If you are dealing with mood swings, cravings in the afternoon, and poor concentration, it can help if you balance your energy levels with better foods! In this article, you’ll discover how to avoid the afternoon slump – deliciously using the Glycemic Index! Consuming food with a high Glycemic Index (GI), like a sugary drink, white flour in bread, cakes, etc, causes a high level of blood sugar which will support restoring your glycogen levels. Consuming food with a low GI (like oats, lentils, most vegetables, etc) only has a minor impact on blood sugar levels and is beneficial between training or on rest days when you don’t need the immediate energy.
To get sufficient nutrients and fiber, and avoid a blood sugar “spike” have a look at the following ideas and adopt as many as you like:
- Choose a wide variety of non-starchy vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, spinach, watercress, leeks, courgettes, kale etc)
- Eat lean sources of protein regularly – chicken, turkey, lean beef
- Replace refined carbohydrates with whole grain products (brown rice and pasta, wholemeal bread)
- Combine fruit and protein – natural yogurt with a grated apple or some berries
- Use healthy fats – nuts, seeds, oily fish
- Stay well hydrated – water, unsweetened fruit and herbal tea, 3 cups of tea or coffee are ok!
Choosing carbohydrates according to the Glycaemic Index (GI)
The rates at which different carbohydrates are broken down into glucose have been measured using a scale that is known as the Glycaemic Index (GI). The GI is a direct measure of the effect a carbohydrate has on your blood glucose levels.
Carbohydrates that break down into glucose quickly during digestion will be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly and therefore have a HIGH GI. Carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream, have LOW GI’s. In short, a low GI carbohydrate will help keep blood sugar levels more stable and sustained, and energy levels consistent.
Here’s a sample list of foods that help you choose the best ones for your energy levels:
- All sugars and sweetened foods: confectionery, chocolate, ice cream, honey, agave syrup etc
- White bread, pasta, and rice
- white potatoes
- Fruit juice and all dried fruit
- Pineapple, mango
- Sweet potatoes
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Oats, lentils, and pulses
Using the GI INdex you can simply avoid the afternoon slump – deliciously while simultaneously eating a healthier diet. The key to making changes to your diet is planning ahead. Each week take the time to figure out what you want to eat for each meal, make a shopping list and buy only the items on your list.
You can connect with me here with any questions. Additionally, there are many websites that offer ideas for low glycemic index recipes. There is plenty to enjoy
Carola is a forward-thinking Nutritionist, Fitness Instructor, and international speaker.
She designs workplace wellbeing programs with companies and organizations to help create healthier and happier teams. Wellbeing programs are designed around the needs of the organization, and empower people to take responsibility for their way of eating and living: for increased stress resilience, better performance, and mental health.
Carola is an international speaker and presenter, her passion is brain performance and mental wellbeing. Amongst her clients are the European Athletics Coaching Association, and she is a member of the complementary therapies team at University of Exeter.
Carola also runs luxury wellbeing retreats and corporate away days in the most stunning locations all over the world.
She personally looks after a small number of clients worldwide with her Exclusive Personal Nutrition Coaching.
Read Carola’s recent article: Why Nutrition is Vital for Mental Health. – https://www.carolabecker.com/blog/why-nutrition-is-vital-for-your-mental-health