We live in a 24/7 society; we have super busy lives, spend more time out of the home than ever before, and have some of the longest working hours in Europe, so it’s no wonder we sometimes feel low in energy.
Quality sleep and regular exercise can help us to de-stress and a healthy balanced diet is critical to keeping our energy levels up to deal with whatever the day throws at us.
Here are 5 changes you can make that will make a big difference to your energy levels:
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast not only gets your brain in gear but can provide the following benefits:
- Help you concentrate all morning and stop your tummy rumbling in that 11am meeting
- Feeding your brain at the right time can help improve your mood and can be a great stress buster
- Keep blood sugar levels constant which will prevent you from reaching for sugary snacks/hits of caffeine
- Eating wholegrains such as oats and adding berries to porridge can also help boost your immunity
- Eating a high protein breakfast alongside some healthy fats such as nuts can help keep you feeling fuller for longer – great for those who are wanting to lose weight
Avoid sugary cereals and jam & toast instead try:
Banana & Oat yogurt pots – layer up pots (I use our drinking glasses) with slices of banana, oats, yogurt and a few brazil nuts – provides protein and good fats to keep you full and slow release carbs
Berry Burst porridge – add blueberries to porridge a couple of minutes towards the end of cooking – these little berries explode in your mouth when heated and have protective and antioxidant properties.
Try eating complex carbohydrates
Whilst carbohydrates tend to get a bit of a bashing, eating complex carbohydrates can be a good thing! They are a good source of fibre and help release glucose into the body at a slower rate than simple sugars. In addition to wholegrain products consume plenty of carb rich veggies especially if fat loss is your goal.
Wholewheat pasta salads including raw veggies are tasty and colourful – I made this in less than 20 minutes with gluten free pasta, left over roast chicken and a mustard and rapeseed oil dressing.
Consume your B-Vitamins
B-Vitamins and especially vitamins B6 and B12 are vital nutrients in a range of activities, such as cell repair, digestion, the production of energy from food and maintenance of the immune system.
Vitamin B12 is also needed for the breakdown of fat and carbohydrate.
Make sure you include wholegrains, meat, fish, nuts and seeds and a wide range of vegetables in your diet to get these critical vits.
Pinpoint your energy slumps with a food diary
Keeping track of what you eat & drink, when, your energy and hunger levels is a great way to identify what could be causing dips in energy. Once you see it down on paper, it’s much easier to spot where you could make some tweaks to your current way of eating. I find that a bad nights sleep, too much caffeine first thing and not enough water will send me crashing by about 10am!
Water is essential for every chemical reaction in the body and becoming dehydrated will mean you feel lethargic, weak and unable to concentrate
Everyone’s needs are different but aim for 2 litres each day, more if you work in hot environment, take lots of exercise or have to endure London public transport! I keep a litre bottle with me so I can top it up during the day.
I know this one is strictly point number 6 but thought I’d sneak it in at the end.
Eating little and often
Whilst we grew up being told that 3 square meals a day and no snacks was the key to both weight control and keeping the body fed, eating smaller meals more frequently can actually help control blood sugar, reduce food craving and the burden on the digestive system. Just remember that these are mini meals and you resist the temptation to eat 6 large meals!
We hope you have enjoyed reading this blog. Thanks to Beth Davies at Embody Training for sending this in. Click HERE if you’d like to read more or get in contact with fitness guru Beth.
Embody Training brings together fitness and nutrition to achieve positive and long lasting changes to body and mind for individuals and companies.
Has this article helped? Do you have any tips for training and eating? Why not drop us a comment below?