Nourishing food is the fuel that helps you stay energized in your day-to-day. Stay consistent with these few simple tips and get the most out of your day.
As the day is winding down, for many, so is their energy. Many are either under-rested, over-worked, under-nourished, or overstuffed. This unbalanced approach to rest, nutrition, and movement leaves us barely able to get through to 5pm on Friday.
Does it really need to be this way?
Here’s the thing – you are in control of what you put into your body. So while some things maybe out of your control, such as how long you are at work or what the traffic is like, how you choose to fuel your body to make it through the day is 100% in your control if you choose. In other words, what you eat can change how you feel, and impacts your brain, mood, gut, and energy levels.
Ever enjoyed delicious pizza for lunch only to find you can’t keep your eyes open at 3pm? Maybe you love your morning bagel but find yourself craving carbs to bring you “back up” at lunch time. This, my friends, is a great example of food impacting your energy. Eating in a way that supports stable blood sugar and a variety of nutrients throughout the day is one of the easiest ways to stop your mid-morning slump and afternoon crash.
Here are a few rule-of-thumb tips to keep in mind:
1. Eat every 3-4 hours.
For most people, this is usually three meals with snacks in-between. Don’t be scared to eat. If you are hungry, honor it. Snacks can help sustain the energy you need in between meals.
2. Balance each meal.
We can’t be perfect, it’s impossible. What we can do is strive to create a balanced, nutrient-dense meal whenever we can! Your body’s metabolism relies on a balance of different nutrients in order to run efficiently and produce energy. Going overboard (or even restricting) with any one food group or macronutrient won’t help in that regard, so aim to have a balance of different foods. Focus on what you enjoy from each group, and include a starchy carbohydrate (potato or grain), a low density carbohydrate (fruit or veg or both), a protein source, and a healthy fat.
3. More, is more.
Honor your cravings, stop restricting, and let yourself enjoy food. While you won’t be able to eat a perfectly balanced meal every time, that’s OK. Give yourself the permission to enjoy the flexibility and variety of your foods, and know that how you eat impacts you over weeks or months, not meal-to-meal or day-to-day. After all, we have events, holidays, and social outings to attend – it is part of what makes life so great! So relax, and enjoy your time and the food. The instant you tell yourself “no” your body and actions will say “yes”. Relax, go slow, and tune in to what your body is asking for.
Consistency is key, and no meal or day can make or break you.
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: BROOKE LARK
Courtney Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian based in Baltimore, MD with a passion for helping individuals reach their health and wellness through flavorful whole foods and freedom from counting calories, fat, and minutes on a treadmill. For more insightful tips on living your healthiest life, visit Courtney at the RealFoodCourt.