Nutrition Sins That Sabotage Your Energy and Your Career: Part I

Is this what your breakfast usually looks like?

With nearly 70% of the American population classified as overweight or obese, our country’s eating habits are clearly disastrous.  This results in a variety of long-term health issues and also makes many people much less physically attractive than they could otherwise be.  Additionally, poor eating habits wreak havoc on our energy levels, drastically reducing our ability to perform at work.

This week, we will be featuring a series on the 9 major nutritional sins most Americans commit, along with tips on how they can easily be avoided.  Here are sins #1-3:

1. Not eating breakfast at all or eating the wrong breakfast.  This meal is the foundation for how you will feel and what you will eat (and be tempted to eat) for the rest of the day.  A proper breakfast will give you more energy, speed up your metabolism, and defend against cravings for bad foods later in the day.  It is absolutely essential to eat breakfast immediately upon waking (i.e. within 15-30 minutes of when you get up) regardless of whether you want to lose weight, maintain weight, improve body composition, or gain muscle.  Stick to lean proteins (i.e. egg whites, skim milk, soy milk, nonfat or low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese) and good carbohydrates, such as fresh fruit, 100% whole-wheat bread, bran cereals, or oatmeal.  If you are always in a rush in the morning, getting up 10-15 minutes earlier so that you can take a few minutes to prepare a good breakfast will also help you relax and start your day with less stress.  Another option for those in a rush is to mix up a smoothie or protein shake with skim/soy milk and some fresh fruit or yogurt.  You can also add in some whey or soy protein for an added protein boost.  Whatever you do, be sure to ditch the donuts, bagels, muffins, pastries, pancakes, waffles and sugary coffee drinks from Starbucks. Be careful with egg yolks also, as one egg yolk contains 215 mg of cholesterol by itself; we should eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol for an entire day, according to the American Dietetic Association! 

2. Not eating a meal/snack every 3 hours throughout the day.  By increasing the frequency of how often you eat (without increasing the volume), you speed up your metabolism and help improve your body composition and energy levels.  While some people may think they are being “good” by starving themselves throughout the day, such a practice can actually make you fatter, and it will also zap your energy!  Not eating every few hours slows down your metabolism as your body tries to hold on to any food that you give it, and it makes you more likely to “go nuts” when you finally do eat something.

3. Thinking that all “carbs” are the same.  Perhaps the main reason America has an obesity problem is due to our over-consumption of processed carbs.  While carbs have been demonized over the last few years, people don’t get fat due to an overconsumption of oatmeal or whole-wheat bread (i.e. good carbs)!   Instead, most people get fat by consuming the wrong carbs too frequently.  Make sure the majority of your carb intake comes from fresh fruits and whole-grains such as 100% whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, and fresh vegetables.  Alternatively, if you are living on carbs from foods found in boxes and cans, you will usually be ingesting way too much fat, sodium, and sugar, all likely to cause you to gain bad weight and to have much less energy.

Tune in tomorrow for sins #4-6 and for additional tips on how to eat healthier for more energy!

Thanks for reading!

-Pete Leibman

-College Speaker and President of Idealize Enterprises

Explore posts in the same categories: Health and Fitness, Peak Performance

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