Take the time to have a good breakfast in the morning. Your body needs to restock its reserves after eight to twelve hours of fasting. If you are too rushed to eat breakfast at home, you can have it when you get to work. You don’t have to eat first thing after you wake up. To start the day off right, choose at least three of the four following food groups: grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meats and meat substitutes.
Several studies confirm that eating breakfast helps improve mental and physical performance. And when you skip breakfast, you run the risk of eating more at the next meal and of snacking throughout the day.
Reduce your fat intake by choosing lean cuts of meat and fat-reduced dairy products, such as 1% skim milk and cheese with under 20% milk fat (MF). Before cooking, remove visible fat from meat and remove skin from poultry. Choose olive or canola oil, or non-hydrogenated margarines, which contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It’s important to select foods that are low in saturated and trans fats.
Use cooking methods that require little fat, such as roasting, grilling, barbecuing, en papillote baking, steaming, or using non-stick cookware. Enhance food flavours with herbs, spices, vinegars, lemon juice, fruit juice, tomato juice, tomato paste or mirepoix, instead of rich sauces. Remove the fat from your stocks and sauces.
Staying well hydrated is important for your health. Your body only has to lose 1% to 2% of its water before you start to feel fatigue and lack of energy. That’s why you should drink eight glasses of water (nearly 2 L) per day. Always have a full glass of water at hand. If you find water bland, add lemon, lime or orange zest. Choose non-diuretic herbal teas, such as chamomile, mint or citrus.
It’s important to eat more slowly, to take time to chew properly and to eliminate distractions like the TV or computer at meal times, to stay aware of your hunger. Hunger is a signal felt by the brain that you need energy. The feeling of being full continues as long as the energy stored during your last meal is available. This feeling appears about 20 minutes after the start of a meal: that’s the reason for eating slowly. An easy way to do this is to put your fork down between bites.