Everyone dreams of gaining concentration, motivation and productivity, of remaining alert and energetic throughout the day! Diet can help. Although it is essential to get a good balance of macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates), there are certain times of the day that are best suited for these nutrients, where the body is best able to absorb them, digest them or use them optimally.
By making a few simple changes to your eating plan, you will find that your body will gain energy and motivation. Here are some tips and eating habits to implement to adopt chrononutrition:
Eat a breakfast rich in protein and good fats
From a hormonal point of view, the ideal breakfast should be rich in protein and good fats to :
- Start the day with a stable energy level, and avoid the 11 a.m. rush and compulsive cravings for sugar or coffee to remedy this.
- More satiety and less snacking between meals (therefore less frustration)
- Stimulate our production of cortisol, a hormone that promotes alertness and concentration.
- 2 scrambled eggs with 1 slice of sourdough bread with avocado, raw butter or sheep's cheese
- 1 kefir or sheep's milk (whole) yogurt with homemade muesli with nuts and possibly a seasonal fruit
- 1 green smoothie composed of: 1 handful of spinach, 1/2 avocado, 2 tbsp. tablespoons of hemp seeds, 1 piece of fresh ginger, 1 frozen fruit (banana, mango, pineapple, etc.), 1 cup of unsweetened vegetable milk.
At midday, stock up on protein
Like in the morning, at midday proteins are better assimilated by our body which secretes enzymes, proteases, which optimize their digestion. Proteins are rich in tyrosine, an amino acid that promotes dopamine, a key hormone for unfailing vitality!
The body also begins to slowly produce, at this time of the day, amylases, enzymes which will help you break down and digest the carbohydrates contained in root vegetables, whole grains or even legumes. If you have an active afternoon planned, don't hesitate to add a small portion to your plate. They will provide you with gradual and constant energy until dinner. And will keep you from being hungry until dinner.
So concretely? Create plates containing:
- ¼ (between 150g and 200g depending on your weight) of quality proteins: organic meats and eggs, wild fish, tofu or tempeh:
- If you are very active, add ¼ of foods that contain low or moderate GI carbohydrates: legumes, starchy foods (basmati rice, quinoa), buckwheat, millet or steamed potatoes or in salads
- Unstarched vegetables on the remaining half of the plate
- Good fat as a seasoning or condiment (virgin oils, seeds, nuts, olives, etc.) if you are used to consuming it
If you are vegetarian, the legumes/whole grain combination would simultaneously cover protein and carbohydrate needs, no risk on the horizon!
Reserve the fruit for a snack
In the middle of the afternoon, at snack time, the body tolerates and assimilates sugar better, so it is at this time that it is advisable to consume fruit, which is always in season. However, avoid processed foods and refined sugars to avoid accumulating too many calories.
As fruits are digested quickly, ingest them with a fatty substance (dark chocolate or oilseeds) which will keep your satiety intact until dinner. You will tell them thank you!
Eat a more plant-based dinner
Carbohydrates (low GI!) stimulate the production of serotonin and melatonin, and reduce stress hormones like cortisol, so if you eat them in the evening, you will quickly see good results, you will most likely feel soothed, head rested, relaxed and ready to sleep like a baby.
- Eat 1 small portion of whole grains (preferably basmati rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet) or legumes
- with lots of vegetables
And if you feel the need or you come out of a sports session, you can add a little bit of easy-to-digest protein like fish or poultry.
You now have all the information on chrononutrition, it's up to you to apply it or not in your life. There are no rules, everyone has their own reason, their own objectives. Just listen to your body!
The new illustrated chrononutrition - Alain Delabos