Why skipping breakfast could be beneficial for fat loss (experiments with intermittent fasting)

I always loved breakfast, being a strong believer that 1) breakfast provides energy for the whole day, and 2) that it allows you to indulge in one or two guilty pleasures such as a piece of dark chocolate, or bowl of cherries. However, your approach to the first meal of the day depends on your goals, lifestyle, and work-schedule. In some cases skipping breakfast could be a highly beneficial strategy for achieving fat-loss.

What sort of situations am I talking about?

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  • People who have just started a fat-loss diet (i.e. untrained or lightly-trained individuals with a body fat percentage of over 30% in females, and over 20% in males);
  • People who would like to shed fat faster (but not too quickly: there is no magic bullet in holistic nutrition);
  • Those who have a low-to-no chance of sticking to a very strict diet due to social obligations such as business, travel, dinners out and so on;
  • People whose bodies have adapted and become resistant to conventional healthy eating schemes, and who have ‘plateaued’ (This actually happened to me after six competition preparation diets over a two-year period);
  • Those who have a good overall fitness level, but who are trying to get rid of some stubborn fat (for example legs and gluts for ladies and the abs area for men).

If any of these cases apply to you, keep reading.


 There are three main ideas behind the strategy of skipping breakfast:

  • Intermittent fasting
  • Fasted cardio
  • Intensive but limited in-time feeding period

Let’s examine these concepts individually.


Intermittent fasting

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If you are not familiar with intermittent fasting protocols, the concept can be summed up as follows: An eight hour ‘feeding period’ followed by sixteen hours of fasting. According to Martin Berkhan, author of the Leangains protocols – a system widely known in the nutrition world – intermittent fasting helps to:

  • Increase blood flow to ‘stubborn’ fat cells during exercise;
  • Make the body use fatty acids for energy instead of traditional glucose;
  • Suppress Insulin release (a fat-gaining hormone);
  • Elevate concentrations of epinephrine and norepinephrine (lipotropic hormones);
  • Increase the metabolic rate when resting (the body starts to burn more calories when not exercising).

Berkhan advocates the extended fast (16 hours of fasting followed by 8 hours of feeding) as a powerful tool for fat-burn. I’d like to make a remark at this point:

Usually men respond better to the 16/8 eating scheme than women, due to hormonal differences. Researchers generally believe that women need a longer feeding period (14/10 or even 12/12) in order to support healthy female sex hormone production. The length of the ‘feeding time’ for women also depends on the menstrual cycle period.

My personal experience

My personal experience of intermittent fasting was extremely positive. I first gave this strategy a try 12 years ago when I experienced sudden weight-gain due to an inability to stick to my usual dietary and exercise routine. My job was extremely demanding at the time, and I consequently tried very hard to get back on track. I followed the extended protocol, skipping dinner instead of breakfast. It worked well and I lost 12 lbs over the course of 3 months, but unfortunately my social life also dropped off.

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A month ago I tried intermittent fasting again, as I had to travel a lot and I didn’t have the option of carrying on with my small/frequent meal strategy for a little while. I also felt that my body had adapted and become resistant to the latter technique, as I had been following it for the past two years. I altered the fasting protocol by skipping breakfast instead of dinner. My starting point was the 16/8 scheme, which I initially found sustainable, but within seven days I started feeling a slight lack of energy. I extended my feeding period to 10 hours for another ten days and then to 12 hours, which brought me to the final stage of my menstrual cycle – exactly one week before my period (at this time the female body requires more energy). Then I took three days off, eating clean, small and frequent meals. I started the course again when my period was over.

The overall result for one month was losing 6lbs and a decrease of 1.5% of body fat without being on extremely strict diet (I continued to eat fruits, berries and even had a glass or wine or a piece of dark chocolate occasionally).


The main principles of intermittent fasting:

*contact me for customized calculations and timing

  • High protein consumption*
  • High vegetable intake
  • Intense training: do resistance training 3-5 times a week and fasted cardio 4-6 times a week before your first meal.
  • Carb cycling: increase carbs* (sweet potato, butternut squash, whole grain bread and pasta, rise, fruit, etc.) on the resistance training day especially legs day.
  • Nutrient timing: eat the biggest meal straight after resistance training in order to avoid muscle brake-down and quicken recovery. If you want to increase the fat-burn effect, skip carbs after the fasted cardio.*

The easiest way to try intermittent fasting is by fasting from 9-10 PM until 1-4PM the next day, doing fasted cardio around 11am. In other words, by skipping breakfast. While you can always skip dinner instead, you may find that you end up sacrificing the pleasure of catching up with your friends.

