Don’t let a lack of energy be the downfall of your diet
Ever give up on a diet because it left you feeling drained and sluggish? You’re not alone. Lack of energy is a common complaint from dieters. And if you’re feeling zapped, how will you have the strength to exercise or stay committed to the diet?
Unfortunately, certain diet plans set the stage for fatigue. You either don’t eat enough calories for energy or you don’t eat the right kind of calories for lasting energy.
Follow these dieting tips to maximize your energy.
Eat Healthy Carbs
Many diet plans are based on reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat. Though these diets can help you lose a few pounds quickly, carbs give your body energy. Don’t get enough of them, and you’ll likely feel dragged out and drained. Carbs should account for around half of your total calories each day.
For someone on a 2000-calorie diet, this would be around 275 grams of carbohydrates. The Atkins diet limits carb intake to 20 grams daily, and the Zone diet lowers the daily amount of carbs to 40 percent of your daily calories.
If you’re on a carb-restricting diet, make sure you’re getting energy from nutrient-rich foods such as eggs, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and high-fiber foods like nuts and apples. Without enough energy, your body may not get adequate nutrition and your blood sugar may drop too low. Concerned with the dangers of restricting carbs? Talk with your doctor.
Get Essential Nutrients
A lack of energy may be due to a lack of essential vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal function. If you’re skimping on meals and snacks, you may be low on magnesium, B vitamins, or omega-3 fatty acids. Get at least 400 milligrams a day of magnesium. This mineral is found in leafy greens, whole grains, or peanut butter.
B vitamins play an important role in the way your body uses energy. Get these vitamins from fish, meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, green vegetables, or fortified grains.
Omega-3 fatty acids help regulate your metabolism and increase your energy. Found in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and mackerel), walnuts, and leafy greens, omega-3s help improve your mood, energy level, and memory.
The bottom line is that if you’re restricting the number of calories you eat, you’ve got to make sure you’re eating nutrient-dense foods. No more processed, fried, or refined foods. And take a supplement if needed.
Drink Enough Fluids
One reason many people feel drained is because they are drained…of fluids. Dehydration makes you feel sluggish. If your organs aren’t receiving enough blood flow they can’t do their jobs properly. Keep up your energy by drinking water throughout the day. You’ll know you’re getting enough fluids if your urine is clear to pale yellow. Skip high-calorie or sugar-filled liquids and drink water or unsweetened green tea.
Eat Breakfast and Snacks
Don’t think that by skipping breakfast you’re doing your waistline a favor. Quite the contrary. Eating a healthy breakfast jump starts your metabolism for the day and gives you energy for the day.
Many people can’t make it until the next meal without feeling sluggish. The right kind of snack keeps your blood sugar regulated and helps you make it until dinner. Combine complex carbs, protein, and fat for lasting energy and a satisfied stomach. Try nuts with dried fruit, yogurt with granola, or whole-grain chips and salsa.
Get Enough Exercise
You may not feel like exercising, but it may be just what you need to improve your energy level. If you’re on a low-carb diet, resistance training may be your best option for successful weight loss. Be sure to get at least 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activity.
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