How To Maintain Your Energy This Summer!
With summer well on its way, many of us are making summer plans, hoping to spend more time outdoors, and enjoy the long summer evenings.
It can be difficult to enjoy this time of year, however, when you’re experiencing low energy to the point that it’s a challenge to find the motivation to even get off the couch! This is a concern that I hear so often. Low energy has such a direct impact on a person’s quality of life and is so common. It’s not normal, however! Which is good news, because it means that there are steps that you can take that have the potential to improve your energy levels drastically.
Let’s go over a few common causes of low energy and fatigue:
- Blood Sugar Irregularities. Many people are stuck on a blood sugar roller coaster ride with either not even realizing it, or not knowing how to get off. When we eat foods high in sugar, or processed grains (white bread, croissants, muffins etc.) the carbohydrates in these foods are quickly digested and absorbed into the blood stream in the form of glucose or blood sugar, our brain’s primary fuel.
When we have more glucose in our blood than our brain needs at a given time, a hormone called insulin is released which tells our cells to open up and let in the glucose from the blood. The result is a quick drop in blood sugar. When our blood sugar is low our bodies and our brains start screaming for more – by telling us to eat more sugar or other carbohydrates like bread.
If you often feel tired and unfocussed in the afternoon, experience cravings for bread or sugar, and feel like your mood swings up and down, you likely need to work on balancing your blood sugar.
The top ways to do this are by including fat, protein, and fiber with every meal – ESPECIALLY breakfast! Setting yourself up right for the day by eating a balanced breakfast is going to help you stay off the blood sugar train in the first place.
And of course, you’ve gotta reduce the amount of sugar and processed foods you’re eating. These are your ticket to the roller coaster that you really want to stay off of. Instead of reaching for chocolate or candy when you have a craving, have a piece of fruit with some almond butter, wait 20 minutes, and see how you feel. If you’re craving bread, opt for 100% whole grain or a bowl of quinoa instead and be sure to include some protein and fat like an egg with it.
- Too many toxins. We are exposed to so many toxins every single day, and they can have a serious cumulative effect on the body; often low energy and fatigue are signs of a toxic body. Check out the blog a couple posts back titled “The Top 3 Ways To Detox Daily” to begin reducing the toxin load in your body.
- Poor Stress Management. So many of us experience mental and emotional stress on a daily basis but do little to manage this stress. Unfortunately, this stress that our mind creates can have very real, detrimental effects of the body that lead to low energy as well as contributing to the root of many diseases.
- Not Enough Sleep. ( or poor quality sleep). I couldn't write a post about energy levels without mentioning the obvious, but often neglected, topic of sufficient good quality sleep. Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep every night to feel their best, and making this happen should be one of your health priorities.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of reasons why you may be experiencing low energy. I encourage you to talk to your doctor, naturopath or a holistic nutritionist if your energy levels do not improve by making some of these changes, or if your energy and fatigue is disrupting your way of life.
By: Ali MacBoudreau
Ali is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. Her mission is to help you discover just how vibrant and amazing you can feel, by giving you the tools you need to make lasting changes. (Hint, it involves delicious food!) To learn more about Ali and holistic nutrition please visit her website https://www.holisticali.com/about