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DAY 5 DIARY - Breakfast, The Evidence

For full disclosure and transparency, I am not a dietician*, in other words I am not a medically trained nutrition professional. I see myself as a food journalist, I am interested in finding out the truth about food and reporting back to interested people who don't have the time to find out for themselves.

I am therefore very much concerned with facts and evidence rather than anecdotes and hearsay. I think, because you have subscribed to this blog and you are reading this post, that you are of like mind. It's too easy to get sidetracked by ridiculous headlines which only serve to obfuscate and confuse.

I believe this has happened with the whole issue of breakfast. It was always the case that you should breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper but there's also a ‘breakfast-deniers’ thing going on. In fact, a recent study, which caused much glee in the anti-breakfast camp, showed that eating breakfast doesn’t have much impact on successful weight loss, which to my mind is not a very strong argument for skipping breakfast! Then there are diets like the 16:8 which encourage you to skip breakfast in order to cut calories. Of course, there are many ways to cut calories and skipping breakfast is not, in my opinion, the best way to achieve it.

And I am not alone. One of the people I have met through my writing is Jodie Relf, a Registered Dietician and also Spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association - she knows her onions, literally!! I have been asking Jodie’s advice on a proposal for a Stealth Health book that I hope to have published (I’m still looking for a publisher if anyone one out there can help!!) and I asked her if my very strong belief in Breakfast is Best was substantiated. She was firmly in agreement with me and here’s why …

Reduced hunger. Eating breakfast can reduce your hunger later in the day, making it easier to avoid overeating. When you skip breakfast, you may feel ravenous later on and be tempted to reach for a quick fix – such as a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps. In addition, skipping breakfast can increase your body's insulin response, which in turn increases fat storage and weight gain.

Healthy choices. Eating breakfast helps you to get on track and make healthier choices for the rest of the day. In contrast, people who skip breakfast are more likely to make less nutritious choices, like skipping fruits and vegetables, the rest of the day too.

More energy. A healthy breakfast refuels your body and replenishes the glycogen stores that supply your muscles with immediate energy. Routinely skipping breakfast is associated with decreased physical activity.

So, if you have been putting a bit more thought in to your breakfasts this week I commend you!!!

I also want to share a really good breakfast option with you that you can buy-in, because some mornings are just too crazy to be whiffling up interesting omelettes. Freestones is a UK-based cereals company run by my friend Kate, sadly I can't get her products in Singapore but they are available via Ocado in the UK (see links below). I highly recommend them as they are 100% organic, no added salt or sugar, wheat-free, wholegrain and vegan so there is literally no-one who can’t enjoy them!! And by the way this is not an #AD, it's just a personal recommendation. Happy breakfasting campers.

Links to Freestones cereals:

* I am in the process of completing a nutrition course certified by The Association for Nutrition in the UK and I have been researching and writing about healthy eating for 7 years. I have also co-authored a cook book, The Midlife Kitchen - which was a Sunday Times bestseller - so I hope you feel reassured that I do know what I am talking about!

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