David's Health Tips – Helping You Feel More Energetic!

You do an activity and your body utilises energy to do the exercise. Once you stop, the body requires yet more energy to recover itself. What gives you energy is the fuel you put into your body not the exercise. The better the fuel the longer you can go. It's that simple!!!! The secret to good lasting energy will be revealed in the next few paragraphs. Read on if you want the answer!

The biggest meal should be at the start of the day, when energy for work is required, instead of the more usual practice of having it in the evening when all you are going to do is sit and watch television and then go to bed. It makes a great deal of sense right? Of course it does!

Although I have a fried breakfast every day now, I didn’t always. I like bran. So even after I had started to eat this way, I had bran with skimmed milk for breakfast every odd day as a treat. At around midday after a bit of activity I would notice that I was ‘weak and wobbly’. I must be dense because it was years before I realised that this only happened when I had breakfast cereal; I never had these ‘weak and wobbly’ episodes after I had eaten a fried breakfast.

Our bodies need over forty different nutrients to function properly. Fresh fat meat supplies them all; refined sugar (sauces, packed foods, sweets, cakes, rice, oats … blah blah blah) on the other hand supplies only one. Now, don't you think that's scary? If you have not eaten for twelve hours, your blood sugar level will be between 3.8 mmol/L and 6.1 mmol/L, with an average at about 4.5 mmol/L. This figure is known as the fasting blood sugar level.

At the level of 5 or above, energy is available but as energy is used and your blood sugar level falls, energy becomes scarcer and you start to become tired. Below 4 you will feel hungry and your tiredness will become fatigue. If your blood sugar level continues to fall, you become exhausted, develop headaches, weakness and tremors in your limbs, palpitations of the heart, and nausea. It requires only a small reduction in blood sugar levels for your brain’s energy supply to fall to a level where thinking is confused and slowed. As this process continues, you become depressed and uncooperative, irritable and aggressive any lower would be a coma maybe even death! This is a natural reaction to starvation, programmed into all of us by our evolution: it is our body’s signal to us to go out and kill something to eat!

Here is a study that was conducted by Harvard University in 1943, yes that's right back in 1943. This is quite remarkable as breakfasts that gave the worst results are those that are now the most popular:

  1. Black coffee alone was the first breakfast to be tested. This caused a drop in blood sugar levels, and feelings of hunger, fatigue, lassitude, irritability, nervousness, exhaustion and headaches that became progressively worse.
  2. Two doughnuts and coffee with milk and sugar caused a rapid rise in blood sugar, but it fell again within one hour to a low level, giving similar symptoms to the coffee-only breakfast.
  3. A glass of orange juice, toast, jam and coffee with skimmed milk and sugar, was the next meal tested. Again, blood sugar rose rapidly but fell to a level below the pre-breakfast level within an hour, remaining low until lunchtime.
  4. As with 3, with breakfast cereal added. The result was the same: a rapid rise followed quickly by a fall to abnormally low levels.
  5. As with 3, except that the cereal was replaced by oatmeal served with skimmed milk and sugar. Again there was a rapid rise in blood sugar followed by a fall which, this time, was more rapid and to an even lower level.
  6. The same again but with two eggs and bacon added. This time, blood sugar levels rose and stayed up all morning, as did efficiency and a feeling of wellbeing. A similar breakfast replacing the skimmed milk by fortified full-cream milk was also beneficial.

The effects on the subjects of these various breakfasts were then studied after they had eaten lunch. Those who had eaten the most protein at breakfast retained a high blood sugar level all afternoon. Where blood sugar levels had been low in the morning after the largely carbohydrate breakfasts, levels after lunch rose only for a matter of minutes, falling to a low level that lasted all afternoon. Efficiency and feeling of wellbeing experienced after meals was directly related to the amount of protein eaten.

Twenty-two grams of protein seems to be the minimum for a breakfast to be effective. This kept blood glucose levels up for the three hours. Fifty-five grams of protein was required to keep the levels high for six hours. To put these figures in perspective, an egg contains between 6 and 7 grams of protein; an average rasher of bacon is about the same. Two eggs and two rashers of bacon, therefore, give you more than your minimum 22 gram requirement. The best breakfasts of all were those that also included fat.

In 2002 another study also showed that overweight people were less likely to have eaten breakfast.  And in the following year yet another study showed that people who skipped breakfast were four and a half times as likely to be overweight. And in 2008 yet another study supported having breakfast as a highly effective way of controlling weight.

I urge you to make time for breakfast — the time it takes will soon be made up later as you will work more efficiently. A good meal of eggs, meat, cheese or fish will give you an amazing amount of energy throughout the whole day. If you are used to feeling weak and hungry by mid-morning, you will be astonished by the difference a good breakfast makes. I PROMISE YOU IT WORKS… AS I DO IT!!!!!

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