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Getting More Energy From Your Diet

Posted on 03/17/2016

Energy is something most of us want more of and we often seek it in forms of caffeine as a quick fix, but that only last for so long before crashing. We need extra energy to tackle more of those daily duties, to finally start exercising, or simply more energy to play with our kids.

Well, did you know that the exact definition of a calorie is a unit of energy? So technically all foods give us energy, however it is important to eat healthy and to obtain healthy eating habits in order to stretch that energy to its max.

Below are 6 healthy eating tips that can do just that and with none of the caffeine jitters!

Eat Breakfast

Eat your breakfastYou already know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but maybe you didn’t know it’s the one key ways to maximize your daily energy. Overnight is basically a long fast, and your body is running on fumes when you wake up, therefore it’s important to get fuel first thing in the morning, ideally between 60 and 90 minutes of waking up. And aim for a balance of complex carbohydrates and protein for fuel.

Steer Away from the Sweets

There is nothing worse for energy than consuming a hefty amount of sugar. Sugar is immediately absorbed as glucose so you might get a quick burst of energy, but shortly thereafter there is an energy crash where a nap sounds a lot more inviting than getting anything done. 

Avoid Large Meals

Smaller, more frequent meals will help keep metabolism and energy up throughout the day. Eating one or two large meals per day requires a significant amount of energy focused on digestion of food, and less on other things. Energy levels often dip in the afternoon, so it’s a great time to add a small healthy snack to your routine like some fruit, a handful of nuts, or a combination of both as a trail mix. 

Don't Fear Carbs

Carbohydrates are not bad for you. Sure, a green salad with chicken is nice and healthy but that doesn’t translate to quick energy that we receive from carbohydrates. So at every meal include some fruit, a small piece of whole grain bread, or beans for some quickly released energy. 

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Avoid Rich Foods

Avoid large and heavy mealsFatty meals equal foggy brain. The heaviness and fat in meals decreases the oxygen available to the body to use for energy. So eat a lighter breakfast and lunch while at work, so that haze doesn’t set in after your break. 

Drink More Fluids

Dehydration is often confused as fatigue. Dehydration reduces blood flow to your organs, leaving you sluggish. Abide by the general fluid recommendation of drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of liquids such as water each day, and more if your urine is on the darker yellow side. 

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With the fast-paced 24/7 World we live in, we all need a little more energy to accomplish our daily activities and tasks. Eating mindfully and choosing foods wisely to maximize your energy sources can help you get more energy from your diet!

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post-author

Rene Ficek, RDN, CDE

Grew up in the food industry and took that love of healthy eating to earn her degree in nutrition. She has worked as a registered dietitian for 6 years and has been with SSHE since 2013, providing nutrition analysis and meal planning. Her special interests in weight management and diabetes, helps patients manage their weight and health conditions. She enjoys an active lifestyle, as well as time in the kitchen. Rene’s favorite SSHE meal is the Thai Noodle Salad.

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