Do you wish you could have more energy—the kind that allows you to get through your to-do list or not fall asleep in the mid-afternoon slump? Learn 10 things that are stealing your energy—eliminate them, and be surprised at how much more you can do in a day!
A lack of energy can stem from a number of causes, and each person will have their own unique issues to combat. In our busy world, the most common energy thieves include a lack of sleep, stress, and poor nutrition. By far, the biggest single energy zapper is our modern diet – surprising, but true. But it is possible to achieve a more energetic and vibrant you!
Check out the 10 things that are stealing your energy – DAILY! Eliminating them will result in more energy, less stress, more enjoyment of life, and a healthier, happier you!
1. Sugar: This is the number one culprit. When we’re tired or low on energy, we often crave sugary foods to provide a quick burst of energy. Sugar works in the short-term, but robs the body of vitamins and minerals in order to be digested. You get that sugar high, followed by a crash only a couple of hours later. Now you’re not only tired again, but deficient in vitamins and minerals! This kind of high carbohydrate, low fat and low protein eating not only robs you of energy, but also contributes to insulin resistance and increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Kicking the sugar habit might seem hard, at first (have you ever noticed how many things contain sugar? Salad dressings, sauces, and almost every meal at a restaurant) but once you get past the first few days—you will start to see your energy sky rocket. And by correcting the rest of your diet—focusing on healthy fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates—your cravings will disappear. Lifewatchers can show you how—learn more here! Or, check out 146 reasons why sugar is ruining your health ... if you need more reasons to kick it to the curb.
2. Coffee: Are you sensing a theme here? The things you think provide you with energy are actually robbing you of it! Coffee acts like sugar: it provides a boost for your system, the caffeine giving you the jolt in the morning or that afternoon wake-up call, but it’s not real energy—it’s borrowed energy. And guess what? Once you borrow it, you have to give it back. After a couple hours, you end up feeling tired again and wanting more sweets or caffeine. Plus, if your adrenal glands (the makers of your fight-or-flight hormone, directors of your energy!) are hurting, coffee actually taxes them more. Try cutting back on your coffee breaks throughout the day, or kicking the habit all together. Or, if you find you can’t quite let go of that morning cup of java, try it black or sweetened with honey—much better than sugar, dairy, or a 500-calorie specialized latte beverage.
3. Wheat & Gluten: Gluten intolerance has become widespread. Many people think it is just about celiac disease—but that’s not the case. Celiac disease is the end stage of gluten intolerance. There are a whole host of symptoms that warn you of an intolerance to gluten before you develop celiac. Gluten and wheat can cause things like bloating, headaches, skin disruptions, indigestion, and—you guessed it—fatigue. It can zap up your energy like a sponge absorbs water. And in today’s world, when many diets rely on toast in the morning, a sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner, there are three helpings of wheat and gluten that are gloriously binge-eating on your energy. Fight back and go gluten free, or reduce the amount of wheat you ingest! We have some great brown rice pasta options and gluten free bread choices in store. Ask us about them!
4. Soft Drinks / Energy Drinks: This is a no brainer. These are close cousins of the sugar and coffee troublemakers we already talked about. Most soft drinks and energy drinks contain both of these problems: sugar (or artificial sweeteners—yikes) and caffeine. Again, avoid these at all costs! Herbal teas, stevia sweetened pops like Zevia, and natural juices like Spritzers can help combat the craving for these drinks until you can get rid of them all together.
5. Low Fat Diet: Let’s face it. Fats have been vilified as the enemy of our health. Misunderstood, criticized, challenged, and wrongly implicated, fats have been blamed for the current rise in modern maladies. There is just one problem with that: it is completely untrue. Removing fats from your diet will lead to a whole host of problems: dry skin and hair, low mood and even depression, memory and cognitive deficits, weight gain (yes, you heard right!), and low energy and fatigue patterns. Ensuring you have the right fats in your diet will actually result in more steady energy, less fatigue, and a better ability to make it through your day. Plus, healthy fats resolve issues like inflammation, memory, low mood, and stress—and all of those things equal more energy, as well, since your body is not focusing on those issues. Include healthy fats like fish oil (we love Ascenta NutraSea), nuts and seeds, cold water fish like Raincoast Salmon and Tuna, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts, avocados, olives and olive oil, coconut milk and fresh coconut, free range eggs, and much more.
