Wed | Jun 3, 2020

Ounce of Prevention | Breakfast for a flat belly & great nutrition

Published:Thursday | May 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMDr Tony Vendryes
Protein shake for breakfast

I continue to congratulate our Ministry of Health in their drive to rein in our national obesity epidemic. Unfortunately, many people struggle with their weight and their belly fat because of what they eat or fail to eat for breakfast!

What you consume upon rising to break your fast can set you up for a day of belly-flattening nutrition or a total belly-bloating disaster.

The research shows that three powerful hormones - insulin, cortisol and adrenaline - are greatly influenced by the food you eat in the morning, and you can enjoy a day of healthy, belly fat-burning nutrition by controlling these hormones.


Do not miss breakfast


When you miss breakfast, your body's metabolism slows down and tends to remain low for the rest of the day. In general, the foods you eat early tend to get burned to create energy, while calories consumed later in the day are more likely stored as fat and lead to weight gain. Also, without a healthy breakfast, we tend to get very hungry by mid-morning and are more likely to snack on foods that are convenient but fattening and poor in nutrients.


Why people skip breakfast


To lose weight: Many people skip breakfast in an effort to lose weight. But, as explained above, skipping breakfast often leads to uncontrolled eating later in the day. It is easier to control one's weight by eating healthy meals earlier in the day. Medical research shows that many people who miss breakfast are overweight or obese.

No time: This is a major reason people give for missing breakfast. This often results in grab-and-go eating or no breakfast at all. Still, according to the American Dietetic Association, "breakfast doesn't have to be fancy or traditional to meet nutritional needs". I will show how you can get started on simple, convenient and healthy breakfasts.

Not hungry: This is often the result of eating a big meal late in the evening or snacking at night. When you go to bed with a full stomach, the body must work hard to digest that meal. Digestion goes into low gear during sleep, so there is still food in the stomach next morning. Your stomach also needs rest, and a tired stomach will not feel like having breakfast. Break that pattern by having the evening meal earlier and by having a nutritious, easy-to-digest breakfast.

Bad breakfast foods: Many who do have breakfast make poor choices. According to Foodwatch, a United States consulting firm, the number of people who eat "dessert for breakfast", mainly refined carbohydrates in sugar-laden processed cereals, is rising. These 'foods' are extremely imbalanced and cause fatigue and hunger by mid-morning. Although advertised as healthy, most of the packaged breakfast cereals are, in reality, nutritional nightmares.

Even some traditionally healthy breakfasts of, say, fruit and some vegetable, like callaloo, though good, may not have optimal levels of healthy protein.


A practical solution


For decades, I have used and recommended a simple, con-venient, affordable and nutritious liquid breakfast: a protein meal, replacement shake combined with an energising herbal tea. The shake is based on a modern concept called cellular nutri-tion. A team of top nutritional scientists has developed a perfectly balanced liquid meal to properly nourish all the cells in your body. The tea is based on the unique power of green tea discussed in the last article. It is a fantastic combination of ancient herbal wisdom and modern science. This shake- and-tea combo will set you up for a great day.

- You may email Dr Vendryes at or listen to An Ounce of Prevention on POWER106FM on Fridays at 9:10 pm. Visit for details on his books and articles.