Someone recently told me that they have had one good meal at lunch and then “that should do for the rest of the day”.
I’m not convinced that this is the best way to fuel ourselves. If you think of our bodies in the same way you think of cars, I think we should be a lot more like formula one cars and a lot less like London busses.
A London bus will be filled full to the brim in the with dirty diesel fuel, it will then find it hard to get moving, running inefficiently and struggling up hills whilst carrying it’s heavy load of fuel. As the day passes it will begin to find it easier to move about but will eventually end up coughing and spluttering when the fuel runs out.
Formula one cars though are fed a premium fuel and their pit stops are regular and carefully planned in order to maintain optimum speed and efficiency. Their tanks are never filled to the brim.
The way we feed ourselves should mirror formula one: small, high quality meals and regular snacks. No over eating – if you’re feeling stuffed after a meal the chances are you’ve eaten too much and will feel ‘London bus’ sluggish.
So what is a quality meal, or more to the point what is a ‘dirty diesel’ meal? At breakfast I would see a bowl of any average supermarket cereal followed by toast and jam as ‘dirty diesel’ but a small amount of eggs, smoked salmon and avocado as premium grade fuel.
In terms of snacks, a few biscuits with your tea or coffee is London bus food, but a handful of nuts is a best quality alternative F1 snack. The reason I say ‘a handful’ of nuts is because we are all different sizes, your hand will give you the perfect portion for you.
I don’t think we should be afraid to snack, provided the snack is small and provides some nutrients. If I’ve had a protein based lunch I will have a fruit or veg based snack. It’s about trying to eat all food groups over the course of a day, not necessarily at every meal.
I have found that if I have food or snacks out at the table and within easy reach I will eat more than I intended so one of my strategies over the past few months has been to select my food and my portion size carefully and put the rest of the food away or out of reach meaning I’m more likely to stick to the amount of food I wanted to eat.
The best thing I have found about feeding myself better quality food is that I ‘run’ far more efficiently than I ever have. I no longer suffer with headaches, stomach aches and lethargy and I rarely get ill, and I’m happily on the go from 6am to 10pm with no struggle at all, something I have never really been able to do during my adult life.