I was recently asked in regard to an aphrodisiac date night, “How many chocolate covered strawberries with whipped cream can one eat without getting tired?” Smiling with this question, I’d love to give a serious answer so you can enjoy dessert AND the night! 🙂
The precise answer is unique to each person. However there are a few principles to understand which will guide you to find the answer that works for you to make your date night as energetic as you desire for it to be.
Principle #1: Nothing Goes Solo – Especially Carbs!
Eating carbohydrates (carbs), notably simple (not whole grains or straight sugar) completely for a meal, such as having a donught for breakfast or pasta for dinner, causes a rapid spike in blood sugar. This then triggers our body to quickly respond to ‘balance’ the blood sugar -causing a crash in energy. We will experience a pleasurable sense of soothing and perhaps surge of energy when we first eat, followed soon by an unpleasurable energy crash, which feels like being tired, starving and maybe irritable. NONE of which lend inself to increased energy, attraction or intillectual stimulation to enhance the vibe of the evening.
Carbohydrates also contribute to the creation of serotonin, which is known as a “happy hormone”. It triggers a more content and relaxed mood (hense the initial pleasure feeling as mentioned above) and is why it is associated with the term “comfort food”. Even if you eat healthy, good, whole grain carbohydrates, you may feel more content with making it an early night then heating it up and heading for….strawberries.
Principle #2: Avoid eating too much.
After a large heavy meal blood and energy is centered around the digestive process and thus depleting energy elsewhere, including the brain. This equals less energy everywhere else. Remember too much of a good thing, is still too much.
Principle #3: Mixed meals are essential for feeling satisfied and avoiding the sleep inducing blood sugar spikes.
I am a proponent of a balanced meal. Each macronutrient (protein, fat and carbs) has high value and there is some sense of loss when one is missing. Carbs and fat stimulate satiety. Carbs are your body’s favorite source of energy so it works well to keep energy going especially when that nasty spike is elimintated by combining it with other nutrients.
Fat, among many other things, helps slow the digestive process which helps you feel fuller longer, and also helps regulate the rate at which carbohydrates enter the blood.
Protein stimulates more energy and does not cause the peaks and crashes associated with carbs.
So, for best results of balance, fullness and optimal energy, think about having each nutient source each time you eat.
Principle #4: Pace yourself!
Aside from the fact that shoveling food in your mouth is generally not that attractive, it is not functional for your needs either. You are far more likely..in fact almost guaranteed to overeat, if you eat too fast. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your body to process you’ve eaten enough. Therefore, eating a lot very fast will leave you feeling painfully and sluggish…need I say more?
- Techically a serving of fruit is a half cup, so if I had to put a number on the optimal amount for most people I would say three pieces.
- Don’t just eat the strawberries with whipped cream and chocolate! Back up and eat the right dinner.
- The ‘Right Dinner’ = Mix the meal! Since your dessert is carbs and you don’t want to get sleepy, have a lean, high protein dinner with vegetables. If you don’t have a say in dinner, just don’t overeat.
- Eat slowly, savor EVERYTHING! The moment, the company, the conversation, the meal, the bite! Do this and you’ll hit the sweet spot of perfectly satisfied and energized!
Holly L. Goroff MS, RD, CDN
Holly’s approach is likely something you’ve never heard before. She helps her clients achieve their nutrition and wellness goals by exposing their competing priorities and creating an enjoyable plan for informed decision making. She believes that future success comes from the accumulation of successes in the present moment – which makes long-term and short-term goals in life and health equally relevant.
In your time with Holly, you will corporately design an eating and wellness style that works for your life and goals specifically. No set diets, no set diet plans.
Holly uses her Master’s in Food and Nutrition Studies along with practical experience with clients over the past 8 years to promote balance without sacrificing the love of food and enjoyment of eating. She believes where there is a want there is a way.
Holly may be contacted at Holly@RapportRelationships.com.
The Health of any TWO first starts with the health of any ONE.