3 Simple Tips to Increase Your Energy
We are so lucky to live in a world where food is so delicious, social and artistic that sometimes we forget that fundamentally, food is our fuel.
The biological process of USING fuel to make energy is pretty complicated, (if you are curious— I love this summary), but essentially— the food we eat is broken down and converted into a usable form of energy in our bodies— a lot of that energy gets used by organs like our brain and liver, and of course, by other metabolic processes via other organs and tissues.
We can make energy from glucose or ketones, if you are interested in learning more about my take on the keto diet, click here.
Today, I’d like to focus more generally, not on HOW our body creates energy, but WHAT we can do to support that energy making process so that we can feel the benefits.
1. PORTION CONTROL
This is key. Overeating is exhausting, we all know it. It takes a lot of energy to breakdown food.. so when we eat excessively, it uses excessive energy— and yup, we feel that physically. It can make afternoons pretty hard if we scarfed down a huge lunch.. cue coffee, right?
I have found, especially for those struggling with afternoon energy issues, that portion control can help immensely. Opt for a lighter lunch and keep tabs on how your afternoon energy levels change, it’s significant!
When having grains or starchy carbohydrates, watch your portion closely- remember a serving of rice, pasta, etc is 1/2 a cup of the cooked grain. Stay mindful of the amount and do your best to not over eat.
2. STAY HYDRATED
Dehydrated cells do not function optimally, which leaves you feeling slow and sluggish (like your thirsty cells).
If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated so stay on top of this throughout the day and hydrate respectfully. I often see people chugging huge amounts of liquid— are you the type that wakes up in the morning and stands over the sink and chugs a huge glass of water? Respect your kidneys, yo! Sip in moderation and give your cells the opportunity to properly absorb and actually use it.
3. FOCUS ON CLEAN FUEL WITH ABUNDANT MICRONUTRIENTS
In point 1, when I mentioned portion control, this has to do with balancing and watching your MACRONUTRIENTS (carbs, fats and proteins) but in this section, the focus falls on MICRONUTRIENTS (vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients) which can be found in rich sources in whole foods.
Your cells need certain micronutrients to function properly (along with water) and some of these nutrients, along with supporting proper cellular function, are needed to help trigger the chemical reactions involved in things like ENERGY PRODUCTION— a good example of this are the B Complex which are essential for proper breakdown of food and metabolism.
Micronutrients are required in almost all processes within our body and in some cases, help protect cells from damage and help ward off illness.
So to break it down simply, you want to make sure you are giving your cells the basic building blocks they need to create energy properly— QUALITY FUEL (nutrient dense whole foods), IN THE RIGHT AMOUNT and with enough HYDRATION that the cell is not operating in a stressed out state.
There are factors that contribute to cellular stress, inefficient energy production and issues with ongoing fatigue in the body, these can be things like an overload of toxins (environmental), infections, heavy metal toxicity, illness, hormonal imbalance and more. I won’t be diving into these issues much today, but if you suspect you have an underlying issue contributing to your fatigue, implementing the simple tips above and being consistent with them are a very straightforward and effective place to start improving your energy on all levels!
If you are wondering if stress or hormones are a factor behind your energy issues day to day, click here to take my free Adrenal Fatigue Quiz to gain some clarity.