Do you struggle to get going in the morning? Or suffer from that 3 pm slump – that sees you reaching for coffee or an afternoon “pick-me-up” snack to get through the day? Here are some easy steps to get you through the day.
Do you struggle to get going in the morning? Or suffer from that 3 pm slump – that sees you reaching for coffee or an afternoon “pick-me-up” snack to get through the day?
These three easy steps below – will help you bounce out of bed in the morning, improve your energy and get you through the day. They might sound almost too simple, but when it comes to our health, the little things are the big things!
1. Eat Breakfast and Don’t Skip Meals
The mornings can be hectic; however, a healthy, balanced breakfast sets you up for the day and gives your body the fuel to maintain your energy. If your breakfast involves a coffee, a couple of pieces of toast on the run or packet cereal, that’s not what I’m talking about! The key is to include a balance of protein, low-GI complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Try a “4-Day Energy Experiment” to see the difference eating a balanced breakfast can make to your energy levels, hunger and cravings.
In a rush? Try a protein smoothie as a quick, nutritious option, make some chia puddings in advance and top with berries, nuts and seeds, or make a frittata so you have leftovers for a few days (you can freeze in individual portions and take one out the night before).
2. Create Balanced Meals
Nutrition can be confusing! There is so much information out there that it can be challenging to know what to eat. Keep it simple! Use the ‘Healthy Plate’ to ensure you get the right proportions of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats with each meal. Each of these ‘macronutrients’ plays a vital role in fuelling your body and keeping you balanced to avoid the blood sugar roller coaster and those energy highs and lows.
Your body relies on a specific amount of glucose (or sugar) in your bloodstream. When it gets too low, your cells think they are being starved, so you’ll crave the quickest, easiest source of glucose – something sweet and sugary! If you skip meals and your blood sugar dips, your body will crave high-energy foods…usually sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Instead, you can avoid energy fluctuations by eating foods that break down slowly into glucose. The simplest way to do this is to make sure each meal has a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats (the healthy ones!).
If you get a sugar craving, have a snack that includes healthy protein or fat, for example, a few raw nuts, an egg, avocado, nut butter, coconut yogurt etc. Enjoy your sweet treat AFTER your protein or fat; this will help slow the release of glucose into your blood which will not only help your energy levels but also curb those cravings!
Try experimenting with this for two weeks and see what differences you notice in your energy levels and cravings.
One of the simplest ways to increase your energy is to drink more water!
Even mild dehydration (2%) can affect energy levels and trigger a hormone response. When you become dehydrated your body seeks energy, the hormone Ghrelin (your ‘hunger’ hormone) is released, and you begin to crave foods that give you energy. When what you really need is just a little more water! Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day, drink a glass of water when you wake up and set a daily goal to keep your water intake up.
Next time you have a craving, try having a glass of water first!
Try these three simple steps and tune into your body to notice the difference it makes to your energy levels and overall health.