It’s the end of the day, you’re sitting on the couch feeling EXHAUSTED. You haven't done much activity but its been a stressful day with work and running the kids around. You have 5 more things on your to do list but you just can’t muster up the energy. How are we supposed to keep our energy levels up?
Let’s dive into where energy comes from first.
Our energy sources come from food itself, if we aren’t getting enough in, our bodies will feel tired and make changes in order to conserve enough energy for basic function. All food has energy, carbs 4 cals/g, Pro 4 cals/g, fat 9 cal/g and alcohol 7 cal/g. Fat is more energy dense than other sources of energy, meaning that it provides more energy for our bodies in a small package. Calorie simply is a measurement of energy within food.
So, how do we increase our energy? We can increase our energy by looking at different areas of our lives:
Carbohydrate intake is important, the brain's primary energy source as well as muscles, needed within the body, 40-60% of total intake should be from carbs overall. If we don’t get enough in, our bodies can make carbs from fat and protein through a process called gluconeogenesis
Sleep is HUGE. A recent study showed that proper sleep is NECESSARY for weight loss, we should be in bed for 8 hours a night at least, trying to get 8-9 hours of sleep.
Stress Management, Stress (physical or physiological stress) manifests in the body the same way, causing cortisol levels to elevate (that fight or flight feeling) and digestion to be slowed down, carb stores are secreted as well to keep your body in a fed state to not trigger hunger. This is why stressed populations and those not eating enough usually don’t feel hunger, as their bodies are trying to keep them alive. Our fat cells are also not secreting ghrelin or leptin to tell us if we are hungry or full either.
Water is needed for every reaction that happens within the body, if we aren’t getting enough water in, we can also feel tired and lethargic, dry, foggy
Deep breathing exercises (flutter lips, alternate nostril breathing)
Exercise is going to help with energy, best done in the AM if you have time due to the elevated HR and BP through the rest of the day to keep you going
Fresh air can also help to boost energy, so get outside!
Remember, we are supposed to be tired at the end of the day, we are supposed to be ready for bed, but we shouldn’t be falling asleep or struggling to keep going in the midafternoon.
Variety with our nutrients is also vitally important with our food. If we aren’t getting in a variety of nutrients, like making sure you’ve got a carb, protein and color on your plate, we may have a harder time with keeping our energy up.
How is your energy doing? Are there days that you feel like you’re struggling?