Your body is on 24/7. Even when you’re sleeping, your body is working. All this work requires energy. If life is leaving you feeling exhausted, you may be searching for a way to boost your energy.
Fortunately, putting the pep back in your step may be easier than you think. In fact, it may just take some simple food changes. In this blog, Michele Reed, DO, FAAFP, of MS Family Medicine Health Care PC in Rosedale and Garden City, New York, explains how eating the right way can lead to more energy.
1. Eat at regular intervals
Food supplies your body with energy. Eating at regular intervals is the best way to keep your energy levels up. Skipping meals or going long periods of time without eating can drain your energy stores and leave you feeling irritable and hungry.
You should eat your first meal within the first hour of waking up and then eat a meal or snack every 3-4 hours. Eating at consistent times throughout the day can help keep your energy levels up and also help you control hunger.
2. Create balanced meals
Balanced meals contain foods from multiple food groups, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and calcium-rich foods. Eating balanced meals can help your body get the nutrients it needs for optimal functioning.
For example, a balanced breakfast might include a hard-boiled egg, a banana, a slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, and a yogurt. Balanced snacks should have at least two food groups, such as cheese and crackers, cucumber slices and hummus, or dried fruit and nuts.
3. Stay hydrated
Fatigue is a common symptom of dehydration. If you’re thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated. Drinking water throughout the day is the best way to stay hydrated and prevent fatigue.
Fluid needs vary and depend on age, activity, medical history, and the weather. Most adults need 11-16 cups of fluid a day to stay adequately hydrated.
4. Limit energy-draining foods
When you go too long without eating, you may crave foods high in sugar and fat. Your body knows these foods are a quick source of energy. Unfortunately, that energy boost is short-lived and can leave you feeling even more drained just an hour later. Limit your consumption of sugary drinks and snacks to prevent the energy highs and lows.
5. Tune into your hunger
Food is fuel, and hunger is your body’s way of telling you it’s time to eat. Unfortunately, many people eat because they’re bored, sad, happy, or the food looks too good to pass up.
Instead of emotional eating, pay attention to the physical cues your body uses to let you know it’s time to eat. When you’re truly hungry, your stomach will growl, you may feel a bit shaky, and you may have trouble focusing.
You also need to recognize your fullness cues so you don’t overeat. You should stop eating when you feel satisfied or pleasantly full, not stuffed or uncomfortable.
And, while changing what you eat is one way to feel more energized, you also need to get enough sleep and stay physically active.
If you feel like fatigue is taking over your life, then it’s time to schedule a physical or annual checkup. Our primary care team can find the source of your fatigue and create a plan to help you get well. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with MS Family Medicine Health Care PC today.