I'VE SAID IT BEFORE & I'LL SAY IT AGAIN,
A few weeks ago, I said in my weekly fitness article that the typical breakfast cereal sets you up for failure with weight loss and possibly even makes you gain weight. I’d like to retell the tale here in case you didn’t get to read that article.
CEREAL AIN'T ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE
THE UNADULTERATED TRUTH
The high carb load in the typical cereal, milk, banana, and OJ breakfast combo will give you an insulin rush which will shift your body into fat storage for the day and cause your blood sugar to drop in two to three hours. The midmorning drop in blood sugar will make you feel tired and hungry for a high-carb snack. This is not how a healthy breakfast should affect you, and is certainly not the way to lose or maintain your weight either; quite the opposite, in fact. Therefore, even the healthiest of cereals may need a little partnering with the right foods in order to bring them out of the “too many carbs” zone and into the “just right combo” zone with the perfect blend of macronutrients--protein, carbs, and fat.
By the way, I didn’t just dream this stuff up. It’s all according to Dr. Donald Layman, Professor Emeritus of Nutrition in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is recognized for his research on amino acid metabolism, nutritional requirements during exercise and work with high protein weight loss diets. He has over 90 peer-reviewed publications and his research has been recognized by the American Society for Nutritional Sciences with the BioServ Research Award in 1986, the Shannon Award from the National Institutes of Health in 1992, and the Nutrition and Metabolism Society National Leadership Award in 2009. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, the guy knows what he’s talking about and has done the research and studies to back it up!
Dr. Layman, also known as the “Father of Metabolism,” calls eating the right proportions of high quality proteins, smart carbs, and intelligent portions of friendly fats the optimal macrobalance. Dr. Layman states, “Muscles are the metabolic furnace of your body, and the health of your muscles determines your ability to win the battle of the bulge.” While many of his theories may be controversial, it is hard to argue with his research and numerous study results.
He goes on to say, “The research is clear that when you eat protein at meals early in the day, your desire for food changes for the rest of the day, and you eat less total food for the entire day. The protein that you eat at breakfast will have the greatest effects on your weight loss.”
THE MAGIC OF LEUCINE
(Click on this link for a compelling video by Dr. Layman.)
How much protein, you ask? Well, Dr. Layman believes that a factor that is particularly critical to weight loss relates to the amino acid leucine. Leucine has a unique role as a signal to regulate protein synthesis to muscle, much like the spark plugs in your car engine. Your car runs on gas and oxygen but if you don’t have the right spark at the right time, your engine won’t run. Leucine is the spark for triggering synthesis of new muscle proteins. If the leucine spark is available at the right time in the right amounts, there is a signal that tells muscles that they can build new proteins.
The importance of leucine means you need the right amount of protein at each meal. He says it takes 30 grams of protein at each meal to fully stimulate healthy muscles; anything less contains too little leucine to trigger the process of building body proteins. Getting the proper protein balance at breakfast and lunch is your first step to developing a healthy weight loss nutrition plan.
The very first step in achieving a new macrobalance is correcting breakfast. Breakfast is the key meal that gets your body ready for the day. How you feel, how much you eat and what your body craves is all established at breakfast. Mistakes at breakfast make you hungry and destroy body composition. The macrobalance breakfast is rich in high quality protein and low in carbohydrates. The Carbs:Protein ratio should be about equal amounts of protein and carbs. This balance gets your day started by protecting your muscles and burning stored fat. That’s right! Burning stored fat. Can you think of a better way to start your day?
Since most breakfast cereals are very high in carbs and very low in protein, they simply are not the best choice for a weight loss plan. I guess I really am a cereal killer. But, hey, I won’t leave you with nothing but cereal corpses and no other options. I’d never do that to you! Try these healthy breakfast ideas for a change and see how much more energy you have throughout the day with less cravings and I’ll bet better moods to boot. I guarantee you’ll notice a difference in how you feel almost immediately!
What can I say? They are all delicious and breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I guess that qualifies them all as my favs. Prep time on all of the above is less than five minutes; not much longer than it takes to pour your cereal into a bowl and add milk and the benefits are priceless! Go ahead! Try it and see!
- Eggs, meat, and milk in almost any combination can make a great traditional breakfast.
- My fav is egg sandwich made with real egg or egg substitute, a slice of 2% cheese, soy or lowfat turkey sausage and whole grain English muffin.
