Health and food science have continued to progress in leaps and bounds – it seems like most days there is a new study coming out about a former diet truth, some of which are so ingrained into our day to day lives, we don’t really think about them anymore. With so much information about food and health swirling on the internet ready to be delivered to us, how do we know what we should be doing, and what we should be avoiding?
Remember when we were told we shouldn’t be eating eggs every day, or that fats were really bad for us, even the good fats? Well we thought it may be time to look into some of the other diet myths that we’ve been told to swear by, to see if they stack up.
Is skipping breakfast really that bad...?
The idea that that breakfast is the most important meal of the day was marketed to consumers more than 100 years ago by James Caleb Jackson and John Harvey Kellogg (does the name ring a bell?), to promote their newly invented breakfast cereal. From there on it has been a staple marketing message for most breakfast companies.
To look at the science behind this claim more closely, a team at Monash University, Australia, recently studied the relationship between eating or skipping breakfast, and changes in body weight and the effect on your daily energy intake*. Researchers found that the total daily energy (calorie) intake was higher in groups who ate breakfast compared with those who skipped it (on average 260 calories more per day), regardless of participants usual breakfast habits.
The results also showed that those who skipped breakfast were on average 0.44kgs lighter, and contrary to the age-old adage that ‘breakfast is best’ – the study found that there was no significant difference in metabolic rates between those who ate breakfast and those who didn’t, and skipping breakfast was not linked to people feeling hungrier in the afternoon, or differences in overall energy.
So, maybe it’s ok to not worry about just having that coffee to start your morning off.
However – if you find that you prefer waking up and having breakfast to start off your day, we’ve had a look at the best options for you to try.
- Instead of white bread try whole-grain, spelt or rye-bread which have a lower glycemic index, meaning that energy is realised into your body steadily, rather than sugar-high energy boosts traditionally associated with white bread. Or maybe try a vegetable-based toast alternative with this cauliflower pizza crust recipe which can be personalised with delicious toppings.
- We know that most store-bought cereals include a lot of added sugar and preservatives which aren’t great – however there are now a lot of options in supermarkets for low-sugar, wholegrain cereals. They are a bit more expensive, but your body and energy levels will thank you for it.
- Porridge! It’s so easy to make with just a cup of oats here, and a dash of milk (cow, nut, soy) there, whip it up in a pot or microwave and you’re away. We’ve found a list of porridge recipes for inspiration to up your porridge game.
We are always looking at these types of claims to share science-based information which can continue to provide clarity and help people on their health journey. Calocurb was created through 8 years of science by Plant and Food Research NZ (a Crown Institute), so it’s at the core of what we do and the science behind it drives us. However, it’s important to remember that so many aspects of our daily routines are dictated by personal preference, so if you’ve never been a big breakfast eater, chances are it will be very hard or near on impossible to regularly start eating a large portion of food in the mornings. On the other side of the scale, if you find it difficult to function before your morning cereal or eggs on toast – you’ll be more aware of your hunger levels throughout the day if you go cold turkey on your morning meal. Try and find a balance that works for you, if you have health goals that you are aiming to achieve.
You can only lose weight by cutting out refined carbs and sugar…
If only putting this into practice was so easy. These types of foods have proven to be damaging to our health but cutting them out entirely has a high rate of failure. Try looking at it like finding a good equilibrium, enjoy that treat – but just re-adjust your calories for the rest of the day. If you are trying to reduce your daily calorie intake, a supplement like Calocurb can help with managing food cravings and supporting healthy appetite hunger.
We’ve heard from a lot of customers about how Calocurb has worked for them – especially around their ‘danger times’ when the cravings for sweet or savoury really kick into overdrive.
In a recent survey, Nicole from Auckland mentioned that ‘it makes me feel calm and content after dinner, as I don’t feel I need to keep on going into the cupboard to find those sweet treats.’
Marzanne went on to mention – ‘it has definitely helped curb my appetite as I am not hungry all the time or snacking anymore’.
