Have you ever said, “I don’t have enough energy,” or maybe, “I have all the energy in the world!” But have you ever really thought about what it means to “have energy?” It’s one of those things that can be taken for granted since we all expect to have enough of it to go about our daily lives. But it’s how you manage your energy that can make all the difference in your weight and health status.
Energy is very much like a seesaw. On one side we need to do things to generate it, like eat and sleep. On the other side we expend it through activity, whether physical or mental. The energy seesaw goes up and down multiple times throughout each and every day.
If you are trying to lose weight, it’s helpful to understand how much energy levels are linked to metabolism, which is the mechanism our bodies depend upon to break foods down into energy. If you are able to boost your metabolism, losing weight and breaking through plateaus becomes easier.
It is often thought that weight loss is a simple equation: calories in must be less than calories out. Another way of phrasing that is “energy in (e.g., food) must be less than calories out (e.g., exercise).” But because of how metabolism and the law of energy work, it’s a little more complex than that. However, there are very simple things you can do to improve your weight loss through better energy management.
Before reviewing these tips, there are two numbers you should become aware of immediately if you aren’t already. The first is your body mass index, or BMI. This number is an indicator of your health risk associated with your body weight. The second number is your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. Your BMR indicates the number of calories you burn each day at rest. In weight loss, you want to shoot for a low BMI with a high BMR. This combination will help immensely with your “energy out” levels all day and everyday! At Vive, we can measure your BMR so there is no guessing on how many calories you need per day.
So how do you get there? Start to incorporate the following into your daily routine:
Eat energy foods. All foods provide energy, but some do a better job for the body than others. For instance, proteins and high-fiber foods take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates and force the body to use more energy. Fat-burning foods like green tea and chili peppers can help you boost your metabolism and burn extra calories.
Make sure to get your vitamins. If you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals, you may experience more feelings of fatigue. Magnesium helps break down glucose into energy. Vitamin B-12 is another metabolism booster, helping the body produce energy quicker.
Don’t miss meals. To keep your energy levels high, you need to eat regularly. A study published in journal Nutritional Health found that skipping any meal led to more feelings of fatigue by the end of the day.
Limit the sugar. Sugars and refined grains may give you an instant surge of energy, but the crash that follows isn’t worth it. Instead eat more whole grains to keep blood sugar levels balanced, proving higher levels of energy for longer periods of time.
Address your emotions. How you feel on the inside can have serious physical effects on your health and energy levels. Depression can leave you feeling exhausted and not in the mood to be more physically active. If you are dealing with a great amount of stress, you may turn to overeating as a way to cope.
Get active. A little bit of activity goes a long way. Whether it’s a casual stroll through the park or an intense gym session, exercise burns calories and helps build muscle. Studies have shown that regular exercise is a marker of lifelong healthy weight maintenance may also reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes, and back pain.
Life will always be a constant battle of gaining and using energy. By finding the best energy sources and using them the right way, we can increase our weight loss and feel charged up and ready for action.!