We all know the feeling after eating a big meal: full-bellied and a little less lively. But what about the days when you need energy, when you have to work all day or have various tasks to complete? You can get into a better lifestyle to have long-lasting energy and enjoy improved mental focus and clarity by eating the right kinds of foods. Let’s explore the connection between what we eat and how much energy and mental agility we have throughout our day.
1. Recharge Your Body with Nutritious Energizing Foods
A healthy and nutritious diet is the key to having the energy to face your day. When you load up on the right foods with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, your body feels energized, alert, and focused. Here’s your guide to creating meals and snacks that will charge up your body and keep you going!
- Organic free-range eggs
- Organic, grass-fed or wild-caught proteins, such as beef, salmon, and turkey
- Legumes such as lentils and chickpeas
- Organic tofu
- Organic, grass-fed dairy products such as yogurt
- Nuts and seeds
Protein is essential in your diet as it not only acts as a slow-releasing energy source, helping to prevent the often inevitable mid-afternoon slump, but it also helps to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
- Whole grain breads and wraps
- Brown rice, quinoa, and amaranth
- Oats, spelt, barley, and buckwheat
Whole grains are rich in carbohydrates, and provide an important source of long-lasting energy. Carbs are an important part of the diet, especially when combined with protein because it provides slow-releasing energy.
- Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and arugula
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower
- Sweet potatoes and squash
- Berries and other fruits such as apples and pears
These nutrient-dense foods are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re also packed with fibre, which is essential for digestive health. And because they’re full of antioxidants, they can help to reduce inflammation in the body and give you an energy boost.
2. The Role of Healthy Eating in Daily Energy Levels
Consuming a balanced diet is essential for supplying the body with necessary energy to fuel our daily activities. Healthy eating is especially important for maintaining sustained energy throughout the day. Here, we explore the role of healthy eating and how it contributes to daily energy levels.
What is Considered a Balanced Diet? A balanced diet incorporates a variety of foods from the following five main food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy.
Each food group supplies the body with different types of essential nutrients that work together to provide energy. For example, carbohydrates, which are found in fruits, grains, and vegetables, provide the body with the glucose necessary for energy production. On the other hand, proteins, which are found in meat, eggs, and dairy products, help provide lasting energy during longer periods of time.
The Benefits of Eating Healthy Foods When the body receives the right nutrients in the proper proportions, it’s able to use these components to produce energy and perform efficiently. Additionally, consuming a balanced diet can help reduce energy swings caused by eating processed foods high in sugar. Eating healthy also helps keep you full for longer periods of time, minimizing hunger and cravings.
- Healthy fibers (found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) slow down the absorption of glucose
- Essential fats (found in fatty fish, chia seeds, and nuts) help balance hormones, which influences energy
- Vitamins and minerals (found in bell peppers, spinach, and broccoli) play an important role in converting food into energy
So, when it comes to improving your daily energy levels, it is important to focus on not only what you eat, but also when you eat it. Eating small balanced meals roughly every three to four hours is beneficial, as it maintains enough glucose stores to produce energy throughout the day.
3. Putting Together a Meal Plan to Keep You Going All Day Long
Having a solid meal plan in place can help you tackle the day with energy. It’s important to have the right combinations of foods to provide the energy and nutrition your body needs throughout the day. Here are some tips for putting together a meal plan:
- Choose nutrient-rich foods: Pick items that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats like fruits, nuts, and seeds.
- Balance macronutrients: Include proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats in all meals and snacks for sustained energy.
- Include recipes you’ll want to eat: Make sure you’re excited about the meal plan and that these are meals and snacks you’ll actually enjoy eating.
When you have a meal plan in place, it’s beneficial to batch cook to save time. It can be a game changer for busy people. Make sure you have the kitchen tools you need to make meal prepping easier such as a food processor, crockpot, and storage containers. Start your meal plan with breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then add snacks throughout the day.
For breakfast, aim for a combination of carbs for energy, and protein and healthy fat for satiety. Eggs, oatmeal, or smoothies are all great choices that can be enjoyed every day or rotated periodically. For lunch and dinner, try including a combination of lean proteins, complex carbs, and vegetables. Soups, salads, stir-fry’s, casserole dishes, or even make-your-own wraps are great lunch and dinner recipes. When planning snacks, consider adding a quick mix of protein and fiber like yogurt and nuts or hummus and veggies.
With the right meal plan, you will have the energy to make it through the day. Varying your meals, choosing the right food combinations, and adding in some of your favorite recipes will help you stay motivated to stick with your plan.
4. Making Healthy Eating Part of Your Everyday Life
You don’t need to go drastic or embrace the latest fad diets to be healthier. You can make some simple changes to your life and watch the difference it makes to your health. Here’s how to start eating healthily and make it part of your everyday life:
- Plan your meals. Planning ahead is the easiest way to maintain a healthy diet. Set aside a few minutes each week to plan what you’ll eat and when. This way, you can shop for the right ingredients and manage your portion sizes to avoid overeating or snacking on unhealthy meals.
- Eat the right balance of food. Eating a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables will keep you energised and help maintain your bodyweight. Ideally, you should aim for at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to stay healthy.
- Don’t completely cut out treats. Cutting out unhealthy foods completely can make it harder to stick to a healthy diet. So rather than cutting out biscuits, cakes and other favourites completely, try to limit them to one small treat per week.
- Be mindful of your portion sizes. If you think you are likely to overeat, using smaller plates and bowl can be a great way to reduce the size of your portions. You should also try to slow down when eating, listening to your body’s signs of fullness.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated with water or sugar-free drinks can help you feel better and concentrate more if you’re feeling tired or lethargic. An easy way to tell if you’re drinking enough is checking the colour of your urine – it should be a pale straw colour.
Making the switch to healthier eating isn’t always easy, but it’s possible. With the right tools, an understanding of portion sizes, and a little willpower, soon you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier self.
One of the most important habits of living a healthy life is eating balanced and nourishing foods that provide the body and mind with energy. When your diet is focused on selecting foods that work together to give you energy, you can start living life the way it’s meant to be – with energy and vitality! Now it’s up to you to find out which foods work best for you. When you do, the results will be worth the effort.
Remember, healthy eating is an investment in yourself. Eating for energy will help you to unlock your fullest potential, and show how true it is that “you are what you eat”!