In this day and age, many women are overextending themselves, fitting work, family, errands, social engagements and much more into less time than they’ve ever had. While there may not be a way to escape the demands of modern life, there is a way to fuel up correctly. Fight fatigue and improve your “endurance” by incorporating these five tips into your life.
1. Eat within an hour of waking … or face the effects of Neuropeptide Y (NPY), a neurotransmitter which helps regulate your desire for food and the proportion of energy stored as fat. Skipping breakfast and/or other meals may increase this hormone later in the day, making you ravenous!
2. Recognize that increased stress may make you prone to eat more. Wake up late for work, skip breakfast, fight traffic for an hour, and – boom – your stress level soars. So will your cortisol (the “stress” hormone) level, which, when the environment is right, can increase your risk of overeating.
3. Make it a combo platter: carbs, protein and fat. Choose carbs that are higher in fiber and water – this is an easier way to fill up than with dense carbohydrate foods. Protein helps with satiety, keeping you feeling satisfied and full longer. Healthy fats, like adding a few nuts to your oatmeal or yogurt, can also help you feel satisfied.
In the example we used on air, although choosing mostly really healthy foods, Wanda, a guest of the show, was eating too many carbohydrates without balancing her protein and fat intake. Her sample diet consisted of a big bowl of oatmeal, a huge portion of dried cranberries and a banana (all carbohydrates) for breakfast, followed by a bagel while sitting at her desk, grapes, a small baggie of jelly beans, more dried cranberries, and then chili for lunch. When you add that up, it is like eating 18 pieces of bread!