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Health & Balance

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What’s Zapping Your Energy?

11 surprising things may be draining your energy without you even knowing it.

6. Attitude

A bad attitude will zap your energy, says motivational speaker Sam Glenn, author of A Kick in the Attitude. Change your attitude and your energy level, feelings, responses, outlook, and perspectives on your situation change along with it, he says. "This one simple choice can transform your life," Glenn says. "In changing the nature of the way we think and act, we build an attitude force so strong that it will attract favor, opportunities, people, and dreams into our existence."

7. Clutter and Disorganization

Being disorganized or having clutter in your home can make you feel lethargic and lacking in energy and optimism, says Candita Clayton, founder of Your Life Organized in Rumford, R.I.

Looking for lost or misplaced stuff is a huge physical drain. And trying to remember where things are and all you have to get done on your to-do list is a big mental drain, says professional organizer Jamie Novak, author of 1,000 Best Quick and Easy Organizing Secrets. To cope with clutter, Novak says:

  • Give everything a storage place, and put it back when you are done.
  • Make a short daily to-do list; when it's on paper, it's out of your head.
  • Divide a big pile of "stuff" into smaller containers. A few small sorts are easier than one big one.
  • Take action. Choose one area to get under control; set a timer for 20 minutes and dive in.
  • See a project through. Do not put the mail down, for example; stand over the shredder and sort it right then.
  • Love it or lose it! Keep only the items around you that you find beautiful and uplifting. Sort through the clutter, letting go of items you no longer love. This frees up space for all the items you want to have around.

8. Not Enough Food

Cutting back on calories helps you lose weight, but not eating enough can leave you feeling drained, say Alex Lluch and Sarah Jang, authors of Simple Principles to Eat Smart & Lose Weight.

If you maintain a diet that severely restricts calories for long periods of time, your body will have the tendency to go into "starvation mode," they say. Your metabolism will slow down and your energy level will be low. During times of severe calorie restriction the body tends to store calories as fat and burn muscle as a way to conserve energy. Figure out your recommended caloric intake based on your age, weight, level of activity, and the rate at which you want to lose weight.

Waiting too long between meals can also sap your energy, they add. Increase your metabolism by eating enough calories at regular intervals during the day. Try to have something small to eat every 2 to 3 hours. Avoid large gaps of time without food where your hunger completely takes over. If you skip meals, your body starts conserving energy because it lacks nutrients.

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