We all know the feeling of exhaustion and fatigue. When even the simplest of tasks seem to be a chore. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s common for people to feel tired, run down and drained of energy. However, what we eat can have a significant impact on our energy levels. Choosing the right foods can help us feel more alert, focused, and energised throughout the day.
In this blog, we will discuss the importance of food in boosting energy levels and highlight the purpose of the article. We will also delve into the common reasons for feeling tired and the significance of healthy food choices for sustained energy.
Understanding Energy and Metabolism
Energy is the fuel that our body needs to function efficiently. It is derived from the food we consume, and the process of converting food into energy is known as metabolism. Macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats provide the body with energy in the form of calories. Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are also crucial for energy production and overall health.
Factors such as stress, lack of sleep, and physical activity can impact our energy levels. When we are stressed or sleep-deprived, our body produces the hormone cortisol, which can affect energy levels. Inadequate physical activity can also lead to lethargy and low energy levels.
Sleep is one of those things which people tend to overlook yet they’re quick to jump to the latest fitness FAD of ice baths, infrared saunas, or fitness wearable where in most cases if you simply improved your sleep quality what it would do for your energy, focus and performance would simply out benefit every energy boosting, focus enhancing, fat burning supplement on the market yet if it’s something you struggle with may be your Achilles heel. Check out our article on how to improve your sleep.
Food groups that boost energy
Certain foods are known for their energy-boosting properties. Here are some of the best foods that can help improve your energy levels:
Whole grains such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice are rich in complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy throughout the day. They are also rich in fibre, which slows down the absorption of carbohydrates and helps maintain stable blood sugar levels.
Fruits are a great source of natural sugars, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Bananas, apples, and oranges are particularly good choices as they are rich in fibre and provide a steady stream of energy.
Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre. They are also low in calories, making them an excellent choice for sustained energy levels.
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews are rich in healthy fats, protein, and fibre, making them an excellent snack for sustained energy levels. They are also a good source of magnesium, a mineral that is essential for energy production.
Proteins such as chicken, turkey, and fish are excellent sources of amino acids, which are essential for energy production. They also help maintain stable blood sugar levels, preventing energy crashes.
Trying to include all the above into your weekly diet is going to be a sure-fire way to set yourself up for success, however we understand that this is where a lot of people struggle.
CRUNCH TIP: Knowing what to cook, what to prepare, even what to buy in a weekly food shop. So don’t worry, we’ve got you covered out our article on the beginners guide to food prep.
Foods groups that can cause energy crashes
Certain foods can cause energy crashes and hinder energy levels. Here are some of the foods that should be avoided if you’re looking to avoid an energy slump:
Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, and rice are stripped of their fibre and nutrients, leading to a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, followed by a crash.
Sugary snacks such as candy bars, cookies, and cakes provide a quick burst of energy but are followed by a crash due to the rapid spike in blood sugar levels.
Processed foods such as chips, crackers, and packaged meals are often high in calories, unhealthy fats, and sodium, leading to low energy levels.
Fried foods like French fries, chicken nuggets, and fried chicken can be high in fat and calories, which can make you feel lethargic and sleepy after eating.
While a drink or two may initially make you feel relaxed and energized, alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns and cause you to wake up feeling tired and groggy. Limit your alcohol consumption to improve your energy levels.
Everything in moderation, sometimes…
Now that doesn’t mean your diet has to be bland and boring and you think that eliminating all these foods is necessary to get results, lose weight and have the energy of a superhero day to day, you don’t!
But limiting the food groups above will put you on the right path to physical prowess and feeling like a boss day to day.
That being said, making your diet interesting, tasty and full of flavour will help you get rid of that feeling of “missing out” on certain things and then it’ll mean you’ll appreciate it when you do have a treat now and again.
CRUNCH TIP: The key to this is having the right recipes, and if you’re already super busy, stressed and short on time the last thing you want to do is to be sifting through recipe books so we created a short blog on easy recipe’s to keep you full and still lose weight.
Lifestyle changes to boost energy
Apart from making healthy food choices, there are certain lifestyle changes that can help boost energy levels. Here are some tips:
- Get Enough Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help your body recharge and restore energy levels.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help boost your energy levels by improving circulation and oxygen flow throughout your body. Start with small steps like taking a walk each day or trying a beginner’s yoga class.
- Reduce Stress: Practising stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing and again walking are some of the best things to help manage stress.
- Getting 10-15 minutes of sunlight per day: This will help boost your Vitamin D levels.
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration can cause fatigue and sluggishness, so make sure to drink enough water throughout the day. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, and more if you are physically active.
Have an ‘add rather than subtract’ approach
Now if you’re reading this and thinking, well this is all well and good but how am I supposed to do ALL these things at once this is far too overwhelming, don’t stress.
Start small and pick two or three things to focus on at a time, stick it on post-it notes and put it on your fridge, so it’s front of mind then each day at the end of it tick it off once you’ve completed it.
Always start with the most bang for your buck activity, so if you’re starting from scratch, try and get a walk outside each day not only will you reduce stress, but you’ll also get your daily dose of vitamin D and improve your energy by moving.
From a nutritional standpoint, we like the approach of adding more rather than taking things away, increasing your protein and vegetable servings, and believe it or not, you’ll probably find yourself craving less sugary foods and having more stable energy.
It’s the small changes over time that really add up to the big result, so take it slow and remember you can’t mess this up.
And if it all still feels a little too overwhelming and you’re lost at where or how to start then one of our friendly, experienced coaches will be happy to chat in a free consultation.
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