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The key to energy management

As the cold settles in and the days get shorter, we all want to stay indoors and keep warm. This along with the demands of today’s hectic lifestyle, too few hours of quality sleep, poor eating habits, suboptimal diets and possible health conditions “having more energy” is high on many people’s list of goals during the winter months.

A well balanced diet is well-balanced a goodie, and one of many effective energy management strategies. Give the tips below a try and see how your energy levels change in the coming months (and beyond).

1. Invest in good nutrition


One of the kindest things you can do for yourself is to have a balanced diet and adequate amounts of vegetables and fruits to greatly improve your energy levels.

Other nutrients that are linked to fatigue when low include essential fatty acids, especially omega 3s, as these help with circulation.

Try including fatty fish at least twice a week or adding ground flaxseeds into you diet, which are high in omega 3s and 6s.

Other foods that can help include food high in iron, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin B. These can be found in lean meat, dark leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and whole grains.

2. Break the fast


We’ve all heard it: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A simple but powerful strategy.

Having a wholesome breakfast low in processed foods not only gives you lasting energy and keeps you satisfied until lunch, it can also set the path for a whole day of healthy eating.

Try to include wholegrain bread with nut butter, cereals with nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and yoghurt to help kickstart your morning.

3. Drop the coffee


Yes, caffeine does provide a perk when your energy levels start to dip, especially for those early morning starts and getting you through the afternoon.

However, there’s always the inevitable low afterwards. Don’t go cold turkey and give it up straightaway though, do it gradually and don’t be too harsh on yourself.

Swap your coffee for chamomile and dandelion herbal teas.

4. Choose snacks and drinks wisely


Processed snacks, energy bars and drinks are appealing in providing a quick fix.

However, as with coffee, although they provide a short-term boost, as the caffeine and sugar wears off, the body realises that it has nothing to use for energy, and this results in exhaustion and hunger.

Instead of reaching for the vending machine, keep wholesome low GI snacks such as yoghurt, fruit or a homemade fruit bran muffin on hand, which will provide a steady supply of energy and prevent energy crashes and overeating.

 

* This article is for the general interest of readers. Please consult your Accredited Practicing Dietitian or doctor for advice on your personal dietary requirements.

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