Boost your Energy by Eating the Right Foods
Ever find yourself feeling sluggish or drained during the day, affecting your efforts in your work or personal life? We’ve all been there at some point, and many people experience some level of fatigue several times a week—if not daily. So how do we combat this energy drain? In addition to improving our nightly sleep patterns, eating healthy and drinking plenty of water can help us gain extra energy and focus.
Many people don’t realize how much of our daily energy—or sometimes lack thereof—comes from what we eat throughout the day.
March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is Eat Right, Bite by Bite. This is a good time to reflect on what foods you’re eating daily and how often you typically eat. Making informed choices for healthier meals can boost your energy throughout the day.
Snacking can be a good thing
To get an energy boost from your diet, it’s important to consider first when you’re eating. Eating just three meals a day might seem like the best way to lose weight, but snacking on the right foods keeps your metabolism active and refuels your body to give you sustained energy. Just don't overdo it—overeating can be as harmful as starvation and may make you feel sluggish. Three meals daily with some light snacking between can help you stay healthy and feel energized throughout the day.
Including healthy snacks in your meal plans is a good way to avoid long periods of time without refueling. Having a mix of complex carbs and lean protein is great for small snacking—such as low-fat cheeses, granola bars, whole fruits or a handful of nuts. These are easy to carry with you and are great sources of protein, fibers and nutrients, which are the building blocks of an energized diet.
Foods to target for more energy
While all foods provide some level of fuel for your body, many will leave you even more tired after just a couple of hours—this is a result of a sugar crash. The best energizing foods that include the most health benefits are those rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other health-promoting substances. Combine these foods with small amounts of healthy fats for a balanced diet that is sure to provide you with energy all day long.
Here are some of the most popular energizing foods to consider when meal planning:
- Fresh fruits, especially berries, citrus fruits, mangos and cantaloupes
- Beans and legumes
- Oatmeal and whole grains
- Spinach, peppers, tomatoes and sweet potatoes
- Fresh or canned fish, like salmon, cod or tuna
- Tea, especially green tea which is loaded with antioxidants
- Low-fat dairy products
Just remember to regulate your portions so you aren’t overeating and derailing your healthy efforts.
Enjoy the boost!
As you make adjustments throughout the month to your food selections and snacking times, you’ll gradually start to get more bursts of energy—so enjoy it by being active! Go for a brief walk, meet up with friends, get up and stretch—any activity you like! Combining a healthy diet with physical activity is the best way to lose weight, maintain energy and live a healthy lifestyle.
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*This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant as medical advice. If you’re new to exercise, be sure to check with your doctor first and discuss any fitness goals or restrictions they might have for you.