Thursday, 16 April 2009

Running on Empty?

Food provides energy for our brain and muscles. Going for long periods of time without food, like skipping a meal, creates a dip in energy levels. Spreading calories throughout the day provides energy all day long and this is where the concept of eating 6 small meals a day can be useful.

To avoid dips in energy levels throughout the day remember these important tips:
1. Eat breakfast.
2. Don’t skip meals: skipping meals = low energy levels that cannot be recovered + overeating at the next meal.
N.B.: THESE ARE NOT A EFFICIENT TACTIC TO LOSE WEIGHT
3. Eat every 4 hours by including snacks in between meals.
4. You can’t eat healthy foods if they are not in the fridge or cupboard! Have them handy.


Some foods can feed our body for longer bouts of time than others. When a food takes longer to breakdown and be digested, it provides us with longer lasting energy (void of any energy highs accompanied by lows). High fiber foods take longer to digest. This translates into a longer time in which you are satiated (feel full). This is why there is such a push for people to eat low glycemic index foods: they tend to be high in fiber and help to keep you feeling fuller longer.


Not only is eating regularly important, but making sure your meals are balanced is key! A balanced meal includes fiber-rich foods like:
Vegetables
Whole grains
Fruit


It should also contain a source of protein which keeps you feeling fuller longer because, like fiber, it will take longer to breakdown and be digested.
Fish
Meat
Chicken
Nuts
Cheese
Tofu




Now we can't discuss stress and energy levels without mentioning water. This is because dehydration can make you :
-Tired
-Listless
-Fatigued
-Inefficient
Drinking water, Perrier/soda water,herbal teas, decaffeinated beverages all count as hydrating beverages!



Here are a few tips on how to drink more water everyday:
1.Drink 1 cup every hour you are at work (4 big gulps)
2.Set a time goal- ex.. Drink one bottle before lunch
3. Set a timer to remind yourself
4. Keep a small glass or bottle at your desk, within reach
5. Jazz up the water with lemon or fruit juice
6. Treat yourself to soda water



Being stressed increases you chances of getting sick. Eating foods that boost the immune system can help. These foods include:
Probiotics (eg. Yogurt enriched, special foods)
—B vitamins (whole grains, fruits, green veggies, meats)
—Selenium (Brazil nuts, walnuts, tuna, turkey, cheese)
—Vitamin C (many fruits and vegetables)
—Zinc (beef, pork, lamb, beans)
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