Energy Nutrition: Energy Boost and Drain
Are the kinds of foods you eat giving you energy or draining you?
Are you getting the most out of your nutrition?
There is more to nutrition than the vitamins and minerals you receive.
When we understand the energy aspect behind nutrition, we can become more aware of our own health and vitality.
Foods are Energy
Food is more than the nutrients you get, it is also the energy you absorb.
What is food but compressed energy for consuming and refilling your body?
The body is like an engine. When it gets tired, it does not function very well. So you eat and refill your energy to keep on moving.
We get our energy from the food we eat. And not all foods give the same quality of energy.
This is why it’s important to choose the kinds of foods that will gain you health and vitality.
You Don’t Have To Change Diet
There is no reason to turn full 360 and adopt a vegan diet or starve to death in the attempt to “Go On a Diet”. Neither should you avoid the foods you enjoy eating once in a while such as cookies, chips, etc.
Each and every body works differently and reacts differently to different foods.
Some can be intolerant to shellfish but are absolutely okay with dairy products. Some may be allergic to extremely salty foods but can take a hot pepper anytime. And some can eat all they want and never appears to gain any weight while others gain weight the moment they get a little snack.
However, this doesn’t mean that we can sit back and eat unhealthy foods all we want.
There is some discretion we need in choosing our foods.
Aware of the Effects of the Food You Eat
If you begin to take notice on the effects of the food you eat, you will be one step closer to understanding your state of health.
When you finish eating, notice how you are feeling from immediately upon eating to about 1 hour.
Are you feeling tired? Sleepy? Sluggish? Do you just want to lay in bed all day? Feeling a bit down?
If your body is reacting to foods that are draining you, then you will feel like you don’t have the energy to do more.
Now what about foods that give you energy and vitality?
You will generally feel more upbeat, energized, and can do more.
So on your day-to-day basis, notice how you are feeling after eating a meal or a snack. Do you feel energized or drained?
Sometimes you will need to avoid the foods you like. But if you don’t feel any differently than you were, then you can eat it without any problems.
Foods That Drains You
With that said, there are general ways to know which type of foods and drinks are draining you.
If you are looking for a healthy diet, you can avoid or limit some of the following:
- Fast foods
- Excess alcohol
- Artificial drinks (sodas, juice, etc.)
- Artificial sweeteners (saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose)
- High saturated fats
- Anything with high fructose corn syrup (candy, salad dressing, canned fruits, processed foods, cereals, etc.)
- Smoking (not a food but also drains you while you eat)
- Caffeine (you don’t have to avoid it but limit it)
Also begin to notice that some fruits and vegetables are produced via GMO. They are produced in a way that is out of alignment with the seasons.
While it is convenient, it does not give the same quality of energy as organically produced fruits and vegetables in their natural season.
Foods that Gains Vitality
On the other hand, the more we consume high energy foods the more healthier we become.
You will have to become aware of how the foods are affecting you because each body reacts different.
But generally the following foods give you vitality:
- Starchy foods (potatoes)
- Red meat
- Certain fruits or vegetables
- Some processed foods
- Sugar (as long as its not too high)
A rule of thumb is that high energy foods are foods that are full of life!
Just make sure that you are feeling energized or well after eating a meal. If not, then you can avoid that food in the future.
Also, read the nutrition labels so you know what to expect when eating. Many people look at the front of the product but that is just marketing hype. The real nutrition facts are on the back.
However, you must be careful. Sometimes a juice may say “0% sugar added” which on first sight suggests that there are no sugar. But this only means that there are already sugar in there but no “additional” sugar added.
Not Just What You Eat But When You Eat
The time in when you eat and how much you eat also determines your energy level.
Let’s say that you had a large meal and goes straight to sleep at night. You feel completely drained upon waking up in the morning. But eating a large meal doesn’t usually make you feel drained during the day. Thus, you can say that eating before sleeping is bad specifically for you.
This means that you may have chosen a bad time to eat.
Now how frequent should you eat?
Should you have 3 large meals? Or tiny meals every 3 hours?
If you find that you have been eating frequently in small meals, and still feel hungry all the time, then you should change it up.
If you are eating too much in general, then the body will take up a lot of energy to digest the food so you won’t be able to do other things in your life.
Notice how your eating habits are making you feel. Then adjust it.
Since everyone is different, you will have to do what works for you.
Psychological Effects of Food
Many times we do not eat for health but for psychological reasons.
It could be due to stress, pleasure, boredom, etc.
When we are stressed, our mind tries to find ways to relieve that stress. Sometimes it manifests in the habit of eating.
We may also grow attached to certain foods in which we find pleasure in.
The problem with psychological eating is that we are not in control of what we eat, when we eat, and how often we eat.
As long as we eat for psychological reasons than for health, we may eat foods that drains us.
The solution to this is to eat for health and vitality.
Choosing Foods for Your Lifestyle
Again, you don’t have to drastically change the way you eat. Once you make small decisions to choose healthy foods on a day-to-day basis, you’ll soon break out the cycle and start on the road to health.
You can still eat what you want. It is all about balance.
If your lifestyle requires you to travel a lot or leave the house often, then likely it will hard to cook your own meal each and every time even if it is the healthy choice.
Then you will need to adjust your food choices and choose processed foods if needed and then eating something healthy at a different time.
This is all about balancing the unhealthy foods with healthy foods with your lifestyle and how your body reacts to different foods.
You can maintain your energy level and even gradually boost your energy to a high level.