We know dieting isn’t easy (trust us) – some days you may be feeling on top of the world and excited to transform into the new you, and others… well, others you may feel sluggish and grumpy, and all you can think about is ruining your whole dieting journey and reaching for your favourite chocolate bar, takeaway meal, crisps, the full works!
Your body takes time to adjust to the calorie deficiency or change in diet, which means losing weight and maintaining energy at the same time is a challenging process. Giving up your much-loved foods and swapping these out for healthier alternatives can make anyone irritated and exhausted. After a long day at work, it’s oh-so-easy to have a nice cuppa with 1, 2…the whole packet of custard creams (oops) instead of delighting in some apple slices, or mixed nuts.
There are so many factors involved in keeping energy and happiness levels up. What, when, and how you eat can make a huge difference in a successful weight loss journey, and if you are one of the many people who are finding it difficult to stick to their healthy eating habits due to feeling drained, upset and sugar deprived – we have some pointers to help keep you on track and get that spring back in your step. Let’s first focus on what you should (and shouldn’t) be eating…
Foods That Help Fight Fatigue
It’s not all about the number of calories we consume when losing weight, with many falling victim to this. You may be eating lower-calorie foods that are within your allowance, but not fuelling your body with the right nutrition. Take protein for example, this mighty macronutrient is fantastic for fuelling your body and repairing your muscles. Sugary foods only provide a short-term burst of energy, whereas foods that contain protein keeps you fuller for longer. One of our protein blends – The Fit Protein, is great for this as it rehydrates and restores energy!
Foods we consume can directly impact how we feel, including our energy levels. But fear not, switching up your eating habits is simple, and we have outlined some top joy-bringing foods that will help you feel on top of your game.
Avocados tend to get a bad press and are a food that most avoid when dieting is involved. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Yes, they are high in fat, but the good kind of fat that our body needs - like omega 3 and omega 6. Not only this, but they are also high in fibre and contain a lot of water, and when they are eaten with vegetables, can increase how much of the carotenoid antioxidants your body absorbs. A perfect food option for energy increases!
Like avocados, salmon is packed with goodness. It is full of protein and healthy fats, but the star of the show is that it is a source of several B vitamins which your body needs for producing energy, as well as controlling inflammation, and protecting brain and heart health. For those who don’t like salmon, there are other types of fatty fish that are a great alternative like sardines, tuna, and mackerel.
They may be small, but they are mighty – blueberries are a good source of manganese, a chemical that plays an important role in converting carbohydrates and fats into energy. If this wasn’t enough, they are also a food that is low in calories and high in antioxidants, so the perfect component to add to your meal plan as they will definitely be within your calorie allowance. For some ideas, why not add them to your favourite Greek yogurt or morning oats?
Kale is a go-to superfood for weight loss and maintaining energy, whilst all leafy green vegetables are a great option, kale in particular holds a certain sparkle. It is very high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, manganese and high in antioxidants, which helps you fill up for longer and keeps those pesky blood sugars at bay. Mentally kale is a fantastic choice also as it contains the amino acid L-tyrosine which can act as a mood elevator – no more feeling blue when kale is involved. However, we are aware that leafy greens are not to everyone’s liking, and if this is the case you could always try kale chips – these also make the perfect health snack!
For a big boost of natural energy go grab a banana! These cheap and cheerful bunches are full to the brim with potassium, fibre, vitamins, and the perfect amount of carbohydrates. Despite being a natural source of sugar, they are rich in fibre which helps slow down the digestion of that sugar and convert this into energy making the consumer feel fuller for longer. So, if you ever feel weak, bananas are the best grab-and-go snack out there and a great source of energy during exercise. Why not blend a banana with The Fit Protein powder too to make an indulgent shake?
Now, who doesn’t love a perfectly cooked fried egg…or maybe scrambled is more your style? Whichever your preference, eggs are rich in many nutrients including protein and all the essential amino acids needed for your body to function. A wonderful pre and after-work-out food, eggs help to boost metabolism and burn more calories, as well as being a staple for muscle recovery. Different parts of the egg reap different benefits, the white contains protein, and the golden yolk contains good fats. An all-around good egg.
Foods To Avoid
In comparison to the nutritious and energy-busting choices above, there are some foods that just strip you of all your energy and instead leave you feeling worse than you did before you consumed them. These tend to be processed and sugar filled. Yes, in small doses they are ok and treating yourself every now and again is beneficial (we will get to that later), but if you are tired and find yourself craving some bad snacks, this is never a good option. To be on the lookout, and to ensure you are aware of these troublesome treats, the following foods are ones that you should limit:
- Fried foods
- White bread
- Coffee (we know…sorry)
- Desserts & sugary snacks
- Sugary drinks
- Alcohol (again…we know)
- Salty snacks
Other Ways To Maintain Energy
What you consume is a major component when it comes down to energy and weight loss, but there are other natural factors you can implement in your journey to ensure you stay active for longer.
When you first embark on your weight loss path, it can be tempting to make drastic changes instantly. However, this could set you up for failure as you and your body could get thrown into the deep end without having time to adjust. To ensure the longevity of your new lifestyle change, start small and slowly switch out bad foods and go easy at the gym – this will ensure your mood and hormones stay in check.
Keeping active is a great way to boost energy. You may not realise it but partaking in that 40-minute jog on the running machine, or even getting some fresh air and going on a walk with a friend can get your heart rate up and get the blood to flow which in return releases endorphins and raises energy levels. Instead of wandering to the sofa to binge-watch a series, wander outside instead (you can thank us later).
As humans, we need to recharge. Not getting the right amount of sleep each night can lead to us feeling exhausted and unhappy the next day…and the days to come. Reducing calories and switching up your usual routine can add added stress to your body, so it’s crucial to make sure you give your body the rest it needs – about 7 to 9 hours of sleep to be precise…perfect.
With dieting it may be easy to fall into the routine of skipping meals, especially with a busy schedule, but this will have no benefit to you whatsoever. Eating meals at regular intervals throughout the day can help manage blood sugar as well as stabilising your mood. Try to avoid going no longer than 4 hours between meals and snacks – it’s time to begin meal prepping!
Water plays an important role in weight loss as dehydration can make an individual feel irritable, tired, and ill. You are also more likely to wreck your diet as dehydration can cause hunger pains which makes your body conclude that instead of water, it needs food to handle the low energy. So, make sure your water bottle is filled up at all times.
Factor in a treat
Completely limiting yourself off all your favourite naughty snacks can wreak havoc on your mental health and in return affect your energy levels. Yes, consuming these sugary and salty treats day in and day out won’t do anyone any good, but factoring in a KitKat or a packet of salt & vinegar Walkers crisps every so often is a great idea to make sure you look forward to something. Keeps your mindset in tip-top position. After all, it’s much better to have a cheat meal than a cheat day.
Embracing a new weight loss routine whilst keeping up energy levels is challenging for most. Your body takes time to adjust, and it’s always worth noting that things don’t happen overnight (we wish they did). Knowing the right foods to eat and the regime to take is vital - we hope that we have helped to make your life that much easier, as well as providing that extra bit of motivation. Stay positive and keep up the good work, we believe in you.