An easy resolution – change what you eat for breakfast

PorridgeOver the holiday I bumped into a old acquaintance and I was shocked to see how old he had become in the few short years since I last saw him. Not only had he put on a lot of weight, but he was not taking care of his appearance and was complaining about lots of new aches and pains. Listening to many New Years resolutions over the last few days made me wonder how many of us will be saying exactly the same thing this time next year.

The decisions we make about our health now will determine how we look and feel in five or ten years time. Sometimes it is simply too much to change our smoking, eating and drinking habits as well is going to the gym three or four times a week all in a short space of time. When we have advertised our weight loss and fitness assessment programs and health and nutrition talks (videos here) they have only been modestly attended. It’s obvious that many of us want to make changes to our habits and lifestyle but are put off from the sheer enormity of the task. If this describes you, then I have a suggestion.

Change what you eat for breakfast

Sometimes big changes are too much but little change is relatively easy. Changing what you eat for breakfast is quite straightforward and can have a great impact on how you feel, your energy levels and your waistline. Little changes are one way to start make big ones say the scientists (more here)

Many breakfast foods are very rich in sugary carbohydrates which have a high glycaemic index (GI).  High GI foods only give you a short-term energy boost at the cost of feeling hungry mid-morning. If you can’t make it to lunchtime without a snack, then chances are you’re eating the wrong thing for breakfast. Not only do these foods sap your energy but are often very low in essential nutrients and contribute to weight gain. Typical breakfast cereals are often the worst culprits with white toast or croissant not much better.

The two main food groups that are great for breakfast are complex carbohydrates, such as porridge, and protein-based foods such as cheese, eggs, fish and meat. These food groups release their energy slowly throughout the morning keeping you going until lunchtime. They are packed full of essential nutrients especially if they haven’t been factory processed.

If you choose porridge then try sweetening it with lower GI sweeteners such as maple syrup, stevia or xylitol. All are better for you than heavily refined sugar (sucrose). If you choose cheese, meat or eggs don’t be overly concerned about cholesterol as dietary input to raised cholesterol is minimal in spite of what were often told.

When you have made these changes to breakfast you might like to pick another change to make. Alternatively you might like to save it until next year.


For more information go to an excellent book by Gary Taubes called Why We Get Fat. This book is available at Sundial.

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Weight loss, how to get fit and healthy: 6 top tips to improve success

Nutritionist BrightonWeight loss, how to get fit and being generally healthier often form part of our New Year’s resolutions. Most New Year’s resolutions will fail, but these simple tips should improve your success dramatically.

Changing habits of a lifetime is quite tricky, especially where weight loss is concerned. Most of our behaviour and our choices come from our subconscious mind, so these long established patterns don’t respond to simply thinking about them. Even once a pattern is changed, if a familiar trigger is encountered, then the same behaviour can be triggered too.

Keeping resolutions: top tips

1. Identify the trigger

If a particular time or place tends to make you reach for the biscuit tin, then recognising it helps you to do something about it. Our brains use automated responses to speed up our ability to choose. Unfortunately, this automation can lead us to make unhealthy choices again and again.

2. Substitute the habit

Just thinking about not doing something doesn’t help. The more you think about not doing it the more you want to do it! The best hope is to substitute the behaviour for something more desirable e.g. instead of reaching for a biscuit reach for a carrot or some nuts. Here’s more diet advice.

3. Plan ahead

Once you identify the trigger and how you going to change the habit make a commitment to yourself to do the substitute behaviour. If you really want to get motivated then tell friends, family and work colleagues about your plan.

4. Think negatively

Write down all the negative aspects of the behaviour you want to change to help motivate you. Also write down all the positive things of the desirable behaviour. This simple technique has been shown to help improve motivation.

5. Think big

Think about the important things in your life like family, your partner your work or some other higher core value and think about how your poor habits will impact those ideals.

6. Start small

If you try to make a massive change all in one go, you are likely to fail. Break a bigger problem down into small bite sized chunks. For example, if you’re concerned about your weight, start changing your snacks between meals. Do that for a couple of weeks and then change what you eat for breakfast and so on.

Here at Sundial, we will be announcing a Health and Wellness package which will include fitness assessments, weight loss help as well as other care and support to help you achieve your goals in the coming year.


Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick. Jeremy Dean (Da Capo Lifelong Books)

Fat burning vitamins

Sundial’s nutritionist Shirley Ward explains how eating certain foods really can help towards weight loss:

If you regularly suffer from joint pain and back pain then reducing excess weight can certainly have a beneficial effect.

For sustainable weight loss you need to achieve an efficient metabolic rate (the rate at which you turn food into energy not fat).  Studies show vitamin C, B vitamins and magnesium really can help control how efficiently your body burns fat. Continue reading “Fat burning vitamins”

Is Avoiding All Fats The Most Effective Way to Lose Weight?

Sundial’s Nutritionist, Shirley Ward provides some clarification:

The “Right” Fats for Weight Loss

Believe it or not, certain dietary fats really can help towards weight loss, but only if you make the right choices.  We all know eating too much red meat and full-fat dairy is closely linked with weight gain, due to their high saturated fat content.  But the good news is you can help achieve weight control by ensuring regular consumption of “essential” fats, so named as the body actively needs and uses these to function efficiently. Continue reading “Is Avoiding All Fats The Most Effective Way to Lose Weight?”