Healthy Diet Plan: how to eat to feel more energetic
Wondering why you're always tired? If you want to have more energy during the day, see how our Healthy Diet Plan can give you a boost.
If you find you're tired all the time, it could be down to your diet. Whether you wake up tired in the morning or suffer from the afternoon slump, making small changes to what you eat could help.
Our Healthy Diet Plans are designed to help maintain energy levels, as they're packed with healthy fats, lean protein and slow-release carbs. If you haven't already, sign up today for free online access.
So, put down that super-strength coffee and read on to find out how paying close attention to your diet and lifestyle can help you feel more alert and energetic throughout the day.
Five ways to boost your energy levels
1. Eat slow-release carbs
Choose slow-release carbs such as oats, as well as wholegrain versions of bread, rice and pasta – these supply a steady source of fuel for the body so you don’t end up running on empty. It’s the peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels that can really mess with our energy levels across the day. It can lead to cravings for high-sugar foods for an instant energy hit but this just creates a vicious cycle. Opting for high-fibre carbs will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable and avoid the dips.
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In our Healthy Diet Plan, we've focused on high-fibre, slow-release carbs in wholegrain dishes and some of the breakfasts, like this cinnamon porridge with baked bananas. Sign up to get all the recipes.
2. Balance your macros
‘Macros’ or ‘macronutrients’ refer to carbs, protein and fat. Even if you choose slow-release carbs, such as wholegrain varieties, eating too much of them can make you feel lethargic. A healthy balanced diet is recommended to be around 50% carbs, no more than 35% fat and at least 15% protein. Carbs provide us with the best source of energy, so they make up the biggest proportion of our diet but ensure you choose high-fibre, slow-release options. Protein is great for filling us up as it takes the body a while to break it down, so it’s ideal for sustaining energy levels.
All the recipes in our Healthy Diet Plan are designed to provide a good balance between complex carbs and healthy fats such as those found in nuts, seeds and avocado, as well as lean protein, such as beans and lean cuts of meat and fish. You'll love our one-pan cod & red shrimp.
3. Choose sugar wisely
Not only does sugar have a negative impact on our health, causing issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, it also wreaks havoc on our energy levels.
When we eat sugary foods, our blood sugar levels shoot up, giving us a boost of energy and that feel-good 'high’. However, this is soon followed by a crashing slump that leaves us tired, irritable and craving more sugar. If this cycle sounds familiar, you should minimise your intake of processed sugary foods and drink. Instead, opt for fruit with a handful of nuts – the balance of protein, sugar and carbs will give you a more sustained boost.
4. Make sure you're getting enough magnesium and calcium
Magnesium and calcium work together to help calm the body and relax the muscles. A deficiency may cause you to wake up after a few hours and not return to sleep. If you're struggling to drop off or stay asleep throughout the night, try eating more magnesium-rich foods, such as spinach, nuts, seeds, fish and wholegrains.
Our Healthy Diet Plan includes plenty of nutritious seeds, wholegrains, lean proteins like fish and leaky greens like spinach. Our puy lentil & beetroot salad is topped with walnuts for a nourishing crunch.
5. Get enough quality sleep
This one may be obvious, but it's easy to forget! Don’t attempt to burn the candle at both ends – adequate rest is crucial for supporting energy levels. Try our top tips for a good night's sleep.
If your tiredness persists, consider visiting your GP to rule out any medical conditions.
Find out more about our latest Healthy Diet Plan.
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All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. Any Healthy Diet Plan featured by BBC Good Food is provided as a suggestion of a general balanced diet and should not be relied upon to meet specific dietary requirements. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our terms and conditions for more information.