The amount of calories you eat is important, but not the whole story when it comes to sustaining a healthy diet. Different foods and combinations of foods effect the rate at which your body receives energy, our health status and even the brain differently.
Once you have learnt to balance your food intake you will notice a huge difference in your ability to concentrate and maintain physical and mental motivation.
Many of the starchy, carb-rich foods such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes increase the amount of serotonin that your body produces. This brain transmitter has a 'calming' effect and can cause feelings of lethargy. The post-lunch slump feeling (wanting to put your head on your desk or reach for some chocolate for ‘energy’ to take you through the afternoon even though you’ve just eaten) may be an indication that your food ratios are wrong.
Getting the balance of food ratios right is a simple concept that involves eating an equal amount of protein with your starch. This slows down the release of blood sugar, dampens the effect of serotonin, helping to maintain energy levels.
The ideal ratio of protein and starch is 1:1
You don’t need scales to work this out, just a simple estimation will do. For example let’s look at a ham sandwich for lunch.
The sandwich has 2 slices of bread (starchy carb) and a slice of ham (protein) therefore the ratio here is 2:1. To balance this, throw away the top slice of bread and add another slice of ham so it looks like the same quantity as the bread. Now add a salad, chopped tomatoes and peppers and you have transformed your lunch to the perfect 1:1 ratio without too much effort and without shrinking your portion!
Food ratios work for everyone. The whole family can benefit from this even if weightloss is not on their agenda.