Have you ever thought that your diet is not perfect? Family, work and other things take up so much time that you no longer have the energy or desire to think about eating right. Is it because you’re not eating right that you don’t have the energy?
If you are active in sports and want to eat right, you need to do the following:
Most people eat fairly infrequently, about three times a day, or even less frequently, especially if they want to lose weight. Think of your metabolism as a calorie-burning fire. Your resting metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns just to carry out the functions of breathing and pumping blood.
Women who eat 300 calories every three hours keep their metabolic fire going. Eating this way helps you maintain a good memory and performance throughout the day.
If you eat less often, the metabolic fire begins to wane. You feel tired, you can’t concentrate, and you don’t have the energy to work out in the evening. The slower your metabolism, the more your body stores, including fat.
If you skip meals during the day, you’re bound to get full in the evening. In doing so, you will choose high-calorie foods that are high in fat and sugar. Besides feeling guilty, you will gain extra pounds and health problems.
Snack between meals.
It is best to have at least 5 meals a day – three main meals and two snacks in between. You should plan your meals well in advance, especially if you have a busy schedule. Always have some food with which you can have a snack between meals.
These could be:
Almonds; apples; dried fruit; energy bars; protein bars; meal replacements or protein shakes; canned vegetable juices; packets of instant porridge.
All of these products contain sufficient carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals. A good idea is to have a cooler bag to take some cottage cheese or yoghurt with you to work, as these can be handy for a quick snack.
Keeping your vitamin B2 levels up
Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, helps convert fats and carbohydrates into the energy your muscles need to work. Riboflavin is what gives you stamina when you’re working out. Research proves that 30 minutes of vigorous exercise lowers your riboflavin levels.
What does all this mean? It means that as a woman, you should get at least 1.3 mg of riboflavin daily. Talk to your doctor about whether this would be good for you, especially if you like to exercise intensively. Vitamin B2 is found in the following foods: 1% or skim milk; skim yoghurt or other low-fat dairy products; bread, cereals, a variety of cereal products.
Take calcium for healthy bones
You have probably heard since school that milk strengthens bones and therefore should be drunk regularly. Indeed, milk has enough calcium and protein to meet the needs of women who are prone to osteoporosis. But not only milk can be consumed, and other calcium-rich foods as well. These can include yoghurt, tofu cheese, leafy greens, orange juice, lean meats, beans and rice.
Taking vitamins if you follow a vegetarian diet
Some women are keen to stick to a vegetarian diet, believing that if they don’t eat meat, they can get rid of excess fat and improve their health. Research proves that vegetarians, in general, are much healthier than meat-eaters. They are less likely to get cancer and heart disease, and are more likely to have a slimmer figure.
However, if you don’t eat meat and want to stay healthy, you should regularly consume the following constituents:
Calcium. It is essential for building and maintaining healthy teeth and bones.
Zinc. Even minimal deficiency of this element impairs thinking and memory. Zinc is very important for the immune system.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells and nerve fibres. Vitamin B12 is found mainly in animal products: red meat, fish, shellfish, eggs and milk.
Strict vegans should eat other foods rich in vitamin B12, such as soya milk. Zinc is also found in meat and seafood. It is particularly abundant in oysters. Wheat germ is the best vegetable food in terms of zinc – one or two tablespoons of germ should be added to cereals, casseroles, soups or smoothies to make up for lack of zinc.