Modern lifestyles need a lot of energy just to keep up with the crowd. In order for us to function we need to be well-rested, require energy, and need to be alert just to function.
The biggest culprit to affect most people living life in the fast lane is fatigue. Fatigue can wreak havoc in lives because it breaks down a person both emotionally and physically. Fatigue can affect the immune system, increases the chances of falling ill, can bring about depression, and increases chances of diseases like heart conditions. In men, fatigue is often associated with low testosterone, but this may not always be the case. Thankfully, there are many things you can do.
It’s no big secret that regular exercise, effective stress management and getting adequate sleep are great ways of combating fatigue. In fact what you eat day to day far outweighs all these other things because food is fuel at the end of the day.
Try Eating Nutrient-Rich Foods
For the human body to perform optimally, it requires plenty of vitamins and minerals. Each individual cell in the human body is capable of unlocking its true energy potential provided it is fuelled with the right foods. When the body doesn’t receive enough nutrients, this triggers “sub-optimal circular energy metabolism”, which could leave you feeling sluggish and tired.
The best way around this is to opt for foods that offer a lot of nutrition per calorie. Foods like seeds, nuts, beans, vegetables, whole grains, and lean animal proteins are the best for this. On the other hand, refined foods such as breads, fatty and fried foods, desserts, sweets, and processed snack foods can offer a lot of calories, but in terms of nutrition, there’s very little.
Get in Plenty of Omega 3
Repeated studies have shown that omega-3 fats are effective in enhancing the memory and overall mood, as well as quick thinking, energy and focus. Try to ensure that you get at least one good source of Omega 3 fats daily, and this could include hemp oil, hempseed, flax oil, flaxseed, fish, walnuts, leafy greens, and even walnuts.
Choose Foods High in Antioxidants
Antioxidant foods are great for clearing out damaged chemicals inside the body that are known to tax energy, ultimately leading to fatigue, and in more serious cases, illness. There are plenty of foods that are high in antioxidants including vegetables, fruits, and certain plant-based foods.
Interestingly, too much of certain nutrients can sometimes be risky, that’s why it’s better to choose whole foods that are nicely balanced in terms of their nutrient content, as well as other health supporting compounds.
Dark leafy vegetables such as broccoli, Kale, collard greens and spinach should be your preferred choice.
Is Your Diet Doing You Any Good?
Quite often diets deprive the body of vital nutrients, and this leaves the body in a worse state than you’d like. By dropping your calories you are essentially decreasing your metabolism because the body by its very nature tries to conserve as much energy as it possibly can. It’s quite normal for individuals dieting to feel tired and lethargic, and if you couple this with a slower metabolism, the body burns even fewer calories, meaning slow and painful weight loss.
So it’s always best to keep your energy levels as high as possible, and this will actually keep the metabolism on its toes. Weight loss is always better when it’s slow and steady.
Never Skip Breakfast
You’d be surprised how many people actually skip breakfast. Some people think that by skipping breakfast there are saving on calories, and this could help them to lose weight. But in reality, breakfast is actually good for your metabolism because it gets it going for the day, and hopefully leaves you satisfied until lunch.
Try to cut out processed foods like pastries, bagels, cereals, and donuts and replace these with healthier options such as nut butter, whole grain bread, and fresh fruit.
Snacks Aren’t Always a Bad Thing!
Eating at regular intervals through the day is beneficial for blood sugar levels as well as energy. By allowing yourself to become too hungry can cause a crash in blood sugar levels, and this leads to lethargy and sluggishness, and this is the point when some people reach for junk food.
When I say snacks, I mean the healthy type; therefore it’s important to make wise decisions in this regard.
Try to combine carbs, proteins and fats and this will ensure long-lasting energy. Protein and fat cause the slow release of sugar into the bloodstream, and this ultimately prevents energy deficiencies at any point, and keeps a person from overeating. Protein is also an essential building block for rebuilding damaged tissue.
Ideas for snacking include mixed nuts and dried fruit (mega-rich in magnesium), plain yoghurt mixed with granola, air popped popcorn combine with low oil, whole grain crackers coupled with baby carrots and maybe hummus, as you can see, the list goes on…
Drink Plenty of Water
Adequate hydration is one of the best ways of sustaining energy levels. The body by its very nature requires water for it to function properly. Forget all the fancy waters such as energy drinks and vitamin waters. Keep a bottle of freshwater with you at all times and try sipping on it regularly through the day.
This might not be what you want to believe, but alcohol is actually a depressant, and it is known to deplete energy levels. Interestingly, alcohol can act as a stimulant when it’s freshly consumed, but these effects are extremely short lived. Regular alcohol consumption can disrupt the sleep cycle, leaving a person fatigued the next day. If you like a glass on a night to help you fall asleep, try cutting down gradually and you will notice more energy the next day.
Cut down on Caffeine
Although it is true that immediately after drinking a coffee, you might feel energetic and really alert. These effects are extremely short term, and when they wear off, the body suddenly realizes it has no energy, and this usually leads to exhaustion and extreme hunger, often satisfied by binge eating.
Power Foods are your Best Bet
I’m a firm believer in power foods. My preferred choice of power foods is as follows (in order of preference):
- white beans
- soy beans
- sea vegetables
Heed these tips and see your energy begin to skyrocket.
What do you eat or drink for energy?