham, and vegetables
  • your other favorite foods

Sleeping Your Way to Weight Loss

Can catching Zs help you drop lbs?

You’ve been working at shedding that last five pounds for months, and nothing seems to work. You cut back on the amount of calories you eat, work out twice a day, and say no to every sweet temptation that has passed your way. So why do those extra pounds keep such a firm grip on your hips? It could be your unwillingness to hit the hay.

That’s right. According to legit medical research, spending an ample amount of time getting shuteye is essential to helping your body get rid of those unwanted pounds. Wondering how it works? Prepare to be amazed.

Getting Hormonal

Inside your body are all kinds of hormones that are responsible for doing all sorts of things. Two of these hormones, leptin and ghrelin*, have a stronghold on your appetite. In other words, if these two hormones decide to make you feel hungry, you’re going to feel hungry. They work by causing you to feel hungry (ghrelin) and informing your brain that you’ve had enough to eat (leptin).

While these hormones function quite well most of the time, a lack of sleep can result in your leptin levels to plummet and your ghrelin levels to rise. As a result, you feel hungry more than you ought and your brain never has a clue that you’ve had enough to eat. When this happens, you can only imagine the damage that can be done to all the hard work you’ve put into looking your best.

Put It to Bed

Now that you’re ready to power up your sleep for an easier time with weight loss, you may be wondering how to get better sleep. The first step is to give yourself enough time to sleep. You may be able to function on four or five hours of sleep each night, but most people require more. On average, shoot for eight hours, give or take an hour. It may mean giving up your late night dancing ways or beginning your workout a bit later in the morning, but getting your body’s hormones regulated will pay off.

In the event you’re already spending plenty of time in bed at night without feeling rested in the morning, you may be living with a sleep disorder. From sleep apnea (pauses in breathing as you sleep) to restless legs syndrome (irresistible urges to move your legs when you rest) to narcolepsy (constant sleepiness), sleep disorders disrupt your bedtime routine and your entire day from the moment you wake up. With proper diagnosis and treatment, you can find the relief you need from your condition and beginning sleeping better and losing weight with greater ease.

*Sleep loss also changes the amount of another hormone (cortisol) produced by your body. Like the combination of leptin and ghrelin, cortisol is also directly responsible for regulating whether you feel hungry or full.

The Other Way Around

Getting plenty of good sleep is essential to your ability to obtain and maintain a healthy weight. At the same time, losing weight is a good way to improve your ability to sleep well.

Why? For a number of reasons.

First, overweight people are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that causes the sufferer to stop breathing for prolonged periods, as he or she sleeps. In many cases, losing weight actually results in the individual being cured of sleep apnea.

Another reason weight loss helps you sleep is because of the frequent link between being overweight and suffering back pain. While back pain is bothersome during the day, it can be extremely bad when the sufferer lies down to sleep, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay that way.
So whether you find yourself attempting to lose weight or get better sleep, you can’t have one without the other!

Rise and Shine: Exercise in the morning!

How getting up early gives you the advantage.

When the sun begins peaking over the horizon, you shouldn’t be burying your head underneath a pillow, praying it will get dark and turn into night again. Instead, you should take advantage of the early hours to get in an hour of exercise. Why? Because the benefits far outweigh your desire to sleep in a bit.

Benefit #1: You’ll Lose Weight

Exercising during any time of the day is proven to help you obtain and maintain a healthy weight. However, recent research hints that exercising in the morning gives your weight-loss goal an extra push. How’s it do this? By improving your life a few ways all at once.

The first change is that working out during the first few hours of the day helps you sleep better, whereas working out in the evening can actually make it more difficult to sleep at night. Since healthy sleep habits assist your weight-loss goals, it only makes sense to want better sleep. Working out in the morning also helps your metabolism to get high early on in the day and stay there throughout your day. In addition, exercising early puts you in a healthy mindset from the moment you wake up, helping you make better decisions later in the day.

Benefit #2: You’ll Stick with It

Another reason morning workouts benefit you is the ease with which you can stick with them. Whereas it can be difficult to find time during your busy day to squeeze in exercise, making exercise the first thing you do during the day ensures you get in some calorie-burning time no matter what the rest of the day may bring.

Think you may not have the strength to stick with an early morning exercise regimen? Remember that in addition to sleeping better, early exercising gives you increased energy and gets the blood pumping throughout your body. This helps you fire on all cylinders, whether you have a big meeting coming up or have to pull a double shift at the warehouse.

Benefit #3: You’ll Get a Raise

As if an energy boost in the morning and increased metabolism weren’t reason enough for working out in the morning, this early-morning fix-all may be just what your career needs. If you’re skeptical, think about your attitude at work. Have you been down in the dumps? Too tired to go the extra mile?

Working out first thing in the morning may give you the boost you need to get past these issues. Once your boss recognizes your improved can-do attitude, your sudden willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty, and the infectious smile you carry everywhere you go, you may find yourself on the fast track to promotion. And to think-all of this just because you woke up a few minutes early for some running, weight lifting, bike riding, swimming, or calisthenics!

Creative Morning Routines

Getting your exercise every day is no easy task. Getting it in before the rest of your family is awake can be even more difficult-especially if you’ve not a morning person.

To make sure you get your fill of morning exercises, keep these tips in mind.

  • Leave the car at home. Once you’ve eaten a healthy breakfast, hop on your bicycle or grab your running shoes and get to work the old-fashioned way by your own power. Just be sure to keep an extra change of clothes on hand so you don’t have to wear your sweaty outfit all day.
  • Do something fun. Everyone has different interests. To make sure you get up every morning and get in some exercise, make your routine fun. Whether you prefer kayaking, bike riding, or push-ups, implement this into your early morning routine and you’ll have fun as you improve your health.
  • Become specialized and start teaching. Wish there was a spinning class at 6 a.m. at your gym? Find some likeminded folks and work to become a teacher of the class. As a teacher, missing class isn’t possible, so you’ll be sure to get your routine in first thing in the morning, even when you’d rather stay in bed.