Tips to Maximize Your Energy While Eating Low-Carb Foods
Since our bodies use carbs for energy, you might worry that a low-carb diet will lead to feelings of weakness and fatigue. While this is a possibility, especially if you do intense workouts and don’t eat any carbs at all, there are plenty of ways to keep your energy levels high throughout the day while maintaining a low-carb diet.
There are many nutritious low-carb meals that will help keep your blood sugar stabilized and your body functioning well so you and your brain can stay active throughout the day. The following are some tips for eating a healthy, balanced, low-carb diet that makes the most out of your food and energy, and prevents feelings of sluggishness and fatigue.
Protein Is Essential
Incorporating high-protein foods in your diet will boost your metabolism and energy levels while promoting bone, muscle, and tissue growth. High-protein foods you can add to your meals include:
- Lean meats: Chicken, turkey, beef, and pork
- Eggs or egg whites
- Tofu and tempeh
- High-quality protein powder
Breakfast Is Mandatory
Your body’s ability to create energy out of calories is highly dependent on your metabolism, and consistently eating a good breakfast is an incredibly important part of this process. Protein should be the main ingredient in your breakfast to optimize your metabolism and energy for the day. For those on the go, and who don’t have time to cook and sit down to eat breakfast, a shake or a home-made nutrition bar will do the trick.
Boost Energy Throughout the Day
Whenever you feel an energy slump throughout the day, ensure you get enough protein to boost your energy. Here are the most important times of the day to take a break to eat:
You might start to feel peckish a few hours after breakfast. This is the time for a second breakfast, either a snack or a small meal, with protein and vegetables.
It is extremely common to feel tired and ready for a nap an hour or two after lunch. Now is the time to eat a snack that will replenish your energy levels. For those who exercise after work, consider eating a light protein-rich meal—about 15 grams—beforehand to help your muscles and energy level during the workout. It’s also helpful to eat the same amount of protein after a workout. If you don’t have a chance to eat a meal right after, a protein-rich shake will suffice. Hard boiled eggs are great snacks for on the go!
Throughout the Day
To keep your energy levels high, you should eat at least every four hours during the day, especially when you’re hungry or feeling tired. Four meals a day, or five to six small meals, is better than three large meals. By eating throughout the day, you will avoid hunger pangs, keep your blood sugar levels steady, and feel more energized throughout the day.
Include wholesome high-protein foods in each of your meals—whether in a snack, appetizer, side dish, or main course. Consider these ideas for keeping protein-rich foods accessible throughout the day:
- Baggies of protein-rich foods— hard-boiled eggs, tuna, turkey, home made jerky without sugar;
- Shakes ready to go in the fridge; and,
- Pre-made meals/snacks stored in the fridge.
Fiber Is Key
Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet that stabilizes blood sugar levels, keeps you feeling full for longer, and removes toxins from your intestinal tract. Many high-fiber foods are full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed for a healthy, energized body. Fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods are all high in fiber, but some are also high in carbs. If you plan to do an intense, long, or muscle-focused workout, you should try to eat carbs wisely before and after your workout to make the most of this energy. The best low-carb diet option is one with lots of fiber are vegetables.
By consuming high-protein, high-fiber foods that are natural, avoid sugary and processed foods, and drink plenty of water throughout the day, you and your body will feel more alert and energized for longer, even on a low-carb diet. Just choose your foods wisely, prepare meals ahead of time, and eat small meals frequently to get the most energy out of your food.