By Tawnie Kroll | krollskorner.com
If I had a penny for every time I have heard, “I’m so tired” I think I would be a millionaire! With today’s fast-paced lifestyles combined with too few hours of sleep and inconsistent eating habits, it is no wonder why many people feel bogged down. Additionally, preexisting health conditions and/or medical conditions can make this feeling of exhaustion or low energy even worse. People are craving more energy and most of the times not in the proper ways. Energy drinks or energy bars seem like the quick fix, but getting more sleep, exercising regularly, improving your diet and reducing stress are all factors that can help people fight fatigue and feel energized again! Stay energized this holiday season with these 5 tips.
1. Eat until you’re full, but not stuffed:
• With portion sizes these days being large enough for a family of 4 it is no surprise that people are overeating. Just as undereating can lead to fatigue, so can overeating. Eating too much puts the body in overdrive, requiring a large amount of energy to digest and absorb the large amounts of food consumed. Think of how you feel after your Thanksgiving meal. I feel like I want to curl up in a ball and sleep for 8 hours! This is most likely due to overeating, resulting in insulin overproduction and leaving too little sugar available for immediate energy, and finally resulting in extreme fatigue. Picture a gas tank and the meter is on empty. Instead of eating until your meter gets all the way to full, eat until about half way or ¾ full.
2. Eat every 3-4 hours:
• Eating something every 3-4 hours can help fuel your gas tank and maintain a healthy metabolism. Preventing in-between meal hunger a critical factor that could stop cravings, overeating or making poor food choices in general. Try to consume something high in fiber to keep you satisfied longer and in turn you will feel better and remain focused.d
3. Variety is key:
• Have you heard of MyPlate? If not, I recommend visiting ChooseMyPlate.gov. The MyPlate method is the new version of the food pyramid. It creates a great visual of the components we should keep in mind when consuming a meal: whole grains, lean protein, fiber rich fruits and vegetables and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Having a balanced meal will not only ensure a variety of nutrients in your diet, but also provide sustained energy.
4. Snack smart:
• It is almost natural for people to grab for vending machine type foods when hunger pangs kick in. Be more mindful of snacking smart! Combine a complex carbohydrate with protein and fat for lasting energy – the fiber, protein, and fat will slow down the release of glucose into the blood and help prevent energy crashes and overeating. Snack ideas: Small piece of fruit with 1 oz. walnuts, 6oz. yogurt with ¼ cup granola, 1 serving of crackers with 3 Tablespoons of hummus. Simply keep in mind snacks are not meant to fill your gas tank up, but to bridge the gap from meal to meal.
5. Ditch the junk:
• Ditch the sodas, Frappuccino’s, and energy drinks! These drinks typically provide a short-term boost but will most likely cause an energy crash. The caffeine will then wear off, leaving your body confused, hungry, and exhausted. Instead, reach for an herbal tea, naturally infused water, or fat-free or low-fat milk. Beverages are not the only culprit. Relying on highly processed foods will leave the body feeling sluggish and these foods will not give you the mental boost in energy your body needs. Refer to tip 3 and 4 for healthy snacking and getting a variety of nutrients!
Keep these 5 tips in mind not only this holiday season, but for maintaining a high-energy lifestyle!