Most of us would love to have more energy. Whether we are following an intermittent fasting diet regimen or not, we need to prioritize taking steps to achieve higher energy levels so we don’t end up feeling sluggish. SlimFast Plan Consultant and Registered Dietitian, Maryann Walsh shares her tips for maintaining your energy levels while on the SlimFast Plan.
We all want the energy to feel our best in life each and every day! While many find that an intermittent fasting regimen may leave them feeling energized, some may find it a bit more challenging to maintain energy levels during their fasting window, especially in the beginning. Let’s discuss some ways to keep your energy levels high while fasting!
Prioritize Proper Sleep
This may seem like an obvious one when discussing how to maintain energy levels, but with more distractions than ever such as social media, streaming services, podcasts, and a constant flow of emails, it can be easy to put sleep on the back burner. Stop and think about how many hours of sleep you need to feel your best, then make a plan on how you’ll get those hours of sleep. This is of course easier said than done with responsibilities like caring for a family, and/or handling the demands of a career, but making sleep a priority is an important element to maintaining energy levels. Check out this blog post for more tips for how to improve sleep!
Stay Hydrated and Consider Adding Electrolytes
Proper hydration is arguably almost as important as sleep when it comes to maintaining energy levels. Research has shown us that as low as a 1-2% body water loss/mild dehydration can lead to mental and physical fatigue, so it’s important to get in those fluids throughout the day1! You may find it beneficial to incorporate electrolyte enhanced beverages as well. Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium are crucial to numerous functions of the body and aid in maintaining your hydration status. You can find sugar-free electrolyte powder mixes or ready to drink electrolyte beverages at the grocery store or your favorite retailer. Sugar-free/ calorie-free beverages will not typically break a dietary fast, however if you are fasting for medical reasons such as for blood work or surgery, then check with your doctor.
Nourish Yourself Properly During Your Eating/Feeding Window
While the focus of intermittent fasting is often on the fasting window, the eating (or feeding) window is just as crucial to success and to feeling your best. Make sure you are properly nourishing yourself during your eating window. Whether you are following a ketogenic diet or incorporating all foods, prioritizing nutrient dense foods, protein, fiber, and healthy fats can set you up to feel better during your fasting window.
Adjust Exercise Timing and Intensity Accordingly
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and it certainly can be an integral part of your intermittent fasting regimen. It is important to be in tune with your body and how you feel when you exercise. If you find that you are someone who feels better exercising during an eating window, then it is important to schedule your exercise during that time frame. You may be someone who feels fine exercising during your fasting window, if that is the case then schedule your exercise then. If you are struggling to achieve the same duration and intensity as you did when you weren’t following an intermittent fasting regimen, don't be hard on yourself! It can take some time to get adjusted to a new intermittent fasting routine both physically and mentally. If weight loss is the ultimate goal then exercise in many cases should be viewed as a bonus versus the main way to achieve a calorie deficit, as we often overestimate how many calories we burn exercising.
Be Mindful of Naps and Caffeine
A quick afternoon power nap or caffeine fix may seem like the perfect solution for an energy boost if you are feeling tired in your fasting window, but it’s important to have an understanding of how your body typically reacts to these solutions. If you are tempted to nap or have a cup of coffee later in the afternoon, it may be a quick fix for some energy, but it may also be detrimental to your sleep later on in the evening which will only lead to increased fatigue the next day. If you find yourself relying on naps, coffee, and/or energy drinks, time them earlier in the day so you can get the benefit of the energy boost without it keeping you awake at night when it’s time for sleep.
Hopefully by implementing the tips above you are able maintain your energy levels and feel your best while in your fasting window! If you’d like even more tips and advice, as well as support from others while on your intermittent fasting journey, check out the SlimFast Together private Facebook groups! As a reminder, remember to seek the advice of your health care provider prior to starting any new diet or exercise program.
A consultant of the SlimFast Plan, Maryann is a Registered Dietitian with Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences and Dietetics and a Master of Food and Nutrition. She has extensive experience working with clients of all ages and from all walks of life, helping them to achieve their wellness and weight-loss goals. Learn more about Maryann.