Having energy means different things to different people. Some are happy to just scrape through the day with enough energy to do day to day duties, while others like to stretch things a little further with an active lifestyle thrown into the equation.
There are many factors that should be taken into consideration when addressing low energy levels. Lack of sleep (7-8 hours is optimal), lack of fluids (hello feeling sluggish), possible illness, hormones, depression or deficiencies are examples. If you can confidently cross these off your list, then the next step is to look investigate a little deeper into what’s on your plate.
Sometimes we overeat in times of fatigue to compensate for tiredness but often this results in choices around the sugary sweet kind for an instant pick me up.
No matter what you expect from yourself, there are ways to help you feel better with less fatigue (which makes life so much better!).
4 Ways to Improve Your Energy Through Nutrition
- Take note of how you feel after certain foods.
Even if you don’t have a clinical reason for avoiding certain foods (dairy and wheat are the most common) your body can still go into a response which saps energy. Abdominal bloating, headaches, joint pain, skin problems, a weight that’s hard to move, or a foggy brain feeling are all signs to perhaps change the way you eat. Try eliminating a type of food to see if you notice a difference.
- Don’t skip the important meals
The number one reason for fatigue is skipping meals, nothing mind-blowing here but it’s amazing the number of people who still go about their day without eating!
If your blood sugar levels are not stabilised every 3- 4 hours during the day your body triggers your adrenal glands to secrete more amounts of cortisol that work to increase your blood sugar. All this sap your energy and leaves you feeling washed out and drained.
Counteract this by being planned and considering the fact you may be having an extra busy day by making some overnight oats, a packet of almonds and a healthy salad you can eat on the run.
- Fill up on fibrous protein foods
If your daily diet is made up mainly of sandwiches, toasts, potatoes, pasta, biscuits etc then there is a too much “white carbohydrates” going on and a lack of protein and water containing fibrous foods. Your body requires protein for conserving energy and preventing blood sugar crashes that often occur from consuming excessive carbohydrates. Fibrous foods such as fruit and veggie’s will aid your digestion and stop the chances of the internal pipes slowing down (leads to sluggishness) too.
By having an energy-giving breakfast smoothie which includes a protein mix /chia seeds or some eggs before you leave the house could help make you feel the world of difference. Light salads with tuna flakes or a turkey and salad mountain bread wrap for lunch is simple but effective.
- Hop off the sugar and caffeine rollercoaster
You know the ones I’m talking about, perhaps it’s you? “I just need my cup of coffee before I..” It’s not healthy to give something so much control over your life.
Fair enough if a cup of coffee creates a time for relaxation but when it is something you are constantly looking to, for energy or a workable headspace then this is when you need to question coffees existence in your day. It will take time but set yourself a goal to one cup per day (or even better omit) and substitute with herbals, dandelion tea. Same goes for sugary foods…
So, there are lifestyle changes you can make to better prepare yourself from energy drains without overeating or tackling the muffin lady at afternoon tea time. Just by simply being aware is a great place to begin.