We've been taught at an early age to never skip the most important meal of the day: breakfast. How this manifests itself into our daily lives depends entirely on your lifestyle - some of us, always on the go, opt for a shake, while some of us neglect to eat breakfast at all. Does it really matter as much as we've been told to believe? Max Lowery says no.
The 27-year-old former stockbroker-turned-personal trainer gave Business Insider some incredible insight on his theory. "This well-worn saying stems from cereal companies getting you to buy their degraded products back in the early 1900s," he said. "Their strategies were so successful that almost everyone I speak to on the subject repeats the same two myths: that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and/or that skipping breakfast slows down your metabolism."
What you consume in the morning and productivity go hand in hand, although that's not much of a surprise. There isn't a lot of scientific evidence to support this, but recent studies show that "employees with an unhealthy diet were 66 percent more likely to experience productivity loss than those who regularly ate whole grains, fruits and vegetables." A healthy diet starts with breakfast, first and foremost. Not only does it affect your productivity, but it affects your energy going into work, as well: "In a survey of 15,000 people in the U.S. and the U.K., employees with poor nutritional balance reported 21 per percent more sick-related absences."
Lowery is quickly becoming London's most highly sought after personal trainer. As part of his 2 Meal plan, he skips breakfast but later consumes hearty saturated meals. "I stopped eating breakfast four years ago and I haven't looked back since. It's become a part of my lifestyle and I could never go back to eating breakfast again," Lowery told Business Insider. "Not only do I stay under 10% body fat without counting macros or calories, I have more energy than ever, and most surprisingly, I am less hungry. The 11.a.m. mid-morning energy slump is not normal. This helps keep you on one stable energy level all day long."
Lowery is the creator of what he calls the "two-meal day", which essentially skips out on one meal, with breakfast considered the easiest to shed. This taps into a natural fasting period, which leads to many health benefits - according to Telegraph, "These benefits are well-documented and are thought to include a rebooted immune system, more stable energy levels, and even a slowed ageing process. And, most importantly, getting skinny fast: going hungry forces your body to dip into its fat stores for fuel, a process that is entirely natural for the human body but which the modern three-meal day overlooks."
You don't need to skip your first meal of the day if it suits your lifestyle - if you find yourself feeling energized and ready to go after breakfast, then you're doing it right. However, if you've been struggling with feelings of loss of productivity and slowing down after 11 A.M., maybe taking Lowery's advice just might work for you.
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.