Just yesterday it was New Year’s Eve and today we are nearing the end of January.
How’s that going for you so far? Have you achieved all your resolutions?
If like many others, you have slumped back into your usual habits, don’t beat yourself up. Who says today is too late to step up?
Stop thinking that you can only turn over a new leaf on the first day of the year, month, week. It doesn’t have to be the first of January or a Monday. It doesn’t even have to be first thing in the morning to strive for an energy boost.
Right now you can decide to commit yourself to being a better you.
After weeks of lazing on the couch eating anything you can get into your mouth, celebrating the festivities with a few too many drinks, and forgetting what the gym looks like, you returned to work and forgot about the amendments you intended on making. Here are some tips on how to get your energy back and feel motivated again.
Get your Energy Up
All it takes is getting started. The next time you tell yourself that you should get up to exercise, do it! Act on the urge within 5 seconds and you will be up and on your way. Once you are in it you will remember why this is an important goal.
Getting your body moving actually fuels it with more energy. Don’t let yourself negotiate reasons to stay dormant. A 30 minute walk will energise you more than a coffee or a nap. Continuous physical activity will grow your stamina so you will hit less slumps during the day. Days won’t feel as strenuous because you are strengthening your body.
You will begin to crave the powerful feeling you get after a workout. Building muscle also speeds up your metabolism to help you to absorb nutrients faster and more efficiently.
Devote one day a week to indulging in relaxation where you can get up as late as you want and rest guilt-free. If you have put in the energy on the other days of the week you will truly deserve it.
Eat to Nourish and Fuel
Eating foods that are in their purest form ensure that your body is using food for its intended purpose: for nutrients and cellular energy. If you are not aware of what you are putting into your body get into the habit of reading food labels.
Anything that contains more than 6 ingredients and they are difficult to pronounce, is not going to provide nourishment. Go back to the basics. Eat foods that look the same way they do in their natural form.
These foods are usually found in the outer edges of a grocery store. They require refrigeration or have a short shelf life. Real food cannot be kept in the cupboard for weeks.
The easiest way to fuel your body is to eat protein with every meal. It is dense in calories to provides energy and takes longer to digest thus keeping you satisfied for longer.
A protein-based breakfast within an hour of waking is the kick-start your body needs for the day. Throw in some vegetables for vitamins, minerals and fibre and you’re in for a winner!
Try these substitutes to help you get started in eating a clean wholesome diet:
Milk –> Unsweetened almond milk
Dairy products are not designed for humans. Cutting out dairy, even one piece at a time will change the way you body functions. This one can be tough. Do it slowly.
Breakfast cereal –> Protein-based breakfast
Eggs, protein powder, leftover dinner will all nourish you more than a sugary carb-based breakfast does.
White carbohydrates –> Vegetables and whole grains
White carbohydrates are so processed that they contain barely anything to fuel your body. They are only rich in sugar.
Vegetables and whole grains contain natural fibre to aid in digestion and they are rich in nutrients that help every cell to function at the optimal level. There are so many substitute choices for bread and pasta these days. Hop on the bandwagon.
Packet/bottled sauces –> Herbs and spices
Don’t cheat yourself by flavouring your food with artificial sauces made from chemicals.
Real food has delicious flavour and can be complemented by herbs, spices, lemon juice, vinegar, homemade salsa or oils. This is a shortcut that just isn’t worth it. The quality of a properly flavoured meal will prove this to you.
Coffee –> Green tea
You don’t need to cut out coffee altogether but you are kidding yourself if you think you need 3-5 cups a day. Cap it at 2 cups and substitute the rest with organic teas such as green tea. Exercise to get your energy up instead of reaching for a stimulant.
Soft drinks/juices –> Water
The sugars and chemicals found in soft drinks eat away your insides and are the cause of some serious illnesses. It is impossible to lose weight if you include these in your daily diet. They cause more dehydration than hydration.
Bottled fruit juices are not healthy either. They usually contain preservatives and sugars which are unnecessary and inhibit the absorption of other foods. Water is the best way to stay hydrated which also helps with energising yourself.