Are you tired of being tired? If so, you are not alone. Aisha – one of the 2019 weight loss challengers recently told me in addition to weight loss, one of her main goals is to correct her fluctuating energy. Whether you wake up feeling sluggish or are experiencing the dreaded 3pm slump – it’s time for a natural energy boost. Here are my top ten tips for boosting your energy that really work!
1. Hydrate before you caffeinate – While most of us tend to wake up in the morning and grab a cup of java – it is far better to hydrate first. Not only will drinking a glass of water boost your energy, it will also help you to lose weight and optimize digestion. Squeeze fresh lemon into your water every morning for its cleansing effects. Enjoy your cup of coffee following your water intake.
2. Say goodbye to refined flours and sugars – Foods such as white bread, white pasta, white potatoes and rice are ranked high on a scale called the glycemic index. When these types of food are eaten in abundance and often, they elicit a state of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms of hypoglycemia include fatigue, moodiness and mental fogginess….not the ideal state to be in at work or when the kids come home from school! Replace these foods with whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean proteins and a small amount of whole grains.
3. Investigate food allergies or sensitivities – Try to notice if you are feeling sluggish after eating a certain food such as wheat, gluten or dairy. If so, you may be experiencing a sensitivity or allergy, making it taxing for your body to break this food down. You can try to eliminate the suspected food for a 2-week period to see if energy improves. Alternatively – you can also talk to your doctor or naturopath about food allergy and sensitivity testing.
4. Choose iron-rich foods – If your iron stores are low (called iron-deficiency anemia), your red blood cells can’t supply as much oxygen to the cells, resulting in poor energy. There are two sources of iron in food:
- Heme: The most absorbable form of iron. Found in red meat, organ meats, and eggs.
- Non-heme: A less absorbable form of iron. Found in iron-enriched cereal, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and some dried fruit. To increase the absorption of non-heme iron, eat with vitamin C-rich foods; add strawberries to cereal or have it with an orange.
5. Take your time – In addition to “what” you eat, the “how” you eat is also important in keeping your energy up. For starters, try to avoid overeating yourself into a food coma. Instead, make your meals last a minimum of 20 minutes. It takes this long for your stomach receptors to register a “full” signal to your brain. By taking your time while you are eating meals, you will eat until you are sufficiently satiated — not stuffed!
6. Go green – Green foods such as spinach, kale and broccoli are filled with anti-oxidants that reduce inflammation and boost energy. Specifically, spinach contains tyrosine – an amino acid that has been shown to improve alertness. In a salad, smoothie or as a side dish – eat your greens as often as you can!
7. Get outside – Research is very clear on the benefits of getting outside. Whether the temperature is hot or cold – dress appropriately and go out for a 15-20 minute walk per day. The deeper in nature you get –the better it is for stress management and a boost in energy. This is especially prevalent for those who work a desk job. Try to get up from your desk and go outside to walk at least 1-2x per day.
8. Practice some electronic hygiene – More than any other time before us – we are bombarded by noise and distraction. The lure of computers, cell phones, instagram, facebook – it is literally everywhere all the time. This year, I am dedicated to setting down some electronic hygiene rules for myself. Some of the things I am implementing include checking instagram 1x per day, not looking at my computer screen for more than 45 minutes at a time and not having my phone in my hand (ready to check it) while my kids are talking to me. Taking an electronic break and fitting in more exercise, reading, stretching and time with family and friends will improve your overall sense of wellness.
9. Move your body! This one is a no brainer. The body was designed to move. Whatever time of day works for you – walk, run, jump, stretch – but you must move your body daily. The more you engage in cardiovascular and weight bearing activity– the more energetic you will feel.
10. Splash cold water on your face or even better… cold shower! Research has shown that cold-water therapy is beneficial for reducing inflammation, aiding in weight loss, boosting happiness (and thereby energy) and improving lymphatic circulation. Start your morning by splashing your face with ice-cold water to wake up and feel energized. If you are brave enough to go one step further – end your morning shower with 20 seconds of cold water to get the blood flowing and get your energy charged!
Courtesy of www.drjoey.com
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