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Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day…and other stories!

Hey Team,

Here we are with another week, another blog.  I’m on a roll!

Before I kick it off, just the usual big thanks to everyone who has come along to train with us this past week.  It’s certainly been a bit of an old-school adventure as we have seen some ‘old’ class styles make their way back into the boxing gym with ‘flip-flop’ stations and tabata work…it’s certainly a lot of fun being able to do some of this ‘stuff’ again.  Some of our new rowers (the first four) have arrived so I’m really looking forward to getting them out on the floor, the new floor tiles have arrived so the old grass is gone…the ‘new’ circuit style/moving day gym is really coming together!

After last week’s training based blog I wanted to write today about some food stuff – just try and cover off on some of the things that I am always getting asked and try to simplify things for you.  So – what am I always getting asked?

  • Is breakfast really the most important meal of day?
  • Is it REALLY bad to eat dinner too close to bed time?
  • What’s all this stuff about ‘post-workout’ meals?  I finish at the gym and go to work!!
  • Does the timing of when I eat REALLY matter?
  • Should I try intermittent fasting?  One of the guys at work said it worked wonders for them?

I could probably add another 10-questions onto that list but those five (5) probably cover a fair bit of ground and I would prefer to write a blog rather than a novel!  So here goes:

Is breakfast the most important meal of day?

Well – maybe?  I mean, the ‘MOST’ important meal probably doesn’t exist – but breakfast is AN important meal.  To maintain energy and be able to hold your ‘mood’ throughout the day, it is important that you are fueled – this means protein, carbs and fats.  If you go to work having not eaten since dinner the night before, well…at some point you are simply going to run out of steam.  And whilst the ‘food to a body is like petrol to a car’ analogy holds up OK, once the fuel tank of your car is filled, you are good to go…it doesn’t work like that after you eat – it takes time for your body to digest the food and make it available as energy – so if you get ‘behind’ in the morning by skipping breakfast, you can 100% expect that early afternoon crash.  And sadly, eating lunch wont fix it (for a while).

Further, if you are trying to eat ‘sustainably’ – hit your calorie and protein target for the day – then trying to jam all of those numbers into two meals is a real challenge.  

So…what do I eat for breakfast?

200g Greek yoghurt:  120 calories and 20g protein.

50g fruit free granola:  250 calories and 5g protein.

1x scoop of protein powder:  110 calories and 25g protein.

Totals:  480 calories and 50g protein.  

Now for me – trying to hit 160g protein and 2000 calories – well, I’m on the way.  And – as an aside, total preparation time for that meal is literally 2-minutes (which includes finding a container to put the yoghurt in!).  Am I saying YOU should eat that?  No – I’m not saying anything of the sort…what I am saying is that greek yoghurt, a SMALL scoop of granola and a scoop of protein is quicker than quick to prepare and has great nutritional numbers.

Is it REALLY bad to eat dinner too close to bed time?

For some people, eating right before dinner might lead to disrupted sleep.  For others, they sleep fine if they are chewing their last mouthful as their head hits the pillow.  If you are impacted by eating ‘close’ to dinner time…don’t do it.  If it doesn’t seem to matter, cool – eat later.  Now – there is 100% some back and forth opinions on whether eating ‘LATE’ means that calories are more likely to be stored as fat due to the way your body manages insulin levels later in the day.  Now, whilst some studies seem to support it this theory others seem to debunk it – so what should you do?  Maybe TRY not to eat within 2-hours of going to bed but don’t turn it into a religion…if you get stuck late at work (or wherever) eat your meal when you get home and go to bed as normal.  This is NOT a green light for post-dinner snacking though – after dinner M&M’s are never a good plan – so, as always, just be sensible about it.

Are ‘post-workout’ meals really that important? 

Well…yes?  No??  I mean, the idea is that eating within 45-minutes of your session helps repair muscle tissue and replenish your glycogen stores that MAY have been depleted during your session.  But just like breakfast, the fact that it CAN be helpful doesn’t mean it is essential or more important than your other meals…

Do the timings of my meals matter?

Ultimately in the big scheme of things it is what you get IN TOTAL that matters vs the specific timing of each individual meal.  Eating 3-large meals vs 5-smaller meals, making sure you have a meal both pre- and post-workout ‘meal’…I mean, if you WANT to do that, have at it, but if that isn’t YOU, then remember what is ultimately most important is you are getting enough food (calories and protein) over the course of the day to support the work you are doing.  Ultimately, making sure your food and activity levels are BALANCED (calories consumed vs calories burned) so that you can manage your weight whilst feeling good/performing at your best.

Should I try Intermittent Fasting?

Do you WANT to try intermittent fasting?  ‘Cos if you do, have at it!  To me it is a way to do some pretty simple caloric restriction which can help if you are trying to lose weight and don’t want to count the calories in what you are eating.  At the same time, I do think it’s going to be a relatively short-term solution:  At some point to ‘continue’ losing weight you are going to have to know whether or not you are in a deficit…and intermittent fasting alone (without some kind of measurement) can’t tell you that.  

Honestly – it’s not for me but I totally understand how the simplicity of a 8-16 ‘fast’ works for people…and I have no doubt that it is effective for a heap of people trying to lose weight particularly in the first 4-6 weeks of adopting it as an approach.  Ultimately though (and this goes back to the previous point about whether or not the TIMING of your meals matters!) I just can’t see how this is sustainable for the ‘long-term’ and just think that the simple rhythm of ‘breakfast-lunch-dinner’ with a snack either mid-morning or mid-afternoon depending on your energy levels each day is the simplest and best way to construct your daily eating plan.

Anything Else?

I think I’m going to put a bow on this here.  There are lots (and lots) of different theories and opinions around what you should be eating and when you should be eating it.  All I can suggest is you don’t need to complicate things too much and what you are doing ‘RIGHT NOW’ is probably pretty close to ‘perfect’.  My advice is to check our Healthy Eating Guide (it’s here:, check the daily calorie and protein ‘guide’ for your gender/weight and then just simply track what you are eating in an app like ‘myfitnesspal’ for a solid couple of weeks.  Try and hit those targets and see how you feel…and once you have consistently hit them for a couple of weeks, jump on the scales and assess the impact…and of course, check in with one of the trainers if you need any help with the whole process – that’s what we’re here for!

See you in the gym,


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