Eating for Energy
Do you frequently feel tired? Well your diet may be partly to blame. Think of your body like a car, it needs fuel to run, and when you put in the proper fuel your body runs more efficiently. Eating frequent, nutrient rich meals is a great way to boost your energy and metabolism. Six small meals a day or three meals a day with snacks in between is ideal.
Over the years snacking has gotten a bad rap, and has sometimes even been associated with weight gain. So it is important to distinguish between healthy snacks which can be eaten everyday, and treats such as candy, cookies or cakes which are “once‐in‐a‐while foods.” Choosing healthy snacks between meals is a great way to boost energy levels and prevent overeating at meals.
Don’t Skip Meals
Having regularly scheduled meals and snacks is also important. Eating within a half hour of waking and every 2‐3 hours thereafter is ideal. Skipping meals can leave you feeling tired, hungry, and irritable. At those times it is easiest to reach for a “not‐so‐healthy” option. Planning ahead and being prepared will help you combat those hunger pangs.
Well balanced meals – healthy carbohydrates, protein, fats
Food comes in different forms: carbohydrate, protein, and fat. We need all three to create healthy, well‐balanced meals to meet our body’s energy needs throughout the day. Choose complex carbohydrates like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread and cereals for an immediate energy boost. Choose low‐fat dairy, lean proteins, and healthy fats for a longer lasting energy.
While hunger growls to get your attention, thirst merely broods. Since dehydration can cause fatigue and headaches you may think you’re feeling hunger. Don’t forget to hydrate in times like these. Aim for at least 8 cups of water a day.
Here are a few different energy boosting snack ideas:
Peanut butter on a whole‐wheat English muffin with sliced banana
A whole wheat tortilla sprinkled with cheddar cheese and slices of apple, rolled up
A whole wheat pita stuffed with low‐fat cottage cheese and sliced peaches
A hardboiled egg and a handful of whole grain crackers
A snack bag filled with dried cereal, walnuts, and dried cherries
A whole grain frozen waffle toasted and spread with peanut butter and unsweetened applesauce
Low‐sodium ham rolled up with thin slices of avocado
Steamed edamame with a tiny sprinkling of sea salt