Don’t labour under the delusion that by simply skipping a meal or two you will achieve a fitness model body. The strategy only works effectively with the right combination of meal planning, food selection, fasted cardio programme, workout plan and nutrient-timing.

Fasted cardio

morning fasted cardio blond with red pants

Fasted cardio is another idea behind beneficial breakfast skipping. When done on an empty stomach, such cardio is a great tool to combat that stubborn fat. The secret is simply this: Your bloodstream is cleared of both glucose and amino acids at that point, so your body burns its own fatty acids for energy. I was doing my fasted cardio as a first break in work from 11am to midday. After cardio I had a balanced high-carb and high-protein breakfast.

However, some practitioners believe that fasted cardio could be catabolic: Yes, it could. To avoid muscle loss, take HMB or BCAA prior to and during a cardio session, and stick mainly to low intensity cardio such as power walking, cycling or light jogging, as you prefer. I generally opt for a long power walk in the park, followed by a 15-30 minute Hatha yoga session.

You can join me every day in St James’ park. Book your session here.

Feed your ambitions

Practicing intermittent fasting, fasted cardio and skipping breakfast could work well together with an intensive feeding period. How does it work?

First of all, your body needs energy to function and recover. Logically, you have to use your feeding period smartly and introduce a sufficient – but not an excessive – amount of nutrients into your system. Secondly, having 4-5 small frequent meals or 2-3 big meals (it’s up to you; I personally prefer the first option, but when I’m pushed for time I always have the option of the second). You will boost your metabolism, stimulating the body into burning more calories during the resting/fasting period.  And last but not least, eating healthy and delicious food is always great fun.

Enjoy your diet.

 Possible Day Schedule

*contact me for bespoke dosages calculation and meal planning 

8:00 AM – Wake up, drink 500 ml of water with l-tyrosine and l-tryptophan powder mix* + 2 cups of green tea

9:00 AM – Drink 500 ml – 1l of water with a mix of L-taurine, threonine, choline, inositol and l-glutamine*

11:00 AM – 500 ml – 1l of water + l-carnitine short with vit C* (take alpha adrenergic receptors short-term antagonist as a pre-workout to increase fat burning effect and energy release + coffee (optional)

12:00 PM – 60 min fasted cardio + 1-1.5l of water with a mix of L-taurine, threonine, choline, inositol and l-glutamine*

1:30 PM – lunch

3:30 PM – high protein snack

5:30 PM – pre-workout meal

6:30 – take alpha adrenergic receptors antagonist as a pre-workout to increase fat burning effect + coffee (optional)

6:30 – resistance work-out (optional)

8:00 – protein shake or post-workout meal*

9:00 – dinner

Tatiana Dmitrieva

 

#Relaxation #food list

Which foods are able to act as natural relaxants and anti-depressants is a question I’m often asked by clients. 

CALIFORNIA WALNUT COMMISSION MEDITERRANEAN DIET
Mediterranean Diet probably is one of the best combinations of ingredients with anti-depressants properties. 
To begin with, an overall balanced diet is always helpful. By that I mean a clean wholefood diet with the minimum possible amount of processed food intake. Macronutrient modulation varies and depends on factors such as your:

– activity level

– overall fitness level

– body composition

– body related goals

– lifestyle

Probably the best healthy ratio is:

– up to 20% healthy fats

– 30-40% lean protein

– 40-50% carbohydrates.

We’ll talk about an ideal macronutrients’ modulation ratio in another article in more detail.

Returning to the main topic, the following is a (non-exhaustive) list of foods with calming and relaxing properties:

1) Almost all fruits and berries: They are full of natural sugar and antioxidants. Fructose is the quickest carb (source of energy) after refined sugar, and your body will automatically feel happier and more relaxed with more sugar in the bloodstream. However, do keep in mind that if you aim to become leaner you will have to pursue a diet with a low fructose content.

2) Oily fish. Fish oil is well-known nutrient that increases the brain’s metabolism. By combining fish oil with nootropics you can easily achieve a state of calm and have a clearer mind. Book aconsultation to get a list of over-the- counter nootropics.

