Makeover Monday: The Energy Crisis

One of the benefits of weight loss is an increase in energy. Most days I’m overflowing with the stuff. And then there are the other days. The days when I can’t seem to get one foot in front of the other without Herculean(-ette) effort. Of course, those are usually days in which I have a long must-do list and could use a little extra dose of energy.

I was having one of those days when I spotted an article in Good Housekeeping magazine’s May 2009 issue: Solved-Your Personal Energy Crisis. I perked up a teensy bit just reading the title, so I had to share their tips with you.

Let some light in by opening your curtains and/or blinds as soon as you get out of bed. From GH:

“Sunlight is a powerful natural signal that can shift your circadian rhythms from drowsy to alert, whether you’re sleep-deprived or not. The light that hits at dawn, just before sunrise, stimulates special cells in your eyes, which then send a wake-up call to your brain’s internal clock.”

An early morning walk is ideal. (I can hear some of you groaning at that, but it’s true.)

Add some protein to your breakfast. Toast or a granola bar are a breakfast staple for many of us, but starting the day with protein will help prevent the blood sugar swing that an all-carb meal can. So add some peanut butter to your toast (or your oatmeal-yummmm). Or opt for whole grain cereal with low- or non-fat milk and fruit, or yogurt with berries and granola. You could also keep some boiled eggs in the fridge, ready to grab-and-go with your toast. Nuts are also a good (tasty, easy, quick) choice for a quick breakfast. (Of course, you could also eat a non-breakfast food, like chicken breast or tuna as I frequently do.)

Sip–don’t gulp–your water. (That ‘gulp’ part was self-directed.) Apparently, drinking a large amount of water quickly sends the kidneys into overdrive and doesn’t allow the body to actually use all the water.

Have a smart caffeine strategy. Rather than drink a couple cups first thing in the morning, consider sipping coffee (GH recommends 2 ounces every hour) until early afternoon.

Drink green or white tea. These teas have higher levels of l-theanine, an amino acid reported to improve memory, alertness, and attention.

Avoid high-fat lunches. As if. Around here, our lunches contain fruits and/or vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Right? Right.

Get up and move
. Even a simple 20-minute stroll after lunch can boost your energy levels.

Take a nap. We’ve explored the joy of napping on a previous Makeover Monday. Catnaps of 15-30 minutes can boost your overall alertness and productivity.

Perk up with a splash of water. In addition to the internal benefits of water, splashing a bit on your face (or the back of your neck if you’re like me and don’t want to muss the makeup, although in the summer in the South most makeup is gone by mid-morning) can help you feel more awake.

Practice some DIY acupressure. According to GH:

“Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor found that a do-it-yourself version of this Eastern practice boosted alertness as effectively as a small cup of coffee. Volunteers activated energizing acupressure points by tapping their fingers on the top of their heads; massaging the back of their necks and the front and sides of their shins; and squeezing the pad of muscle between their thumb and index fingers for three minutes.”

There are a gajillion or two books and videos on this topic, for your further exploration. I’ll be checking into it.

Get a good night’s sleep. Well, that one seems fairly self-explanatory, doesn’t it? We all know the benefits of adequate sleep, and I can certainly testify that proper rest helps with weight loss/maintenance as well.

Those seem easy enough, no? Got some energy tips of your own? Please share.

Wishing you all a peppy week! I’m off to the gym to start week 2 of my challenge.