By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC, and Annah Gillette
“I am so exhausted all the time, what can I do?,” I get this question all the time. There are basic techniques you can apply right now to improve your energy.
1. DRINK WATER- This is the easiest way to regain energy, so it is imperative that you keep the supply steady and replenish your levels. Breathing, sweating, urinating and other bodily functions can cause us to lose water quickly. Many people are invariably dehydrated and do not even know it. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, lost focus, and mood swings. Drink plenty of water to stay properly hydrated and keep your energy levels more steady. Drinking tea, coffee, sodas, and alcohol can further your dehydration, so only pure water counts. Not a fan of plain water? Try adding fresh fruit or citrus to flavor. Try different waters spring, filtered, and tap water all have different subtle tastes.
2. SLEEP- I know if you were sleeping more you wouldn’t be so tired! Set a schedule and set yourself up for success. Stick to the same bed time every night even on the weekends. When it starts to get dark naturally outside, reduce your screen time with the electronics. Eliminating the artificial blue light can help you regain your circadian rhythms. Staying up too late on blue light and being jolted out of a sleep cycle by you alarm causes spikes in cortisol. Try naturally to wake up before your alarm goes off. Waking up in the middle of a cycle can leave you tired and cranky throughout the morning. Coffee won’t help you here, try 20 oz of cool water, save your coffee for 10 am. Still, need an alarm? Try a gradual light alarm, with natural light waves gradually brightening your room to end your sleep.
3. EAT INTENTIONALLY– This tip seems like it should be a no brainer but when we are tired and stressed our mitochondria start making decisions for us, and they are hard to ignore. Just like with sleep, make a plan. Make a grocery list and stick to it! IF, you can’t shop without buying all the extras send someone else with your list and cash! Get the junk out of the house and office (where possible). Think about what you are about to eat and how it is going to make you feel. Have you ever jonesed for a sugar buzz for energy just to be left crashed and hungry 15 minutes later? These cravings can be managed by sticking to your plan. Every meal/snack should have protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs. Eat things you can’t eat a ton of, for example, you can eat 10 donuts in a day, but you are less likely to eat 10 chicken breasts or 10 cups of broccoli. Ditch the processed foods and shop the outside of the grocery.
“What about eating out?” yes you can do that too! Again, make a plan. View the menu beforehand, so you know what you want to order. Eat appropriately before you go, having some protein before you get in the car and eat dinner 1-2 hours later you won’t be ravenous! Having a drink and desserts? Have one drink and then a full glass of water, share the appetizer (pick something light), share an entree or have them box up half to go, share the dessert.
I teach this to my clients all the time. The goal is a nutritional lifestyle, and nothing is off limits. We eat according to our goals and ultimately how we want to feel. Eat within your dietary restrictions, but enjoy your life with friends and family.
You can implement these tips today. They will take time to integrate into your lifestyle, keep making small steps every day.
Still feeling tired and crummy? Test for what your body likes to be fueled with. Food testing will give you plenty of answers about which food is BEST for YOU!
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Medical disclaimer: Our test kits and all tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.