When I ask women if there was one thing they could change something about their health, the usual response is that they are would like to stop being tired, and have more energy throughout the day. The elusive “energy”. We seek it out so we could do more of the same crap that we hate to do every day but in a more lively fashion. Nevertheless, we need and it and really don’t feel so well when we feel sluggish.
After reviewing a food journal for one of my sisters, (yes, I am talking about you Antonete) who often complains of low energy, I found a number of bad habits that she has fallen into that are common for most women. After some assessment, I pulled together some sure-fire ways of getting the lead out.
Are you always tired and sluggish? Here are my tips to BOOST THAT ENERGY, GIRL!
START WITH SLEEP– it is the foundation of it all. Try getting at least 7-8 hours. I know it sounds like a luxury to most of of us, but do we really need to watch that last show, or go out so often? Rest up, so you can function better in everything you do. If sleeping is the problem, make it your goal to relax, meditate or take a long hot bath.
NIX SUGARY FOODS– don’t use sugar to stay awake. I know it’s tempting around 4:00 pm to grab a bag of M&M’s, but it the energy lasts for a small burst and you feel like crap after the sugar rush. Then, you crave more and there you go – up and down. Eat a high fiber carb like cereal or nosh on some fresh fruit.
DRINK WATER– nothing causes fatigue like dehydration. Most sluggish feelings are actually linked with not drinking often enough. (Being dehydrated can also trigger feelings of hunger). Quench and refresh, keep a bottle of libation with you all the time.
EAT OFTEN– having mini meals throughout the day will keep you humming all day. You will feel full, satiated and your blood sugar levels will be steady (Get our FREE Carb Manipulation Protocol here). Don’t make the mini meals more than 300 calories each and keep them high in protein and fiber.
TAKE A WALK– whenever you get that feeling of nodding off when you are at work-take it outside for a quick walk. Ten minutes of sunlight and quick activity will get your blood flowing. Climb the stairs in your building, walk to work or use your lunch break to take a turn around the block. Keep moving!
CAFFEINE IS FINE– but please use it in moderation and stop all caffeinated beverages after 3:00 pm. Caffeine takes about six hours to be eliminated from you system, and it is important for it not to interrupt your sleep patterns. Add some cinnamon in you latte for an aromatic energy kick.
Since energy is also inversely related to mood, it is important to also try to identify if your lagging around stems from poor habits or depression or it can be a symptom of illness. Take some time to try my tips and if you see no improvement, please see your doctor. If the tips work, then I expect a check in the mail.
-Fiorella DiCarlo RD, RDN, CDN