3) Herbal tea. A blend of mint, chamomile, artichoke and lavender is one of the best relaxation options.

4) Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cacao are four spices that were historically used as natural mood lifters and relaxants. Adding a sprinkle of cinnamon in your coffee can help, or even simply inhaling their scent.

5) Chicken hearts and liver are perfect sources of essential amino acids, vitamin B, choline, inositol and Iron. This combination of nutrients is one of the most effective ‘cocktails’ for boosting the central nervous system.

6) Despite the negative publicity and misconceptions surrounding the consumption of egg yolks, the high concentration of cholesterol in them is designed by nature as a perfect source of nutrients. Rich in lecithin, vitamin B, amino acids, choline, inositol, vitamins A and E, phosphatidil serine and many more beneficial substances, egg yolks alone could provide your body with almost everything it needs. However, do not exceed the healthy allowance. Have 1-3 whole eggs a day, adding some separated egg whites if you need to increase your protein intake.

7) Now anyone with a sweet tooth can celebrate – Dark Chocolate!! Yes, having a piece or two of dark chocolate each day will definitely help your body to boost its ‘positive vibe’ hormones.

8) Have a glass of wine. Yes, and YES again!!! But only one, and make sure it’s a high quality wine. First of all, it’s an additional 75 kcal of quick energy that your body will be grateful for. Secondly, high quality wine contains a high concentration of bio-flavonoids and antioxidants.

Taken in a moderate quantities, wine can also act as a minor natural relaxant.

And remember; even if you eat healthily all the time and are a fitness fanatic, allowing your body a little bit of what you really love is always beneficial. By keeping your diet 95% clean, let’s say, you will have even better results than confining yourself to a strict regimen of traditional lean and mean boiled chicken breast, and rice and broccoli.

Enjoy your diet. 

Enjoy your life.

 

Tatiana Dmitrieva 

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Fudge

Have you tried this recipe of a soft, rich and mouth melting caramel fudge? If you haven’t, you need to make a batch right away! It melts in the mouth and the recipe uses no heavy cream, dairy or refined sugar and it’s homemade. You know what you are eating! Once made, it can be stored in the freezer and consumed throughout a week.

Salted-Caramels-Recipe-

 

Yield: about 150g of fudge, prep time – 10 minutes, freezing time – 3 hours, total time – 3 hours and 10 minutes


Macros

Total calories per fudge of 20g: about 84kcal

Protein – about 7g

Carbs – about 3g

Fat – about 5g

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Ingredients

  • 100g organic peanut or almond butter
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp almond or soy milk
  • 1 scoop caramel protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp sea salt

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Directions

  • Peel and grate one medium banana
  • Add the banana paste to peanut butter and stir until it will become creamy and smooth. If you keep the butter at the room temperature it will help stirring (you don’t  need to do the heavy work, use your food processor)
  • Add the the rest of the ingredients to the mixture and and blend until very smooth! There should be no lumps at all.  Just smooth cream.
  • Layer a baking sheet with a baking paper. Spread the fudge paste on the tray. It doesn’t need to come to the edge. Sprinkle with sea flakes.
  • Place in fridge or freezer until firm.  Cut into squares (size is of your choice).  Store in the fridge to maintain solid bars.

Enjoy!

Protein-Packed Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies are buttery and crunchy, and packed with protein. Exactly what you need to treat yourself to after a good workout! You’d have to put them away before you finish them all. These cookies are suitable for freezing.e0a02ef89c439945623d5f448bf35536

Yield: 12-14 cookies, prep time – 5 minutes, cooking time – 10 minutes, total time – 15 minutes


Macros

Total calories per cookie: about 221kcal

Protein – about 12g

Carbs – about 6g

Fat – about 17g


Ingredients

  • 225g organic peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp Stevia
  • 1 egg, large
  • 2 scoops protein powder (peanut, chocolate or vanilla flavour)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp sugar-free chocolate chips (optional)making-peanut-butter-cookies

Cooking process

  • Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with baking paper
  • Beat the egg and stevia together
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until your consistency is like cookie dough. If the batter looks runny, add a few more tablespoons of protein powder. You can add chocolate chips, if you desire. Just mix them with the batter.
  • Take 2 tablespoons of dough into your palms and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball and place on a baking sheet. Use a fork to create classic peanut butter cookie criss-cross marks on your cookie.
  • Bake at 180C for 10-12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown.
  • Leave them to cool for 10-15 minutes until the cookies become harden!

