Want more energy and focus?
Of course you do. You got shit to do. You have people counting on you.
Well, the simplest way to up your energy is by eating the right kind of foods first thing in the morning.
When you start your day off with these kind of foods, you think clearly, have plenty of energy, and perform your best.
Food Is So Much More Than Calories
How many of you have heard people talking about nutrition using the car and fuel analogy? It goes something like this – Food is like fuel for your body, so as long as you have enough calories, your body will have enough energy. Treat your body like a Ferrari, give it enough high-octane fuel and you’ll be all set.
Well, there’s a little problem with the “food is fuel” analogy. It’s incomplete. Yes, food is fuel, that is one aspect of it, but food is so much more than just fuel.
Food is information.
What you eat kicks off a cascading effect of hormones that signal the body to do different things.
Of course food is fuel as it gives the body and brain the calories (energy) needed to stay alive and perform all the basic functions of a human being. So calories are important, but they are only one piece of the puzzle.
One simple example that many of you have probably experienced is what happens after you eat a high carbohydrate breakfast (oatmeal, fruit, cereal, toast, etc) and feel hungry 2 hours later. This would be distinctly different to the feeling of satiety (fullness) 2 hours after eating a breakfast of protein and fat (egg scramble with turkey and cheese).
The calories might be the same – 3 eggs plus some turkey breast and cheese has about 400 calories. That’s about the same for a bowl of cereal and fruit – ½ cup of granola, one banana, ½ cup of milk. So, according the calorie model, food is fuel. We need calories to live. We just got 400 calories. Same deal.
Hmm, not so fast.
Because one meal is primarily carbohydrates and the other is mostly fat and protein, the hormone response to each of those foods will be completely different. Hormones are mostly what control when we get hungry. They tell us when we are full. They drive many of the feelings we have.
The process by which your body processes carbohydrates is distinctly different that what happens when you consume protein and fat.
Starting your day off with the right choices can make all the difference.
Find foods that work well for you. Foods that make you feel good and give you sustained energy. While that donut might taste good in the moment, pay attention to what happens 2 hours later. That is the crucial part. It’s connecting the dots about how certain foods you ate effect your hunger later in the day.
Try these 3 powerful foods below and see how you feel. These foods below will taste good, make you feel good and give you energy, help you fight off disease, and keep you lean.
High in good monounsaturated fat, and is packed with lots of vitamins, minerals, and a ton of fiber, avocados are a great food to eat every day. You can try eating an a avocado by itself with a spoon or try combining it with your favorite protein for a power snack. And for those of you who want to change up your normal protein shake, add a little avocado to the blender and enjoy the slightly creamier texture.
Vilified for many years due to high cholesterol content, eggs are making a comeback, for good reason. Eggs are a nutrient powerhouse. They have a ton of protein, lots of great minerals and vitamins, and will keep you full for hours. If you’re still concerned about eggs and the link to heart disease, that’s mostly a myth. Read these well researched articles if you want to learn more: Why Eggs Are Good For You and Eggs and Health.
So, here’s some inside information you might not have known. All the protein in the egg is in the egg white while all the good fat is in the yolk. For all my “egg-white” eaters out there, make sure you add in a full egg or 2 so that you get the many vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds in the yolk. If you’re looking to increase protein content of your meal, you can try adding a few extra egg whites. For me personally, I normally do 3 whole eggs plus 2 egg whites which will give me over 30 grams of protein.
This tasty berry has some of the highest amounts of antioxidants of any food out there! Remember, food is information. Antioxidants are chemical compounds (called phytochemicals) that help fight disease by combating free radicals which can create cellular damage and possibly damage DNA. You want to make sure you get enough anti-oxidants every day. This is crucial to your body functioning in the most optimal way. Blueberries are a perfect snack. You can also try adding them to a small bowl of Greek yogurt for a protein packed snack.
One Simple Tool – Simplify Breakfast
We’ve written about this concept before, make sure you check out this article if you want to learn more about how what you eat for breakfast will affect productivity.
Once you find a few foods that taste good AND provide you will lots of energy, then it’s time to simply automate those meals. For us, it’s a simple choice in the morning between an egg scramble or a protein shake. I know both of these choices will set myself up for success later in the day.
I hope this shined some light on how your food choices affect how you feel and perform later in the day. Try starting your day with the above foods and let us know how it goes!