What to Eat for All-Day Energy

Calories fuel your body’s machinery. But should you find yourself in a midday slump before it’s even lunchtime, it may be time to reevaluate the kind of calories you’re feeding your body. Some foods naturally boost your energy, while others sap your stamina stores.

The ideal meal consists of complex carbs, healthy fats,and lean protein. Carbs provide instant energy, fats give longer-lasting energy, and protein helps your body build tissue and muscle mass. A good rule of thumb for energy-conscious eaters is to get 45 to 60 percent of calories from carbs, 20 to 35 percent from fat,and 15 to 30 percent from protein.

Here are some of the foods you can eat to help fight fatigue so you can stay energized and focused throughout the day:

Healthy treats such as half of a whole-wheat English muffin with fruit spread are rich in carbohydrates, which can boost your levels of serotonin, a calming brain chemical. For an optimal, energy-infused breakfast, pair it with 2 eggs and 1/3 of an avocado to get the most oomph from your calories.

Eat like a fuel-efficient machine when you opt for a healthy spinach salad topped with a ½ cup of lentils, 3 oz of grilled salmon, and drizzled with 2 Tbsp of olive oil vinaigrette. Round out your calories with a whole-wheat roll for your dose of complex carbs.

Nibbling on a few squares of dark chocolate will pull you out of an energy rut, thanks to its caffeine and theobromine, mild mood- and energy-boosting stimulants.Or keep your energy full throttle by eating1 cup of berries, 6 oz of Greek yogurt, and 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts.

Just because it’s the evening doesn’t mean your energy levels should plummet. Have a cup of butternut squash mixed with a cup of quinoa prepared with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Pair it with a 3 oz serving of grilled chicken breast for a perfect combination and all around healthy meal.

Drink Water
Staying well hydrated is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve memory, focus, and alertness. If you find yourself feeling sluggish even after eating a well-balanced meal, the culprit of your fatigue may be dehydration. Be sure to keep a water bottle handy at all times to combat an energy slump.

What are you favorite energy-boosting foods to eat?


How to Get Your Metabolism Moving

Did you know that you’re burning calories as you read this post? In fact, your body burns calories even when you’re not moving a single muscle. Every single thing you do—from breathing to eating to sleeping—uses energy. The number of calories it would take just to lie in bed all day is called your resting metabolic rate, which is unique to every person.

Although you can’t exchange your genetics or turn back the clock, there’s still plenty you can do to be a fast calorie burner. All you need to do is remember these four metabolism truths:

1. Cardio charges your metabolism for hours afterward. A pound of muscle at rest does burn three times as many calories as a pound of fat, but that doesn’t mean you should only focus on weight training if you want to blast calories. Cardio is every bit as crucial for keeping your metabolism cranked up. Do just two to three vigorous bouts of exercise per week for 45 minutes, and you could lose a pound of fat every two weeks from the combination of calories expended during exercise plus what you burn afterward.

Pro-tip: Any sweat-inducing activity you can sustain for 45 minutes will do the trick.

2. Beauty rest is the new calorie-burning boost. Though contrary to expectations, more sleep makes for a quicker metabolism. In fact, a single sleepless night reduces your resting metabolic rate by about 5% several hours into the next day, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. So put away the laptop, and be sure you aim to give yourself nine hours of sleep  each night.

3. Age doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthy metabolism.Sure, it’s hardly a myth that women tend to gain weight after the age of 40. But according to a new study in Cell Metabolism, estrogen levels may be the cause. Less estrogen, it turns out, equals a sluggish metabolism—you burn 50 fewer calories a day. Compensate by hitting the weight room three times a week. In 12 weeks, you’ll add enough muscle  mass to burn an extra 45 calories per day.

4. Timing is everything when it comes to blasting calories. Drops in blood sugar can make your metabolism stall during the day. That’s because the primary food for your brain is blood sugar, and when you let it drop, your brain has to set up defenses to sustain its fuel. In other words, low blood sugar leaves you with less muscle, which makes your metabolism sluggish. To keep your blood-sugar levels even throughout the day, eat smaller meals with 100- to 200-calorie snacks in between.

What are some ways you keep your metabolism fired up? Share your tips in the comments section below!