Big Challenges, Snack Confusion and Breakfast No-Nos

The challenge of a lifetime, post-workout munchies and your best breakfast bet.

3 Million Pounds and Counting
Heard of the 50 Million Pound Challenge yet? Well, if you have, you know that it’s a free national health initiative rallying Americans to come together and “Give up the pounds, not the fight.” So far, more than 700,000 people have joined the challenge, bringing the total pounds lost over the 3 million mark. The challenge is targeted primarily to African Americans but is open to anyone. If this is your first time hearing about the program and you still don’t know what it is, I suggest you reread this paragraph.

The Challenge was created by Dr. Ian Smith and sponsored by State Farm. Although Dr. Ian may be best known for having to endure Screech on Celebrity Fit Club, this truly seems to be his passion. Plus, having the nation lose 50 million pounds is way bad-ass.

Challenge yourself.

To Eat or Not to Eat
For ages we’ve been told that you should fuel up after a workout—preferably with some carbs and protein, especially if you’ve been lifting. I, for one, usually nosh a quick 100-calorie mini Clif bar after a run, whether I’m hungry or not, as I’ve been trained to.

That was then. This is now. New research shows that while athletes benefit from a post-exercise snack, us common folks (read: those who work outless than four hours a day) don’t need to. In fact, eating right after a non-marathon workout can diminish some of the benefits of exercise. The findings of three studies appeared in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism and the Journal of Applied Physiology. Click the link below to read more. It’s pretty fascinating, and it’ll probably cause me to stop eating right after my sweat sessions. Unless I’m really hungry that is. You need to feed the beast when it demands it.

That is the question.

Breakfast Debunked?
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but not any b-fast meal will do. While a new study does show that breakfast eaters average fewer calories a day than people who skip breakfast and women who eat breakfast have a lower average BMI than women who don’t eat breakfast, the study also shows that as breakfast calories increase, so do calories and fat for the entire day. Darn. No more hash browns and waffles at IHOP with the excuse of “it’s for my health.”

Oh, and none of this research applies to men, as there was no difference in BMI among men who did or didn’t eat breakfast. Lucky bastards. The study appears in the November edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. And just to be clear, researchers still recommend eating breakfast, just a lower-calorie option to the traditional fare at IHOP.

Start your day right.

Bonus Bit: The Biggest Loser Finale Is On
Don’t forget that tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern is the finale of The Biggest Loser! I know I’ll be tuned in to see the winner, get inspired and drool over Bob. Not to mention to see how the whole Heba/Ed thing goes down. What about you? Will you watch? Did you vote?

Your BL two-minute replay. (Note the ad for the 50 Million Pound Challenge, which was mentioned above—talk about solid cross marketing!)


For more interesting tidbits, read about Jessica Simpson’s “functional” beer and how hunger might make you happy (that’s totally not true in our experience, but, hey, who can argue with science?).

Waffles grabbed from Kanko at Flickr.

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  1. MizFit says:

    tivod the finale.

    off to eat my breakfast (wink).

  2. Erica says:

    No after workout food? I think you should just eat if you’re hungry, don’t eat if you’re not. Is it not that simple?

    Thanks for the other great links!

  3. imadedinner says:

    Thanks for all the links! I’ll be catching up on all those later!

  4. Kim says:

    I like this news about not eating after a workout! I find I’m never really hungry anyways and when I did force myself to eat something I felt like it was almost a waste and went against everything I was trying to relearn [only eat when i’m truly hungry!]

    I am SO excited for the Biggest Loser finale! Anyone but Vicky for the win!

  5. keyalus says:

    I love/hate the Biggest Loser finale. I think I cry during the transformation scenes on every episode and the finale is one big bunch of transformations. I am going to be no good to anyone tonight!

    I’m rooting for Michelle and I voted for Ed just because Heba annoys me. 🙂

  6. Rosyblue says:

    Interesting! I eat if I feel like eating a little something. But, most of the time, I don’t eat.

  7. Crabby McSlacker says:

    I saw this study about not eating after a workout but I’m a little skeptical. I saw a different study that said that eating protein within 30 minutes really helps build muscle, so you should try to scarf something down even if you’re not hungry.

    I like the “eat if you’re hungry” advice better.

    And I guess both studies could be true. Maybe eat sooner after a weight traing workout, later after cardio?

    Too many confusing studies!

  8. Chic Runner says:

    so glad the finale is on tonight! boo vicky! 🙂

  9. eatingbender says:

    I heard that about the no after workout snack. I think it’s very interesting – I am definitely into the “habit” of eating to refuel because I thought I was supposed to. And I’m not always hungry when I do it, so maybe next time I’ll think twice! But yes, feeding the beast is necessary ;o)

    By the way, I saw that you ladies were featured in Oxygen magazine! CONGRATULATIONS! I about fell off the elliptical in my excitement, haha.

  10. Roblynn and Rebekah says:

    Oh man I was just getting into the habit of taking the vegan smoothie infusion mix I bought! Maybe that does not count as a food? Just kidding, it is actually the only protien powder my stomach has ever been able to handle, thanks for the tip.

  11. tfh says:

    I like the 100 calorie mini Clif bars after my runs, too! And I think I’m going to use the excuse that the study sample was so small (and all overweight) to keep on grabbing it.

  12. Sagan says:

    Shoot. I was hoping to eat waffles every day.

    That’s an intense challenge! Wow.

    Also we gotta eat when we are hungry. How’s that for a radical idea! Sighs. Even though we all KNOW that concept, its pretty rare that we properly follow through on it, I think…

  13. Juliet says:

    Thanks for the articles and all the info. Very interesting! I try not to eat immediately after I work out. Do you think it’ll be hard for you to adjust? I’m watching the Biggest Loser finale right now! Heba looks soooooo good!!! 🙂