Having energy means different things to different people. Some are happy to scrape through the day with enough energy to do day to day duties plus look after the family while others stretch things a little further with an active lifestyle thrown into the equation.
Without bringing what you eat into context, there are other factors that can sap your energy which should also be addressed. Lack of sleep (7-8 hours is optimal), lack of fluids (hello feeling sluggish), possible illness, depression or deficiencies. If you can confidently cross these off your list then the next step is to look investigate a little deeper into your eating habits.
Sometimes we actually overeat in times of fatigue to compensate for tiredness as we search for energy but this hardly ever achieves anything if you’re not being diligent with your food choices.
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 without overeating
1. 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, weight that’s hard to move, and that foggy brain feeling are all signs to perhaps change the way you eat.
Eliminate one of these food groups at a time and see if you notice a difference.
2. Don’t skip the important meals
Number 1 reason for fatigue is missing a meal, nothing mind blowing there but it’s amazing the amount of people who still go about there day without eating!
If your blood 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 of this saps your energy and leaves you feeling washed out and drained.
Counteract this by being planned and taking into account 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.
3. Fill up on fibrous proteiny foods
If your daily diet is made up mainly of sandwiches, toasts, potatoes, pasta, biscuits etc then as you can see there is a little too much “white carbs” going on and a lack of protein and water containing fibrous foods. Your body needs protein for conserving energy and preventing blood sugar crashes that often occur from consuming excessive carbohydrates. Fibrous foods such as fruit and vege’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 some protein mix or chia seeds or some eggs before you leave the house could make you feel the world of difference. Light salads with tuna flakes, or a turkey and salad wrap for lunch is simple but effective.
4. 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 a something you are constantly looking for to give you energy or a workable headspace then that’s when it’s looking a little bit dangerous. It will take time but set yourself a goal to one cup per day and substitute with herbals, dandelion or chai 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 awareness is a great place to begin.