Here are the 5 tips to boost your energy and work performance:
1. Choose balanced meals and snacks
What you choose to eat throughout the day can have a large impact on your energy and mood.
Eating balanced meals and snacks throughout the day can help curb hunger and prevent peaks a valleys in your energy levels, preventing the dreaded afternoon crash. I always recommend making sure you meals and snacks have three things: fiber, protein, and healthy fat.
This winning combination is not only important for overall health, it will keep you feeling fuller longer. These foods, especially when combined, take a longer time to digest, which prevents hunger and blood sugar highs and lows, which can affect mood.
Some examples of healthy snacks with these three key players are a handful of nuts, such as almonds, Lowfat Greek Yogurt with Fresh Fruit, and Hummus with celery and carrots. All of these snacks are very easy to prepare and are very portable for when you are on the go, an added bonus.
2. Avoid skipping meals
While skipping a meal save you a few minutes in the short term, it can have a detrimental effect on the rest of your day.
Many people skip meals, particularly breakfast, in an effort to save time. However, this can often lead to a reduced ability to focus and can ultimately result in time being lost instead.
Taking a few moments to eat a healthy breakfast in the morning can start your day off on the right foot. Make sure to include foods with fiber and protein to keep you feeling full through the morning.
3. Reach for water, not caffiene
When we start to feel tired in the afternoon, the natural impulse is to grab coffee, soda, or even an energy drink. However, caffeine and stimulation is often not what our body's need.
Often, when we feel tired in the middle of the day it is because we are dehydrated. Next time you are feeling sleepy in the afternoon, first reach for water instead of that caffeinated beverage you normally go for.
If plain water is not flavorful enough for you, try adding a few pieces of sliced fruit, such as lemon, lime or orange for flavor without added sugar.
4. Make time for meals
Whenever possible, try to schedule time to eat meals and snacks.
This can be difficult when managing a busy schedule at work, but trust me, it is worth it. When you plan your meal times, you are less likely to skip a meal or go too long without eating. This can help prevent overeating later in the day and also allow you to be more mindful of what food choices you make.
5. Practice mindful eating
Keeping in theme with my previous tip, practicing mindful eat is also important for health. What do I mean by “mindful eating”?
I mean setting aside some time to eat without distraction. No television, no cell phone screen, not answering emails or talking on the phone. Just you taking a few moments to eat your meal and only that. This allows you to truly appreciate your food and better understand your hunger and fullness cues, which as easy to overlook when we are distracted. If possible, try eating outside of your work space.
Taking a few moments for yourself to enjoy and appreciate your food can be very beneficial for wellness and developing healthy eating behaviors.
About the author
Gena Seraita is a Registered Dietitian based in the New York City area. She received her Bachelors of Science in Dietetics and from the University of Delaware in 2010 where she also completed her Dietetic Internship. She has years of experience working in top ranked hospitals providing nutritional care to acutely ill patients which she incorporates into her overall practice. She uses her experience to help clients achieve balance and create positive relationships with food that go beyond fad diets to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Gena remains focused on providing nutritional advice that is founded in evidence-based science and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Instagram Handle: @genaseraita_rd and Twitter: @GenaSeraitaRD