How to Fuel Your working day

Gillian Killiner is Northern Ireland’s leading Dietician and Nutritionist, offering specialist clinics with 3fivetwo Healthcare. Here she answers questions about fueling the working day.

What impact do you think our diet has on how we feel during the working day?

Our diet is one of the key pillars to health. If you do not put the right fuel in your body

you can’t expect to see good results.

What are the most common complaints that patients have where energy is concerned?

Lack of energy in patients is often due to a complex set of situations that can be medical in nature, lifestyle issues or nutritional illness. Overall daily fatigue with unrefreshed sleep I find is the most common complaint at clinic with mid-afternoon slump a close second.

How important is a structured diet during the working day?

Essential, you need regular fuel and fluids for the brain and body to function. With a daily structure this allows 100% maximum performance and also ensures the body and brain has a break at night to recover, repair and grow.

Are there any common myths you come across where diet is concerned?

There are new myths about diet daily! There are people taking all sorts of pills and potions or eating excessive amounts of this and that in the hope they will lose weight or function better. Sadly unless scientifically proven most of these fads are money making schemes with little if no results. Some are dangerous and have lead to unnecessary death.

How can busy, working people keep their weight under control without feeling hungry?

Come and have their diet reviewed and tweaked by a 121 Dietitian! We always send our patients out of the consultation eating more than they came in eating which always astounds them!

What tips do you have for avoiding the mid-afternoon slump?

This totally depends on the individual so there is not one rule for all. I would suggest however that people avoid eating and drinking empty calories. These come from eating low-fibre high sugar saturated processed foods and sugary drinks as these just fuel appetite and cravings and leads to excess weight and major health problems.

How many cups of tea or coffee is it ok to drink during the working day?

4 standard mug/cups of average strength instant coffee meets caffeine limits

Stress can often be a factor in snacking, how can diet impact on stress levels at work?

Stress and diet are tightly interlinked and at 121 Dietitian we are acutely aware of this. We visit businesses around the UK and Ireland delivering workshops on this major problem. Why? If you are not fuelling the body with the correct nutrition you are likely to be less productive, have more sick days and at risk of long term health problems costing the company money.

Is a high-protein breakfast really the best way of avoiding a mid morning slump?

This again depends on the individual: age, sex, lifestyle, health, meal pattern, foods


What changes can I make to my diet to give me more energy?

People need to ensure they are eating regular meals and snacks using a variety of foods that are as natural as possible. This should not be boring. If they are unsure of how to change we are the experts to help them. One of my motto’s: “1 simple food change a month is 12 foods better than no foods”.

How much water should I drink during the working day?

Average: Aim to drink 1.5-2 litres per day