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By Shane Young | July 7, 2014 |
A client asked, “I often work through lunch so regular meals can be tricky, are snacks really necessary? And how do you feel about juice as a meal replacement?” This is question that many people are faced with when balancing their diets with a busy work schedule. Lets start by discussing the some key factors when planning midday meals.
It is important to keep in mind that the timing of your meals is just as important as the quality of your food and the types of foods you’re eating. The key to healthy fat loss is maintaining consistent blood sugar levels. The mistake many people make is eating too may carbohydrates for breakfast, often with their favorite cup of caffeine (i.e. coffee), giving them the rev they think they need and that they are very used to. The feeling of emptiness following a blood sugar crash only solidifies this habit as people fall in love with this amped up rush. Many people don’t know what it actually feels like to have good sustained energy. Energy that feels calm yet powerful. Many people think that this rev in energy followed by the empty feeling is “quite normal.” The solution to avoid the crash is more protein and good quality fats with your carbohydrates for breakfast to provide you with better mental clarity, sustained energy, a calmer disposition, and overall health.
The same holds true for lunch. Working through lunch or not stepping away from the computer leads to an energy deficit, running on fumes that certainly lead to an energy crash. This is when most people pick up sugar, caffeine, or their other favorite pick-me-up, including juice! But all this does is further increase the negative energy balance in your body. So, juice as a meal replacement is the same thing as having a glass of liquid sugar. The farther your blood sugar goes up the farther it crashes down. A 8 oz glass of juice / meal replacement has at least 15 grams of sugar, a green apple has about the same amount of sugar, but harnesses that sugar with it’s fiber….very important! (and this juice is from a “mostly green juice- kale, romaine, spinach, cucumber…imagine one with more fruit!) give that to your body on an empty stomach and your off on a wild ride. I like to think of the body as a car that needs gas. With the proper carb/fat/protein ratios you’re a sleek Mercedes Benz driving on diesel fuel cruising down the road feeling awesome! Too much sugar from an imbalanced meal or from juice/ meal replacement and your a race car speeding out of control, running out of fuel, and ending up staled on the side of the road.
The answer is to do your best to plan ahead. Pack your lunch and come to work prepared with good clean organic food maintaining the appropriate ratio of carbs/protein/fat. This food will provide you more than enough natural energy to get you through your day without the sugar highs and lows. And what about the snacks… Well that’s a lesson for another blog.
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