If you find yourself reaching for a super-strength coffee to get you through the afternoon slump, you're not alone. Low-level fatigue that lasts all day is so common in our society that many doctors use an acronym to describe the symptom – TATT (‘Tired All The Time’). While it's always worth visiting your GP to rule out any medical conditions, paying close attention to your diet and lifestyle can help you feel more alert and energetic throughout the day.

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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.

Three tips for boosting 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.

In our Healthy Diet Plan, we've focused on high-fibre, slow-release carbs in wholegrain dishes and some of the breakfasts, such as this budget porridge with apple and raisins. 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 make up the biggest proportion of our diet – just ensure you choose high-fibre, slow-release options. Protein is great for filling us up, as it takes our body a while to break it down, so it’s great 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 in nuts, seeds and avocado – as well as lean protein, such as beans, lean cuts of meat and fish.

3. Get enough quality sleep

This one may be obvious, but it's easy to forget about! 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.

Enjoyed this? Get more health tips

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This article was updated on 20 December 2022.

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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.

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