Functional Eating is not a complicated process. All you have to do is follow these seven simple principles:
- Never skip breakfast. The ideal breakfast consists of about 80% carbs and 20% protein. This ratio will not only reduce cortisol levels but also replenish muscle energy stores depleted while you were sleeping.
- Eat high-carbohydrate foods between 9:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. to ensure that the muscles and brain have sufficient energy.
- Decrease consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods dramatically throughout the afternoon and evening.
- Consume 55 percent of your daily calories by 1:00 P.M. to parallel the body’s energy needs.
- Eat high-protein foods between 5:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. The protein turnover circuit is most active during this period because it is not competing with the pathways responsible for generating energy.
- Keep fat intake to a minimum in the morning and throughout most of the day, but increase your intake of healthy (mainly plant) fats in the evening. Since these fats are especially potent suppressors of hunger, this strategy helps keep you full in the period between dinner and bedtime.
- Whenever you work out, make sure you pay close attention to your fueling and recovery nutrition
Functional eating represents a dramatic change from conventional eating plans. Conventional plans are based on the body’s 24-hour nutritional needs. What we now know is that the body’s needs change over the course of the day because metabolism changes. Functional eating is a powerful tool to improve endurance performance.
By Jeff Galloway: Nutrition Edge