This topic has come up during class at Flemington Boot Camps lately so I thought I’d address it in a blog post.
For many of the women in my course, beginning a regular exercise schedule is the first step in taking care of themselves. They desire to lose weight, get healthy and feel energized. Exercise helps them do all of those, but sometimes my clients find that they are still not feeling the all day energy buzz they had hoped for.
It can usually be narrowed down to one of the following 4 reasons!
1. Not getting enough, or enough quality, sleep.
This is a biggy. You may not even realize how lack of sleep is affecting you.
Do you know that just two nights of poor or inadequate sleep can trigger fat storage and “I’m hungry” hormones, not to mention the feeling of depleted energy all day long, and particularly during the 3-5 p.m. time slot?
I know this is hard for moms who find that late evening is their only time to relax, but you must view this as a pleasant and rewarding necessity, not as a luxury. Sleep is highly underrated in our society and it is essential for optimal health.
If you want to feel and be your best during the day, you must respect the importance of sleep.
Here are some tips to get better sleep:
- Start your bedtime routine earlier so you’re ready to fall asleep by 10 p.m.
- Make sure the room is dark. Cover up glaring lights from digital alarm clocks, DVD players, computers, cell phones, etc. Unplug nightlights, close doors to other rooms where light may be entering from and use room darkening shades and drapes. Anything that emits light should be covered.
- Stop using all electronic devices, stop watching television, get off the computer, etc. at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
Improving your sleep habits and getting at least 7-9 hours per night at least 6 nights per week will really change your life!
2. Not drinking enough water.
The human body is about 70% water. Fill up!
Dehydration is common and makes you feel like crap! A dull headache, general fatigue, muscle tightness and cramping can occur.
Drink until your urine is pale yellow. A guideline is to drink half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 100 pounds then drink 50 ounces per day. You can work up to this amount.
If you’re drinking diet soda and coffee all day than slowly make the switch to energy boosting pure spring water.
3. Not eating enough nutrient dense vegetables and fruits.
If you aren’t eating fresh/frozen vegetables and some fruit, you aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruit provide your body with energy. Get more of these foods, especially vegetables, into your diet and you will notice a remarkable improvement of energy.
Look for dark, colorful food. The different colors of vegetables and fruit provide your body with different nutrients, so mix it up!
Eat a vegetable with every meal, even breakfast. You can simply sauté some spinach in your scrambled eggs. For a snack, try a whole piece of fruit, like an apple with the skin on and 1-2 tablespoons of almond butter.
Consider taking a good quality multi-vitamin, even if you are getting the required 9 veggies/fruits per day.
4. Eating too much sugar, box/processed foods, and goodies.
Nothing zaps your energy like too much sugar and processed foods. Do you find yourself hungry and craving bagels, cereal, pasta or high sugar snacks only to find that your energy crashes a few hours later? Do you feel tired and sluggish and once again you crave that same food (and it’s such a strong craving that you just give in?)
That’s what happens when you eat too much sugar and unrefined carbohydrates (like bagels and cereal.) You get a short burst of energy and crash a few hours later. Your energy is depleted and you need to “refuel” so your body craves quick acting carbohydrates – like sugar. It’s a never-ending cycle of cravings and fatigue.
Add protein and healthy fats to all of your meals and snacks while eating vegetables, fruits, and if you eat grains, make sure they are 100% whole grain (if it doesn’t say 100%, it probably isn’t.)
SIDE NOTE: This is also a cause of excess belly fat. When you eat too much sugar your blood sugar spikes causing a spike in your circulating levels of the hormone, insulin, which transports the sugar in your blood into the body’s cells to be used for energy. Over time, if you eat too much of these high sugar foods, too often, your body doesn’t respond to the insulin the way it should. Instead of shuttling blood sugar into the cells, the insulin remains circulating and your body becomes insulin resistant. When this happens, the extra calories you eat don’t get used, but instead get stored as fat, especially in your abdominal area.
By slowly making these few changes, you will notice a great improvement in your energy levels and say good-bye to the 3 p.m. energy slump!
In good health,
Marie V. Ande
Fitness Pro For Busy Moms and founder of
Flemington Boot Camps
p.s. If you’d like to try the whole-foods multi-vitamin I use, go to my partners at Prograde Nutrition and get a free months supply (just pay shipping.)