We heard a lot of similar comments including one from Karen – ‘…and the best thing is that I don’t feel as if I have changed too much in my diet, just simply not as hungry as I was prior to starting on Calocurb.’
Nicola – one of our customers who has been on Calocurb since we launched and has achieved some incredible results told us – ‘it really worked for me as a product along with my current exercise regime and helped me to change my daily eating habits.’
Since we have launched, we have heard from a large number of people who all take Calocurb differently. We suggest the best time to take Calocurb is usually about an hour before meals, twice daily. However, some people find that mornings are a real challenge for them so they take one before work, but for the rest of the day don’t have an issue with snacking or portion control so they are content with only taking one in the morning. Although for others, after lunch and after work are the danger zones so they take a Calocurb an hour before each of these times hit.
Again – personal preference is key, take time finding what works best for you and then once you’ve got it, you can hit the ground running!
Quick weight loss is never sustainable…
Instantly crash dieting springs to mind, which understandably seldom ends well. However, new science and research have suggested that ‘intermittent fasting’ can result in rapid weight loss, with sustainable long-term outcomes. Michael Mosely – author of ‘The Fast 800’, and best sellers, ‘The Fast Diet’ and ‘The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet’, outlines that cutting down to 800 calories a day (after checking it is safe for you to do so), is a regimen that has been shown to be safely sustainable for weeks and months. Although not sticking to 800 calories a day, every day, is reasonable - so Mosley suggests that after a few weeks of rapid weight loss, you can switch to 800 calories a day, twice a week, which will still enable sustainable weight loss, as well as help with a number of wellbeing factors including gut and organ health.
Mosely recently came to New Zealand and made some interesting points in a local interview.
“There have been three huge studies published in the last year which have pointed out exactly the opposite [to slow and steady weight loss]; that if you want to lose weight and keep it off, and you want to reverse your type 2 diabetes, your high blood pressure, then you are better off going for rapid weight loss as long as you do it properly. And in all those studies the magic number was 800.”
After Mosley gained weight to test this intermittent fasting method, he goes on to say - “interestingly my body resisted it for a while, it really didn’t want to put on weight, but eventually, it started, and it packed it on. I put on about 10 kilos and started to snore like crazy, I got cravings I’d forgotten entirely about and had a mad desire for chocolate and sweet and sticky stuff.”
Mosley said once he got on the fast 800 diet, the weight disappeared in three weeks.
“I suspect my body was craving to get back to its previous shape, I suspect it is easier if you have been lighter for longer. But the evidence is very, very strong - if you lose weight and you keep it off for about nine months, maybe a year then your body will readjust, the hunger hormones will readjust, and the gut biome will readjust. So this idea that diets are doomed to fail is completely untrue,” Mosley said.
So what do 800 calories look like? It’s a “decent” amount of food Mosley says.
“You might have some eggs for breakfast with a bit of smoked salmon or a bit of ham, black coffee, black tea and lots of fluid.
Some vege soup or similar for lunch and a handful of nuts. Then a big pile of veg with meat, fish or tofu for dinner.”
He said studies show that within three days people adjust, and the hunger pangs subside and more importantly, people start to actively want healthy food.
Eating only within a set window of time has good science behind it, Mosley said. It’s another form of intermittent fasting, and it’s easier to watch the clock than count calories. In this period when we are not consuming, the body switches to fat-burn mode.
“You stop eating at 8pm and you don’t start again until 8am or 10am the next morning. Humans evolved to run on two fuel systems, we’re like a hybrid car - petrol and electricity. We run on sugar most of the time, but then we switched over to burning on fat because we evolved in a period of feast and famine.”
If you are like us you’ve heard the term intermittent fasting everywhere, so we’ve included a simple How-To Guide to help you figure out if it’s right for you. We run through the science behind why intermittent fasting has proven to be so popular, and effective - and we have a handy checklist to help you choose the right program to try,
We will continue to explore some other diet myths or common claims that come our way. Just remember that you should always listen to your body when trying to manage your weight and do what is best for your overall wellbeing.
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*“Effect of breakfast on weight and energy intake: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,” BMJ, Katherine Sievert, et al.