It seems like modern life is focused on go, go, go yet so many of us battle fatigue. If you’re drooping at your desk by 2 PM or wonder how you can get out of bed in the morning, you’ll want to take notice of these energy zappers. I’m sharing how to stop feeling tired and reclaim your energy!
You probably already know that excessive sugar consumption is bad for you. Maybe you already avoid desserts but you might not realize how much sugar is in your daily latte or other processed foods. It’s easy to get more than the recommended amount of sugar simply by eating out or small indulgences.
There’s a reason sugar is first on the list of how to stop feeling tired. Unfortunately, when you eat an overabundance of sugar, you’re likely to crash. Sugar may boost your energy momentarily, but pretty soon you’ll feel the negative effect. When you eat sugar-laden foods, your blood sugar rises quickly, triggering your body to respond by releasing insulin from the pancreas. Insulin drops the blood sugar back down, leaving you feeling sleepy and lethargic.
You can even crave sugar again once you’ve crashed as your body wants to re-balance!
WHAT TO DO?
The best thing to do is reduce your overall sugar intake. Consider the foods and drinks you consume that have the most added sugar and substitutes you can make. If you love iced tea or coffee from your local coffee shop, make sure to ask for it with no added sweetener. If you are craving a cookie or cake, substitute a piece of fruit instead. Fruit has natural sugar, so it will give you a boost, but it comes along with the added benefits of nutrients and fiber as well. Try not to drink sugary drinks, including fruit juices, as these can lead to a crash.
2. Empty Eating
Are you an empty eater? This is when we intake calories that have little to no nutritional value. As I pointed out above, eating a piece of fruit is preferable to eating a cookie. Fruits and vegetables have many nutritional benefits that packaged foods simply don’t have.
When I say empty, I mean nothing of value. You can probably guess which foods are empty: fast food, pastries, sodas, sugary cereal, ice cream, etc. You get no vitamins or minerals when you eat these foods, just the extra pounds that they leave behind!
When you choose processed foods like chips, candies, and cookies, you are giving your body solid fats and added sugars. A solid fat is a fat that stays solid at room temperature. So while olive oil is liquid at room temperature, butter and shortening are solid. Sugar can be disguised under many, many names including high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, barley malt, and rice syrup. You may find yourself eating products with several different types of added sugar! While they may taste good in the short-term, in the long-term they can lead to nutritional deficiencies and weight gain.
When you eat these types of foods and neglect giving your body life-giving nutrients, you can feel tired and run down. We need to be properly nourished to thrive.
WHAT TO DO?
I add greens, healthy fats (like avocado), protein, and fiber to my diet to ensure I am getting everything I need. I’m a big fan of Kelly Leveques “Fab 4” that gives you the nutrients your body needs while elongating the blood sugar curve to help avoid mindless snacking.
Many people only drink water when they are thirsty, but the reality is your body may need water long before you realize it. You may not think that water would factor into a blog post about how to stop feeling tired, but it’s vital to our health. Even mild dehydration can have a negative effect on your energy level, mood, and reasoning skills.
When your body is dehydrated, your brain cells struggle to communicate. Your blood pressure can lower, which slows the flow of nutrients and oxygen to your tissues.
WHAT TO DO?
Drinking water is very important to your overall health. Let me say it again: drinking water is very important. Be conscious of how much water you are drinking every day (not just taking a sip when you’re thirsty!). Keep a filled water bottle nearby at all times to encourage consistent water intake.
Do you sit at work all day? Or flop on the couch the moment you get home? Sometimes our tiredness leads us to shy away from activities. But the problem is that lack of exercise can make us more tired!
Inactivity can lead to weakened muscles, which use energy inefficiently. Conversely, stronger muscles are more efficient at conserving energy at the cellular level. Physical activity provides your cells with more energy.
Inactivity has a profound effect on our insides and outsides. All of our internal organs benefit from regular exercise.
WHAT TO DO?
As you all know, yoga is essential to my daily routine and I recommend this practice to everyone. Your body needs activity! Aim for 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week. Depending on your level of fitness, this can include yoga, walking, swimming (a low-impact option), running, group workouts, or other activities. The important thing is that you move. If you’re wondering how to stop feeling tired, you’ll appreciate over time the difference in your muscles and energy level.
5. Chronic Stress
In our modern life, it can be the norm to be constantly on the go with a mile-long to-do list. However, that doesn’t mean it is good for us. Continuous stress from a packed schedule, work, difficult relationships, and other factors can lead to mental and physical side effects.
Chronic stress can cause a variety of issues, including fatigue. If you find yourself rushing from one place to the next or frantic about a work project, that is having a real toll on your health.
WHAT TO DO?
It is crucial for you to take care of yourself. Self-care is more than just #treatyourself. I am not talking about splurging on a pair of shoes or an ice cream cone. It’s important to take the time to manage your stress in a healthy manner. That can include meditating, doing a physical activity with friends, finding outlets for your creativity, indulging in hobbies, or other activities that you enjoy. Carve out time for yourself, even if it’s only a few minutes in the morning to write in a journal. Having time to reflect and de-stress is important for everyone.
If you’re feeling tired around the clock, l recommend considering these five energy zappers and how they are affecting your energy level. Working on these will increase your energy and improve your overall health.