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Top 3 Things To Avoid Eating For More Energy

We’ve all been there, those mornings when you just can’t seem to “get going”. You’ve eaten your lunch before 11 AM because you’re starving. You’re feeling tired around 2 PM so you munch on some chips, cookies, or candy for a pick me up. It doesn’t have to be this way!

Part of living your best life is feeling your best. When you are at your best you are able to show up every day full of energy. 

Have you considered that the things that you’re eating could be the culprit of your feelings of low energy and grogginess?

Studies show that the best thing you can do for yourself, your health, and your energy is to keep these three things out of your diet:

  1. Added sugar
  2. Processed/refined foods
  3. Damaged fats

 

  1. Added Sugar

Let’s start with what added sugar really means:

As of January 1, 2021 food labels are now required to break down the total sugar listed into naturally occurring sugar and added sugar. According to the FDA, added sugar is defined as sugars added during the processing of food. Added sugars on your food label might include simple sugars, such as dextrose or glucose, sugars from syrups and honey, or sugars from concentrated fruit and vegetable juices.

If you want to feel your best, your best bet is to stay away from added sugar. It might make you feel more energized for 10-30 minutes but it’s ultimately going to lead to a crash, ultimately doing more harm than good.

TRY THIS: Next time you’re at the grocery store, take a few extra minutes and look at the labels on your food. If what you love is double digits in added sugar look for similar items with less or no added sugar.

Editor’s note: Once you start looking at food labels and noticing how many packaged items have unnecessary added sugar, it’s hard to go back!

  1. Processed/Refined Foods

“Mmm, I’d really feel like processed food for dinner tonight”, said no one ever! Of course not, but you might have tossed a hot pocket in the microwave or a frozen pizza in the oven. These are both examples of processed foods.

Nowadays, most of the food in the grocery store is processed in some way. The FDA defines it as any raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to washing, cleaning, milling, cutting, chopping, heating, pasteurizing, blanching, cooking, canning, freezing, drying, dehydrating, mixing, packaging or other procedures that alter the food from its natural state. Yes, that’s every pretty much every item at the grocery store!

What we are looking for is the addition of other ingredients, such as preservatives, flavors, nutrients, and other food additives or substances (salt, sugars, and fats). These ingredients are complex and your body simply isn’t evolved to process them – zapping your energy and leaving you tired and craving sugar.

TRY THIS: Next time you’re at the grocery store, instead of reaching for premade foods with long ingredient lists that are designed for long shelf life, look for things that expire in a few days. This is a good indicator that preservatives have not been added. You can also make your meals yourself using basic ingredients, avoiding all the added preservatives.

  1. Damaged Fats

Contrary to what diet culture wants you to think, not all fat is bad. I repeat, NOT ALL FAT IS BAD! Having good quality fat in your diet is essential to keeping your mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) functioning properly. One example of good and delicious fat comes from avocados. 

NOT ALL FAT = BAD

Editor’s Note: Next time you finish a meal and you’re still a little hungry and find yourself craving something sweet, try eating half an avocado before reaching for dessert. Chances are that sweet craving will disappear because your body was really just needing some more good fat.

But damaged fats are definitely bad. (It’s kind of implied by the name, isn’t it?) 

DAMAGED FAT = BAD

So, what are damaged fats you might be asking?

Here’s a list of things to avoid:

  • Oils (soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, hydrogenated oil, refined palm oil, olive oil heated past its burn point of 374°F)
  • Fake butter spreads (margarine) and shortening
  • Restaurant fried foods and chicken nuggets
  • Most chips and crackers
  • Most salad dressings
  • Most mayo brands

Does this list encompass just about everything you eat? You’re in luck! When you replace these with items from the list below you are almost guaranteed to feel better and increase your energy!

TRY THIS: Try replacing what you’re currently buying with:

  • Coconut oil (can be heated to 350°F)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (unheated)
  • Olive oil (heated up to 325°F-375°F)
  • Grass-fed butter or ghee (350° F for butter, 485° F for ghee)
  • Grilled or steamed options at restaurants
  • Crackers made with no added oils
  • Homemade salad dressings
  • Mayo made with avocado oil

If you are ready to make a change and improve your energy levels a good place to start is with what you eat. Take notice of how you feel when you start removing added sugar, processed foods, and damaged fats from your diet. Small steps lead to big changes and can make a big difference in your life!

Tell us, were you aware of these three things that could be sucking your energy? Have you tried removing any of these from your diet with success? Share your story with us on Facebook or Instagram.

 

Sources: learn more about FDA food labels, processed foods, damaged fats, and the best fats for cooking.

Melissa Byone Signature

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