Need more energy?

September 12, 2012 BY: LISA

It’s the age old question, “I’m tired all the time, how do I increase my energy levels?”While there really is no one magic bullet a healthy diet and exercise really helps. Once you are eating a healthy diet and starting to exercise then weight loss may occur and that is the first thing people say to me after weight loss is that they have more energy. Is it because of the weight lost or because of the new healthier lifestyle? Perhaps a bit of both, either way it not only means more energy but better health too.

Here are my 5+ top tips for increasing energy:

Eating breakfast: We know that those people who eat breakfast are more likely to achieve the recommended daily intake for vitamins and minerals, more likely to be able to maintain a healthy weight and also get the bonus of feeling energetic and being able to concentrate better than those who don’t eat breakfast. A recent study in Japan that was presented at the recent International Dietetics congress reported that those people who eat breakfast have a higher metabolic rate following the meal-this means you burn up the calories rather than store them.

Regular snacks: Eating regularly throughout a busy day can ensure that you keep your energy levels up. If you go for long periods of time without eating you end up being too hungry you are more likely to eat high sugar high fat snacks or make your meals too large. This can lead to being overfull and this does not make anyone feel energetic!

The right choice of snack is important too. Often people feel they will try and get an energy hit in the afternoon by eating a high sugar snack. High sugar foods have a high glycaemic index (GI); this means that when you eat them they give a high blood sugar response but over a very short period of time. This translates to energy that doesn’t stick around and leaves you feeling just as tired without giving you any useful nutrients.

When choosing your snacks go for something that is low glycaemic index (GI) so the energy it provides is going to stick around. Low GI snacks have a tendency to be healthy snacks so you get a double benefit of energy and good nutrition.

Try foods like:

  • Yoghurt
  • Grainy biscuit with avocado, spinach and tomato or hommus dip or peanut butter
  • Handful of nuts
  • Milk based drink
  • One slice of grain  or fruit bread

One trap people often fall into is eating to try and boost energy levels. It’s important to eat regular meals and snacks to keep energy levels up however you also need to take note of your appetite. If you are eating to get energy when you are really not hungry between meals, then all this will do is possibly increase your weight. One thing that people say when they are carrying extra weight is that they lack energy- it’s important to take note of your hunger levels.

B Group Vitamins:

The B group vitamins are essential to our body functions such as energy production and making red blood cells. Our body’s fuel to produce energy is obtained from carbohydrates, protein and fat with the assistance of the B group vitamins. So the vitamins are not the energy, the macronutrients- carbohydrates, protein and fat- are the energy.

B group vitamins are water soluble and easy to destroy in cooking and food processing. As such the more refined foods such as white flours, breads and rice are lower in these B vitamins than the whole grain varieties.

B Group vitamins are found in a large range of foods, another good reason to eat a variety of nutritious foods. Wholegrain bread and cereals, legumes, nuts seed s, meat, dairy, eggs, leafy greens all provide the B group vitamins.

Regular fluid intake: drinking plenty of fluids each day, particularly water, will help keep your body well hydrated. Headaches and constipation are two uncomfortable outcomes of not drinking enough fluids. Check out the colour of your urine- if it’s dark yellow you are not drinking enough. Ideally your urine should be very pale yellow, this indicates that the waste products passed out in your urine are well diluted and you are well hydrated.

Regular Exercise: Although right now after a pump class I am feeling exhausted I know that a good level of fitness will allow me to do more in a day without tiring. So many people say that if they start the day with exercise they feel invigorated and ready to go. Another thing exercise does is help you sleep more soundly and sleep is another really important factor is making sure you have enough energy. A good 7 hours sleep is also needed to help maintain a healthy body weight; if your sleep is continually disrupted over a long period of time it can interfere with hormones and metabolism.

If you have trouble putting these tips into place an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) can help implement a healthy diet and lifestyle which takes your busy life into consideration.

Good luck with the eat, play and rest! It’s the balance that makes it work.

Lisa Renn

Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)

 

 

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All enquiries, Lisa 0413 956 107 Appointments 1300 725 806