A mid-afternoon crash is a telltale sign that it’s time to consider it time to revamp our eating habits.
We are all prone to the occasional slump. Maybe it’s in the middle of the morning or, more commonly, we find ourselves lagging in the mid-afternoon. That’s about the time when the demands of the day begin to catch up with us, and our bodies are telling us we need more energy, some rest, or both.
But what if those slumps last longer? What if something is zapping our positive energy on a more consistent basis? If that’s the case, then something needs to be done about it, and changing our eating habits can certainly go a long way in helping our energy levels.
Here are fifteen eating habits that boost positive energy:
1 – Understand the problem.
How what we eat and drink can impact our overall energy, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Different people react to different foods and drinks in different ways.
A simple food diary can come very much in handy when we are trying to figure out what is zapping our life force. We should be tracking all of our eating habits, including what we are eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for a few weeks. We should also be tracking what is going on when we are eating and when we are feeling sluggish.
After a few weeks, we will begin to notice as patterns emerge and can help pinpoint the types of food that enhance our energy levels and the types that deplete it.
2 – Start the day properly.
It is a common saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and most professionals would agree. Start the day off with a good, nutritious breakfast consisting of whole foods. It not only helps your energy and productivity levels, but it also wards off cravings and crashes later on in the morning.
A breakfast high in protein, such as eggs or ham, while avoiding the sugary cereals and other processed foods, will help to prevent a mid-morning slump.
3 – Hydrate frequently.
Of all the good habits we could take up, this has to be the simplest and nearly the cheapest one, but also the most neglected. Increasing your water intake will pay dividends in your skin, your weight, and your general feeling of well-being.
It’s not always easy to tell when we are dehydrated if we are drinking sodas, coffee, and other drinks throughout the day. And while yes, those drinks have water content, they are not hydrating to our body and are not fueling it properly. It’s easy to forget to drink water, but a reusable bottle can help us ensure we are getting enough of this required energy boost.
4 – Be aware of hidden sugars.
Isaac Newton said, “what goes up; must come down.” It is valid for things affected by gravity, and it is also very accurate for our sugar levels. We often experience an immediate burst of energy after eating foods high in sugar, but the energy burst is fleeting, and a more significant slump usually follows. In addition to affecting our energy, it affects our mood as well. It is not unusual to find ourselves less patient and more irritable after eating poorly.
5 – Snack on the right things.
Eating smaller portions and more often throughout the day is an excellent way to keep our energy levels consistent and to sustain our metabolism. We need to learn to shop for tasty, nutritious snacks and keep them on hand. When we are prepared, it is easy to ward off a visit to the vending machine and choose to fuel our body more wisely.
6 – Choose happier foods
There are certain foods that are proven to make us feel good. They are full of minerals and goodness, great for the immune system and other bodily functions. There is no secret to choosing foods that not only boost our energy but boost our moods too. Fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread, nuts, and seeds are easily accessible and quick to prepare. Check back in with your food journal and choose the foods that boost your mood, because a better feeling leads to better energy.
7 – Finish the day properly.
Now that we’ve made it through the day with more energy and feeling good, it’s time to end it properly to prepare us for a better tomorrow. Eat lighter at night and try to avoid snacking. While avoiding sugar throughout the day is wise, it is essential at nighttime because it can interfere with your sleep. And nothing boosts our energy like a good night’s sleep.
There they are, seven small and easy to implement habits that will feed the body, maintain consistent energy levels, and help us to avoid those energy and mood zapping crashes that might otherwise plague our days.
8 – Keep electronics away from the table (tv/smartphone/tablet/computer)
It’s easy to eat mindlessly, and having electronics at the table with you while you eat only enhances this mindless experience. Studies show that screen time prompts you to eat more. Screen time enhances your desire to eat more, plus if you’re watching a show, you’re apt to keep eating until the show is over.
This inattention could mean you’re eating for an entire hour. You may not even be aware of what you ate during this time. The same goes for gaming or catching up on your Instagram while you eat. The distraction of electronics can mask your feeling of being full, so you end up eating more. Try putting away your electronics during meals.
Focus on your food and the experience of eating the food. It’s a simple habit, but it will give you more positive energy.
9 – Make mealtimes the time to share with your loved
Mealtimes are unique opportunities to stop what you’re doing and reconnect with your loved ones. Shared meals can strengthen family ties, and studies show that family mealtime allows parents to encourage learning and healthy behavior to their kids.
Mealtime routines provide a sense of belonging and closeness. It’s a great time to talk about essential issues or plans or find out how someone feels. Life gets so busy, don’t neglect mealtimes habits for your positive energy, and for that of those around you.
10 – Engage in positive discussions around the table by reflecting on the blessings of the day.
Meals force us to relax. Gathering around a table for a meal not only gives a chance to nourish our bodies but also to get an opportunity to enjoy catching up with our family or friends. It’s a great time to let go of daily demands and focus on your loved ones.
But during the meal, it’s essential to focus on positive conversations. There is nothing worse than having an argument or heated discussion during a meal. It can ruin your digestion. Instead, direct your communication to positive talking points. Talk about what you’re grateful for or what special blessings you’ve noticed today or in the lives of the people around the table.
Uplifting, positive energy enhances your mind and body. It will also strengthen your relationships with the people around your table.
11 – Eat mindfully
Eating mindfully helps you focus on what you’re doing. It can help you be in touch with the practice of eating, sort of being present for the meal. Otherwise, you can drift off and lose sight of what you’re eating and how much you’re eating. Eating without focus causes overeating plus a loss of the impact of the food itself. When you’re eating mindfully, you connect with the physical component of the food-its fragrance, texture, and taste. Mindful eating activates your senses and motivates you to eat healthier and try new foods. When you’re eating mindfully, you’ll feel better, and you’re apt to be healthier because you’re making better food choices.
12 – Do yoga or other exercises to augment good eating habits
It’s easy not to be aware of your body, to plow through your busy day without eating well or hydrating yourself properly. It takes a conscious effort to gain an appreciation for your body and to take good care of it.
You may even feel uncomfortable about focusing on your body, especially if you are overweight. Changing your view of your body can help motivate you to change your eating habits and exercise habits. It will boost your self-image, too.
Participating in yoga or exercising connects you to your body in a new way. You focus on movement, strength, and how your body feels. These simple practices change not only the way you think but help you take care of your body and to make better food choices.