If you’re strug­gling to get out of bed — or feel like a nap at 3pm — it’s time to boost your en­ergy lev­els! Our di­eti­tians show you how.

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

If you’re strug­gling to get out of bed, or feel like a 3pm nap, it’s time you boosted your en­ergy. Our di­eti­tians show you the way

Ever feel as if you are run­ning on empty and wish that you had more en­ergy? You’re not alone! Each year 1.5 mil­lion Aussies see their doc­tor about fa­tigue. But while it’s not too un­usual to feel a bit tired and run-down some­times, par­tic­u­larly when go­ing through stress­ful times, on­go­ing ex­treme tired­ness is not nor­mal or healthy.

Low en­ergy lev­els can be di­rectly re­lated to what you’re eat­ing and drink­ing, how much qual­ity sleep you are (or are not) get­ting and the amount of rest you take. When life be­comes busy, it’s all too easy to grab un­healthy food and drinks on the run — and it can be dif­fi­cult to un­wind and to find time to switch off. All of this can wreak havoc with your en­ergy lev­els.

No quick fix

If you’re feel­ing tired and need a boost, you might find your­self reach­ing for en­ergy drinks or sug­ary snacks. A fourth or fifth cof­fee to get through the af­ter­noon slump is also the norm for many peo­ple.

The prob­lem is, these quick-fix so­lu­tions can end up be­ing part of the prob­lem, fu­elling the cy­cle of fa­tigue and lead­ing to other is­sues such as weight gain.

It’s best to look at the causes of low en­ergy rather than just mask­ing them by hav­ing an­other cup of cof­fee. Here are some fac­tors to con­sider: Med­i­cal causes

• Un­re­lent­ing ex­haus­tion might be a sign of an un­der­ly­ing ill­ness (see box on page 25) Life­style-re­lated causes

• Ex­cess caf­feine or al­co­hol in­take, a poor diet or lack of reg­u­lar ex­er­cise can lead you to ex­pe­ri­ence low en­ergy lev­els. Work-re­lated causes

• Work­place stress is recog­nised as a lead­ing cause of fa­tigue. Emo­tional stress

• Fa­tigue can be a com­mon symp­tom for peo­ple who are cop­ing with men­tal health prob­lems like de­pres­sion and grief.

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