Enjoy!

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

We usually share our recipes for evening deserts, but how about an overnight desert ready to be consumed for breakfast? It still has our favourite oats in the recipe! It’s an overnight oats inspired by a carrot cake. Vegan-Carrot-Cake-Overnight-Oats-sq-8Yield: 2 portions, prep time – 10 minutes, total time – 10 minutes


Macros

Total calories per serving: about 200kcal

Protein – about 10g

Carbs – about 34g

Fat – about 3.4g


Ingredients

  • 80g organic porridge oats
  • ½ cup carrot, finely grated (that’s about 1 big or 1 ½ medium carrots)
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ¼  tsp clove (powder)
  • ¼  tsp cinnamon (powder)
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg (powder)
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp raisins
  • ½ Tbsp sweetener
  • 1 ½ cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • Flaked almonds, walnuts, berries (to decorate)Oats-and-Carrots

Instructions

  • Finely grate carrots
  • Add carrots to oats, protein powder, spices, chia seeds, sweetener, raisings and mix together
  • Pour in milk to the mixture and stir
  • Place in the fridge overnight.
  • If the oats look a bit too thick for your liking, you can add a splash of almond milk before serving.  Top with almonds, walnuts or raspberries and have a good start to the day!

Enjoy!
*The oats could stay refrigerated for up to 3 days

Healthy Peanut Butter Protein Cups

Have you noticed that after a hard day, you crave for peanuts? Peanuts are the source of protein and monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, niacin, iron and other healthy micro elements. To help you to recover after a hard week, we prepared a special chokolate cups loaded with peanuts goodness.

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Yield: 6 cups, prep time – 10 min, cooking time – 30 minutes, total time – 40 min.


Macros:

Total calories per piece:  about 148kcal

Protein – about 5g

Carbs – about 5g

Fat – about 12g


Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup, or other sweeteners
  • 2 Scoops chocolate peanut butter protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • Peanuts/almonds, for garnish (optional)

Direction:

  • Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside
  • Warm up butter, add maple syrup and mix well
  • Stir in the protein powder and cocoa powder until smooth and mixed.layer3
  • Spoon 1 tsp of the mixture into 6 of the muffins tins, making sure to give a good stir of the mixture each time (to prevent the powders from settling to the bottom of the bowl) and place in the freezer for 20 minutes
  • Once the bottom layer is frozen, spoon 1 tsp of peanut butter onto the centre of each layer. You can press peanuts or almonds into the centre of cupcakes. Top it up with the rest of chocolate mixture and freeze for at least 3 hours

Enjoy!

 

TIRAMISU PROTEIN PANCAKES (VEGAN)

Chocolate, tender, with a hint of Baileys, this a perfect pre or post workout  treat. They’are also super delicious and healthy! Made with protein powder and soy yogurt, these pancakes are suitable a for vegan! Tiramisu-Protein-Pancakes-768x768

Yield: 5 pancakes, prep time – 10 min, cooking time – 30 minutes, total time – 40 min.


Macros:

Total calories per 5:  about 294 kcal

Protein – about 30g

Carbs – about 30g

Fat – about 6g


Ingredients:

PANCAKES:

  • 2 scoops coffee/chokolate  flavoured protein powder
  • 6 Tbsp oat flour
  • 1 cups any gluten-free flour (could be almond or buckwheat)
  • 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp Baileys or Baileys flavored sugar free syrup

 FILLING:

  • 3 cups soy/coconut yogurt (you can use dairy options if you prefer)
  • 2 tsp stevia sweetener
  • 1 zest of an unwaxed orange (optional)
  • Berries (to decorate)

Directions

PANCAKES:

  • Combine and mix together protein powder, oat flour, gluten-free flour, cacao, coffee and baking powder
  • In another bowl mix together almond milk and Baileys. Slowly pour into dry mixture and stir well. The mixture should be thick. If it looks too dry, add a bit more of almond milk or water.
  • Put a small pan onto a medium-low heat. Grease it lightly with coconut oil.
  • Pour pancake batter 1/3 a cup at a time.  Cover pan with a lid and cook for several minutes.
  • Flip and cook for several more minutes.  Repeat with remaining batter.

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FILLING:

  • Whip together yogurt and stevia
  • Spread filling on each layer and add  orange zest on top (optional). Decorate with berries of your choice.

Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Protein Oat Cookies

These cookies are crunchy and delicious! They have no gluten, low in fat and sugar, high in protein, and SUPER easy to make!

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Yield: 18 – 24 cookies, prep time – 15 min, cooking time – 10 minutes, total time – 25 min.


Macros:

Total calories per 1 cookie:  about 85 kcal

Protein – about 6 g

Carbs – about 8g

Fat – about 3.5g


Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/3 cup oat flakes
  • 3 scoops chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup peanut (almond) butter
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 of a ripe banana (grated)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of cacao
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

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  • Prepare all the ingredients and preheat your oven to 180C degrees.
  • Whisk egg whites (don’t forget to add a pinch of salt to achieve better results)
  • Add honey and maple syrup. Then mix in peanut butter.
  • After the mixture looks solid, add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl: grated banana, flour, protein powder, cacao, oat flakes and chocolate chips. Stir well.
  • Drop a spoon of cookie dough onto a baking sheet and flatten it.
  • Bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.
  • Remove immediately to a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Polka Dot Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

This recipe is great for those who can’t resist eating cookie dough before it reaches the oven. It is easy to make, suitable for vegans and does not require baking.

Protein bars stay fresh for a week if stored in an airtight container in the fridge, or they can be frozen and consumed within 3 months.

banana_chocolate_chip_protein_bars


Yield: 6 portions, prep time – 5 min, cooking time – 10 min,  cooling time – 2 hours, total time – 2h 15 min.


Macros:

Total calories per portion:  about 80 kcal

Protein – about 5.5 g

Carbs – about 8g

Fat – about 3.5g


Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp (42g) coconut flour
  • 6 Tbsp (30g) vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp (4g) vegetable oil, melted
  • 9 Tbsp (135mL) vanilla soy milk at room temperature
  • 4 ½ Tbsp (43g) Truvia/ SweetLeaf stevia sweeter (can be mixed together)
  • 2 Tbsp (28g) dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp coconut flakes
  • salt to taste
Organic Dark Chocolate Chips
Organic Dark Chocolate Chips

Directions

  • Mix together coconut oil, vanilla milk and sweeters (Truvia and SweetLeaf) until fully dissolved.
  • In another bowl, mix together coconut flour, vanilla protein powder, coconut flakes and salt.
  • Add in the liquid mixture to the flour and stir well. If the dough looks too wet, add a bit more coconut flour.
  • Fold in 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips.
  • Line a tray with baking paper.
  • Pour the crumbly dough into the tray, and gently press it across the bottom using a spatula.
  • Gently press the remaining chocolate chips into the top creating ‘polka dot’ look.
  • Chill for at least 2 hours before slicing into bars.
  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Enjoy!

Sugar and gluten free PUMPKIN Jelly. Little low callorie Vegan treat

This awesome light desert is perfect for any time of the day, completely sugar and gluten free, low in carbs, high in fiber and suitable for vegans. Plus, it’s super easy to make! No cooking required. 

pumpkin jellie


Yield: Serving 4-6 portions, prep time – 5 min, cooking time – 5 min, waiting time – 1 hour, total time – 1.30 min.


Macros:

Total calories per portion:  about 100 kcal

Protein – about 10g

Carbs – about 10g

Fat – about 3g


Ingredients

  • 450g Organic Fat reduced Tofu, drained
  • 495g (2 cups) 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree, canned (you can make it yourself if you prefer). You can also swop it for Apple, Pear or any other fruit puree
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Toffee or Pumpkin pie Flavoured unsweetened syrup
  • 2 tsp Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/2-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 portion of gelatin
  • Fat-free yogurt or Cashew butter (optional)
  • 2 scoops of Bannofee pie whey protein (optional if you aim to increase your protein intake)

Directions:

  • Drain tofu
  • Put it between two paper towels to remove liquid completely
  • Prepare pumpkin (apples) if you don’t use canned puree (oven-baked would be a perfect option)
  • Mix gelatin with 3 Tbsp of warm water until dissolved. Do not boil.
  • Put tofu into a high-speed blender
  • Add gelatin and the rest of the ingredients to the blender and puree until completely smooth
  • Pour the liquid into serving bowls and put in the fridge
  • Serve with fat-free yogurt, cashew butter
  • Decorate with nuts and dried apricots (optional)

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Enjoy!