Feeling tired all the time? Can't seem to get yourself going in the morning and desperate to flop into bed at night? Follow these few simple tweaks to your daily eating habits and double your energy levels in just five days!
Eat at least two low GI meals a day
Many of the
carbohydrate based foods that we eat on a daily basis such as breads,
pasta, rice, cereals, cakes and biscuits are highly processed, refined
and lacking in their natural fibre therefore, once eaten, they are
broken down very quickly causing our blood sugars to surge. These
surges are followed by a sudden drop leaving us feeling tired, lethargic
and lacking in concentration.
Research shows that swapping
fast releasing, high GI, foods for lower GI alternatives such as
wholegrain cereals, rye bread, wild or basmati rice, beans, pulses and
fresh fruit and vegetables is an excellent way to significantly increase
your energy. This is because they are packed with energy boosting B
vitamins and they also release their sugars into your blood stream at a
more constant pace throughout the day.
Iron out deficiencies
Approximately 40% of women in Britain have an inadequate intake of iron and if you are one of them you may find yourself barely able to lift one foot in front of the other, feeling permanently lethargic, grumpy, lacking in motivation and concentration. Eating more iron-rich foods is one of the most significant energy-boosting moves you can make. This is because iron is essential in transporting oxygen via red blood cells to wherever it's needed in the body and without oxygen it's impossible to create energy.
Good sources of iron include liver, lean red meats, oysters, clams, tuna, salmon, beans, lentils and green leafy vegetables.
To maximise your ability to absorb iron from foods it's a good idea to eat foods rich in Vitamin C and Iron within the same meal such as a glass of fresh orange juice with your iron fortified breakfast cereal or adding tinned tomatoes to beef mince when making chilli or bolognaise.
Cut back on fatty foods
Gram for gram, fat contains more than double the amount of energy provided by protein or carbohydrates. Therefore, it may seem logical that a high fat diet should actual increase our energy levels. However, research shows the reverse to be true. This is because a diet rich in fat inhibits the body's natural ability to burn oxygen and therefore results in us feeling sluggish and lethargic.
Graze don't gorge
A skimpy breakfast, a hurried lunch, and a huge evening feast is about the least energy-efficient eating schedule imaginable. Instead, eat a good sized breakfast, a moderate lunch and supper and add in a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack such as a piece of fruit or a handful of mixed nuts and seeds. Eating little and often is a great way to prevent tiredness as it provides your body with energy as and when it needs it throughout the day.
Getting active may be the last thing you feel like doing when you're tired and rung out but the phrase 'energy makes energy' really is true. This is because, the fitter your are the more efficient your heart and lungs will be at getting oxygen into and around your body — and the more oxygen you can take in and utilise the more energy you can create so do some form of cardiovascular exercise whether it's cycling, dancing, swimming, running or walking for at least 30 minutes five times a week.
Drink at least two litres of water every day
Strong tea, coffee and alcohol will not only impair your body's ability to sleep and absorb essential energy producing vitamins and minerals but they may leave you dehydrated too. Dehydration results in reduced blood volume which ultimately means your ability to transport all the essential ingredients for energy such as blood sugars (glucose), iron, and oxygen around your body is greatly reduced leaving you feeling tired, heavy and apathetic.