If you find yourself reaching for coffee as soon as you wake up, your first idea may be reevaluating your sleep. As important as restful, solid sleep is, the foods you eat also play an important role in the quality of your sleep.
Nutrition directly affects energy levels, meaning the wrong foods can have a negative impact on your ability to stay alert. Following is a list of some of the worst energy stealers along with the best foods for fueling your day.
Breakfast Foods That are Heavily Processed and Steal Energy
- White bread
Although breakfast staples like pancakes and croissants have long been viewed as an ideal way to start the day, they are heavily processed and contain simple carbohydrates. These foods set the body up for a blood sugar crash, since they send sugar levels soaring only to quickly crash back down. This leaves you feeling tired and sluggish.
The high-fat levels in processed meats such as sausage and bacon make them difficult to digest. With the majority of your energy being used for digestion, it leaves limited energy for you to run on.
Sustain Your Energy Levels With These Healthy Options
Instead of the above, try these healthy options for breakfast:
- Oatmeal topped with fruit
- Eggs with sautéed with veggies such as capsicum, spinach, mushrooms, and tomato
- An IsaLean Shake
- Wholegrain bread or wraps with veggies and beans
- Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit
Snacks – The Good and Bad
Snacks that can sap your energy include:
- Ice cream
- Lollipops and other candies
- Chips and pretzels
Although chips for a morning snack and a brownie after dinner may sound harmless, these snacks can hurt your energy levels and your waistline. With high amounts of fat and sugar and almost zero nutrients, these snacks should be saved for a treat on the weekend rather than a daily snack.
Try these healthier snack options instead:
- Fresh vegetables dipped in hummus
- A small portion of mixed nuts such as walnuts, cashews, pecans, or macadamia nuts
- Fresh fruit
- IsaDelight chocolates
- Whey Thins
- Fibre Snacks
What About Lunch and Dinner Time?
Lunch and dinner foods that can drain your energy include:
- White pasta
- White rice
- Canned soups
- Store-bought sauces
If these foods make up the majority of your plate, it is unlikely that your body is getting the nutrients it requires. White pasta and rice are high in calories, low in nutrients, and spike blood sugar. Store-bought sauces and soups are packed with excessive sodium, additives, and sugar. Without the nutrients, fibre, vitamins, and minerals it needs, the body is not fueled properly and you will feel fatigued and sluggish.
Try these delicious alternatives instead:
- Brown rice
- Spiralised veggies (such as zucchinis or sweet potatoes) instead of noodles
- Spaghetti squash rather than traditional pasta
- Homeade soups and sauces
- Leafy greens
Try these healthier options and your body will thank you!