Overcome exhaustion and get your energy back so you can feel and perform your best.
Too many of us become weighed down by busy lifestyles that can zap energy levels. Here are the four main reasons why we lose energy: Poor diet, not enough sleep, lack of exercise and stress. This simple fatigue-fighting plan addresses all of the above and will help you keep your battery charged all day long.
Day 1: No Simple Carbs Before Noon
Many people start their day with simple carbs such as sugary cereals, baked goods or fattening coffee drinks like caramel lattes. The problem is, simple carbs give you a quick high, but then you crash quickly. You’ll feel very awake for an hour or two and then spend the rest of the day trying to regain your energy.
To avoid simple carb energy spikes, focus on having only protein for breakfast. Try a protein shake or have some eggs with turkey bacon. Just be careful not to overdo it with the sodium.
Day 2: Introduce High-Fiber, High-Protein Snacks
Endurance athletes are taught to eat and drink whenever they’re hungry or thirsty, a wise idea since otherwise the body can go into starvation mode, which actually slows metabolism and makes you feel tired. Healthy snacking keeps your blood sugar regulated so you’ll maintain energy levels and a healthy waistline. Fiber and protein are a winning combo since protein gives you energy and fiber helps make the energy last.
For a great mid-morning or afternoon snack, reach for dried peas; they’re crunchy and contain no sugar or fat like chips do. Put them in a plastic baggie and enjoy on the go (a quarter-cup provides three grams of fiber and six grams of protein). As an alternative, eat pistachios, a rich source of protein, antioxidants and other nutrients.
Next: Perk up with Dr. Oz's "Wakeup Water"Day 3: Take a Multivitamin for Energy
Multivitamins contain key nutrients to support overall health and keep your immune system strong so you can fight off illness. If you’re a pre-menopausal woman and/or still have your ovaries, you’ll want to take one with iron otherwise you no longer need this nutrient in supplement form. (You may want to discuss with your doctor.) Take a multi every morning that contains:
No more than 3500 IU vitamin A
No more than 30 IU vitamin E
And 100% daily value of other vitamins
Day 4: Get your Rest
Everyone’s goal should be to get seven to eight hours of restorative sleep. If you’re not getting this amount, try to manage your time better so you can carve out just an extra hour of shuteye. Habitual sleep loss by even one hour can lead to chronic drowsiness.
Day 5: Zero In on Hydration
Your body is a machine made up of two-thirds water. Since we are comprised of so much fluid, even slight dehydration can leave you feeling lethargic. Try Dr. Oz’s "Wakeup Water." Make a pitcher each day that contains:
8 cups water (to stay hydrated)
3/4 cup cooked pearl barley (contains iron to fight fatigue)
2 lemons (for antioxidants and vitamin C)
1/4 cup honey (to make it palatable and sweet)
To make the beverage: Add barley to boiling water and soak for 10 minutes. Strain and remove barley from the water. Add the juice of 2 lemons and a quarter cup of honey. Try bringing a portable pitcher with you to work. (You can save the cooked barley for dinnertime.)
Next: How being active can help you feel restedDay 6: Walk at Least 10 Minutes a Day
It may seem counterintuitive to walk when you feel tired, but physical activity actually increases your energy level for up to two hours. Walk the stairs at work, stroll on your lunch break— however you can squeeze it in. You can start with just ten minutes and try to work up to 30 minutes or even an hour per day. This will make a huge difference in your energy level as well as your overall sense of well-being.
Day 7: Beat Stress with Deep Breathing
Improve physical and mental activity by practicing deep breathing from your abdomen to get rid of stress. You can even do this while you’re getting in your daily walk.
Deep breathing exercise: Put your right hand over your stomach. Start by taking in a deep breath for 2 seconds. Then slowly breathe out for 4 seconds. Repeat for at least one minute until you feel rested.