Q: I never eat breakfast and am overweight. After I read your column about the importance of eating breakfast I thought I should start. I noticed however that since adding breakfast, I am absolutely famished by mid morning or lunch time. I’m hungrier now then I used to be so I’m eating more. How can eating breakfast help me to lose weight?
A: Being hungry in the morning is a good thing. By adding breakfast you have kick-started your metabolism which means you will burn more calories throughout the day than before. Hunger is a healthy sign because it is your body’s way of telling you it needs nourishment. Denying your body of nourishment only lowers your metabolism meaning you burn fewer calories from the food you do eat. Remember, what you eat and how much you eat when you’re hungry is what matters, not how frequently you eat. If you are famished midmorning often a small, healthy snack such a piece of fruit or half a bagel with some jam will get you through a hunger attack and keep you energized until lunch.
It is difficult to ignore the age-old myth that you need to starve yourself to lose weight. Just remember, it is not healthy and is the biggest reason most people gain back any lost weight plus more once they finish a “diet”.
Q: I don’t especially like to eat fresh, raw whole fruit. Most mornings I make a smoothie with many kinds of fresh, cut up fruit plus milk/yogurt/soy beverage plus sometimes bran/wheat germ. I haven’t tried making vegetable juice but I do drink a lot of V-8 vegetable juice. Could you please tell me if the nutrient and fibre value of the fruits & vegetables in my drinks is the same as if I were eating the foods “unprocessed”?
A: Wow, your smoothie drink sounds really good. The vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content of the smoothie is the same as if you had eaten the fruit “unprocessed”. Fibre content will be fairly low if you strain the smoothie before drinking it. If you drink all the pulp, you are getting lots of fibre. Also try adding berries to your smoothies (strawberries, raspberries, etc) because of their seeds they add a lot of fibre. Check out the freezer section of your grocery store for bags of frozen fruit (adds a nice chill and froth to your smoothie). Of course you can also add the bran more often.
V-8 Juice is a fairly nutritious product which supplies a lot of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in most vegetables. Unfortunately it has been processed so it is contains very little fibre and also contains a fair amount of sodium. Too much sodium in our diets is not recommended. Limit your intake of V-8 Juice to 1 cup or less per day.
Remember Dietitians recommend 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily so try and get at least 3 pieces of raw fruit in your smoothies every day (e.g. 1 orange, 1 banana, ½ cup berries) and the other 2-4 servings from steamed or raw vegetables and juice. Try to limit strained fruit or vegetable juice intake to 1 cup/day.
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