1. EAT HEALTHY FOODS FOR MORE ENERGY
As you know, the food you eat is fuel for your body. The ideal foods to eat for increased energy have complex carbohydrates and lots of protein to keep your blood sugar steady. For many people, when your blood sugar spikes, like it does when you have too much sugar or caffeine (read: energy in a can), it will also crash a short time later, leaving you exhausted and sluggish. If you want a steady supply of energy, reach for vegetables, which are packed with vitamins and minerals that keep you alert and focused, or foods that are high in protein, like beans and nuts, which stabilize blood sugar.
Since most people end up eating unhealthy foods because they don’t have time to cook healthy meals, it’s important to find nutrient-dense foods that fit your lifestyle. You can’t simply tell yourself that you have to start eating better with no plan on how to do it. You’ll become discouraged and end up failing.
Instead of trying to completely change your behavior, work healthy foods in around your schedule. For example, if you know that by the time you make it home at night, there’s no time to cook a healthy dinner, come up with a list of meals that you can make ahead of time and freeze so you can just heat them up and eat them. If breakfast for you is usually just coffee and whatever pastry you can scrounge from the break room vending machine, consider supersizing your Sunday breakfast recipe and storing single-serving portions in portable containers in the fridge, so you can take them with you throughout the entire week. For example, make an extra five poached eggs on Sunday; place each on a whole grain English muffin with a slice of cheese and pack it away. Your breakfast sammie can easily be warmed up in your workplace microwave each day of the work week.
You can also prepare mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks in advance so that you can toss them in your bag and go. And it never hurts to have a couple of healthy protein bars around, in the car, in your handbag, or in your desk, in case you need a quick snack on the go.
Some snack foods that give you more energy naturally include these tasty options:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Brown rice and black beans or lentils
- Chia seeds
- Goji berries
Along with healthy foods, it’s essential to make sure you’re properly hydrated all day long. Dehydration can cause fatigue and a feeling of low energy. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water each day. If the taste of plain water doesn’t do it for you, add cucumbers or lemons to give it some natural flavor and encourage you to increase your H20 intake. Vegetable juices are another way to give you some hydration and provide you with nutrients. Just be sure to not overdo it because some vegetable juices, and especially fruit juices, can be high in calories.