Running on empty? Feeling exhausted? Or finding yourself hitting that 3p.m. energy slump that makes you want to fall asleep at your desk? If so, the way you are nourishing (or not) your body may have something to do with it.
What we eat is vital to our energy and productivity, not to mention our overall health. Starting your day with refined carbohydrates such as bagels and doughnuts with coffee for example, tends to contribute to afternoon blood sugar crashes, unhealthier lunch choices, and that 3p.m. vending machine date.
You can supercharge your day by choosing a breakfast with protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Some examples are a vegetable omelet, whole grain toast with almond butter and sliced banana, or greek yogurt with blueberries and flax seeds. Choices like these will help keep your energy stable throughout the day.
Choose afternoon snacks like hummus with veggies, raw nuts, a hard boiled egg over spinach, or a piece of fruit with almond butter. Keeping your body fueled with nutrient dense food helps maintain your energy levels and curb cravings.
Drinking plenty of water is also a key component. Staying hydrated helps with concentration and productivity, and helps prevent headaches, digestive problems and maintain high energy levels. Aim for 8-8 oz. glasses daily.
Many of us reach for caffeine when tired, but this provides only a temporary energy boost. Too much caffeine can cause unstable blood sugar levels and lead to cravings as well. Think about a cup of of green tea or warm lemon water instead. Many times people find themselves grabbing that extra cup of coffee out of habit, so grab something else in its place.
Don’t go hungry or skip meals. Eat often, around every three-four hours. Rather than three large meals, think about five to six smaller meals throughout the day. If breakfast is at 9a.m., lunch is around 1p.m., snack at 4p.m., dinner at 7p.m. The idea is never to get too hungry. You don’t want to find yourself bingeing late night or reaching for “just anything” from hunger.
Making any changes can seem daunting and overwhelming, but even making one small change can have an incredible impact on your life and health. So if adding more water this week is what you can do, fantastic! Changing breakfast, go for it! Once you start to see positive changes and you’re feeling energized, focused and just simply amazing, you’ll want to do more. Be mindful of your choices and how you feel when making them. You will start associating your thoughts, behaviors and actions more naturally.
Amy Salman, Founder, The Wellness Map
Health & Wellness Expert