If you feel fatigued or overly tired on a regular basis, one of the first things you should try is a change to your diet. While there are illnesses that do cause fatigue as a symptom, the simplest explanation is usually that you’re not giving your body the fuel it needs. By making simple changes to your diet, you can shake off that drowsy feeling and enjoy more energy each day.
Ditch the Sugary Drinks
One of the most significant dietary changes you should make is to get rid of sugary drinks. Both soda and fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar that are hazardous to your health. Consuming too much sugar over time will cause your body to become more insulin resistant, which is the first step in developing type 2 diabetes. The excessive sugar in these beverages will also contribute to weight gain, slow down your metabolism, and make it harder for your body to burn existing calories. While quitting soda, in particular, may seem difficult, you’ll have more success with it if you replace each drink of soda with an equal amount of water. The water will hydrate your body and quench your thirst, while also helping you feel full for longer. Add some berries, cucumber, or watermelon to your water for a little flavor. In particular, berries can give you that sweet taste without exposing you to large amounts of refined sugar.
Switch to Whole Grains
In general, you should try to eat more of any food with a low glycemic index, which is measured at 55 or lower. These foods affect energy by reducing the amount of carbohydrates that can be converted to blood glucose. This positively affects people with diabetes in particular by preventing them from raising blood sugar levels to dangerously high levels. However, anyone can benefit from eating whole grains and other foods with lower glycemic values. Fewer carbs mean your body will have to burn your existing fat cells for energy, and that will result in higher energy levels through an increased metabolic rate. This is also an easy change to make since there are plenty of whole-grain alternatives to white bread, rolls, and baked goods.
Replace Salt With an Alternative
While your body needs about 5 grams of salt daily, consuming more than that is extremely bad for your health. In addition to raising your risks for high blood pressure and heart disease, it adversely affects the liver, kidneys, and other organs throughout the body. Unfortunately, there’s added salt in almost every processed food that’s available today, and people often add more salt to their meals on top of this already excessive amount. On the bright side, it’s actually quite easy to find salt alternatives to help you satisfy your craving for salty foods. Some other options to consider include garlic, lemon juice, dried onion powder, dill powder, smoked paprika, and ginger. Try experimenting with a variety of spices to help you replace salt easily.
Replace Sweets With Fresh Fruit
Everyone loves to indulge in candy, pastries, and ice cream, but these foods have enough sugar and carbs to wreak havoc with your energy levels. Although you might get a quick burst of energy after eating sweets, that surge won’t last long and you’ll soon experience a crash. You’ll enjoy a cleaner and longer-lasting energy boost if you replace those sweets with healthier alternatives. Try eating melon or plums for dessert. Alternatively, freezing strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries are excellent replacements for ice cream and sherbet. For a crunchier snack, mix berries together with almonds or peanuts. You’ll have more energy throughout the day, and the powerful antioxidants in these foods will help you stay healthier.
Reduce Your Meat Consumption
As a rule, meat should only represent one-third of every meal. The rest of your meal should be vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. When you do choose a meat portion, try to stick to wild-caught fish, poultry, and lean cuts of red meat. Processed meats, such as ground beef and sausage, should be avoided as much as possible. A modest portion of lean-cut meat is enough to give you the protein, iron, and nutrients that are needed by the body.
There are more changes you can make to your diet to help you feel healthier and more energetic. Rather than trying to make several drastic changes all at once, make one change at a time. When you get used to that one change, try something else. This will make it easier for you to adopt a healthier diet over time.