It’s no secret that foods have a tremendous impact on your energy levels. What you eat – or more precisely, what you don’t eat – might be the reason for your perpetual struggle to get up in the morning or for experiencing the afternoon fatigue.
Read below and discover helpful strategies and eating habits that can improve your mood and make you feel more energized!
1. Eat breakfast daily
It’s in the starter pack. Although there seem to be enough reasons for why you skip breakfast in the morning (lack of hunger, being in a hurry, not enough time to cook something), please remember that the first meal of the day sets the mood for the rest of your day. In other words, breakfast keeps you satiated, will kick-start your metabolism, boost your mood, prevent cravings, and encourage you to choose healthier foods for snacks and meals.
Here are some quick ideas for a fast and healthy breakfast: oatmeal bowls, whole-grain cereal bowls, whole-grain toast with avocado or guacamole, a bowl of fruits or raw veggies, boiled eggs, salads, yogurt.
2. Choose complex carbohydrates
These types of carbs contain longer chains of sugar molecules. Therefore your body needs more time to digest them. This means that you will benefit from a consistent amount of energy for longer periods of time. Complex carbohydrates release glucose into the blood slowly, which means they provide your body with constant energy.
Include in your diet whole-grains, pulses, nuts, oats, brown rice, quinoa, barley, lentils, chickpeas, use wholemeal flour instead of white flour and eat starchy vegetables.
3. Get your daily dose of vitamin B complex
Often underestimated in their importance, all B vitamins help convert the food into energy that your body will use throughout the day. So, it is vital to avoid deficiencies that are felt by symptoms such as anemia, chapped lips, numb hands and feet, irritability, depression, confusion, mood changes, forgetfulness, sore mouth, diarrhea, mental confusion, agitation, memory lapses, poor muscle condition.
Best sources of vitamin B complex:
- brown rice
- red meat
- beans and lentils
- sunflower seeds
- citrus fruits
4. Opt for iron-rich foods
Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which often makes you feel down and tired. Young women can lose iron in their menstrual blood during their periods, so they need to consume more iron-rich foods, such as:
- whole-grains (brown rice)
- dried fruits
- soybean flour
- fortified breakfast cereals
5. Eat at regular intervals
Aim for 3 meals a day and 2 healthy snacks between them. Eat less, but more often, so you’ll provide the body with enough energy sources throughout the day. Set reminders for exact hours when you want to eat and keep the reminders on until the meal schedule becomes a habit.
You can start with this meal schedule, or adapt the hours according to your daily program:
- breakfast: 08:00 AM
- healthy snack: 11:00 AM
- lunch: 13:00 PM
- healthy snack: 16:00 PM
- dinner: 19:00 PM
6. Cut down sugar
We know, it’s very hard, especially when you feel that rush of energy almost instantly. But as quick as this energy comes, as fast it goes away. Besides, sweets and foods rich in sugar are bad for your teeth and waistline, as well, if you need more reasons to break up with them.
There are also plenty of fruits and veggies rich in sugar, but we’re not talking about them. Just to be clear, we are encouraging you to give up foods with added sugar, such as candies, cakes, beverages, chocolate (unless you can switch to dark chocolate with 75% cocoa), biscuits, sweetened breakfast cereals, and so on. You can find sugar even in your regular mustard! Check the label.
You don’t need to stop eating all of these at once, but the less you eat them, the better your body will feel.
7. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day
Increased water consumption brings important benefits to the body, even when it comes to healthier eating habits and feel more energized. For example, water:
- cleans the body from toxins by improving blood circulation that flushes out toxins;
- speeds up the metabolism, thus helping you burn fats and calories more rapidly;
- acts as a natural appetite suppressant: when you drink a glass of water before a meal, your appetite decreases, which will make you eat less and feel more satiated.
Instead of relying on caffeine or a trip to a vending machine to grab a sweet beverage in order to obtain artificial energy, choose healthy foods, and develop the right eating habits to boost your mood.
With these tips in mind, we hope you’ll start working on your eating habits asap so that you’ll never ever feel lazy in the morning, dry out, or extremely tired in the afternoon.