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WEEKLY HEALTH TIP #2 – THE ART OF GRAZING

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Ever suffer from a post lunch slump, where you feel like you are going to nod off to sleep and cannot concentrate on anything? We've all had that feeling, perhaps because we were super tired, had a late night or sometimes because we ate too much at lunch. It's that last one that we can easily remedy.

How to do it: When you start eating more often, what you define as a meal changes. A snack can become a meal, such as raw carrots and hummus. That wouldn't be a meal when you are only eating three meals a day but when you're having 6 or 7 it's enough to tide you over until your next meal/snack.

Making sure you have a supply of healthy and tasty foods in the house/office is the key to this strategy. For example, always have the following available:

  • Carrots
  • Hummus
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil, etc)
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Tins of tuna and salmon
  • Fresh fruit
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Salad

If you keep these items stocked up, you can easily make a quick snack by throwing some of them in a bowl and the combination of different mixes you can make with them is endless. Using different types of humus and alternatives to salad dressing (See note below *) really keeps it interesting.

Note: Make sure that you know what is in your salad dressing. Most that you buy from the supermarket are full of sugar. It's best if you can create your own but that's not always possible so just check what you are buying. Ones such as sweet and sour are usually the worst but taste the best!

Why do it: Eating little and often has many benefits, including:

  • It gives the body a constant supply of energy rather than three large spikes such as when you only eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. This provides enables your body to realise that it will always have enough energy as food is coming in regularly and not attempt to conserve the energy for when you need it, as can happen when you leave such long gaps between meals – the body doesn't know when it will get its next one.
  • When processing a large meal the body uses a lot of resources which mean that they are not usable elsewhere, which leads to a “slump” that you can sometimes feel. By eating less at a time this no longer becomes an issue.
  • Psychologically, having to wait only an hour or two between small meals is much easier than having to wait 5 or 6 hours, which means it should be easier to prevent yourself from snacking on bad foods.
  • Because you are eating more often you shouldn't get so many hunger pangs which also results in less snacking on instant gratification foods such as chocolate and crisps.

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