Eating the right foods at the right time is crucial when it comes to fueling our bodies. Our bodies need the right mix of nutrients at the right time to function properly. We need to be able to digest food well in order to absorb as many nutrients as possible. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can make a dramatic difference in your overall energy levels. At the most basic level, eating better means eating more fruits and vegetables, while limiting your intake of sugar, saturated and trans fats, and processed foods. Beyond what we eat, our sleep habits and stress levels also affect our energy levels.
But you shouldn’t feel like you have to completely overhaul your diet or your life to get more energy. In fact, you probably have more energy than you realize.
Here are some quick tips on how small changes to your diet, sleep patterns, and stress levels can help you get more out of your day:
- Never skip breakfast: Research suggests that people who skip breakfast are less productive and more likely to get diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day: The stomach can only absorb so much at one time. Eating smaller meals throughout the day allows your body to absorb nutrients efficiently.
- Eat more protein. Protein contains amino acids, which your body converts to glucose. This stabilizes your blood sugar, which helps keep energy levels steady.
Plus, protein fills you up, so you won’t feel hungry between meals.
- Next, focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods. That means, instead of buying a bag or carton of frozen vegetables, opt for the fresh stuff — it’s cheaper and won’t require as much work to cook. And if cooking is too much effort, try frozen veggies instead.
- Eat less sugar, trans fats, and saturated fats. Foods with added sugars, trans fats, and saturated fats have low nutritional value, which means your body has to work harder to process and digest them. As your body works harder, your energy levels decrease, leading to fatigue.