Lifestyle and Nutrition Factors That Will Boost Your Energy and Mood

With all the snow we've been hit with this winter season, it's no surprise that you may be experiencing the winter blues. Long, frigid, white winters seem to drain all the energy from you. Whether your body is using its energy to keep you warm or support you through yet another shoveling bout, winter does a good job at depleting your energy levels.

Well there is hope! The sun will shine again and we will once again see the colors of nature instead of blankets and mounds of snow. Most importantly, you can be the key factor in boosting your energy levels. All you need to do is modify some lifestyle and nutrition factors and you'll be on your way to pulling yourself through to the warmer weather.

Some nutrition recommendations to enhance your energy level include the following:

Eat a breakfast containing high fiber carbohydrate and protein: High fiber carb breakfasts have shown to improve alertness throughout the morning hours as compared to high fat breakfasts. To incorporate high fiber carb foods into your morning routine, look for whole grain products such as whole wheat bread or whole grain cereal. Include an egg white omelet, or cottage cheese for a protein boost to provide longer lasting satiety.

Load up on fruits and vegetables: Adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals is a great way to reduce the amount of calories consumed, while increasing the amount of nutrients and water containing foods into your meals. Eating too many calorie-rich foods can make you feel sluggish and worn down, as well as lead to weight gain. Carrying extra weight acts as an energy drain as well.

Focus on antioxidant and omega-3 rich foods: Antioxidants, found in plant foods, help fight off oxidizing agents in the body that are responsible for causing illness and draining energy. Omega-3s have been linked to enhancing energy by improving memory, mood and thinking. Omega-3 rich foods include fatty fish, flax seeds, hemp seeds, leafy greens and walnuts.

Ditch the diet: When you think "diet", you likely think "deprivation. When you deprive yourself of food and the necessary nutrients, you are depriving yourself of energy. Additionally, when you do not consume an adequate amount of calories, your metabolism slows making you feel sluggish. Start to listen to your intuitive signals as a guide to when to begin eating and when to stop.

Hydrate: Make sure you drink enough water. Replace your sugar-laden drinks such as soda or vitamin water with pure water. Maintaining proper hydration will help maintain your energy levels.

Lifestyle factors are equally important to help achieve optimal energy levels. The following lists a few helpful lifestyle factors.

Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! While it seems pretty obvious that lack of sleep results in feeling tired, most people aren't sleeping enough. Get to bed earlier and allow yourself around 8 hours each night.

Laughter: The winter holiday season is often a time filled with family and friends, so never underestimate the power of a smile and a few laughs. Laughter is the most natural way to help soothe anxiety and depression.

Stretch: Take a moment in the morning, or any time you're feeling a bit stressed, to stretch out your muscles and get your blood flowing!

Exercise: Exercising releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins that act as the body's natural painkillers. The release of endorphins produces a feeling of overall well-being and can improve your mood.

Stress: Stress is infectious, so stay away from toxic people that drain your energy! When it comes to your own stress, try your best to keep everything in perspective and learn how to manage your reaction to stressful situations.

Time Management: Don't use up all your energy rushing around from one appointment to another. Leave fifteen minutes early when you have to be somewhere so you'll arrive in plenty of time and have a few minutes to relax.

Don't let the winter blues get you down! Try these suggestions and start feeling your best right away!

Bonnie R. Giller is a registered and certified dietitian nutritionist and certified intuitive eating counselor who helps chronic dieters break free of the pain of dieting and get the healthy body they love. She has multiple degrees in clinical nutrition, a certification as a certified diabetes educator and she works with people who are struggling with dieting or health conditions like diabetes take back control so they can get a healthy body and live their lives symptom free.

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