Do you feel drained at the end of the day? Ever experience the 3 PM energy crash? Eating well and staying hydrated can help you feel more fueled all day long. Here are a few tips that are easy to adopt and will help with those mid-morning or late afternoon energy slumps:
- Pace your food intake throughout the day. Having larger meals may leave you feeling sluggish especially if you find yourself sitting at a desk in the afternoon after lunch, so plan on having small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day.
- We know you’ve heard it before- and we’ll say it again- start the day with breakfast. Even if it’s something simple like whole grain toast and nut butter or a handful of trail mix and a piece of fresh fruit, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast eaters tend to feel less fatigued before lunchtime and have better memory in the early part of the day, so make time to start your day out right. Breakfast eaters are also more likely to make healthy decisions with their food choices later in the day, especially at lunch.
- Be mindful of how you eat, as much as what you eat. Avoid the zoned out eating mindless snacking in the car or dining in front of the TV. Try to take your lunch away from the distractions of work- your mind and body will appreciate the break, and you’ll feel more satisfied with your meal.
- Discover the whole grain advantage- whole grains contain more fiber and all of the grain’s original vitamins and minerals. This adds up to a more nutritious choice that will provide lasting energy between meals. To find crackers, pastas, and breads made from whole grains, look for the phrase “whole wheat” or “whole grain” in the first few ingredients on the label.
- Skip the sugar roller coaster- plan meals and snacks that have less added sugars. Food companies don’t have to list the amount of sugar that’s added to foods- it’s lumped with naturally containing sugars on the Nutrition Facts Label. If you’re concerned about how much of the total sugar in a product is from added sugars, check the ingredients label.
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Kat Brown MS RD RYT is a San Francisco Bay Area based Registered Dietitian and Yoga Teacher. As a nutrition counselor, writer, cook, and yogini she seeks to inspire others to nourish themselves and live balanced, fulfilled lives.