Reaching for that morning coffee to wake up?
Feeling like it’s a struggle to get through the day?
Lacking the energy to get everything done that you desire?
Let’s talk about ENERGY. My definition of energy is the speed and ease at which we get through our everyday tasks. The worse it is, the harder our days become and it’s alarming to know that over ¾ of the population suffer from poor energy.
The positive is that there really is so much you can do to fix it! I am going to explain 5 of the top reasons why you may be lacking energy, and how to fix it!
You’re not eating the right types of food or perhaps not eating enough!
When you’re not eating a balanced diet, you may develop certain nutrient and mineral deficiencies. Also, if you’re not eating enough, perhaps from following a calorie restricted diet you also may be lacking the essential nutrients to give you the energy you deserve!
Being deficient in iron, vitamin B, vitamin D and omega 3 is very common, and will wreak havoc on your energy. So, I suggest to get your bloods done as step one to see where you’re at. Then, make changes to your diet and consider supplements under the guidance of a qualified health practitioner.
In short, to prevent nutrient deficiencies, you want to ensure you’re
- Eating 5 serves of vegetables per day and changing up the varieties too to meet your needs for most vitamins and micronutrients
- Eating fish once or twice a week to obtain omega 3’s
- Getting at least 10 minutes of sunlight on your bare skin per day to boost your vitamin D
- Eating rich sources of iron such as red meat and poultry. If you’re vegetarian, you need to pay close attention and eat rich sources of non-haem iron including eggs, green vegetables, legumes, tofu, seeds and nuts. I advise seeing a qualified health care practitioner regularly to get check-ups also, as this form of iron is definitely not as well absorbed by our bodies compared to haem iron (iron from animal protein). It’s also important to pair this iron with sources of vitamin C enhance absorption.
You’re not moving enough!
Don’t have the time to exercise? You do, it’s just not a priority! So, make it one today. The more you move, the more energy you will have. It seems counter-intuitive but it’s true.
If you struggle to find a 30-60-minute block in your day, why not split it up into 2 or 3 10-15 minute sessions? Just walking will do! The benefits for your energy levels will be the same. And, make a conscious effort to take regular breaks to stand up, walk around the office, walk to more places instead of driving and take the stairs instead of the lift.
Just know that if you’re serious about improving your energy, more movement is a must! So, prioritising it will help you in every other aspect of your life as the better your energy is, the easier everything becomes!
You’re too stressed, have an over-active mind or suffer from anxiety!
One of the largest energy zappers is stress. Being go go go all the time and constantly worrying with excessive, non stop thoughts uses up a whole lot of our energy. Even if you’ve spent a lot of time in bed, trying to rest, stress can leave you mentally and physically exhausted. It’s very common for people to have low but chronic levels of stress, eroding energy levels over time so that you eventually feel it more and more.
So, how can you minimise this stress? Its hard to minimise, but you can take steps to manage it. Some of my favourite tips are:
- Scheduling in time for you every day. Leave blank space in your calendar for it! Take a walk, have a bath, call a friend, read a book or meditate. Just make this you time a priority!
- Keep a to do list and work through it with the highest priorities first. Then, whatever you don’t get done, write it down for your day the next day.
- Practise deep breathing and listen to relaxing music whilst you work
- Take regular breaks from your screen
- Try taking adaptogens. These are herbs that have been scientifically proven to help your body cope with stress and help you feel calm. Common ones are rhodiola, holy basil, ginseng, cordycep mushrooms, ashwaganda, liquorice root, panax ginseng and astragalus root.
(I talk about many more stress reducing tips in this podcast!)
You have a problem with your thyroid
The thyroid’s main role in your body is to regulate your metabolism, which is your body’s ability to break down food and convert it to energy. Food essentially fuels the body, and each of our bodies uses that fuel at different rates. This is why you often hear about some people having a “fast” metabolism and others having a “slow” metabolism.
Having insufficient amounts of thyroid hormone therefor causes a slow metabolism and low energy, here are some other symptoms of a low thyroid.
- Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
- Coarse, dry hair
- Dry, rough pale skin
- Hair loss
- Cold intolerance (you can’t tolerate cold temperatures like those around you)
- Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
- Memory loss
- Abnormal menstrual cycles
- Decreased libido
If you experience these symptoms, I strongly recommend getting a thorough check of your thyroid blood levels by a functional medicine practitioner or endocrinologist, Often, GPs don’t check levels thoroughly enough.
You’re not getting enough shut eye
It would be wrong to not have this as a top 5 reason, because it is probably the number 1 most important thing to optimise to improve your energy levels and every single other aspect of your health.
It doesn’t take much of a sleep loss to produce a lack of energy the following day. Studies show that as little as half an hour of sleep missed will affect your alertness the next day. So how much do you need? Most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep or more per day to feel at their best.
If you aren’t already, take steps to increase the length and quality of your sleep to optimise your energy levels. Getting yourself into bed an hour earlier, sleeping in total darkness, avoiding alcohol, setting a regular bed time, practicing meditation, minimising screen time and technology at night and winding down before bed can all really help.
I hope you found this article helpful! There really is so much you can do for yourself to help boost that energy and improve your quality of life!
After years of battling with weight fluctuations, a slow thyroid and chronic digestive issues Rebecca began to research ways to use food to assist with these issues, whilst making sure she was still enjoying food. After developing 500+ personalised meal plans, she found that these issues are commonly shared amongst women, and particular food and lifestyle practises have the power to heal them.