3 Ways to Eat for Increased Energy
Before you think I mean carb loading with pasta – read the whole tip!
I start with this tip for a reason. There is a HUGE misconception about carbs out there. #1 they are essential. Really they are. In fact, it’s how your body gets its energy. So that is of course the number one tip for increasing your energy with food.
The trick here: eat the RIGHT carbs. I’m sure you’ve heard of athletes carb loading before their big events. It’s because carbohydrates create energy. The key here is that quality matters. Stop with the processed carbs and eat complex carbohydrates.
Complex means that your body has to do some actual work to convert from food to calories that your body can use. These are whole foods, so eat the whole grain. Not whole wheat pasta or whole wheat bread, but the actual wheat berries which happen to make a great cereal – if you are not wheat intolerant of course. Gluten free options would be brown rice, amaranth and millet or certified gluten free whole or steel cut oats.
Tip: always pair your carbs with healthy fats and proteins. This will help you slow the process and not spike your blood sugar. Spiking your blood sugar sets you up for binging on the bad stuff, but you’re already in a better position by choosing quality carbs. Also, lots of fruits and veggies contain healthy carbohydrates for those of you that are grain free.
They are loaded with nutrients. Your body needs and craves vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Why? It turns those nutrients into the very energy that fuels your body.
Your body will also naturally begin to lose extra weight when eating fresh and whole foods. Instead of depriving your body from vital nutrients from prepared foods in boxes and freezer meals, your body is being nourished. Plus, you’ll be consuming less salt and sugar – therefore less calories.
To think about this tip in a simple way, fruit is a convenience food. Just wash and eat. Most don’t require any peeling. An apple with almond butter helps you consume healthy fats, carbs and proteins while being delicious and simple. Slice up a cucumber and dip it in hummus.
To make this even easier, every week prep the veggies and fruit that require a little effort as soon as possible. Cut up the cantaloupe, diced everything for easy meal prep later. Make sure to store in a clear containers in your fridge. If it’s out of sight, then it’s out of mind, so keep it where you’ll see it and therefore eat it.
Waiting too long between meals causes energy slumps. The two most common reasons I see for low energy in the afternoon are you either need to eat (something high quality as mentioned above) or you need to drink water. Both are required for you to have energy. Calories and hydration fuel your body.
Remember, quality matters when it comes to calories, so ditch the chips from the vending machine and opt for those healthy fats, carbs and proteins.
You’ll feel tired and want to turn to a big cup of caffeine or start craving sugary foods for the fast conversion to energy. Both options just leave you feeling worse overall because it will cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop and you’ll fall into a vicious cycle. Aim for every 2-3 hours if you have sugar cravings or tend to feel tired.
You can also skip the caffeine by following the tips recommended. The key is eat about every 3 hours to keep your blood sugar balanced. When you wait until you feel zapped form energy, your body says “where is the fastest fuel I can eat and convert?” That’s when you eat the junk. The problem is that it causes you to have that high, the spiked energy that crashes shortly after and puts you in the vicious cycle of sugar for fuel. This is the perfect time for that apple with almond butter.
Now you know that all it takes is to frequently eat the freshest foods you can that have complex carbohydrates. Make it a mantra “Fresh food with Healthy Carbs, Fats & Proteins every 3 hours = Me Full of Energy!”
Need ideas on what to eat? Click to get a free digital copy of Jessica’s cookbook, Girlfriends Organic Kitchen.
BIO: Jessica Wyman is a Wildly Vibrant health coach and yoga teacher that has a well rounded approach to loving yourself like no other + she specializes in 5-ingredient healthy recipes. As a health-coach-mama she has no time to waste and it’s her mission to make foxy, fit and fashionable living a breeze. Get her FREE 5 Day Wellness Program here for a realistic approach without a diet.