When are the best times to eat carbs, protein and fat, what should your portion size be and what are your guideline daily amounts? Choose wisely and you can eat healthily around the clock…
Whether your first stop is the office or the gym, adding protein to your breakfast is a great way to rev up your metabolism – if you do exercise first thing a protein breakfast helps promote muscle recovery and repair. Eggs are an ideal choice because they provide a good balance of quality protein and fat, other options include lean ham, fish like salmon or haddock, as well as low-fat dairy foods. Protein foods slow stomach emptying, which means you stay fuller for longer so you’ll tend to eat fewer calories the rest of the day.
The ideal is to eat little and often but you need to make every snack work for you. That means choosing snacks which satisfy your energy needs plus supply extra benefits like topping up your five-a-day.
Carb-rich foods supply energy so you’ll suffer from mid-afternoon slumps if you cut them out. The key is to choose carbs that produce a steady rise in blood sugar, which means passing on sugary ‘white’ foods and going for high fibre whole-grains, which help you manage those afternoon munchies. Whole-grains like rye, wholewheat and barley keep you satisfied for longer – in fact studies show rye bread keeps blood sugar stable for up to 10 hours – a sure way to dampen those mid-afternoon energy crashes.
Don’t curfew carbs, they’re low in fat, fibre-rich and help you relax in the evening. Combine them with healthy essential fats which your body can use overnight for growth and repair. You can get these healthy fats from oily fish like salmon, trout and mackerel as well as nuts, seeds and their oils.