Nutrition plays a huge on our ability to think and feel well. With COVID19 keeping us confined to the house for long periods the temptation to spend a lot of time in the pantry and fridge and snack will be a challenge.
It is important to focus on the fact that when we eat good quality food our energy levels are maintained, we think clearer, we concentrate better and we can focus for longer. We are more rational in our decision making, we are warmer in our relationships and we collaborate better. We are also more likely to maintain a healthy weight and avoid diabetes and heart disease.
So remember to abide by some basic principles:
2 serves of fruit and & 5 serves of vegetahles.
Fruit and veggies are the foundation for good health. Nearly all disease becomes nonexistent if we get a majority of our intake from these sources. It promote healthy weight, keep blood sugar levels stable, helps us stay fuller for longer, promotes good gut bacteria. All of which are essential in promoting positive wellbeing.
Plenty of water
Adequate hydration supports all processes in the body, including the way we think. A 3 -4% drop in hydration can cause a 20% reduction in physical AND mental performance – so get that water bottle on your desk or in your workspace right now! 20-30mls per kg of body weight per day is a good place to start!
Things like avocado, nuts, olive oil help maintain healthy blood profile and stay fuller for longer.
Like chicken, fish, eggs, tofu, lean red meat help us feel fuller for longer, slows digestion and maintains muscle mass and supports vital functions in the body.
Good quality carbohydrates
Lumpy bumpy or wholegran carbs help to minimize the rapid rise and fall in glucose and energy levels which can impact on mood. Good quality carbs also pacs fiber for a healthy bowel and cholesterol levels. Try and keep the portion sizes to one quarter of your plate and make sure you avoid the white processed carbs as much as possible.
Get your plate portions right
Keep it simple and try and build your plate with the following portions:
- ½ non-starchy vegetables
- ¼ lean proteins
- ¼ good quality carbs
So How can we identify the foods that work for us?
Keeping a Food diary can really help with this. Usign an online version like My Fitness Pal or Easy Diet Diary can show you the various nutritens and calories each food has. Also when we track our energy and mood levels post meals it can provide great insight into how we respond to different foods and change our choices accordingly.
Keep an eye on non-hungry eating
This is eating that has nothing to do with physiological hunger. Examples include:
- Procrastination / Boredom
- Emotional (Sad / happy / angry / mad)
- Reward (I deserve it)
- Because someone else is eating.
- Eat everything on the plate (20-30% more than we need!)
- Because the clock says it’s time to eat
- Because I feel like food (there is a big difference between physiological hunger and just feeling like food)
Slow down and enjoy your food
Eating is one of life’s great pleasures but we often eat at a pace to qualify for the world championships OR are distracted by social media, TV etc. that we are not even aware of what we are eating. Take your time, slow down and really savour the flavours and textures of your meal. Most find when they do this they consume close to 25% less and with with much higher enjoyment levels.
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