We all have unhealthy habits that we lean on when we find ourselves in need of an energy boost. Whether it’s that morning or afternoon coffee loaded with sugar and creamer (and calories!) or that heart-pounding energy drink, most of us are guilty of upping our energy levels via unhealthy methods. If you’re doing this, you should know that unnatural energy boosters are not part of a healthy diet and have no place in a weight loss plan. Of course, swearing off “uppers” is easier said than done, but fortunately, there are some awesome alternatives to unnatural energy sources.
Natural Energy Booster #1: Eat a Healthy Breakfast
You’ve probably heard it said that, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” And, while that might sound like an old cliche, it’s actually quite true. A good breakfast packed with all the right vitamins and nutrients will give you energy (and help you to burn calories!) all day long. For a healthy, energetic start, aim to eat a breakfast that’s got a small dose of whole grains, plenty of protein (this is a must for feeling full), and a little bit of fruit to cure your sweet tooth.
Natural Energy Booster #2: Get Plenty of Sleep
You know how you feel when you don’t get enough sleep: groggy, irritable, and just plain “blah.” The obvious cure is to get in your eight hours a night. Not only will always ensuring you get enough sleep cure those “low-energy blues,” but it has also been shown to reduce cravings and make sticking to your diet- and thus losing weight- a whole lot easier.
Natural Energy Booster #3: Get Active!
When you’re feeling tired and drained, exercising or even moving around is probably the last thing you want to do. Surprisingly, however, getting moving may be just what you need to up those energy levels. You don’t have to bust into a full-on workout either. Just making the choice to get up and walk around, to go up a flight of stairs, or even to stand up and jog in place for a few minutes can get those endorphins flowing and give you a natural energy rush to propel you through the rest of your day.
Natural Energy Booster #4: Slip in a Piece of Dark Chocolate
It is with a bit of trepidation that we give you this last tip. You’ll probably love it, but definitely use it in moderation. When you’ve tried everything else and you’re still feeling drained, there’s nothing wrong with reaching for a small piece of dark chocolate every once in a while. Notice we said a SMALL piece. Dark chocolate is heart-healthy and, when consumed in moderation, it can give you a nice bit of an endorphin rush and a small caffeine buzz without harming your diet. Seriously, though, don’t do this one too often, or you’ll find that your calorie counts are too high for weight loss.