How to stay full so you can stay energized

It’s that thing we want to so badly and so often we’re lacking: energy.

While having enough energy is related to how much sleep you get, your exercise habits, and other factors, one of the greater determinants of your daily energy level is your diet.

If you want to avoid being hungry and sluggish, make sure you’re taking in enough of the three most filling nutrients: protein, fat and fiber.

Take a look at each of your meals. Make sure that you’ve got some source of protein, some source of fat, and some source of fiber.

For example, if you were eating a salad, make sure it’s still a square meal. It should have some sort of protein (either meat, beans, or a high protein grain like quiona), it should have fiber (can be in beans, rice, starchy vegetables like corn, or croutons/bread on the side), and it should have some fat (salad dressing/oil, avocado, olives, sour cream.) Without each of these nutrients, you may end up feeling hungry too soon.

Apply this to all of your meals. This may end up taking a little research to learn which of those three nutrients are in the foods that you’re eating. For example, you may not realize that beans are both a high source of protein and fiber (but not fat). And avocado, for example, is a great source of fat and is actually high in fiber too.

I want you to be especially sensitive about the squareness of your meal at breakfast because this is when you’re setting your day up for success or failure. If, for example, you have a bowl of oatmeal with almond milk in it, your meal is high in fiber, but there’s only a little fat and no protein. You could add nuts, and/or instead choose cow’s milk, to get in protein, both of which also have fat in them.

Another thing you should determine is if you are a protein person or a fiber person. In my work counseling people on their diets, I’ve learned that people tend to differ about which one makes them feel more full. So ask yourself this: as a snack, which one would make you feel more full: a banana or a handful of almonds? If you answered banana, your diet/meals should be heavier on fiber. If you said almonds, your diet/meals should be heavier on protein.

I want to hear from you. After reading this, what do you think you need to add or take away from your diet to help you feel more energized?