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Have you been struggling with a mid-afternoon energy crisis lately? Or maybe it’s during a mid-morning meeting or before dinner prep when you feel like you need a boost.

We’ve all been through times when we feel like we’re hanging out, both physically and emotionally. The good news is that there are many ways to rejuvenate healthily to help you with your daily tasks.

“There are a number of ways to boost our energy, including focusing on the right mix of foods and when to eat and snack,” said Elizabeth DeRobertis, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, Director of the Nutrition Center at Scarsdale Medical Group, White Plains Hospital.

To feel better, it is also important to avoid energy saboteurs. For example, a lack of sleep and increased stress can make you feel exhausted, according to Yasi Ansari, a registered dietitian-nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Here are 10 easy ways to give your energy levels a much needed boost:

1. Eat every 3 to 4 hours

“People feel like they have more energy when they eat something every three hours or so during the day,” said DeRobertis, who is also the creator of the GPS Weight Loss Program, a weight loss program. online weight loss at your own pace. According to DeRobertis, going too long without eating, such as if you tend to skip breakfast or lunch, can cause low energy.

“I generally recommend that the average person eats every three to four hours,” Ansari added. “This is what we usually see when it comes to the hunger that begins to present itself.”

Of course, how often you should eat varies from person to person.

“It’s important to listen to your own hunger and fullness cues to determine the correct way to space your food,” DeRobertis said.

If you are very active, you may feel hungry more often. “A person who is more physically active or who is constantly on the move may need to eat more frequently, such as every two to three hours,” Ansari said.

2. Combine protein with meals

Including a healthy protein source in meals supports people longer because it takes our bodies longer to break down protein, DeRobertis said.

“I often ask my patients if they feel fuller and have more energy after eating a higher carbohydrate breakfast or a higher protein breakfast,” she said. “The high-carbohydrate breakfast often looks like cereal or a bagel, and high-protein breakfasts often contain eggs. More often than not, they say they feel better after eating the eggs compared to the high-carb breakfast because (the eggs) keep them longer and they feel more stable. “

Adding protein also helps with different tastes and textures to increase energy. “Think of an apple with peanut butter or yogurt with fresh berries,” said Melissa Majumdar, Atlanta-based registered dietitian and certified obesity and weight management specialist.

3. Eat high fiber carbohydrates

“Foods high in fiber like fruits and whole grains provide energy from carbohydrates, which are your body’s fastest source of fuel. Fiber slows down the flow of energy, like a dam, to the body. instead of simple carbohydrates that flood the body with sugar, ”said Majumdar, who is also the metabolic and bariatric coordinator at Emory Midtown Teaching Hospital. “In other words, foods high in carbohydrates high in fiber provide long-lasting energy.”

Eating too many refined carbohydrates in one sitting without having fiber or protein to slow the rise in blood sugar can contribute to reactive hypoglycemia, where our blood sugar rises and collapses, which can cause low energy, according to DeRobertis.

Oatmeal with berries and an ounce of nuts or a whole-grain English muffin with 2 tablespoons of almond butter are good examples of high-fiber carbs, Ansari said.

4. Choose nutrient-dense snacks

Another way to ensure more sustained energy throughout the day is to choose foods rich in nutrients instead of foods with empty calories. “If we had a choice of two snacks and they both had the same number of calories, but one had more protein and more fiber, there’s a good chance that (the high-protein snack and fiber) gives us more energy and holds us back longer than a snack that is not as nutrient dense, ”said DeRobertis.

Consider having a 100 calorie serving of pretzels versus a 100 calorie serving of nuts, Greek yogurt, or fruit. “Nuts, fruit and yogurt each have so much more to offer in terms of nutrient density, that they will give you more energy than empty calorie snacks like pretzels, crisps or cookies,” he said. she declared.

5. Stay hydrated

“Inadequate fluids can make the heart work harder to help support blood flow, which can cause fatigue,” Ansari said. Not being adequately hydrated can also interfere with metabolism and nutrient delivery throughout the body, which can prevent us from feeling better and full of energy, she said.

“If we are in any way dehydrated, it can decrease our energy levels,” added DeRobertis. To see if you are well hydrated, check the color of your urine. You should feel the need to urinate every few hours during the day and the urine should be light in color, according to DeRobertis.

6. Get enough sleep

According to experts, getting enough sleep and getting good quality sleep is essential for energy levels. Interestingly, some research supports that inadequate sleep can increase insulin resistance. Although the mechanism requires more research, the result of a lack of sleep can affect glucose metabolism and decrease energy throughout the day, causing us to eat more to help maintain energy levels, according to Ansari.

While adequate sleep is generally considered to be seven to nine hours for the average person, competitive athletes, including adolescent athletes participating in heavy training and those who are very active, may need an additional two hours of sleep. to promote recovery, according to Ansari.

7. Avoid caffeine for energy

Caffeine can help improve mental performance in the short term and provide a spike in energy, but it can reduce energy afterwards. “Aim for a moderate amount of 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, which works out to about two cups of brewed coffee,” Ansari said.

“There’s nothing wrong with starting the day with caffeine as a ‘lift’, but if you find that you are relying on several cups of coffee spaced out throughout the day to maintain your energy levels,” you might want to take a look at how you space your food intake as well as your hydration level, ”added DeRobertis.

8. Increase your exercise

Increasing exercise can actually increase your energy level, according to DeRobertis. The increase in energy takes place for a number of reasons: on the one hand, you produce more feel-good hormones, called endorphins; In addition, you also increase the pumping volume of your heart, which strengthens circulation. “Your cells become more sensitive to your insulin, so your blood sugar becomes more stable,” DeRobertis said.

9. Stress less

Too much stress can drain you of your energy. It can also contribute to poor quality sleep, which can make you tired and irritable, and make stress worse. Aiming for at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night can help reduce cortisol and stress levels.

Finding a hobby you enjoy and listening to music can also help reduce stress levels. There are plenty of other ways to relax – the key is to find the strategy that’s right for you.

10. Take care of yourself

Energy comes from two sources: physical energy and emotional or psychological energy. Before you turn to the afternoon cookie, identify whether you need a physical boost or an emotional lift.

“If you’ve just finished a tough meeting or grounded the kids, food won’t provide the energy you need, but self-care might,” said Majumdar.

“Choosing an activity that resets negative energy can help balance those energy needs. Consider a brisk walk outside to get some fresh air, some deep breathing exercises, or a brisk dance session. “

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