If you often feel exhausted without any particular reason, fatigued by stress, or the work-related burnout has got the better of you – you’re not alone. Most of us look to overcome these phases by trying to sleep more, which is a worthy attempt, but insufficient if your diet isn’t up to par, as well. It’s important to remember that nutrition is one of those core healthy lifestyle pillars, and it serves as fuel for your body and your mind.
Sure, your diet is a means to other fitness ends, such as shedding those extra pounds, but you might be surprised to learn that there are so many overlaps with all the healthiest diets out there and your energy production needs. Here are a few key pointers to keep in mind when you want to restore your energy, avoid those mid-day energy slumps, and focus on building your vitality in life.
Pack your meals with lean protein
Carbs are our primary energy source, because they transform into energy as soon as we ingest them, and our bodies metabolize them quickly and efficiently. However, lean protein makes for a superior energy source in terms of postponing or eliminating tiredness. Protein takes more time to digest, so your body experiences that steady influx of “drive” throughout the day.
That doesn’t mean you should overeat, though. Make sure to calculate your macro needs before you start gorging on tons of meat or eggs every day. Evaluate your daily protein needs based on your fitness and other parameters, and then you’ll have a rough idea of how much you should consume and how you can divide it into portions.
Divide and conquer – more meals, fewer calories
While we’re on the subject, for more long-lasting energy and making sure you are ready to deal with any challenge during the day, it’s wise to divide your daily calories into several smaller meals. When your meals consist of healthy, wholesome ingredients, and you space them out correctly, you can be energized enough to work, train, and enjoy life without feeling drained.
What most people do is they let themselves get extremely hungry because they lose track of time, and they overeat when they finally get around to have lunch. Dividing your meals like that has other perks, too. You’ll be less likely to reach for unhealthy, sugar-loaded foods, since you won’t reach the point of experiencing cravings. Add to that, you’ll likely consume fewer calories than you would if you get famished.
Get creative with your healthy recipes
The art of combining foods and preparing them to boost energy can make all the difference in how you approach healthy eating. So many people are put off by the idea of “healthy” meals simply because they expect them to be flavorless and certainly not satiating. With the right recipes, you can get more energy using the right ingredients and diversifying your menu.
When you run out of ideas, the online world is brimming with healthy, energizing recipes that are designed to help you eliminate fatigue. Plus, you can find dedicated nutrition programs that simplify your meal prepping process even further, so that you can focus on implementing all the right changes to the way you prepare and consume food.
Smart snacks to avoid sugar-related slumps
When your schedule is swamped and you have no time to eat a full meal but you’re hungry, you’re likely tempted to dip into that stack of sweets hidden away somewhere. Sugar can give you an instant energy boost, but it also leads to an equally quick energy slump, making you feel even more exhausted than before.
That’s why creating smart, healthy snacks to replace those sugary treats can help you tap into that extra reservoir of energy when you need it most, without the notorious sugar rush or slump. Nutritious, low-calorie snacks such as fresh fruit, or perhaps more caloric nuts and seeds can be a perfect option for you.
Load up on fibre and healthy carbs
To get back to that earlier notion of carbs as our main energy source, there are diets that cut out most of the carbs to replace them with healthy fats and proteins. However, unless your health requires you to do so, you can absolutely enjoy carbs, as long as you pick the right kind and practice moderation.
You already know that leafy greens and other veggies are perfect for improving the quality of every meal you eat. You can also add complex carbs that are low on the glycemic index, meaning that your body digests them slowly and provides you with lasting energy. Consider oats, brown rice, whole grains in general, nuts and seeds, but also quinoa, legumes, and lentils.
Replacing overly processed foods and fast-food meals might be a test for your willpower, but it will be the key moment in switching to an energy-boosting diet. Finding healthy replacements, hydrating yourself properly, and keeping your meals balanced will enable your body to train well, sleep, and stay focused every day. Nutrition is essential in every health-related pursuit, so use it when you’re feeling fatigued and craving more zeal in your life.