Good Morning!

Last week we broke down blood sugar – what it is, why it’s important to pay close attention to, how it impacts the body, what we’re shooting for and how to prioritize blood sugar stability when putting meals together, etc.

If you missed last weeks email – I encourage you to go back and read it, as it will give you a more thorough understanding of what I’m sharing today.

This week, I’m sharing some research about the importance of how we start our days nutritionally and how this can have a significant impact on blood sugar and therefore food choices through the remainder of the day.

*please note: this applies to whatever your first meal of the day is – if you eat Breakfast every morning or choose to intermittent fast and not eat until Lunch – this applies.

I have had many people start working with me who don’t eat Breakfast at all and claim that if they do – they gain weight because when they do eat breakfast, they observe eating more throughout the day than if they skip breakfast altogether.

According to today’s study – if you’re choosing high glycemic foods (think: glycemic index – more on this below) at breakfast – then of course you will end up eating more as the day goes, because of how these foods impact your blood sugar.

Let’s talk about the study…

First, let’s get clear on the term: glycemic index (GI). GI is a zero to 100-point rating scale for assessing how much and how quickly a particular food spikes your blood sugar.

Zero represents no spike and 100 represents pure glucose – aka a big spike. This is how glycemic impact is determined and often referenced because not all carbs are created equal.

Our blood sugar doesn’t respond the same to drinking a 12-ounce can of Coke (GI: 60) the same as it does to a cup of broccoli (GI: 15). This is because broccoli has fiber to help slow sugar absorption.

So, what happens to energy intake (aka how many calories you consume) when you start the day off with a high GI meal?

Researchers studied this in obese teenage boys, assigning them to eat breakfast and lunch with either a low, medium, or high GI food – keeping calories equal.

In the 5 hour period after lunch – those assigned to the high GI meal ultimately ate 53% more calories than the medium GI meal and 81% more than the low GI meal.

That’s significant!

Researchers explained these results as a “rebound hypoglycemia effect”, which occurs when insulin levels have to surge to get glucose into cells, overshooting and causing a significant drop in blood sugar. *If you recall from last weeks email, one of the main takeaways was – we want to AVOID these big spikes followed by significant drops.

Consequently, this drop triggers increased hunger (bc now blood sugar is too low and the body thinks it needs fuel) and therefore leads to higher calorie intake.

You’re all educated here – so, you’re probably rightly assessing that a high-protein, high-fiber meal does the opposite of this – it balances blood sugar and stabilizes energy for a long period of time – 4, 5 even 6 hours – therefore cutting back on hunger in the hours that follow the nutrient dense meal and therefore cutting back on total caloric intake.

You see why I am SUCH a proponent of prioritizing protein at every meal! This doesn’t mean don’t have carbs – it just means they need to be the supporting role, not the leading, on your plate.

As the risk of being redundant, but because I think it’s important to reitterate >>

the conclusion of this is not to omit carbs, just the “naked” ones >> please do not hear me say that carbs are bad or that they have no place at Breakfast. High GI carbs want to be avoided most of the time, period. …things like sodas (even the “diet” ones), candy, processed foods… Low GI carbs (aka higher fiber carbs) are wonderful for us and we need them for the fiber + energy they give – potatoes, fruits, vegetables, etc. What’s key is – pairing them WITH some protein and/or fats – for example: instead of just having a handful of grapes or an apple – have a slice or two of deli turkey and/or a few walnuts with it – to help keep blood sugar stable and therefore avoid the big crash and plummet as a result.

The study (2-3 minute read) was published in 1999, and countless others have followed, corroborating its findings.

Like I said last week – take the matter of your blood sugar seriously. It’s a big deal that impacts EVERY function in your body. The more stable your blood sugar is, the better you’re going to feel.

As always, I’m here for questions.

Take good care of you this week!

Sending lots of love!