Energized Eating

Americans today are eager to find ways to boost their energy levels so they can optimize their health and be productive throughout the day. Here are some tips and tricks of the trade to help you to streamline your nutrition and jumpstart your energy levels.
Frequency

Keep your metabolism humming, muscles fed, and mind focused by eating every 3-4 hours. Feed your body regularly with nutritious food to yourself from feeling famished and opting for poor options. If you typically eat one or two large meals per day, start slow and allow your body time to adjust. Incorporate 1-2 small meals/snacks to your day, and decrease the size of the other meals accordingly.

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Listen

Honor to your hunger and satiety cues. Feed yourself when you are starting to feel hunger pains. Pause throughout your meal and assess your fullness. Once you are at about 80% full and are starting to feel comfortably full, stop eating. It takes 20 minutes for your body to register that you are full.

Assess

Take a moment to look at your plate; half of it should be comprised of vegetables and fruit with the other half being 25% lean protein and 25% whole grains. This plate structure will help provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally and boost your energy levels while keeping your calories in check.

Snacks

Snacks bridge the gap from one meal to the next. They should just hold you over till that next meal. When picking your snack, include a source of protein (low-fat cheese, hardboiled egg, hummus) and fiber-rich carbohydrates (veggies sticks, whole grain cracker, fresh or dried fruit). This will help sustain your energy and curb your hunger until the next meal.

Drainers

Limit the consumption of simple carbohydrates such as sugary snacks (cookies, some granola bars, doughnuts), and drinks. These give you a short-term energy boost but then they will cause your body to crash within a few hours leaving you feeling sluggish.

Try drinking sparkling water, low-fat milk, coffee with little or no sugar, going for a walk or getting some fresh air to jump start your body.

It is also beneficial to make sure to get adequate sleep each night (7-8 hours). You can improve your sleep by exercising regularly and refraining from drinking caffeine later in the day. This also helps to regulate your hormones and your metabolism too!

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