Good Morning Football Fans!
As I was watching my home team, The New York Football Giants, decimate The Cheese Head’s of Green Bay (sorry Joanne) last Sunday, I saw two very disturbing commercials.
Both McDonalds and Subway are touting breakfast options under 300 calories. On the McDonalds menu, they offer a Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait (160 calories), a Fruit and Maple Oatmeal (290 calories, 260 without the Brown Sugar) and both the plain Egg McMuffin and Sausage Burrito scale in at 300 calories each.
Subway offers a variety of Muffin Melts all weighing in at less than 300 calories. Their Breakfast Flatbread Sandwiches are under 200 calories.
Now, I know many of you are asking; “why are these options ‘disturbing’?” Well, while it’s true that I would like you to limit your caloric intake, I don’t want you to sacrifice nutrition in order to do so. With very few exceptions, the “healthy breakfasts” available at fastfood restaurants are as low in nutritional value as they are in calories. Most are high in saturated fat and/or sodium and extremely low in protein and vitamins.
Also, if you can “swallow” this fact; the more you eat at breakfast, the less your body NEEDS throughout the rest of the day, you’ll understand why I am so disturbed by these ads. Studies have shown that when “dieters” eat between 25 and 30% of their daily caloric intake at breakfast, their metabolism increases and they lose more fat than those who skip or skimp on the “most important meal of the day”.
So, if you are eating only 200 – 300 calories at breakfast (and you are training to lose weight), that would mean your target caloric intake would be 800 – 1200 for the day. I am sorry my friends, after a bit of waterweight loss, you won’t be losing any weight “starving” yourself and working out. As I have said in the past, your metabolism is like a fire…it needs to be stoked with fuel. And it needs a lot of “kindeling” to “burn” optimally. Thus, you either maintain your bodyweight or actually gain more, even if you are working out.
While the number of calories needed a day decreases as we age, below is one way to determine your indiviual needs (depending on your goal).
For men: BMR = (5.003 x Height [cms.]) + (13.75 x Weight [kgs.]) – (6.775 x Age) + 66.5.
For women is BMR = (1.850 x Height [cms.]) + (9.563 x Weight [kgs.]) – (4.676 x Age) + 655.1.
Then, multiply your BMR by your activity factor:
Sedentary lifestyle has an activity factor of 1.2.
An activity factor of 1.375 applies to people who engage in light exercise two or three times per week.
An activity factor of 1.55 applies to people who are moderately active.
And an activity factor 1.725 is for people who engage in heavy exercise up to six times per week.
Once you have that sum, in order to lose weight, subtract 500 totalling your specific daily caloric needs and choose hearty, nutritious and quality foods. In other words, don’t go to “fastfood joints”; especially for breakfast!