Many people know that to manage weight better, you also need to manage your time so you can take better care of yourself; this may involve making time to stay active, eat regular, nutritious meals, get enough hours of restful sleep and practice de-stressing activities.
But this isn’t always easy to do when low energy from poor sleep or a hectic lifestyle quickly sap your energy level and motivation to engage in the healthy lifestyle activities you planned for.
When this occurs, your energy stores may stay depleted and you end up seeking energy in all the wrong places—by eating high calorie-dense comfort foods, laying down on the couch at the end of your frenzied work day or drinking.
So even if you’re able to better manage your time, it’s still essential to pay attention to keeping your energy level high.
Boosting your energy level makes losing weight easier as it helps you do the following:
- Make better food choices
- Be more motivated to fit in exercise
- Cope better with stress and negative emotions
- Have a better mood
- Have better focus
- Be more productive
- Feel better overall
If feelings of low energy are impairing your weight management efforts, here are some tips to re-focus your efforts:
1-Pay attention to your energy level throughout the day
Notice the things you do that can end up depleting your energy (inactivity, watching too much television, overeating, drinking too much alcohol, not taking restorative breaks) versus improving it (moving more, exercising, eating regularly, staying hydrated, not skipping meals, sleeping well, connecting with friends, taking restorative breaks).
2-Plan ahead for Times you Know your Energy Level will be Low
Planning for the energy depletion and fatigue that typically occurs late afternoon by keeping healthy foods on hand at home and at work can go a long way to give you the nudge you need to make healthier choices.
3-Make a Daily Energy Management Plan
This requires some planning ahead.
Examples may include looking at your daily schedule and seeing where and when you can fit in some energy boosting activities. Examples may include:
- Taking short walking breaks throughout the day as a way to de-stress
- Bringing lunch from home so as not to skip your mid-day meal
- Staying hydrated by keeping a water bottle at your desk
- Developing a relaxing nighttime routine that helps you unwind more easily
- Making time for a hobby you enjoy
Feeling more energetic can help you better enjoy life and feel better overall.
Since one’s time is not always easy to manage and the hours in a day are fixed, it can be helpful to re-focus your efforts from better time management to better energy management.
Robert Kushner, MD