Optimal Energy Production: stabilizing & maximizing your natural energy
→ Training Your Metabolism: intermittent fasting to shift your metabolism from a default sugar-burning to a fat-burning energy production system
→Maximizing Conversion Rates: workout regimen to build more muscle cells to break down food into energy at higher rates
Before we can present to you the foods, diet, and workouts that boost energy, you have to first know how your body uses food for energy to then understand which approaches can best optimize the process. Think of your metabolism like a car engine; it burns the fuel you put into it to keep your body moving like a car. This concept isn’t that surprising to most people; however, what is surprising is that our metabolism is actually composed of two separate engines. Your first engine burns the sugar molecules broken down from the carbohydrates you eat while your second engine burns fat. If you ingest carbs, your first engine will activate to burn the food as it is a quick energy source. However, as soon as your metabolism runs out of sugar to burn, your blood sugar level drops to make you feel extremely hungry as well as triggers sleepiness, insulin resistance, and adrenal fatigue. On the other hand, if your body is deprived of sugar, your second engine will naturally take over to burn any fat given from your food and, when done with the fats you recently ate, it will then burn the stored fat throughout your body without significantly dropping your blood sugar levels as it does so.
Knowing this, the ultimate way to avoid sugar crashes and maintain high energy during the day is to therefore train your metabolism to use its fat-burning engine as the default instead of its sugar-burning one. You might need to gradually make this shift because for some cutting out as many carbs may be more difficult but you can train your metabolism to prioritize fat instead of carbs as fuel, this is best done through intermittent fasting.
That said, before you can even begin fasting or working out, you need to stabilize the blood sugar level of your current carb-loving body to make for an easier shift.
Stabilizing Your Blood Sugar Levels: go-to grocery list items & recipes
To prep for your training, reboot your current diet by cutting out excess carbohydrates. To guide you through such change, we have curated a breakfast and lunch grocery list along with a dinner grocery list that includes our recommended foods and accompanying recipes for each item.
Breakfast and Lunch:
For these two meals, if you’re not fasting, the best foods to eat to get energy are those rich in the nutrients of fat, protein, and iron to respectively provide your body with an alternative energy source to sugar , slow down the absorption of sugar into your blood , and give your cells the necessary oxygen to actually produce energy.
- Chia Seeds (Iron rich)
Chia seeds are one of the few foods that truly deliver a powerful amount of iron. Despite their small size, chia seeds will sustain your energy levels all day long.
- Kale (Iron rich)
One of the richest sources of nutrients and provides your brain with all the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to function Also high in iron which delivers your cells oxygen they need to overcome exhaustion.
- Avocados (Healthy Fats)
This food is truly an energy bomb. Avocados have very high amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fats. Eating one of these will certainly keep your body full and energized throughout the day.
Other foods that contain healthy fats we like:
- SmoothiesThis item is more of a recipe than food, but can definitely offer a significant amount of lasting energy and nutrients to accompany your breakfast, lunch, or be a meal on its own. Such benefits are, of course, determined entirely on the ingredients you put into the smoothie. To ensure you have an energy-boosting result choose from our suggested ingredients below.
- One or more of these protein sources: collage or whey protein powder, greek yogurt, pea protein milk, or hemp seeds.
- One or more of these fat sources: flaxseed, nut butter, avocado, coconut milk or coconut oil.
- One or more of these iron sources: parsley, kale, raw cacao, or spinach.
The evening is best for carb intake since it brings your energy levels down, the only thing to try to avoid is simple carbs which sugary foods which cause you blood sugar to spike giving you a surge of energy. Complex carbs, on the other hand, are generally unprocessed and provide you with the nutrients to feed your stomach’s good bacteria to promote gut health and have anti-inflammatory properties to reduce the chronic-disease-potential inflammation your body produces in response to injury. Though we still recommend limiting the intake of any form of carbs, it is a good idea to include some complex carbs into your diet. When doing so, remember to include them only after 3:00pm when your body is naturally more insulin-sensitive and thus less likely to experience a spike in your blood sugar level.
Oats, without any added sugar, have low glycemic indexes (the rate at which it contributes to raising your blood sugar levels). Oats are thus a great food to increase energy levels and receive the benefits of complex carbs while ensuring your glucose levels are stable. You can make savory oats for dinner by adding an egg and mushrooms or goat cheese, walnuts and honey.
