Friday, May 20, 2011

Skip Our Breakfast: The Routine vs The Science

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day."

"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper."

Conventional Wisdom (CV) will tell you the importance of breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day. If you skip breakfast, your metabolism will be slowed, you will have low energy, you won’t think clearly, you will be starving and wind up bingeing later. All these beliefs have been proven to not be true except for bingeing. You can always binge if you want to even if you’re not hungry.

There were so many mornings when I woke up and was not at all hungry but felt like I had to eat a big breakfast because CV told me to. Skipping breakfast or any meal, for that matter, is a smart way to reduce your calories for the day without any negative health repercussions.

If I had to choose between starting the day with two pieces of roti canai and a glass of teh tarik or not eating until lunch, I would choose not eating. You would be way ahead by not eating all that unhealthy sugar found in your "Malaysian's Favourite Breakfast Meal at All Time".

The good idea to skip breakfast if your goal is weight loss. Not eating until lunch is a great way to reduce the amount of calories you eat in a day without compromising your health. Not eating for 14 or 15 hours by skipping your first meal of the day is a method of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has been shown to have numerous health benefits such as: increased energy, clearer thinking, greater fat burning, better tissue repair and possibly longer life.

It’s perfectly ok to eat breakfast if you like to but don’t think that skipping breakfast is unhealthy. In fact eliminating any meal in your day is a healthy option for weight loss.

Don’t let Conventional Wisdom tell you the importance of breakfast. It’s not the most important meal of the day.

Could we have been wrong all along?

That’s what recent studies are saying.

Eat breakfast to lose weight: it’s what we’ve always heard. The theory went that breakfast would jump start the metabolism for a steady burn of calories throughout the day. Skip it, and your body adapts to the longer between-meals gap by burning nutrients more slowly to make them last longer. We were also taught that we would be hungrier during the day if we skipped the morning meal, that the big blood sugar swings from empty to full would have us gorging when we did finally eat.

Now we are hearing a different message. There is a new weight-loss theory that involves ‘intermittent fasting,’ which basically means skipping meals. Intermittent fasting puts the old ‘breakfast like a king’ adage on its head telling us to eat like a king at night after a pauperish day. It claims that the episodic deprivation of missed meals takes your body off its usual track, allowing it to reinvigorate and recalibrate, and in doing so, you end up burning more fat. [Intermittent Fasting 101 – How to Start Burning Fat]

There is plenty of evidence that exercise and other activity performed on an empty stomach coaxes the body to burn a greater percentage of fat for fuel instead of relying on carbohydrates from food. Athletes and bodybuilders have known this for years.
[The Journal of Physiology - Training in the Fasted State]

And the notion that skipping breakfast leads to less controlled eating throughout the day—you can scratch that one off your list of diet do’s as well. A new study published in the Nutrition Journal suggests that all a big breakfast leads to is a bigger calorie count for the day. In itself, breakfast doesn’t curb appetite later in the day.

What researchers now believe is that regular breakfasts occur along with a constellation of other healthy habits. Individuals with a breakfast routine are more likely to exercise, abstain from smoking, and generally maintain a healthy diet. The reverse holds true as well: individuals who don’t have regular breakfasts are more likely to have a cluster of unhealthy behaviors; in fact fewer than 5 percent of smokers eat a daily breakfast.

"If breakfast is already in your routine good for you; if not, you’re probably better off not adding it."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Being a Good Coach

This article I wrote to read by the coach either otai coach or newbies in coaching to remind or to show them the foundation in coaching the youth. There are only a few main components to succeed in youth sports, and more importantly to ensure the children enjoy the experience and learn. Here are a few of the basic principles you need to be a successful coach.

1. Be Positive!
When you provide criticism, put something positive with it. Sandwich constructive criticism with positive re-enforcement.

2. Make it Fun!
As a coach, you must make the game fun! That does not mean that there is no discipline and no goal of winning. It means you have fun while teaching them a game with discipline included and a goal of winning. Handle wins and losses in a respectful manner. We're talking about children, not professionals, so keep it light but organized.

3. Goals and Expectations!
Talk to your players at the beginning of the season; ask them what THEIR goals and expectations are. Emphasize their goals are not necessarily their parents, and not yours either. Ask each player to write down their goals and bring them to practice. Review their goals with them on an individual basis throughout the course of the season.

4. You are the Coach!
Make sure they understand that they are there to learn a game and you're going to help them become better players. They MUST pay attention when you are demonstrating drills and limit the goofing off. A simple warning, then a lap around the field if they didn't respond to your warning usually works. There is no need to raise your voice or embarrass the player.

5. The Three R's!
Teach your players The Three R's. RESPECT the game (including coaches and officials) ; RESPECT their team mates, and RESPECT their parents. Share this with parents and expect the same from them. They need to remember they are an example for their children. Yelling negatively at the official, the other team or their child does not show RESPECT.

6. Short Term Memory!
Help your players develop a short term memory. This means not to dwell on mistakes. Teach them that mistakes are alright. They happen at every level of play. Teach them that they will become a better player if they learn from their mistakes. Getting upset at themselves takes them out of the "mental" game. Not putting it behind them and moving on is more detrimental than the mistake itself.

7. Don't Coach DURING the Game!
Try (and I emphasize try because it is not easy) to NOT coach during the game. This is very difficult to do, especially with youth. The time to coach is at practice. Game time is when the work you do at practice is applied. Specifically, I mean let them play and learn on their own. Provide subtle reminders though. Keep the coaching during game time to a minimum. The team that learns from their mistakes on their own will ALWAYS be a better team than the one looking at the coach for direction during a game. If you must coach during a game, do it during a stoppage of play, preferably in private. Interact with the player; ask them if they know what they did wrong or something similar with positive reinforcement.

8. Develop Leaders!
Give leaders of the team more responsibility on the field. Allow them to tell the other players what to do, as long as they do it in a respectful and positive manner. Tell them they can correct and criticize the other players only if they communicate with respect for the other player or how they would like to be talked to. This will develop their leadership abilities and drive other children to become leaders.

IN SUMMARY: Never forget that it is a GAME and should be FUN! Joke with the youth; get to know them; find out what they like. Do little things like this that youth enjoy. If you forgot what youth like, just watch them one day at the field. It is pretty easy to figure out.