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Eating for Energy

I like to put a reminder out there every now and then that diets should not be complicated!

We should be eating for energy, to feel good, support our bodies and maintain the muscle we need to keep us healthy.

When I first meet a lot of our members one thing they always tell me is they need MORE ENERGY!!

So here are some tips to help find that extra power for your day!

  1. Breakfast!  I am sure some of you are rolling your eyes, but truly it is important to start your day with a well rounded (protein, carbs, fats) breakfast!This helps get your metabolism going and will provide energy till your next meal.Protein in the morning helps with brain function and can help taper cravings later in the day.  Healthy fats are good for your heart and provide a sustained energy release over a longer period of time.
  2. Carbs! I love carbs, who doesn’t?And I wouldn’t ever tell you NOT to eat them.  WHY?They are a main source of energy and when you eat the right ones, they will help to fuel your workouts too.Did you know there are 2 types of carbohydrates?   Simple and complex.Simple carbs break down fast and while they can give you a quick rush of energy, they also usually lead to a big crash (sugary foods).While complex carbs take longer to digest and provide more consistent energy over a long period of time (whole grains, fruits).
  3. Protein! Protein repairs tissues in your body which maintains energy.That run down feeling may be from lack of protein, as low protein can lead to slower processes in the body.How much is the right amount?  A general rule of thumb is approximately 1g of protein for every 2lbs of body weight.  When you are training or trying to lose weight, this estimate may be a little higher.
  4. 3 Square meals! Another cliché, sorry!Splitting up your meals across the day can also help regulate your energy.Often eating 3-6 smaller meals or less meals with small snacks in between, can help you feel less fatigued.  You will not only have a more consistent energy source from food, but your body will not have to work as hard to digest a larger meal.I am sure if you think to a time when you have eaten a large meal, you feel like you need a nap afterwards?That’s because your body is working overtime to try to digest the excess intake.Last but not least….
  5. Get moving! OK this one doesn’t have to do with eating, but it is important.  Ever hear the saying, a body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest?  Yes?  We all have the power of choice – and that means choice to get moving.According to Toni Golen, M.D., and Hope Ricciotti, M.D. – Editors in Chief, Harvard Women’s Health Watch “moving more can help give you more energy, through several mechanisms.To begin with, cellular-level changes occur inside your body when you exercise.Exertion spurs your body to produce more mitochondria inside your muscle cells. Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of cells, because they create fuel out of glucose from the food you eat and oxygen from the air you breathe.

Having more of them increases your body’s energy supply.

Exercising also boosts oxygen circulation inside your body. This increase in oxygen not only supports the mitochondria’s energy production, it allows your body to function better and to use its energy more efficiently.

Plus, your body gets a boost from an exercise-induced increase in hormone levels that makes you feel more energized.

In addition to helping your body create and use energy, regular exercise promotes better nighttime sleep.

Deep sleep is crucial to your overall health and to feeling well rested and energetic when you wake up in the morning.”

There we have it… some simple tips for more energy.