We are nearing the end of our 2017 kick start and I hope you are all learning how to create healthy lifestyles for yourselves. There is no easy way about it, no magic exercise or pill that is going to change you or your body. It takes hard work, sacrifices and the ability to make changes. Thank you for all the questions and I will answer them in the coming weeks but today I wanted to put the focus not on what you eat but how you eat.
Most of us eat backwards, meaning we have a quick, small, on-the-go breakfast which is followed by a larger lunch and then a big, satisfying dinner. Try flipping that upside down and make breakfast one of your biggest and healthiest meals of the day. Now I know many of you have a hard time eating breakfast as soon as you get up, but don’t fret as there is a way around this.
When you wake up you have spent about 8 hours (give or take) fasting and your body needs nourishment. If boiled eggs and toast just isn’t appetizing first thing in the morning, make it anyways but bring it with you to eat later. Boiled eggs are not your only breakfast option, you can eat anything: left-overs from last night’s dinner, a smoothie, some oatmeal or whatever is going to fill you up. However, as I had to convince my client yesterday, a coffee and almond croissant is not the best start to the day. Wake up and grab something quick, a handful of almonds and a few blueberries will suffice, but don’t go too long before eating the nutritious meal that you have packed.
If you are a morning exerciser and you prefer to work out on an empty stomach then make sure you have your breakfast ready to go for after your workout or hit your favourite smoothie/juice bar on your way to the office. You are even in more of a need of refueling and skipping this important meal could cause a HUGE crash for you at the end of the day.
For lunch, go for it. Have a big salad, or a healthy sandwich, a bowl of soup, or some fruit and chopped veggies. You basically cannot eat too much for lunch. This is my biggest and favourite meal of the day and sometimes I surprise myself with how large my lunch bag actually is. The beauty of a large lunch is you are satiated by the time dinner rolls around, which is what happens when you eat “backwards”. If you don’t start off right you are constantly trying to play catch up and you are never fully satisfied, which means by the time dinner rolls around you are grabbing whatever you can to satisfy your cravings. This is when the danger of polishing off an entire bag of potato chips to yourself is at its highest. Your dinner should be one of the smallest meals of the day. Some lean protein, yummy veggies (yes, vegetables can be delicious) and a small serving of healthy grains. A simple way to look at it is eat your dinner for lunch and your lunch for dinner.
Your body is most active in the earliest part of the day and as the day winds down so does your body’s need for calories. Most of us are finished our workouts by 6pm, as well as any other chores of the day, so why fill up at the end of the day. Doesn’t it make more sense to feed the body when it needs the energy?
Give this a try and take note of how energized you are, how your cravings subside and how great you feel.
Here's Renee Zellweger leaving the gym in LA yesterday.