9 Strategies to Increase Your Energy

Do you sometimes feel like you’ve run out of gas? Do you have to push yourself to get going and accomplish your goals for the day? Well, you aren’t alone.

Most people experience bouts of fatigue once in a while, but you can take steps to guard against low energy.

Consider these suggestions to spark your energy level:

  1. Eat right. Your body requires certain nutrients to stoke your intellectual and physical fires and to keep every part of you operating smoothly.
    • Most of us know what we ought to be eating each day: at least a couple of fruits, four or five servings of vegetables, one or two small servings of meat, poultry, or fish, plenty of fiber from healthy cereals, breads, and brown rice, and a couple of servings of dairy in the forms of low or no-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurt.
    • The reality is most of us don’t eat all these foods daily, or we eat other, unhealthy things.
    • Do what you can to eat in ways that support your energy. Avoid foods with high sugar content as they will initially provide a glucose rush, after which you’ll bottom out and feel a huge drop in energy.
    • Whether you choose to eat 3 larger meals a day or 5 or 6 smaller meals, refrain from going too long without eating. The food you eat is your body’s fuel.
  2. Consider meditation and/or yoga. Techniques rooted in Eastern philosophies have long been known for enhancing health and relaxation as well as boosting your energy levels.
  3. Take a multi-vitamin. A daily vitamin is your safety net against less-than-perfect eating habits. You’ll experience steadier levels of energy if you consistently take your multi-vitamins.
  4. Have a positive attitude. How you approach life and see the world can either propel you forward or leave you sitting on the sidelines. Having a positive attitude about what you will do each day goes a long way toward keeping your energy flowing. Think positive!
  5. Exercise. Although exercise sounds like it should be a drain on your energy, getting physically active helps you build strength and stamina, which will actually increase your get-up-and-go.
    • According to the latest research, even if you start with just 15 minutes of walking a day, 5 days a week, you’ll probably notice your energy lifting the very day you start.
  6. Get enough sleep. With all the gadgets around us plus the television on in the background, you have plenty of excuses to stay up late. Make the effort necessary to obtain the amount of sleep you need to feel invigorated the next morning.
  7. Consider a 1-hour nap. Some people find they can take a nap and feel instantly refreshed. Plus, there’s medical research that says a nap can be quite helpful for those who manipulate and process an overload of information in their work. You can boost your energy with a snooze. If an hour’s too long for you, try power napping for 30 minutes or so.
  8. Allow time to rest each day. Whether you build in a 15 minute break at work or 30 minutes of propping up your feet at home to have an iced tea and read the news, take a little break to relax each day.
  9. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for hours depletes your energy. A healthy goal is to stay moving at a reasonable pace throughout the day.
  10. Limit stressful situations. Stress and anxiety are huge drains on your emotional energy, which works in tandem with your physical energy. To increase your enthusiasm for life, avoid people and situations that trigger feelings of stress and anxiety.

If you experience an occasional bout of fatigue and no medical cause has been determined, it may be a result of your lifestyle. Practice several of the above strategies to help you pump up the volume on what keeps you going all day: your energy.

Break Free From Emotional Eating

Experts believe that up to 75% of overeating may be due to reasons other than physical hunger. If you want to improve your relationship with food, learn to identify and control emotional eating.

Recognize the Signs

1. Understand how emotional eating works. Emotional eating occurs when you use food to manage your feelings, rather than to satisfy your hunger. This can trigger guilt and create a cycle where you eat because you feel bad and feel bad because you eat. Positive feelings can also play a role if you associate food with celebrating.

2. Keep a balanced perspective. It’s okay to take pleasure in food and enjoy sharing it with others. Concerns arise only when emotional eating interferes with your health and well being.

3. Ask yourself if you feel out of control. You may have lost control of your eating habits if you want to make healthier choices but keep backsliding. Be honest with yourself if you resolve to have yogurt for breakfast but wind up stopping off for a bacon sandwich on the way to work.

4. Notice your cravings. A strong desire for specific dishes is a common symptom of emotional eating. If you’re actually hungry, everything on the menu is likely to sound appealing. When you’re depressed over a recent breakup, ice cream may be the only thing you want to order.

5. Evaluate your hunger levels. Another danger sign is eating when you already feel full. Slow down and decide if you really need another helping of mashed potatoes.

6. Consider your family history. The way you eat may be grounded in patterns that started in childhood. Maybe you were rewarded with a homemade cake when you got good grades.

Develop a Healthier Relationship With Food

1. Keep a journal. It’s easier to spot patterns when you write down when and why you eat. You may notice that you snack on potato chips when you’re bored, even though you’ve just eaten a full meal.

2. Substitute healthy foods. Cravings can be used to benefit you if you reach for nutritious alternatives. Homemade pita triangles dipped in olive oil can replace French fries with ketchup. Indulge in fresh fruit when you want dessert.

3. Control portion sizes. Eliminating all your favorite treats can cause a backlash from deprivation. See if a sliver of pie makes you just as happy as a big slice and savor every bite.

4. Seek distractions. Engage in productive activities that will take your mind off your stomach. Go for a walk, read a book, or do some housework.

5. Develop positive coping techniques. Comfort foods deliver only short-term relief. Find more effective methods for managing daily stress, such as meditation, music or physical exercise.

6. Avoid temptation. If you find your favorite cookies to be too irresistible, banish them from your pantry. Choose restaurants that specialize in grilled fish if you have trouble declining fried chicken.

7. Get adequate sleep. Being chronically tired makes you more vulnerable to overeating. Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night. Take a warm bath before bed to raise your body temperature if you have trouble falling asleep.

8. Reward your good behavior. Reinforce the positive changes you make in your behavior. Set realistic goals and praise yourself when you attain them. Buy yourself something special or visit your favorite museum.

9. Seek professional help. If you need more help to change the way you eat, talk with an expert. Counseling may clarify the underlying issues you need to address. Nutritionists can advise you on a diet that will work with your individual lifestyle.

Liberate yourself from emotional eating so you can protect your health and enjoy your food more. These methods will help put you back in control.