Always Tired? Boost Your Energy, Girl!

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.

How To Get More Energy

Woman waking up bursting with energy
The problem is often not motivation, but rather lack of energy during the day. You wake up tired and by lunch you are dragging your feet and ready to take a nap.

Here are my tips to boost that energy, GIRL!

Get More Sleep at Night

A good nights sleep is the foundation for an energetic and productive day. Try getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep (also great for weight loss). 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?

A recent study shows evidence that sleep deprivation can make you feel mentally sluggish. Researchers at Brown University, using magnetic resonance imaging machines (MRI), studied the effects of sleep loss on mental performance.

The researchers asked 11 adults to spend two days sleeping only 4 hours per night. Then they performed several tests to examine brain structure and mental performance after being awake for 29 hours.

A control group of adults spent two days sleeping 8 hours, then performed the same tests after one day of recovery sleep.

The researchers found that the mental performance was equal in each group, but after being awake for 29 hours, certain areas of the brain had decreased blood flow and activity levels.

Therefore, these areas were not as metabolically active and the brain had to work harder.

The areas of the brain that were affected are associated with attention, arousal, emotion, vision, hearing, motor function, memory search, processing information conceptually instead of analytically (similar to brainstorming), and making decisions.

Researchers believe this particular study shows evidence that sleep deprivation can make you feel mentally sluggish.

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.

Stop Eating High-Sugar 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 cereal or nosh on some fresh fruit. (BTW, Amazon Fresh is a great service for delivery if you’re pressed for time).

Drink More Water

Nothing causes fatigue like dehydration. Most sluggish feelings are actually linked with not drinking water often enough. (Being dehydrated can also trigger mood swings and cravings feelings of hunger).

When you become dehydrated, your heart rate goes up because it has to work harder to get all the blood through your system without enough fluid volume in your system.

This puts more stress on your heart, so it must work harder to perform the vital task of circulating oxygen through your entire body. Dehydration can also cause headaches, nausea, and fatigue.

Enjoying a glass of water several times throughout the day helps you maintain proper hydration levels, which helps keep your metabolism running at its best.

Drinking enough water may even give you some added energy due to the fact that your body’s systems can work better with proper hydration.

Quench and refresh, keep a bottle of water with you all the time.

Eat Smaller Meals More 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 Walks

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.

Author

  • Fiorella DiCarlo is a Registered Dietitian and has both clinical and research experience in medical nutrition therapy. Fiorella is considered a food and nutrition expert by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). She has a B.S in Nutrition and Food Science. Her training also includes two post graduate training programs from the Women’s Therapy Institute in Eating and the Body: A Cultural, Relational Psychoanalytic Framework and another from the William Alanson White Institute for Psychoanalysis in Eating Disorders, Compulsions and Addictions. Her private practice specializes in Eating Disorders and helping people Change their Relationship with Food. Appleman Nutrition is a New York based Nutrition counseling practice whose philosophy is rooted in a non-diet, inclusive approach to eating and the belief that Health can be achieved at any size. Fiorella is the founder of Fiorella Eats, an exploration of food through the eyes and taste buds of a Registered Dietitian. A foodie and food curator first, Fiorella Eats chronicles the NYC food scene and shows how to get in touch with your food–touch it, smell it, cook it, love it!