- One of my all-time favorites is a protein smoothie/shake; just throw a little frozen fruit, skimmed milk or lowfat soy milk and some whey protein into a blender and you have the perfect whey (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) to start your day.
- If you just have to have your cereal, try pouring your shake/smoothie into a bowl and adding a high fiber cereal.
- Another favorite of mine is cottage cheese mixed with yogurt. You can add a high fiber cereal for crunch or some fresh fruit or both. You will however need to add some type of meat for added protein such as soy sausage, low fat turkey sausage or something like that.
- Try mixing some whey protein into your oatmeal with milk and microwaving or cooking it on the stove. You can sprinkle in some sweetener (I like xylitol, Truvia, or Stevia) and top with berries.
If you want more information about Dr. Layman’s nutrition plan, feel free to contact me. I am a huge fan of the man and have the entire scoop on him and am super glad to share his wisdom with anyone who wants to know more.
NO MAGIC BULLET, BUT A NUDGE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
So, let me ask you three questions: 1. Do you have all the energy you need these days?
2. Are you making all the money you want? 3. Are you happy with your weight and how you feel currently?
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Trust me when I tell you this: I am definitely not a fan of big pharma and I believe we are better off with taking as little medication as possible. That being said, I do believe there can be huge benefits in herbal supplementation. Especially with problems that face us today in our air, food supply, water we drink, etc. That is why I have decided to take the leap and do these supplements. I did my due diligence and researched this stuff, peeps! The products really work and the company is ran by integrity-driven leaders who I am proud to be associated with.
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ANNOUNCEMENT: Don't forget to check out my weekly Fitness Column in the SunConnect that comes out every Wednesday. It's called "The Trainer's Edge" and I am quite pleased and proud to have this opportunity to write and be heard. Please be sure and check it out and tell all your friends about it! Thanks so much!!
EXERCISE OF THE MONTH
This is the part of the newsletter where I picture an exercise and give explicit instructions on its proper execution.
There is no better exercise than the Swiss Ball Crunch for developing a great 6-pack! Done correctly, that is. So let's go over that proper form now, cool?
Swiss Ball Crunch (regular & oblique)
Primary Muscle Group Worked: Total abdominals.
To see a video of this exercise go to:
my youtube Swiss Ball Crunch vid.
SWISS BALL CRUNCH
SWISS BALL OBLIQUE CRUNCH
Preparation: Sit on the ball and then walk your feet away while simultaneously going down into a lying position, allowing the ball to stop at the lumbar spine area or the lower back. Your feet should be flat on the floor and your knees should be bent at a 90 degree right angle. Keep butt high and in alignment with thighs.
Execution: Place your hands across your chest (beginner) or behind your head (intermediate or advanced) and exhale as you slightly curl you head, neck, and shoulders towards your pelvis. Repeat for as many reps as you can until failure.
HEREIN LIES THE CHALLENGE: Do not let your butt drop below your thighs. This means the difference between an effective crunch and a nearly useless one! Go slow. Do Not Rush This. Pull out as many as you can and don't worry if it is only 4 or 5. Work up to as many as you can and before you know it you'll be doing them like a pro! Six-pack abs, here we come! That's what I'm talkin' about!
- Exhale your air through your mouth as you come up and pause for a second as you empty your lungs completely at the top of the move, then slowly return to the start.
- Envision doing an accordion-type contraction with your abdominal muscles. This is a subtle move of only a couple of inches. Remember, it is a crunch, not a sit-up.
- Never pull with your hands and always do slow, controlled moves—never bouncy or jerky.
- Keep the same distance between your chin and chest at all times (pretend you have an orange lodged there), leading with the shoulders-your head and neck are only along for the ride.
NOTE: To do oblique crunches on stability ball: Do the same as above except place left arm on thigh and as you come up twist your right shoulder towards your left knee and return to the start position. You may repeat for desired reps on the same side or alternate between opposite sides per rep. Remember, do these slow and controlled using the same careful technique as described above.
THE PONDER POND
Okay, peeps! This is the inspirational part of the newsletter known as the "Ponder Pond" where you're welcome to take a swim in the sweet waters of inspiration.
makes me smile and feel good all over! I just lalalalove this kid, don't you? You go, little Jessica! You are my new positive affirmation role model!!
Well, that's about it for this time! I hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter and until the next issue, may the wind be at your back and improved health and vitality your new reality!
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please feel free to pay it forward to anyone you think would like it too. That is the best compliment you could ever pay me, and I appreciate it very, very much.
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From my heart to your health,
Linda Burke, CPT
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