Friday, January 25, 2008

Jet-Lag Diet Secrets

Feeling the effects of jet-lag can start any trip off on the wrong foot. Whether you need to be 100% for the important business meeting or you don't want to waste time on your vacation, combating jet-lag is important to all travelers.

Jet-lag causes fatigue and disorientation that can last for days after arriving at your destination. Lack of concentration and motivation, interrupted sleed, confusion, dehydration, uncomfortable legs and feet, and overall health problems are all signs of jet-lag.

Jet-lag is caused by the following conditions (or combinations of them):
  • Crossing time zones - going east is usually worse than going west. People who have a regular routine are more apt to jet-lag.
  • Your pre-flight condition - get a good night's sleep prior to departure and leave your stress behind.
  • Dry atmosphere - try to drink a lot of water on board the plane as eople who are used to a humid environment can be negatively affected by changing into a dry atmosphere.
  • Cabin Pressure
  • Stale Air
  • Alcohol - the impact of alcohol on the body is 2 - 3 times mre than when on the ground.
  • Food and drink - don't drink really strong coffee, team or orange juice in flight if you aren't used to such drinks
  • Lack of exercise

Argonne has come up with a diet that will help any traveler combat the effects of jet-lag. This diet is also being used to speed the adjustment of shiftworkers who are periodically subjected to rotating hours.

The diet was developed by Dr. Charles F. Ehret of Argonne's Division of Biological and Medical Research. Argonne National Laboratory is one of the US Department of Energy's major centers of research in energy and the fundamental sciences.

Without further ado...the secret on how to avoid jet lag......

1. Determine what the breakfast time will be on the day of arrival at your destination.

2. Feast - Fast - Feast - Fast: Start four days before breakfast time in Step #1.

On day one of the diet, feast; eat heartily with high-protein breakfast and lunch and a high-carb dinner. No coffee except between 3 and 5 p.m.

On day two of the diet: Fast on light meals of salads, light soups, fruits, and juices. Again, no coffee except between 3 and 5 p.m.

On day three of the diet: Feast again as you did on day one.

On day four: Fast again as on day two.

*If you drink caffeinated beverages, take them in the morning when you will be traveling west, or between 6 and 11 p.m. when you will be traveling east.

3. Break the final fast at your destination's breakfast time. No alcohol on the plane. If the flight is long enough, sleep until normal breakfast time at your destination, but no later.

Wake up and feast on a high protein breakfast. Stay awake and active. Continue the days meals according to the mealtimes at your destination.

What to eat during feasting and fasting times

Feast on high protein breakfast and lunches to stimulate the body's active cycle. Suitable meals include steak, eggs, hamburgers, high-protein cereals, green beans.

Feast on high carb dinners to stimulate sleep. They include spaghetti and other pastas (no meatballs), crepes with no meat fillings, potatoes, other starchy vegetables, and sweet desserts.

Fast days help deplete the liver's store of carbs and prepare the body's clock for resetting. Suitable foods include fruit, light soups, broths, skimpy salads, unbettered toast, half pieces of bread. Keep calories and carbs to a miniumum.

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