Your body digests these orange potatoes slower than the white alternatives. Like oats, sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index due to its high fiber content, which slows down the speed at which the carbs will hit your bloodstream. This complex carb is thus the perfect way to maintain gut health and inflammation while also stabilizing your blood sugar.
Vegetables, Legumes, and Nuts
If you leave the skin on, their nutritional value increases.
This fiber-rich complex carb is, again, low in its glycemic index and thus causes a subtler and slower change to your blood sugar level than the high glycemic indexed white rice.
These are a few vitamins your body depends on for metabolic activities that are not as potent in food as they are from supplements. These essentials include vitamin B, vitamin D, and Guarana which maximize your energy naturally.
The most well-known and energy-production in the B vitamin family is vitamin B-12. This vitamin is vital for your body to break down fatty acids and protein into energy called adenosine triphosphate (a.k.a. ATP) for our cells to use. Having sufficient amounts of this vitamin will help your fat-burning metabolism work effectively.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it needs to be dissolved in a fats or oil for your body to absorb it and can then be stored long-term in your body. I get supplements that have the vitamin D dissolved in MCT oil, another form of coconut oil. Like vitamin B12, maintaining high amounts of vitamin D3 will only maximize the flow of your fat-burning metabolism engine.
Guarana is a Brazilian plant that has strong energizing qualities. The plant produces small berries that are processed into powder to consume through capsules. Guarana contains 6 times more caffeine than coffee beans and keeps you energized without raising blood sugar levels or crashing like energy drinks result in doing.
Training Your Metabolism:
Intermittent fasting to maintain energy
After stabilizing your blood sugar and removing excess carbohydrates from your food intake, it will be time to begin training your metabolism to shift to a fat-burning engine. The most important approach in doing so is to strategically time when you eat and schedule accordingly. You will eat the same foods we introduced above to continue to stabilize your blood sugar and provide your body energy, but you’ll focus on only eating between for instance 12pm and 8pm, giving you a 16-hour fast period for the rest of the day. An 18 hour fast promotes extra weight loss but a minimum of at least 16 hours is needed for other benefits such as cell regeneration. During fasting, your body is also forced to use your stored fat as energy, which will overtime become your body’s default method of producing energy and burning fat. That said, we highly recommend you ease your way up to an 18-hour fast period to help your body adapt to the change and ensure lasting effects.
First, continue on with your normal non-carbohydrate breakfast and lunch time, but be sure to finish your non-simple-carbohydrate dinner about 3 hours before bedtime. This will allow your body to concentrate on detoxing and repairing itself instead of digesting food, so you go through the next day feeling refreshed.
Once you become comfortable with a pattern of a 3-hour fast before bed, add on pushing back your normal breakfast time by an hour. In a pace that you feel comfortable with, gradually increase your push back on breakfast until you begin eating at either 12 or 2pm everyday. If your feeling hungry during your fast drinking coffee with butter and mct oil will increase energy and have you feeling full and satisfied. MCT oil also kick starts ketones which is what you want especially when doing a keto diet. These ketones are key into having your energy burn fat for energy. Also, adding a protein powder like collagen or whey helps your body adjust by promoting a full feeling but will kick you out of the fast. This is why this is only recommended in the beginning to help you adjust to this new routine. Eventually, you will find your body becoming less and less hungry outside your 6-hour eating window and more and more energized naturally throughout your day.
Less time, higher intensity
Muscle cells have by far the most mitochondria, which are components in body cells that exist to convert food into energy. Therefore, if you build more muscles, your body will produce more energy. Exercising too much doesn’t give you the recovery time you need as it puts constant stress on your body while also using up your willpower.
When using machines, use 80% of the heaviest weight you can lift for 2 minutes and move as soon as possible to the next machine. Doing this will only require you to do a high intensity workout for 20 min to get results. Another fast and impactful workout is to run as fast as possible for 30 seconds, rest for 90 seconds, and then repeat running and resting for 15 minutes.
Aim to workout before 8pm so that the night after your workout, for both weight training and running, you can add extra carbs to your dinner. You will also need to sleep a few hours more than usual that night to give your muscle tissue the energy and time to recover faster during your deep sleep cycle.
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