Here are a few tips to boost energy and increase productivity . If you need a little help keeping your eyes open a couple hours after lunch, or if you find yourself yawning by mid-morning, you're not alone. Low energy affects everything including motivation, mood, relationships and workplace performance. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do right now to help give your body the boost it needs to feel good all day long. Here are five simple tips to help get you going.
1) Cut Out Sugar
Cutting out sugar can't be over-stressed enough. Sugar is an energy-sucker and a glaring offender in the world of disease. Some of us might get a kick from eating a piece of candy or drinking a soda for a a short while, but in the end, sugary food will cause a crash. Most of us have a day's worth of sugar at breakfast alone. The roller coaster effect from those AM hours on is almost unstoppable. Fruit flavored yogurts, juices, jams, coffee drinks, energy drinks, pastries are all sources of heavy sugar. My suggestion is to cut these foods out. If you're really struggling with blood sugar ups and downs or stubborn belly fat, consider temporarily cutting out fruit until you get your energy levels evened out. Your body will still get plenty of sugar through the other carbohydrates that you eat, like vegetables. Read the nutrition facts on food labels. Aim of less than 12 grams of sugar per serving (just shy of 3 teaspoons of sugar). You might be surprised to see just how much sweet stuff you're eating in a day.
2) Drink Up Before You Eat
If you're not drinking enough water, you're cheating your body out of precious energy. In fact, slight dehydration between 3 to 5% can cause energy to drop more than 25%. If you're feeling a little groggy - like you can't think, dehydration could be the problem. Our brain is 85% water. If you're one of the majority of people who don't drink enough H2O, my suggestion is to drink a glass of water before every meal and snack. Drinking before you eat, as opposed to during or immediately after, improves digestion, too!
If you're regularly sleeping less than seven or eight hours every night, you're depriving your body of the rest it needs to repair and regenerate. A lack of sleep not only makes you feel more sluggish, but can affect your mood and metabolism as well. Get your body back on track by going to bed at the same time every night and waking at the same time in the morning.
Exercise, particularly high intensity interval exercise, works better than anything to boost your energy and enhance your mood. You don't have to workout long. In fact, I recommend that my clients focus on quality of workout over quantity. Long, easy workouts will never do what a short, intense workout can do. Here is a great workout that will boost your endorphins without taking up too much of your time.
5) Increase Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are often a rare find in my clients' diets. We all know that healthy foods are good, but the word "fat" is still closely associated with the same fat that accumulates around our bellies. They're not the same. In fact, healthy fats can actually help to regulate blood sugar levels, metabolism and provide consistent energy all day long. Every part of our body needs healthy fat, especially our brain. One type of fat that's lacking in our diet is omega 3 fatty acids. A handful of raw walnuts, rolled oats with ground flax seed or a fresh fillet of salmon are all great sources of omega 3s.
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