Are you running on empty?
Wherever you are in your business, whatever your position, your industry standing, your successes or challenges, being on top of your game is crucial. Learning how to eat for energy is an easy way to enhance your business performance and competitive edge (and enjoy your personal life too).
Neglecting to eat and running on empty may lead to feeling less than your best, which will ultimately impact on your professional performance.
I teach my clients how to implement FIVE SIMPLE HABITS – foundational to having HIGH-FLYING ENERGY– we’re going to focus on the first habit in this post.
Habit #1: Eating Regularly to have even energy levels throughout the day
So what does eating regularly mean?
Plan regular meals and snacks
- Ideally, you should eat every four to five hours throughout the day (of course, this is personal and we all have our own requirements).
- Your eating pattern needs to fit in with the rest of your routine, so it may be slightly different every day – very few of us have the same day routine throughout the week!
Plan three meals during the day and two snacks if required.
- Ideally eating 3 meals a day (without snacks) will usually provide the energy and nutrients that you require. However if you are experiencing energy dips and feeling tired all the time (TATT) the key aim is to get you into balance first, so snacks may be required to help gain blood sugar balance.
- I suggest using snacks as a kind of training wheel, a way to get used to eating regularly so that you’re not feeling hungry or suffering an energy dip or blood sugar dips – in time you may move to eating 3 meals a day without snacks.
Think about your day and when you will eat
Depending on your afternoon, you may need to plan a snack later in the afternoon to keep you going until you get home for dinner.
It’s important to be prepared for the snacking and have something available.
As I mentioned earlier everyone is different and you probably have different routine on different days so feel free to adjust timings as required.
For example on a day when you breakfast at 8am and lunch at 12 noon you are not likely to need a mid am snack, but on a day that you breakfast at 8am and lunch at 2pm it would be supportive to add a small snack mid-morning.
MY TOP TEN LOW GL SNACK SUGGESTIONS
- 2 oatcakes with topping:‒ Cottage cheese, hummus, nut butter, guacamole
- Vegetable sticks with any of the above
- A boiled egg
- An apple with nut butter
- Satsuma with 6 almonds
- Small natural yoghurt with mixed seeds/berries
- 4 olives and some mixed seeds
- ½ avocado
- 2 squares of dark chocolate and a few nuts
- 50g feta cheese with cherry tomatoes
I strongly recommend that you do not graze!
A lot of people never eat a proper meal and graze throughout the day – nibbling on whatever is to hand. When they get hungry they eat a little something, with open packets of food on their desk, kitchen bench and in the car.
Or maybe you’re the person who opens the fridge and eats a whole meal without any of the food reaching your plate.
The issue with continual grazing is that you never allow your digestive system an opportunity to rest and your insulin mechanism is constantly switched on.
I recommend eating your meal and then stopping to rest and repair your digestive system and to allow insulin to switch off too, this will help promote fat burning for energy. Wait until the next mealtime to eat again – and enjoy your food.
In between the meal/snack times, if your body does require energy it will tap into the stores that are already available. Most of us have enough energy stored in our body to get us through the next few hours to our next mealtime. If you feel hungry, don’t respond immediately and have a glass of water; often this satisfies the hunger pangs.
Remember the benefits of eating at regular intervals are:
- To promote even energy levels throughout the day:
- Help to reduce cravings
- Feel a clear and focussed mind
- Avoid dips in energy which lead in low productivity
- Help you to “go the extra mile” every day without burnout and low energy
TIP: If you’re someone who forgets to eat because you’re engrossed in your work, set a reminder on your phone to take a break and to schedule a meal or snack.
RECAP: FIVE SIMPLE HABITS to enjoying HIGH FLYING ENERGY
- Eating regularly – every 4-5 hours (3 meals and 2 snacks (if required per day))
- Powering energy with protein
- Plate balance at every meal
- Being hydrated
- Introducing easy movement and activity every day
Please look out for more articles from me on THE FIVE SIMPLE HABITS.
I would be like to invite you to join my private Facebook Group – HIGH FLYING ENERGY for Business Leaders.