DIET FREE Habit 2: Include Breakfast and Stop Eating 2 to 3 Hours Before Bedtime

If you’ve been following fitness staff member Wendy’s experience with the DIET FREE program, here is the next installment. Go Wendy Go!!

I am pleased to report that I did pretty well with the first healthy habit in Zonya Foco’s DIET FREE program—Drink water and think before you drink anything else. Of course, I was already a pretty good water-drinker, but I also managed to cut down on my coffee consumption by following this habit. So this week I am ready to tackle Habit 2, which I already know is going to be a VERY big challenge for me. It’s not the breakfast part that’s going to be hard. I already eat a healthy breakfast everyday (except for Saturdays when I splurge on a bacon and eggs breakfast at a local restaurant). It’s the second part of the habit—stop eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime—that may prove to be my Waterloo. I have gotten into the very bad habit of munching mindlessly while watching TV at night. According to Zonya Foco, who is a Registered Dietitian, the main excuse many of us use to explain why we don’t eat breakfast is that we aren’t hungry in the morning. And why is that? Because we are eating ourselves right into bed! Do you recognize yourself here?

Mom was right; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it nourish us after the “fast” we’ve had while sleeping, but it is the metabolism booster we need to get our bodies going. Studies have shown that those who skip breakfast generally eat 100 calories more each day than those who eat breakfast. When you don’t eat breakfast, you become overly hungry during the day, and then tend to overeat later.

What is a “good” breakfast? Is it the Hungy Man’s Special—the 3-egg omelette stuffed with meat, bacon, ham, and cheese, with 2 slices of butter-laden toast, and home fries? You might be able to get away with all those calories and fat if you are a farmhand who just came in from the fields, but when is the last time YOU worked on the farm? How about if you split a veggie omelette with your spouse or friend, put it on a smaller plate, and had half the home fries and 1 slice of the toast (sans butter), with a side of fresh fruit? This would be much healthier for you, and you would consume a lot less calories (bonus—it wouldn’t cost much either!). A good breakfast should include:
• A fruit or vegetable
• Some whole grain
• Some protein
• Possibly a BIT of good fat (such as walnuts)

This week, let’s try to: Include breakfast and stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime:
1. Floss your teeth after dinner and DON’T EAT again!
2. Every day eat a GOOD breakfast. Here are a few healthy breakfast ideas from our friend in the Fitness Centre, Donna, who also happens to be a Registered Dietitian:
a. Whole grain toast with peanut butter and a banana
b. Cereal with milk and strawberries
c. A bagel with cheese, and orange juice
d. Poached egg on whole grain toast and a fresh orange
e. Yogurt with granola and fresh fruit
f. Oatmeal with chunks of apple, cinnamon, slivered almonds, and milk

Bon appetite!


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