How to maintain your energy level throughout the day

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We all need food to keep us fueled throughout the day, and there are a few tips to keep in mind to keep you at peak performance.

Tip number one: be consistent.

Dr. Theresa Crocker, director of nutrition and dietetics for the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida, says that means “not skipping meals and getting yourself on a regular eating pattern. So whether it’s three meals a day, or two meals and two snacks, or three meals and three snacks, different patterns work for different people, depending upon your lifestyle.”

Tip number two: make sure you’re eating balanced snacks and meals. 

“When you pick a meal or when you choose a snack, balance it out choose foods that are sources of carbohydrates, proteins and fats,” says Dr. Crocker. “Make sure there’s some fiber in there as well that helps your energy levels stay more stable.”

Those balanced meals and snacks will help you avoid that afternoon crash.

Tip number three: all things in moderation.

“All foods can fit into a healthy eating plan,” says Dr. Crocker. “There are some things we want to eat less often. But if we blacklist things and say we’re never going to eat them, we’re more likely to overindulge later.”

So what types of food should you be eating?

When it comes to snacks, Dr. Crocker says think about cheese and crackers, pretzels and hummus, nuts, seeds, trail mix, fresh fruit, or low-fat yogurt.

When it comes to meals, avoid processed foods and eat whole foods.

Make sure you’re eating a balanced meal with some sort of protein, whether it’s plant or animal-based, a carb, like pasta or rice, a vegetable, and a healthy fat like olive oil or an avocado.

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