A balanced high energy diet can help you, fight fatigue, and improve energy efficiency.
Trying to get through life with chronically low energy levels is no fun. Waking up in the morning feeling as tired as before you went to bed, drinking back-to-back coffees just to cope with the working day and skipping the gym because you’re ‘just too tired’ is an all too familiar pattern for many people. For
Disclaimer: Low energy levels can be a sign of many medical
The Role of Blood Sugar Levels
Riding the waves of carbohydrate or sugar-rich diet is like taking a trip on a roller coaster. For some, it could start as early as when you first wake up. For me it was usually after that lunch slump I would start indulging on the feel good for an hour sugar wave.
If you wake up feeling tired in the morning some may opt to start with a high carbohydrate cereal. Many of these are marketed as healthy so you could think that you are doing yourself a favour when in fact you’re unknowingly contributing to your fatigue, or food coma I like to call it!
Your morning coffee could be the stimulating mask that hides the effects of your breakfast peaking and dropping the blood sugars.
With my first pregnancy I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. The doctors recommended that I introduced more carbohydrates into my diet which I found to be an oxymoron.
It was a great learning experience for me as it taught me how to incorporate healthy carbohydrates into a balanced diet. Can you believe I actually lost weight, ate more and felt more full! Who would have known.
Eating every 2-3 hours kept by blood sugars at a consistant level which avoided the peaks and troughs. What I also learned is that when you don’t eat for a few hours it acutally increases the glucose in your blood! So do yourself a favour and eat that snack!
Understanding Nutritional Balance
The major lesson I learned working with doctors and nutritionists is that we need to consume a healthy balance of macronutrients. This means a healthy consumption of proteins, carbohydrates
According to Livestrong, the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) is between 45-65% carbs, 20-35% fats
On my diabetic diet I am to consume 30 grams of carbohydrates for breakfast and lunch and 45 for dinner. Snacks are 15 grams of carbohydrates. I would add a good amount of protein and healthy fats to these meals to keep my feeling full and to increase the daily amount of micronutrients I was intaking.
Micronutrients include those many vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients
Increasing Protein and Nutrient Levels
Now that we’ve looked at what you need to look at in your diet, it’s time to look at how you can bump up your protein, include healthy fats, carbohydrates
Simply switching your morning cereal or toast for a boiled egg can help. Here are a few of my personal favourite breakfast options that have been working well for me!
My breakfast list of energy giving foods:
#1 Greek Yogurt and Berries
I love my morning breakfast of Greek Yogurt and Berries! It tastes great, is good on my blood sugar levels and keeps me full!
1 x Cup Greek Yogurt: 17g Protein, 7g Carbs, Fat 0.
1 x Cup of Mixed Berries (I use Kirkland from Costco) Protein 1g, Carb 15g, Fat 1g.
I incorporate 1 x Cup of Greek Yogurt (I use one from Aldi nothing too fancy). At first I was using the regualar greek yogurt. When I got more savvy with the labels I switched to the low fat version because it had a higher protein count and lower carbohydrate count.
1 x Cup of mixed berries. These are Blueberries, B
A few of my other favorite breakfast options are:
Wholemeal toast with eggs and advacado. Just make sure you check the carbohydrate count on your bread as there are huge ranges in the carb count. Some are 11g while others are 30.
Protein shakes: Yes I do love a good protein shake. Why?
My lunch list of energy giving foods:
Whole wheat sandwich with lean protein.
2 slices of whole wheat bread.
I love tuna so I use a can of sandwich tuna. I do love the natural oils. You can opt for chicken, roast beef or turkey.
Lettuce, Tomato, Alfalfa, Advocado and Cheese.
You can also add 1 cup of mixed berries on the side or a small apple.
Other lunch options include:
Chefs salad with whole meal bread on the side or 1oz of pepperidge farm wheat snack sticks.
My greek yogurt and berry recipe from above.
My dinner list of energy giving foods:
Salmon, 2/3 cup of rice, 1/2 cup of cooked carrots, 1 cup of broccoli, 1 peach. 489 calories and 56 grams of carbohydrates.
4oz chicken breast, 1 medium baked potato, 2 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 cup of broccoli. 45 carbohydrates. For a busy schedule, I like to simply pick up a charcoal chicken or if you are from the United States a rotisserie chicken. Then you can always use the
My snack list for a high energy diet!
Option #1: 6 Saltine crackers, 1oz of cheddar cheese and a handful of grapes. 163 calories and 22g of carbohydrates.
Option #2: 1 cup of strawberries, 1/2 cup of
Option #3: 3 Tbsp of hummus, 1 celery stalk, 1.2oz of a pita pocket, 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries. 212 calories and 31g of carbohydrates.
Option #4: 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 small apple and 3 cups of popcorn.
Option #5: 1/2 banana, 2 table spoons of nuts, 1/2 cup of greek yogurt.
Still Need an Energy Boost?
Increasing your protein consumption and topping up on micronutrients will ensure all of the building blocks are there for a healthy lifestyle.
With reduced cravings (due to normalized blood sugars) you will also find it easier to gradually drop those comfort foods from your life.
Tip #1: Feed your energy levels by ensuring you are getting enough sleep! I always aim for 8 hours a day!
Tip #2: Make sure you are drinking plenty of water! Fill that water bottle up and keep it with you at all times.
Tip #3: Get out and move your body. The rule of inertia means that if you are sitting at a desk job all day you are more than likely to not want to get up and move that body of yours. Take the stairs, go for a walk in your lunch break or work on a hobby that involves moving your body. When you do something you love it is never a chore.
On the whole though, following all of the previous advice should ensure you have spare energy to burn on most days. Stick to your balanced diet and you should find you have a consistent stream of energy throughout the day – no more ups and downs!
I hope you enjoyed my advice on incorporating a high energy diet into your lifestyle. Which healthy foods list did you like best? My favorite
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