Long summer days open up many opportunities for 9-5 workers to get out and enjoy the outdoors. This is easier said then done. For many people finding the energy to actually enjoy your evening activities is hard. After working all day and then getting the kids to activities and running errands, it’s easy to see why many people feel too burnt out to get outside to enjoy the weather or exercise.
Lucky enough, the solution might be easier then you think. No, you don’t have to load up on 5-hour energy drinks or coffee that will probably end up keeping you awake all night. Rather, you may just need to adjust your diet. The foundation of this nutritional secret is in your blood sugar. Glucose levels in your body are directly related to your brain and how it preserves exhaustion. This is what happens when people experience sugar highs and then crashes. So how do you fix this?
1. Eat breakfast! Why? It’s the most important meal of the day! Research shows that people who eat complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads and high fiber cereals and protein for breakfast rated their energy for the day higher then those who ate high sugar yogurts, smoothies, or other simple carbohydrates. These folks also had a lower BMI (Body Mass Index).
2. Eat every three to four hours. You’ll help to keep your blood sugars level by eating every three to four hours. You don’t have to eat a full meal. Instead, by eating a high fiber or high protein snack such as a protein shake or ½ a cup of Greek yogurt with granola, you’ll avoid the mid-morning and mid-afternoon crash. Eating every few hours also helps your body keep your metabolism elevated, which allows your body to constantly burn energy throughout the day.
3. Make lunch or breakfast your largest meal of the day. This is the opposites of most households which generally eat their biggest meal at dinner. But think about it. You eat food to give you energy for the activities you have to do. So why would you eat so much between 6 and 8pm? For most of us, after dinner activities consist of things like getting homework done, working at the computer, and getting ready for the next day. By eating your largest meals earlier in the day, you allow your body a chance to burn off all this energy. Eating a larger lunch also gives you the energy you need to hit the gym after work or enjoy the beautiful summer weather with a walk or a hike. Think of it like this: eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.
Brent Dodge is the founding owner of Alpine Physical Therapy and is a board certified orthopedic specialist. He holds additional certifications in Functional Dry Needling, Manual Physical Therapy, and Strength and Conditioning.
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