Do you find yourself dragging your feet around the office? If you’re lacking energy during the day, you may need to make some changes to your diet. Think about what you eat during your work day. Do you eat breakfast? Are you bringing snacks to work? Do you stop for a lunch break and eat something instead of diving into the office gossip? If you said no to even one of these, you have found a starting point for your lack of energy.
It is not just about how much you’re consuming, it’s about what you’re consuming. If you have a sausage roll for breakfast, a chocolate bar as a snack and chips for lunch; you are doing more harm than good. In order to create the greatest energy input, you need to eat the right types of food. It’s time to tweak your energy levels through a change in your diet.
The Importance of Food and Our Energy Levels
We are used to reaching for a coffee when we’re tired. Although this appears to be a quick fix, it is not beneficial for your body or mind. We need food in order to fuel our body. Without an input of food, we’ll be running on empty. We need energy to keep us focused and moving. Your organs need food to function as well (something you don’t stop to think about).
Our bodies are incredible, doing so much without you even having a conscious thought about it. When we ingest an item of food, the content is digested within our stomach. Glucose is produced from carbohydrates and are released into the bloodstream. The glucose is either used by our cells for immediate energy, or it is stored in our bodies for later. However, without insulin our bodies cannot utilize the energy. The insulin opens the cell doors for the sugar to get in, which is then converted to energy inside the cells. Without insulin, the sugar stays in the bloodstream (this is why diabetics have issues with their blood-sugar levels).
Healthy Food Choices
Food does produce energy, but you cannot treat one item of food the same as another. If you eat a chocolate bar, you will have a quick burst of energy. These simple, refined sugars will have you feeling like you want to sleep again in an hour. So what should you be choosing?
- You need to stick to more complex carbohydrates. They release energy slowly, which is much healthier and effective. If you have somewhere to heat up your food, bring some brown rice to work. Top your rice off with a variety of nutrient-rich vegetables. A dish of this nature will prevent you from passing out on your desk.
- Try to consume a sufficient amount of iron. Your body needs iron in order to distribute oxygen throughout the body. Dark, leafy greens are a great source of iron. Pack a spinach salad for lunch. You can spruce it up with some nuts for protein.
- Eat whole foods. Stay away from foods that contain twenty ingredients. Nothing you eat should have a long list of ingredients that you can’t understand. It’s all about choosing the right foods. What is the point in eating a processed fruit bar? Bring fresh fruit to work; your body will benefit.
- Choose protein rich foods. Protein is important for energy and brain function. Pack some nuts as a snack. Opt for nuts in their natural form; walnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.
Making Changes To Your Diet
We have established that your body physically needs food. We have also touched on the importance of the types of food you should be consuming. Now, let’s look at specific tips to boost energy through changes in your diet.
Swap out the sugarInstead of putting refined sugar in your coffee or tea, grab some honey. All natural honey is an energy boost from the bees. Many athletes consume honey because it aids worn muscles. It provides both instant and sustainable energy. You can’t lose with honey; great taste and excellent energy boosting capabilities.
Eat your breakfastStop making excuses and eat breakfast in the morning. It takes no time at all to grab some yogurt. Sprinkle some organic oats or granola on top; drizzle it with honey. If you like, you can take the fruit route. Stir some fresh berries into your yogurt. Your body has been using energy while you slept, you need to replenish yourself. Don’t attempt your work day without eating something in the morning. If you’re not used to eating breakfast, train yourself. Start by eating a banana on your commute. Once you start eating a full, balanced breakfast; you’ll wonder how you went without it before.
Switch it upYou may be thinking; I do eat healthy, I eat an apple everyday at lunch. Although this is great, you need variety. Different fruits offer different vitamins and benefits. Bananas are an excellent source of energy. Apples are as well, it’s just important to eat a mixture of fruits.
Fat isn’t the enemyThere are different types of fat. Our bodies need some good fat in order to function properly and sustain our energy levels. Antioxidants are so crucial, and without fats some antioxidants cannot be absorbed properly. Stick to healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Bring a fresh tuna sandwich to work, or place a salmon fillet on your salad.
The key message to take from this is to make sure you’re eating enough, as well as eating the right types of food. If you start making slight changes to your diet, you’ll begin to see a massive improvement. You will not only have more energy; you’ll feel better, have a higher level of concentration and be more productive. Food is everything, treat your mind and body right and you will be rewarded. Gaining energy isn’t magic. You have the tools, use them.