Many of us don’t realize the impact that nutrition and exercise can have on our energy level. I don’t mean give us more energy, I mean make us more tired. Learn how to decode what’s going wrong and how to fix it.
You know what they say, if you eat right and exercise you will have more energy. Well, that’s not always the case.
When you begin an exercise program and clean up your diet, something changes. Your calorie intake may drop by several hundred calories a day and you are burning several hundred more calories a week. Due to past nutrition, it doesn’t affect you too much at first, but a week or two in to it, things begin to change.
If you normally put regular unleaded gasoline in your car and you suddenly change to a higher quality gasoline, it doesn’t mean you are going to be able to drive twice as far. Likewise, when you switch your calories to healthier calories, you usually end up cutting out hundreds of calories from your meal plan. Just because you are eating healthier, you still have to eat enough food. And if you are exercising now, but hadn’t been in the past, this is even more true. Last week I asked you if you were feeling hungry. If you didn’t follow my advice then, it’s already caught up with you. Now here’s my second warning. If you don’t follow my advice this time, your weight loss will come to a grinding halt, you will feel exhausted, and you will throw in the towel. It just won’t be worth it to keep dieting and exercising if you aren’t losing weight, especially if you are exhausted.
My Feeling Hungry? post gave some good resources. But I’ve been getting some questions about what are good foods to eat. You want to eat healthy, but healthy food is so low calorie! So here are some healthy snacks you can eat throughout the day to boost your metabolism and kick start your energy level again.
1. Fresh Fruit – you can easily pack some fresh fruit to take with you to work or put in your car if you are driving around. If you are driving around and need a way to keep it, just pack it in a ziploc bag with a paper towel. You can always throw what’s left of the fruit back in the bag so you can keep your car clean.
2. Dried fruit, granola, almonds, etc… – make your own trail mix and bring it with you. Foods like almonds and granola are healthy and when eating in proper proportions, be great for your nutrition program. Watch the calories and you can even create your own at the HEB at Fry and 99. They just put out a station where you can construct your own trail mix. Give it a try.
3. Dairy – yogurt and greek yogurt can be a great addition to your diet. Don’t always go for the lowest calorie yogurt though. If you need the calories, a regular yogurt may be just what you need to keep your energy level up. Yes, I said that. The no-fat, low-calorie options is not always the best. You have to pick what fits best with your nutrition program.
4. Snack bars – this is a last resort, but if you need to have something, a Kashi snack bar is a healthier alternative than skipping a snack. I say it’s a last resort, because I still prefer whole food over bars. But if your snack needs to be convenient, it’s a very acceptable choice.
5. Peanut butter – peanut butter can be ok. I always recommend natural peanut butter, yes the one that has the oil floating on top. You need healthy fat in your diet too. It doesn’t have to be hard to mix it up either. Use some wheat bread and a little bit of jelly/preserves. It taste great and is good for you.
Get to eating!