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Food For Thought

Emma Carson
29 Mar 2022

How in tune are you with your body? How do we ensure we are giving our body the fuel it needs to get through the working day?

The top 10 resolutions of 2022 have been revealed with resolutions relating to health, fitness, and nutrition taking out the top 3 spots in most reviews. However, according to a Forbes survey, 80% of us have already abandoned our new year's resolutions.

So how do we get back on track with our health, wellbeing, and fitness goals?

These days we constantly hear a lot of talk about healthy eating/living, from the internet, advertisements, and from the people around us.
But with all this different information circulating around us, it can be confusing to know where to start and what the best approach is.

Luckily for you, we've brought in an expert to help you navigate through the food myths and find the best way to reach your fitness goals for this year and beyond.

From skipping breakfast to eating for energy, Joel Feren has the answers to your most common food-related questions.

The do’s and don’ts of eating for energy

It’s essential to nourish well before exercise. Fuelling your body with the proper nutrients can boost your performance and aid recovery. On the contrary, eating foods that make you sluggish will reduce your exercise output.

Here are my top tips for fuelling well before hitting the gym or running track.

Hydrate well, and eat a low fiber, fat, and protein meal before exercise to give your working muscles the fuel they need to fire.

These three nutrients can delay the passage of food through the digestive system, so food remains in the gut for longer. So it makes sense to eat a smaller meal or snack that can be quickly digested 1-2 hours before the event. Appropriate low fibre options include rice cakes, sports drinks, pikelets, jam sandwiches and muesli bars.

Healthy eating for a 9-5 worker

Planning meals and snacks over the workday can give you structure and help you avoid the office cookie jar and vending machine when hunger strikes. Focussing on nutritious and wholesome meals and snacks will provide you with the edge to perform at your best each day.

Eating fruit, nuts, and seeds, tubs of yoghurt and cheese, and grainy crackers is a simple way of increasing the variety in your diet. The concept is known as ‘crowding’ – by making healthier foods more available, we are all likely to include more of those wholesome foods in our diet.

Breaking myths around snacking

We no longer need to subscribe to outdated, hard and fast rules about diet. Instead, we should be more in tune with our body’s hunger and fullness cues. We will then be more empowered to make better and more informed food choices. Snacks can be part of a healthy diet. I see snacking as an opportunity to nourish and curb hunger between meals. Great options include fruit, veggie sticks with hummus, popcorn, muesli bars, cheese and crackers, yoghurt, and nuts and seeds.

And, it is perfectly appropriate to snack at night, should you need to manage your hunger.

Breakfast - is it the most important meal of the day?

I’m a big lover of breakfast, but it’s not necessarily the most important meal of the day. There are endless opportunities to nourish well over the day, and some people don’t need to eat first thing in the morning. However, it’s important to be mindful of your body’s hunger cues. If your tummy is rumbling and you're feeling low in energy, then it’s likely you need to tuck into something hearty to energise you. Plus, studies regularly show that breakfast eaters are more likely to meet their nutritional requirements for the day compared with non-breakfast eaters.

THE NUTRITION GUY Joel Feren is a highly regarded dietitian and nutrition consultant who has led major projects for a variety of FMCG companies.Joel’s background is in the biomedical sciences. His specialty and main area of interest is men’s health. However, Joel is also a seasoned media performer and appears regularly on Studio 10 and My Market Kitchen. He is also a media spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia and the man behind the popular blog The Nutrition Guy. Joel enjoys the challenge of debunking commonly held nutrition myths in the media and helping the overall community take control of their health.

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