Your body runs off of what you feed it. And the best way to get the most out of your food is to make sure you’re giving yourself the best food possible.
Besides what you eat, when you eat can also impact your mood. Did you ever notice how you feel sluggish after a big lunch or dinner? That’s because your body is using its energy to digest that big meal instead of powering the rest of your body. The easiest way to avoid the post-meal coma is to eat smaller-portioned meals throughout the day. This will keep your body fueled regularly and may even help you lose weight.
Part 2 of 10: Processed Foods
Avoid Processed Foods
While a cheeseburger and fries might be comforting while you’re eating it, all that grease does nothing more than prevent hunger. Processed foods, such as canned foods high in sodium, candy, most packaged foods, boxed meals, and pre-cooked meats are typically full of preservatives, sodium, and other compounds that may slow you down.
Part 3 of 10: Fresh Foods
Eat Fresh Foods
The fresher your food is, the more nutrients it will contain. Unlike processed foods that may be stripped of nutrients for a longer shelf life, fresh foods contain maximum nutrients. Eating in-season fruits and vegetables means they ripened naturally; Farmers’ markets are sometimes your best bet for finding fresh produce.
Part 4 of 10: Caffeine
It may sound odd, but caffeine can make you tired. The first sips can give you a jolt, but you’ll soon crash. Cutting back on caffeine can stabilize your energy levels so you can feel better.
If you must have your fix, opt for black coffee. Sodas and energy drinks are full of sugar and other substances.
Part 5 of 10: Proteins
Red meats marbled in fat adds saturated fat to your diet. Leaner meats, like chicken and fish, still provide quality protein, and contain less fat for your body. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, can add fats that may be beneficial to your heart.
Part 6 of 10: Refined Carbs
Sugars & Simple Starches
Just like processed foods, refined carbohydrates like sugars and white flour add little to your nutrition. Choosing whole grain foods and complex carbohydrates ensures that your body gets the full benefits of the hull of the grain that adds fiber to your diet.
Part 7 of 10: Nuts
Nuts are some of the best foods to beat fatigue and fight hunger. Nuts that provide energy include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts. Eating raw, unsalted nuts provide the most energy because they contain the most nutrients. And they’re the perfect mid-afternoon snack.
Part 8 of 10: Water
Drinking water is one of the easiest ways to hydrate your body. You don’t always have to have exactly eight glasses a day, but if you swap out sodas, coffee, and other drinks for a glass of water, you’ll feel better before you know it.
Part 9 of 10: Supplements
Supplement Your Diet
If you’re not getting everything you need from your food, you may want to consider taking a daily vitamin. Consulting with a nutritionist or homeopathic doctor could get you started on a nutritional supplement regiment. Make sure to talk to your doctor about any and all nutritional supplements you’re considering.