Hello Autumn, Goodbye Energy? I Don’t Think So!

by Dana on October 25, 2011

This is a guest post by Kati Mora, MS, RD from Around the Plate.

Image: Matt Banks / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When the weather is cold and the skies are dark, it can be a real challenge to stay energized throughout the day. It can be even more of a challenge staying motivated as you put on an extra layer or two of clothes and feel bogged down by the icy breath of winter.

Yet with the proper planning, staying energized during even the coldest moments of fall and winter is possible. Getting  enthusiastic about your workout or training routine can happen and will happen if you know how to prep for the brisker months of the year.

One of the most important ways to stay energized, is by making sure you get the proper nutrition. Since our body kind of goes into hibernation mode during the winter, it can become much more difficult to say no to quick pick-me-ups like an extra cup of coffee, glass of soda, or an energy drink. It can also be much more difficult to say no to higher calorie treats when your energy starts to wane.

Luckily, there are many ways to keep your energy up all day long so you are ready for action no matter the season. Instead of relying on foods that only give temporary energy boosts, incorporating the following nutrition tips into your day can help you feel great and make better decisions about the types of food you eat.

Eat Early.

Breakfast really is the greatest meal of the day. Not because you haven’t had a chance to eat the other ones yet, but because it can set the tone for the rest of your day. If you are looking to start your day off right, oatmeal is a great choice! Its considered a complex carbohydrate and slows down the absorption of glucose in your bloodstream which causes you to feel energized longer. It also helps keep your immune system strong and helps you fight off some of those pesky illnesses that often strike during the colder months of the year. My favorite oatmeal recipe? Try the Perfect Oatmeal from WHFoods.com – delicious!

Eat Often.

Incorporating small, frequent meals or snacks into your day can be a great way to avoid mid-day energy slumps. Plus, this will additionally help keep your blood glucose levels steady throughout the day. A favorite mid-day snack of mine is homemade trail mix. Combine granola, dried cranberries, almonds, raisin, and coconut shreds for a delicious high-fiber, high-protein snack that satisfies cravings and keeps you feeling energized.

Drink Up.

During the winter months, its easy to get dehydrated. Its important to continue to get enough fluids throughout the day, but if you find yourself getting a little bored with your traditional bottle of water, its okay to think outside the glass – especially if you are sticking to an intense training plan. After a vigorous workout, try a warm glass of apple cider or even hot chocolate. This is a great way to warm up after an outdoor workout and re-energize for the next.

Although its easy to let the fall and winter seasons get the best of us, making a concious effort to stay energized can help you enjoy the many wonders that the colder months have to offer. Starting with a solid nutrition base is important, but it’s just the beginning. Making sure you get enough sleep and regular exercise are also integral parts to feeling your best any time of the year.

Bio: Kati Mora, RD is a private-practice dietitian in Michigan. She has a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. Kati specializes in realistic nutrition guidance for weight management, diabetes, cardiovascular health, and HIV/AIDS management. She is a proud mom to two little boys and is the lead dietitian at http://aroundtheplate.org.

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