Is your healthy wholesome food making you underperform?
Let me ask you a few questions:
1) When was the last time you ate?
2) Are you thinking about food right now? Are you hungry?
3) Have you already started to look at your lunch and it’s only a few hours into your day?
4) Have you ever found that after you eat these healthy lunch options within an hour you feel tired, lethargic and need a power nap?
It’s easily done, you feel hungry so you pop out for a whole grain, low-fat sandwich from the local shop or you even carefully prepare a pasta lunch from those leftovers from last night’s dinner. But a few hours later you want more, and reach for something sugary like chocolate, cereal bar or biscuit.
……Any of this sound familiar?
It’s hard to know what is healthy anymore; we’ve often been told that we should eat a wholegrain, low-fat diet but newspapers and magazines often give us conflicting information about eating well.
So whats the deal with these healthy options?
Wholegrain food can stimulate the appetite for more grains and sugars: chips, cookies, cupcakes, bread, bagels, and pizza. They drive hunger that causes you to eat more than your body needs, more frequently and in larger quantities than is necessary for sustenance.
The effects from wholegrain can vary from individual to individual. It can range from no effect at all to 24-hour-a-day food obsessions. These food obsessions are triggered by the opiates that derive from wheat, rye, and barley (corn seems to achieve a similar, though less intense, effect in many people). Did you know opiates are found in Heroine which is what makes it such an addictive drug? Might make more sense to why you can't stop thinking about that bagel for lunch!
Quote from Dr. William Davies - the “high” of wheat is not like the high of heroine, morphine, or Oxycontin. This opiate, while it binds to the opiate receptors of the brain, doesn’t make us high. It makes us hungry.
OK, so why do I feel like this?
YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL
Your blood sugar levels go on a roller coaster ride:
You know that 2 pm slump you have when you can’t face going to that meeting or you stare at your computer screen for an inappropriately long time? That’s caused by a sudden drop in sugar levels after your carb-heavy lunch.
Anything made from wheat and other complex carbohydrates (sweet potato; brown rice; wholegrain pasta) or simple carbohydrates (white bread; white rice; crackers) raise your blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar rises your body deals with it by releasing INSULIN. Insulin takes this sugar and in its most simplistic description stores this within the muscles. So, when you eat that so-called healthy whole-wheat sandwich or pasta, insulin comes along and removes that sugar that gave you the initial rise in energy and suddenly you have a huge drop in blood sugar levels.
Low blood sugars are experienced as anxiousness, mental cloudiness, irritability, and hunger 90 to 120 minutes after consuming grains. The blood sugar highs of grains, therefore, set you up for an inevitable blood sugar low, a two-hour cycle of satiety and hunger that sends you back out on a quest to find more food.
We deal with this by reaching for more sugar. You may not even realise it, but your body will crave the sugar and find it among things you feel are healthy (YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS CAVE MAN BRAIN TAKES OVER) . That low-fat health bar, the low-fat yogurt or that low-fat healthy smoothie.
But low fat is good right?......
The low-fat gimmick – DON'T FALL FOR IT
So what’s the problem with low fat? Well, unfortunately, it’s what I would call the false nutritional economy. You will generally find when companies claim that a product is “low fat” they make up for the lack of fat by adding sugar (and sweeteners). So, when you think you are giving your body that healthy snack, what you are actually giving it is the sugar it is after and the whole process start over again and again – blood sugar rapidly going up and down. Next time you do a shop check the low-fat sugar contents against its regular counterpart and you will be surprised. (we’ll talk more about sweeteners in another blog post)
I am SICK of feeling like this! What can I do to stay more focused and full at work?
The answer is to eat more healthy fats. Yes, you heard me right, fats are the secret to high performance as Insulin doesn’t respond to fat.
By keeping your insulin low your blood sugars will remain stable – no crazy crashes and craving sugar. You won’t crash and burn midafternoon and you will feel constant energy throughout your day and stay in a mindful state ready to take on the next challenge.
By having fats your body and mind will thank you. You will have sustained energy between meals and feel satiated without the need to snack.
You will OUT PERFORM your fellow colleagues as most of them are on the sugar roller coaster and your brain will be able to focus on the task at hand.
Eggs – I love eggs – So many easy ways to prepare them and they are perfectly nutritional balanced with fats, proteins, and Carbohydrates. Make sure you go for Organic free range as it has been shown that battery hen eggs have been found to contain ZERO good fats! Crazy, but true, if your hens are not happy the egg will be of poor quality and nutrients.
TIP: when you crack an egg if it has a hard shell and a dark yellow yolk this is a good sign of a happy egg.
Avocados – A superfood packed with amazing fats that you can prepare in salads, smoothies or just eat by themselves. If you like Guacamole make some. So many easy recipes can be found online and it tastes so much better than the shop bought stuff.
Nuts – Nuts are a fantastic source of good fats. Macadamia nuts, for example, are 75% fats and are great for snacking. You can eat these raw, add them to a smoothie or even make healthy snacks and treats.
Seeds – Seeds are loaded with fats and can also be amazing sources of magnesium, potassium and other vitamins. Sprinkle these on your salads, eat them raw or add them to food dishes. I love pumpkin seeds that are salted its great tasting easy snack.
BUT I NEED BREAD!
Sprouted - If you can’t live without bread go for healthier options that are less processed and easier for your body to break down such as sprouted grain breads. These can also help if you are Gluten intolerant.
Hope you found this blog helpful.
If you are ready to take a deep dive into your health and performance get in touch.
Holistic Health Coach and Bulletproof Performance Coach
LIFE DOESN’T GET EASIER OR MORE FORGIVING – WE GET STRONGER AND MORE RESILIENT
Disclaimer: *This content is strictly the opinion of the bperformance blog/Mark Wignarajah, and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither bperformance/Mark Wignarajah takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program