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Bridge to Health Blog

How to have great energy levels throughout the day

Written by Giulietta Durante   Posted in:Nutrition   June 15, 2016

How to have great energy levels throughout the day
I quite often come across clients who really struggle to sustain their energy levels throughout the day. Common complaints include experiencing a drop in energy around 10.30-11am (when the temptation to drink a second or third coffee is almost impossible to resist!), this is followed by the classic post-lunch energy slump (when all you want to do is pop your head onto your desk and have a little snooze), and, of course, how can we forget that feeling of sheer exhaustion in the evenings when you’re left with no energy to do anything apart from doze in front of the television?
 
There are many ways in which nutrition can help boost and sustain energy levels throughout the day and I usually spend a good couple of sessions with my clients helping them to identify and incorporate the strategies that suit them best. Here are my top three tips:
 

Blood sugar balance:

This sometimes feels like the only thing nutritionists ever talk about, but the reason we talk about it so frequently is because it is so important in addressing so many symptoms. When we eat foods high in sugar our blood sugar is raised quickly, this gives us immediate energy, however, the flip side of this is that our blood sugar then dips quickly, making us feel tired. This is the point when we quite often start craving sugar and want to reach out for the chocolates and biscuits in a desperate attempt to get our energy levels up again. However, have you noticed that you never quite manage to get your energy levels up to what they were like at the beginning of the day? In fact, the complete opposite usually happens and you end up feeling totally exhausted by the end of the day (cue dozing in front of the television!) This is where making sure you eat foods that will keep your blood sugar stable comes in. This includes making sure you eat protein with every meal (eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds and beans) and also ensuring you are adding in good fats like avocadoes, olive oil and oily fish.
 

Breakfast:

There has been a lot of debate recently about whether breakfast is really the most important meal of the day and whether some individuals would do better by eating their first meal later on the day. We could probably debate this endlessly and to be honest the sensible conclusion seems to be that it is up to the individual to listen to their body and work out when is the best time for them to break their fast. What IS important however, is that the first meal that is consumed is well balanced as this will dictate what happens to your energy for the rest of the day. This may require some preparation and planning but believe you me, it is definitely worth it! Again, protein and good fats should feature prominently (with some unrefined grains if you don’t feel they cause any bloating). Good breakfast options that will sustain your energy throughout the day include: full fat Greek yoghurt with nuts and berries and a sprinkling of seeds, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and avocado and omelettes of any kind.
 

Snacks:

Again, there is also a lot of debate nowadays regarding the benefits of snacking. Some believe it is key to maintaining stable energy levels whereas others believe we would do better by not triggering the release of insulin (the hormone that controls our blood sugar levels) so frequently.  Again, this is very much up to the individual. I always encourage my clients to experiment and see if they can last the afternoon without snacking, whilst always making sure they have recourse to good snack options if they can’t quite make it through. Nutritious snacks should contain (yes, you guessed it!) protein and good fats. If you’re hooked on having fruit as a snack then please make sure you add a handful of nuts or seeds to the fruit as this will drastically slow down the release of the fruit’s sugar into your blood. I see lots of clients who make the mistake of eating fruit on its own and consequently struggle with their energy levels and sometimes just the simple addition of 6-7 almonds or walnuts can make all the difference. Other blood sugar balancing snacks include: a boiled egg and small handful of cherry tomatoes, carrot or celery sticks dipped in hummus and half a small container of olives with feta cheese - yum!
 
 
As we can see, individual eating patterns vary greatly and it is important that you listen to your body to work out when is the best time to eat and whether you really need a snack. What is universal however, is that everyone feels more energised when they eat foods that support balanced blood sugar levels. Make it a point of including protein and good fats in every meal and snack this week and you’ll feel the difference in no time!
 
 
To find out how Giulietta can help you achieve your health goals contact her on 07983 704 882 or email her at: giulietta@bridgetohealth.co.uk  or visit her websiteShe would love to help you.


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