Eat to Boost Your Energy
Rev your engine with these energizing foods
With the New Year comes a new chance to get healthier and lose that weight
once and for all. Easier said than done! We all start off a new year with great
expectations. But all too often, we fall right back into those old habits
within a few months.
This year, why not give your diet a fresh start by emphasizing foods that
you should eat more of instead of focusing on foods to avoid? At the top
of your list should be foods that not only taste great and are good for you but
are also energizing. That's right, foods that can boost your energy.
Timing Is Everything
For foods to give you that much-needed boost, you need to eat the right ones
at the right time. There's nothing worse than skipping meals. Your body needs
fuel, just like a car. If you don't provide it, your body will break down
muscle tissue to generate it. And your weight-loss goal should be to
increase calorie-burning lean body mass, not lose it.
"Never let your tank get on empty," says Dan Benardot, PhD, RD,
FACSM, a nutrition researcher and professor of nutrition at Georgia State
University in Atlanta. "It is very important to maintain a normal blood
sugar, and the best way to accomplish this is to eat every few hours."
This will help you maintain muscle tissue -- which burns more calories than
fat tissue -- while putting the proverbial zip in your step. But don't overdo
it. Overeating can be just as bad as starvation, Benardot warns.
"Ingesting large quantities of food stimulates insulin production and
the deposition of fat," he says.
The challenge is to be prepared and to carry healthful snacks with you so
you don't go for long periods of time without fuel for your tank. Portable
combinations of complex carbs and lean protein -- like low-fat cheese and
whole-grain crackers, whole fruit and a handful of nuts, or a low-fat granola
bar -- are great munchies for energy. Store them in your purse or briefcase so
they're always handy.