You might be facing an energy crisis. Maybe you’re familiar with this…
You drag yourself out of bed, get ready and suddenly, you’re on a high. Then two hours later, you’re ready for a nap.
So what do you do? You crush your third cup of coffee. Let me stop you right there…
Energy Trap #1 – Excess Caffeine
It doesn’t make sense to call caffeine an “energy trap”, but it can be. An excess of caffeine can interfere with your sleep cycles. This makes it harder for your adrenals to recover. Why is this important? Your adrenals regulate stress. When your adrenals can’t recover, you feel exhausted.
The Fix – It might be difficult for the first week or so, but cut back on your caffeine. Here are some caffeine “rules” as a guideline depending on when you go to bed and how sensitive you are to caffeine:
workout days – no more than 300mg of caffeine
Non-workout days days – 200mg
No caffeine after 1pm
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Keep notes of your sleeping patterns.
Energy Trap #2 – Fast-Digesting Carbs in the Morning
There’s the traditional “staples” for breakfast like a bagel, cereal, toast, all-fruit smoothie, coffee with a bunch of sweeteners, etc., etc.
The bad news is these spike your blood sugar, and then you come crashing down 90 minutes later.
Option 1 – Try daily intermittent fasting
This is when you skip breakfast. <= OHHH, THE HORROR!
The media swears to you that you MUST eat breakfast. That’s a lie. I’ve been using intermittent fasting for about 1 year now to keep my metabolism revved up and my digestive system flowing well. Plus, many of my clients used this method as an easy way to reduce calories. You’ll enjoy the digestive system break, too.
I do a 24 hour version, but another option is you have a 16-hour window of not eating. So if your last meal was at 7pm, you won’t eat until 11AM the next day. No big deal. Try it.
Option 2 – Eat a breakfast of protein, healthy fats and high-fiber carbs
This keeps the blood sugar spikes at bay and helps regulate cortisol. An example would be some eggs with veggies and a bowl of oatmeal with some fruit such as blueberries. You can even mix in some mixed nuts if you want to.
Energy Trap #3 – The End of Day Indulgence
The scenario: It’s 5:44pm. You’re exhausted. You walk through the door and reach for a bag of Fritos, a bottle of wine or a sugary drink and start Netflix.
Not good. Alcohol can make you feel hungrier and skyrocket your cravings. And if you pound processed carbs, you’ll end up stressing your body and increasing cortisol, a stress hormone that encourages fat storage.
If you’re an emotional eater (like I am – I tend to overeat when I’m stressed or anxious), try this trick – Sparkling Water or Seltzer.
Seriously. It’s mind-blowing how it has helped me. We typically get the store brand of lemon-lime sparkling seltzer. I enjoy a can about 1-2 hours before dinner. If I’m really hungry, I’ll go for good fats and/or protein to tide me over. A few examples:
Handful of cashews with a small glass of milk
Raw veggies with roasted garlic hummus
Another trick – I don’t “hang out” in the kitchen just before dinner. I’ll go to the living room because when I’m in the kitchen, my mind thinks, “Hey, there’s food in here. I could go crazy.”
You might be surprised though at how the seltzer or sparkling water crushes your desire to crush a bag of Doritos (which by the way… should NOT even be in your house to tempt you in the first place!)
So yeah. There you go. Energy traps. Energy fixes.
If you need more guidance in this department don’t hesitate to reach out to set up a success session to get your nutrition back on track