1 December 2005

Food for Thought

Energy to Burn for the Festive Season
For the right fuel, fitness and stamina to make it through the non-stop demands of the festive season, try these energy-boosting tips.

Make breakfast a priority Fire up your engine with low GI carbs. A good breakfast recharges your brain, speeds up your metabolism after an overnight fast, and reduces those feelings of stress.

Don't skip meals Take a break to refuel at lunch time to maintain energy levels right through the afternoon. Hold back on the high GI carbs to minimise that post-lunch energy dip. And take time over one main meal every day to make sure you aren’t missing out on the vital vegetables you need.

Build your meals around low GI carbs For day-long (and night-long) energy, fuel your body with low GI carbs. Whether it’s a home-cooked meal or you are eating out, pick the 1, 2, 3 meal planner:
1. Start with a low GI carb
2. Add some lean protein
3. Plus a generous serving of vegetables


Pace yourself Eating and drinking in moderation will help you pace yourself on the social merry-go-round. If you are planning a big night out, don’t starve yourself beforehand. All that does is reduce your metabolic rate. Have a light breakfast and lunch, and before you head off to the party tuck into a quick and easy low GI snack such as a sandwich made with grainy bread and a glass of low fat milk or a tub of low-fat yoghurt and a dollop of fruit.

Be discerning with drinks Make water your first choice. Ask for some routinely, chances are you’ll drink it if it’s in front of you. Go easy on the sugary drinks (they tend to bypass satiety mechanisms) and drink no more than one to three glasses of alcohol.

Move it Cut stress in its tracks. Exercise helps to relieve stress (it releases the ‘feel good’ chemicals that negate energy and stress) and keeps your body strong. Get on your bike or into your joggers and get that heart rate pumping for at least 20 minutes a day.

Sleep tight Sleep sustains you when you are out and about night after night. Get seven or eight hours of sleep a night if you can. Plan for it. Make a date with yourself in your diary to catch up on some sleep.