Have you ever awakened after a night's sleep more tired and drained?
Do you ever crave a second wind by mid-day?
After a day's work, do you just pass out on the couch with no energy left for the kids?
Do you want to know the secret formula I used to continue to work full time during my pregnancy up until two days before giving birth to my son?
Well, if you answer YES to any or all of these questions then my secret energy formula is for you. But BEWARE … if you follow this formula, your productivity will go through the roof … and your boss just may ask you to do more work around the office!
Forget about all that hokis pokis nonsense that those other so-called experts claim will give you more energy. Let a Board Certified Internist reveal the medical secrets that they have been hiding from you.
The secret formula is this … energy in equals energy out. Whatever and however you take in energy or food determines how you will be able to use that energy later. Before my pregnancy I would spend hours each day on my feet walking from this part of the hospital to that part of the hospital and would grab a quick bite to eat whenever I got a free moment. No wonder I would come home dead tired with no energy to even cook dinner. But once I found out I was pregnant, I knew things had to change. I knew I had to eat more balanced meals and start conditioning my body for the changes ahead.
Here are the 9 simple steps to more energy:
1. Eat five to six smaller meals a day
Dividing up your meals so that you eat 5 or 6 times a day will jump start your metabolism. Every year, your basal metabolic rate — the amount of calories your body burns at rest — decreases. That means if you continue to eat the same amount of calories everyday for years, you can not help but gain weight. I hear it all the time from my friends and family. I can not tell you how many times they've called me up to go shopping because they just can not find anything in their closet that fits like it used to. Several years ago, I remember getting ready for a holiday dinner and picking out an outfit I was the year before thinking that I could still fit it. When I realized I could not expect to hold in my stomach all night … I found another more suitable outfit to wear. Once I started eating a meal every three hours, the pounds just started to come off. I felt like I was eating all the time but that is what I needed … to keep my body tanked up on enough energy so that I could work my 10 to 12 hours a day with ease.
2. Eat your carbohydrates earlier during the day
I eat my carbohydrates (oatmeal, whole grain breads, sweet potatoes) during the earlier part of the day when I really need them. Our bodies break down carbohydrates to glucose which is our body's major energy fuel. Every cell in our body uses glucose. We need more fuel when we are most active not when we're getting ready for bed. If we eat lots of carbohydrates and do not use them up that excess glucose gets stored as glycogen (a storage form of blood sugar) and some of it even gets stored as FAT!
3. Avoid sugary sweets like candy bars, donuts, etc.
These sweets are chock full of simple sugars that sky rocket your blood sugar. Your body responds to this surge in blood sugar by releasing large amounts of insulin. Your pancreas releases the insulin to drive the sugar from your blood stream into your body's cells for energy. The more insulin you have circulating around your body the more sugar goes into your cells dropping your blood sugar dramatically low. When your blood sugar level is very low you feel sluggish and tired. That's why you feel so tired several hours after eating a lot of sugary sweets or a large meal. By maintaining a more steady level of blood sugar through the day and avoiding these sugar highs and lows you'll prevent that after-meal dip in energy.
4. Walk everyday
You can walk … run … jog …. swim …. bike. Just be more active. We're all busy. We all have more things on our To-Do lists than we can finish in a day. But we all know that if push came to shove we'd make that after work meeting if our lives depended on it. Well, the Health and Wellness Queen is here to tell you that your life and your life do depend on you being more active. Your life depends on you conditioning yourself to handle the daily stresses at work and at home. If the most activity you get during the day is walking to the fridge during a commercial break for a snack then please see your doctor before beginning any exercise program to determine if you'll need any further testing. Once you've got the all clear from your doctor … then get to walking!
5. Get a good night's rest everyday
How can you expect to remain alert and focused on three hours of sleep a night? Now you may say, "I get six hours of sleep a night … that's plenty." But I challenge you to actually count how many hours of restful sleep you get. Do you lay in bed thinking about what's on schedule for the next day? Do you press the snooze button countless times in the morning before actually getting out of bed? Do you watch television in bed to help you drift off to sleep? Here are some simple tips to prepare you for a good night's sleep.
If you have a busy day coming out, write down all the things you need to do.
This stops you from thinking about it later when you're in bed trying to get to sleep.
Avoid sugar and caffeine before going to bed.
Make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep-that means no television, no loud music. Instead, when getting ready for bed keep your room darkly lit and maybe even put on some soft relaxation music.
6. Drink eight glasses of water a day
Two thirds of our body is water so it's no wonder our body needs at least 64 ounces of water a day to perform at its best.
7. Drink no more than one alcoholic beverage a day
Alcoholic beverages are full of empty calories and do not provide you with the nutrients that your body needs.
8. Stop smoking
What more can I say. Smoking increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke and it also increases your risk for cancer. The time that you spend standing around outside smoking a cigarette you can use to take a walk and increase your daily activity.
9. Schedule 'down time' into your day
I know it sees that we can not do anything without our daily planners, whether it's on the computer, on the hand or on paper. But there is a method to our madness. Having a schedule keeps us on track. If you set some relaxation time-it could be a half hour before lunch or an hour after dinner-you'll be able to better handle what comes your way. We all need a stress release, so whatever you do to relax, schedule that into your day and you'll be surprised with the results.
Now I know there are skeptics out there saying that it can not be that simple. Can following these easy steps really lead to more energy? Well to all those believers and non-believers … the proof is in the pudding (no pun intended). Follow these 9 simple steps for a week and you'll be amazed at how energetic you'll feel. You have nothing to lose … except the skepticism. So give it a try!