Are you finding that you experience that "afternoon crash" when your energy drops and you just fell like collapsing? Is the first thought that comes to your mind: I need to get some coffee? Having an extra shot of espresso in a cup of coffee is not the right solution.
Granted, few foods give you the kick that a cup of coffee, a can of cola or a sugary candy bar can. Getting an energy boost that can keep you going all day does not mean you have to sacrifice good nutrition. However, if you're watching your weight, the challenge is in finding foods that can not only give you a boost, but that are also good for you as well.
The goal in planning your daily diet is to focus on meals that are low in fat, high in fiber, contain protein and have complex carbs. This ensures a slow breakdown of sugars and regular energy throughout the day.
You must have breakfast. Even if you aren't particularly hungry, you should eat within four hours of waking. Having a good breakfast is the first and most important step in building up your energy stores to get through a busy day.
What you eat for breakfast should account for about 25 percent of the day's calories, so go for low-fat, high-fiber cereal and mild or a complex carb such as a bagel with juice. Avoid foods with a high level of simple sugars; the sudden energy boost will be quickly canceled out by a crash in energy later in the day.
Staying hydrated can also help. Drinking at least six glasses of water a day can keep you from feeling sluggish and tired. Thirst isn't the only side effect of dehydration. It can also leave you feeling lethargic, sickly, or even faint.
Though you may be drinking caffeinated beverages or drinks with high sugar content they aren't very good at hydrating you, and diuretics like coffee can even leave you even more dehydrated.
Snacks can also provide the body with the energy it needs. Just be sure to choose wholesome snacks rather than those loaded with sugar or fat. Go for fruit, a few baby carrots, some cheese or a handful of nuts, a glass of milk, a few whole grain crackers or even a low-fat granola bar.
Snacks that fit in your purse or can be stored in a desk drawer for easy access will ensure you get the quick boost you need when your energy starts to flag.
Natalie Angrisani, is a Vollara Certified Nutrition Coach for Essentials for Life, a whole-food, complete nutritional supplement system that addresses core daily nutritional supplementation needs with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flora, and enzymes. For more information, visit http://nataliezangrisani.com or contact Natalie at (760) 501-8350.