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This article appeared in the West Australian newspaper, Mind & Body lift out on April 27 2010.
Since starting your fitness campaign you may be feeling tired and run down a few weeks into it. Getting the balance of energy in versus energy out is important, but often it is the types of foods consumed that can have an impact on energy levels, particularly by mid afternoon. To increase satiety (the feeling of ‘fullness’) throughout the day, the key is to choose foods that are high fibre, contain protein and contain low Glycaemic Index (low GI) carbohydrates. High fat foods may also increase satiety but are no good for sport or for weight management.
Foods that are high in fibre will fill you up quickly with less volume and kilojoules. A busy person’s lunch and snacks are notoriously poor in fibre. Include wholegrain breads, or some salad with your lunch. Good snack options include fresh and dried fruit, nuts and wholegrain crackers.
Including protein in meals will help to leave you feeling more satisfied for longer. Milk or yoghurt with wholegrain breakfast cereal, or 1-2 eggs with toast will be satisfying in the morning. A sandwich or a salad for lunch should include meat, eggs, or tuna. Protein is also important to include before a weight training session to provide the required amino acids for muscle development.
Low GI carbohydrates are always the best for general eating and weight management, but for athletes they are not ideal for all situations.