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How to eat less…but have more energy!

You would think the more you eat equals more fuel in the tank and therefore more energy throughout the day. Right? This is in fact incorrect! The more food and calories you consume during the day does not necessarily mean more energy. One of
the most asked questions by my clients are how ca I eat less but still have the energy at the same time. It’s quite simple and involves a few factors – quality, quantity and blood sugar levels.

Eat quality / Nutritional value:

The higher quality of the food and nutritional value = the better you feel. Eating a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins and healthy fats contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals essential for our bio-chemical pathways within
the body. This then allows our body to function effectively providing B vitamins for energy production and stress support, essential fatty acids for immunity and to reduce inflammation, calcium and magnesium for healthy muscles,
bones, energy, metabolism and cardiovascular health.

Portion control / quantity:

How much are you eating in one sitting? Portion control is important, because our body can only breakdown and digest a certain quantity of food at a time. For example, our digestive system works a lot better in the mornings – eating a larger breakfast or lunch compared to dinner will help the absorption of vitamins and minerals into the blood steam and reduce bloating, wind and malabsorption issues. Smaller more frequent meals work for some of my clients and not so much for others. It is important to determine how you feel throughout the day after eating, if you get hungry a lot throughout the day, you are better to have small nutritious snacks more regularly. Compared with other clients who eat a meal and feel satisfied for a few hours afterwards, you may not need to eat in between meals. Everyone’s digestive system is different. You don’t want to be eating for the sake of eating – this increases your intake of calories during the day and may lead to weight increase.

Stabilise energy levels / blood sugar regulation:

The best way to stabilise your energy levels is to eat foods high in protein and healthy fats rather than highly refined carbohydrates. Why? Proteins and healthy fatty acids take longer to be broken down in the digestive tract and therefore the release of glucose into the blood stream is a gradual increase for a longer period of time. Compared to consuming high dense carbohydrates like two pieces of white bread with jam, this will cause a spike in blood sugar levels rather quickly, then a dramatic fall. This is when you feel like curling up at work to have a nap straight after lunch. You want to be consuming foods with a low glycaemic index throughout the day.

SEE TABLE BELOW FOR HIGH, MEDIUM & LOW GLYCAEMIC INDEX FOODS

FOODS WITH * NEXT TO THEM INDICATES HIGH IN FAT & SHOULD ONLY BE CONSUMED IN
SMALL AMOUNTS

A high GI value is 70 or more

A medium GI value is 56-69

A low GI value is less than 55 = More energy for longer!

LOW MEDIUM HIGH
Cereals
AllBran,
Fruit ‘n oats, Toasted muesli*, Frosties, rolled oats, porridge, Guardian,
oat bran, Komplete oven baked muesli, oat/rice bran, Special K,
Special
K, untoasted muesli, Bran Buds, Just Right, Mini Wheats, Vitabrits,
Nutrigrain, Sustain, Weetbix, Honey Smacks, untoasted muesli, shredded wheat,

, .
Cornflakes,
Sultana Bran, Branflakes, Cocopops, Puffed Wheat, Rice Bubbles, Rice Chex,
Wheat bites, Breakfast bars,

Oat in honey bake, Team, Total, wheat bites, corn bran
Breads
Burgen
Oat bran bread (31) or multigrain bread or soy-linseed bread (19) or fruit
bread, kibbled barley, Holsom’s wholemeal, 9 grain mutigrain, fruit loaf,
pumpernickel, sourdough rye, stoneground wholemeal, Ploughman’s loaf, Vogel
Honey & Oat.
Pita
bread, croissant*, crumpet, white bread, hamburger bun, light rye bread,
sourdough, rye, wholemeal bread, pizza.
White,
Bagels, waffles Wonderwhite, Dark Rye bread, French baguette, melba toast,
Gluten-free bread.
Crackers/Crispbreads/Biscuits/Cakes
Jatz*,
oatmeal, rich tea biscuits, banana cake, pound cake, apple muffin,

sponge cake.
Ryvita,
Saos, Jatz, Breton wheat, stoned wheat thins, digestives,oatmeal, milk
arrowroot, shredded wheatmeals, shortbread, flans, angel food cake* muesli
bars with fruit, bran muffins, Blueberry muffin,

flaky pastry.
Kavli,
water crackers, rice cakes, pretzels, crackerbread, puffed crispbread,
morning coffee, vanilla wafer, donuts (cinnamon).
Grains/Pasta
Wheat
pasta, noodles, egg fettucine, vermicelli, meat ravioli, macaroni,
tortellini, spaghetti, long grain white rice, pearl barley, buckwheat,
bulgur, semolina, cracked wheat, popcorn.
Buckwheat,
brown rice, Doongara, Basmati rice, taco shells, gnocchi, couscous, maize
cornmeal, macaroni cheese (packet).
Sunbrown
quick rice, Calrose shortgrain rice, Instant cooked, tapioca, Corn chips,
millet, rice pasta.
Legumes/nuts
Soya
beans, kidney beans, lentils, butter beans, chick peas, haricot beans,
lentils, baked beans, bengal gram, blackeyed beans

all nuts
Green
gram dahl, green pea soup, split pea soup.
Broad
beans, lima beans, pinto beans.
Vegetables
Green
peas, sweet corn, sweet potato, carrots.

potato crisps*
New
canned potatoes, new potatoes, beetroot.
French
fries*, baked potatoes, pumpkin, parsnip, potatoes (Pontiac, Sebago, Desiree,
instant).
Fruit
Cherries,
plums, grapefruit, peaches, apples, pears, dried apricots, grapes, kiwi
fruit, oranges, jam.
Mango,
paw paw, sultanas, bananas (just ripe), raisins, rockmelon, pineapple, fresh
apricots,

canned fruit in syrup.
watermelon,
very ripe “medium fruits”.

dates
Dairy Foods
Whole
milk, skim milk, chocolate milk, low fat flavoured yoghurt, artificially
sweetened yoghurt, low fat ice-cream*, custard, soy milk
Icecream
(full fat).
Tofu
frozen dessert

Vitari frozen fruit
Sugars
Fructose
(fruit sugar).

Nutella
Lactose
(milk sugar), Sucrose, honey.
Glucose,
Glucodin, jellybeans, lifesavers, maltose.
Beverages
Apple
juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice, Sustagen.
Cordial,
Fanta.
Lucozade,
Gatorade, Sports Plus.


Leisa Skerman is a Brisbane Naturopath who enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for naturopathy with her readers and clients. If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment, or share it with your friends on your favourite social media using the buttons above.