Tips for success!
the right is a very basic negative feedback illustration
of how nutrition affects the blood sugar levels. The straight
line indicates optimal blood sugar. The waved line indicates
the levels of blood sugar around meal times and how it reacts
with certain foods.
For example; at breakfast you eat kellogg’s cornflakes.
Your blood sugar level rises. You body combats the rise
in blood sugar by producing insulin. This insulin transports
the glucose in the blood into the cells of the body for
storage. Too much of this and the body will start to store
glucose in fat cells, therefore you are likely to gain weight.
As the day goes on Blood sugar levels drop and your body
tells you to eat again. Another high carb lunch (baguette)
and dinner (with white rice) will have the same affects
as breakfast. These are the affects of a high carb, high
glycemic index diet and may aid the onset of type 2 diabetes
as well as weight gain. By eating low-medium GI foods this
effect will be greatly reduced. (Refer to our Glycemic index
page for more details on foods). Low-medium GI food help
to level out the level of blood sugar keeping it closer
to the optimum level, therefore the body will not store
excess blood sugar as body fat.
Eating before exercise will obviously help you perform
the desired activity, if you body isn’t fuelled properly
then exercise can be a real struggle. Post exercise nutrition
is very important if not more important than what you eat
before exercise. The post exercise meal will determine whether
you body will recover properly and be able to train consistently
or help with weight loss.
For athletes, eating carbohydrates within 20mins of exercise
is very important in replenishing the glycogen stores which
is the main source of energy during exercise. Adding protein
to the post exercise meal within 2 hours will help your
body to start repairing itself from intense exercise. The
amino acids in protein can also boost your immune system
and fight colds and other infections.
For people who are exercising to lose weight, it is vital
that post exercise nutrition is right. It is all to do with
the glycemic index (see across the page for more details),
eating foods with GI that is too high will replace glycogen
stores too quickly and will not give your body enough time
to break down stored body fat and convert that to glycogen.
So pick foods from the low-medium categories.
The Food Standards agency 8 tips for eating well.
1. Base your meals on starchy foods :
Starchy foods make up 1/3 of what we eat, foods like bread,
pasta cereals and rice. Try to eat the wholegrain varieties
2. Eat lots of fruit and veg : Most people
know to eat 5 or more portions per day, most still aren’t,
the average is less than 3. Evidence suggests that those
who eat more fruit and veg are less likely to develop heart
conditions and some cancers.
3. Eat more fish : 2 portions of fish
per week is a great start. Oily fish in particular with
omega 3’s can help fight heart disease. Best ways
to eat are poached, grilled and baked.
4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar :
A high saturated fat diet can lead to heart disease and
5. Try to eat less salt - no more than 6g a day
: Always read the label. There will be enough salt
in the foods that you eat so adding extra salt is not always
necessary. Salt levels in foods should not be over 1.5g
6. Get active and try to be a healthy weight :
Being underweight can be just as dangerous as being overweight.
Seek GP’s advice if you are unsure. Vary what you
eat and the right amount for your body.
7. Drink plenty of water : 1.5 –
2 litres of fluids per day should be enough to keep you
hydrated. In hot weather you may to drink more.
8. Don't skip breakfast : Missing meals
will not help you lose weight. Breakfast will give you energy
for the day, wholegrain cereal, low fat milk, a banana and
a glass of fruit juice will be the perfect start.