6. Stress: You’ve heard stress pop up here a few times … and for good reason. Mental, emotional, dietary, physical, and environmental stress all take a huge toll on your body—resulting in low energy, among many other things. Reducing your stress levels will lessen the strain on your adrenal glands and have your energy soaring high once more. First: pinpoint your type of stress, and the source of it. How can you improve that? Second: work on lowering or ridding this stress. If it’s dietary, clean up your diet; if it’s emotional, figure out why and try solutions to make it work. If it’s physical, from too much exercise (it happens!) maybe go with an easier workout plan. There are always solutions. Third: Check out our free Natural Solutions to Stress & Adrenals guide here for more information on how to lower your stress levels and increase your energy!
7. Late Bedtimes: Sleep is your body’s way of rebooting and re-energizing for the day ahead. While snoozing, you recharge your adrenal glands—small but powerful organs that are responsible for producing stress hormones. These little glands keep us going throughout the day and they, too, require rest. At night, the prime hours for adrenal repair are from 10pm-2am. Each hour that you push your bedtime back takes away from your body’s natural ability to regenerate itself—you’re literally stealing energy from the next day’s stores. Over time, this pattern will greatly deplete adrenals and you will become less resistant to the stresses of life. To strengthen your adrenal glands, make sure you get to bed on time! Avoid second winds and go to bed when you are first tired. Your energy will thank you the next day!
8. Toxic Build-Up: Toxins build up in our body quickly and easily. Whether they are from a processed or poor diet, personal care products, cleaning products, or the environment, you are constantly exposed to toxins. These build up in your body, and especially your liver, which affects the way your whole body works—including your energy systems. You can lessen your toxic burden by choosing a clean diet of organic and natural foods (especially organic produce and meat – which we sell at Goodness Me!), choosing natural personal care products clear of chemicals and toxins (check out our selection here) and switching to green cleaning products (why clean with chemicals?). You can also choose to do a detox or cleanse a couple times a year. It can be an invigorating way to gain energy! A detox will help your body rid itself of built-up waste that may be slowing you down. Hormonal imbalances, which can be caused by toxic load, may be behind your lack of energy. Detoxing will help balance your hormones, too. Check out Discover the Power of Food for an easy way to detox your system, or try a cleanse like Wild Rose Herbal D-tox kit.
9. Vitamin / Mineral Deficiencies: If our diet isn’t up to par, we’re going to be missing out on these vital things called vitamins and minerals. Processed foods, damaged fats, and an improper diet all lack things like vitamins and minerals, and this can lead to deficiencies, which slow down our body and energy stores. Be sure to enjoy organic produce grown on nutrient-rich soil to get the vital nutrients and minerals from the soil and the vitamins from the fruits and vegetables. Choose natural and whole meat and dairy for things like vitamin K2 and iron. Supplement with B vitamins if you are not getting enough. And ensure you get enough vitamin D—especially in the winter months—through supplementation. We like D-Drops, easy to use and convenient! 1
0. Fried Foods: Last but certainly not least on our list is fried foods. There is a whole host of energy-stealing tactics that fried foods come along with. First, it is usually a nutritionally-depleted food that is being fried (conventional chicken with toxins, hormones and antibiotics; non-organic potatoes or other vegetables; chicken wings; battered onions; etc.). Second, these items are usually battered with wheat or something else that is not healthy for our body. Third, the oil used to fry these items is a source of unhealthy fats and is a damaged oil heated to high temperatures which can produce toxins. Put all this together and what do you get? A host of inflammation, fatigue, bloating, indigestion, and dietary stress—all things that we know take away from our energy. Avoid this parade of discomfort and choose real, whole foods instead.
To learn more about how to increase your energy, consider taking Lifewatchers, our 10 week healthy living course. This course will teach you what to eat, why to eat it, and how to prepare it, making it easy and delicious to live a healthier life. One of the number one benefits that our thousands of Lifewatchers participants have raved about is better energy. It really is incredible when your energy soars and you find yourself with more energy than you knew you could have! All of this is possible. Learn more about Lifewatchers here, or ask about it in store at any Goodness Me! location.
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