Part 1: When to Eat for More Energy

Posted by on Feb 7, 2013 in Adrenal Health, Digestion, Food, Health and Lifestyle, Increasing Energy, Stress | 0 comments

Part 1:  When to Eat for More Energy

Did you know that it’s not only what you eat that matters for good energy levels, but also when you eat it? The body needs nourishment at certain times more than others, and sometimes lifestyle factors can push us into the habit of eating when the body doesn’t need it, and not eating when the body does.

A clock hangs on your wall to tell you when it’s time for lunch and dinner, but there’s also an internal clock that lets you know when the body needs an energetic boost from food. Signals that this is taking place often include stomach growls, which many of us are familiar with. But there are also other signs, such as difficulty concentrating, possible mood swings, and overall lethargy.

Often, we can get so caught up in watching the hand on the wall’s clock that we barely notice what the internal clock is saying about how we’re feeding it throughout the day. Frequently, people skip breakfast and will make it up at lunch, only to have a stomach that’s been growling for three to four hours.

Another habit that can creep in is the desire to party at night as a reward for a hard day’s work or business, and the party often involves just as much if not more food than the earlier meals did. This flip flop of eating very little early in the day and eating a bulk of food at night can affect many areas of health. The internal clock gets confused as energy intake becomes high close to bed and lacking when it’s needed most in the morning.

Stress is often a culprit behind these eating changes, and it additionally will make you want to eat even when you’re not hungry. Sometimes just the act of walking into the kitchen or opening the refrigerator door when you’re not hungry is a sign that either stress or boredom are creeping into your day more.

All of these habits can predispose to blood sugar roller coasters, a tendency to want fast energy from sugars and simple carbs, artificial highs and lows in energy from unbalanced eating, and overall food fatigue. Now instead of getting energy from food, food starts dragging you down.

Food can work for you and your body, and still be enjoyable too. In fact, paying more attention to your internal “feed me” clock instead of the one on the wall or cues from stress actually help you adapt to pressure-filled days better. It may not always seem like it, especially when you first start switching up your habits, but if you keep with it you’ll see the real rewards of your healthier eating patterns over time.

If you’d like to switch up your internal food clock, try the following simple tips:

  • Eat within an hour of waking up (whether it’s morning or later)
  • If you like partying at night with food, decide how to limit how often this happens during the week
  • When stressed and strolling into the kitchen, ask yourself if you’re truly hungry before reaching for a big bite
  • Listen to and don’t ignore internal hunger cues, such as stomach growls, foggy mind, low energy, and mood swings
  • Enjoy a snack once in a while between meals, as they help sustain blood sugar for you

 

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