1. Start your day right- Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Your body has essentially been in a mode of starvation all night, so skipping the morning meal will only lead you to pig out at lunch. Feel free to include carbs in your breakfast, as these calories will help kick-start you, but also try to include some protein (Greek yogurt, anyone?) and fruit. If you aren’t much of a Greek yogurt person and don’t have time to make eggs, stock up on protein bars. Chocolate mint cookie is the newest flavor popping up across the board, proving that healthy eating has gone a long way in its ability to satisfy those of us with a stubborn sweet tooth.
2. Sleep consistently- You may already know that adults need at least 7.5 hours of sleep each night to function properly. However, you might think that those nights where you get a few hours less are not a big deal. They are. Your body will be more tired when shifting between 9 and 6 hours. Your body will also adjust better to waking up every morning when you avoid the urge to hit the snooze button, and just get out of bed. If you’ve been trying for years and still need 5 alarms to get out of bed, try a natural-light alarm clock. The device will slowly start illuminating an hour before your designated wake time, using vitamin D to wake your body more naturally and guide you easily out of your sleep cycle.
3. Plan for some extra time in the morning- Adjust to the day rather than throwing yourself into warp speed. Take a shower, read the news, go on Facebook, take a walk. Do whatever you need to wake up your mind before dealing with the pressures of the day. Rushing around at the beginning of the day will make you tired within the first few hours of pressure.
4. Stick to a diet low in acid- Our body chemistry is naturally alkaline, or rather, has a high pH level. Eating foods like fruits, veggies, soy, and tofu can help maintain the proper pH level within the body, as well as drinking alkaline water. In addition to gaining more energy, ionized water health benefits include preventing heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity. Celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Reggie Bush, Chris Hemsworth, and Kirsten Dunst have all made this diet famous, but research is making it more than just the latest nutrition fad.
5. Feel free to graze- Instead of eating three large meals throughout the day, nutritionists say ‘grazing’—or eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day—can keep your metabolism and energy levels high. Grazing typically consists of four or five 200-300 calorie “meals” per day (including a light breakfast, mid-morning snack, small lunch, mid-afternoon snack, and light dinner). On work-out days, an extra “meal” is typical to refuel. For this step, calorie counting is essential, so fitness apps like MyFitnessPal can help keep you on track and prevent grazing from becoming binging.