really need (if not triple the right portion for your size). Cut your portions for lunch and dinner in half and you’ll get several benefits. By reducing your caloric intake, you may begin to lose weight within the first couple of weeks. Your body also won’t need to expend as much energy trying to digest your food, which will make energy available for your brain.
Physical energy comes from the type of food you eat, how much sleep you get and your level of physical fitness. You may not think that being healthy has much to do with your book, business or blog, but having that extra boost of energy is completely necessary at the end of a long work day. If you can’t get yourself off the couch when you get home from work, you’ll have a difficult time giving your project the attention it needs. Try the following eight tips to increase your energy and put that extra oomph toward your projects.
Sleep eight hours or more for an entire week. The most common reaction I see to the old adage that people should sleep seven to eight hours a night is laughter. Even though I could stand here and say that following the adage has helped me immensely in writing my 30 books and building my business, I know that it’s unlikely to get a long-term change out of you. Instead, I suggest you sleep eight hours or longer for an entire week. Often, that short concentrated burst of rest is enough to spring people into several weeks of productivity. The week of extra sleep will recharge your sleep banks and help you to get rid of that cloudy mental feeling. Don’t skip a day of this sleep training plan, even on the weekend, and you’ll find a lot more energy even after the first couple of days. 19. Cut your lunch and dinner in half. I’ve always liked eating. Most people do. In fact, most people like eating a little too much, hence the obesity epidemic plaguing the United States. Large portions during lunch and dinner are partly to blame for us eating too much. If you go to a restaurant for either meal, you’re likely to get twice the portion you
Walk or run 10,000 steps per day. I received a pedometer from my future mother-in-law last Christmas. As a work from home guy, I was very interested in seeing how many steps I walked in a given day. On days when I didn’t leave the house, I barely cracked 2,000 steps, far below the national average of 5,000 steps per day. On my lazier days, I made it a goal to walk or run 10,000 steps. I’ve found that this adds a major boost to my energy levels and keeps me from feeling sluggish. Pedometers are relatively inexpensive, but you can always track your walking with your smartphone using a free walking app. This tip can give you more energy and can help you to stay or get into shape.
Replace two daily snacks or sides with a fruit and a vegetable. I’ve never been able to keep up with the food pyramid’s recommendation of 3 to 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day, but trying to meet the recommended healthy diet standards halfway can make a world of difference in your energy levels. I suggest replacing two snacks or side dishes with one fruit and one vegetable. I realize that this is a small change, but often it’s the smallest changes that make the biggest impact. Adding an apple or a small side salad without the dressing can keep your energy levels high, particularly when you make the substitutions and work. Buy more fruit when you go to the grocery store and skip out on processed vending machine treats. Your body will thank you with added productivity.
Replace butter, salt and oil with spices. Following the lead of The 4-Hour Chef author Timothy Ferriss, I like to replace unhealthy cooking items with no-calorie, high-nutrient spices. Cutting out the fat of all your butter and most of your oil and reducing your sodium intake with less salt can work wonders on your health. There are so many delicious spices available to add to your meats, eggs and vegetables that you may not even miss all the extra calories. My favorite spices to work with include black pepper, red pepper, curry, oregano, thyme and rosemary. Look up some free recipes online that serve as alternatives to your traditional meals and see what spices they suggest. My spice cabinet may be very disorganized, but my waistline is not complaining.
Eat more lean protein and less sugar. One of my good friends recently dropped about 40 pounds. All she did was completely cut out the sugar. It’s amazing to me how much havoc sugar can wreak on the body. I’ve never been a big sugar guy, but I’ve noticed that when I cut out the little sugar I do eat I naturally have more energy and lose more weight. Replace your sugary treats with lean protein bars and lean fish, turkey and chicken. If you consume a ton of sugar, your body will not be happy with you for the first week or so. Eventually though, you’ll get used to a lower-sugar lifestyle. That lifestyle will come with more energy, weight loss and fewer ups and downs.
Rediscover the joy of play with your loved ones. I love running and physical fitness, but I know that not everybody feels the same way. Some of you would not go to a gym if you had a gun pointed to your head. The good thing is that you don’t need to sign up for a gym membership to become more active. Playing with your children, or the children of family members, can help you be much more active. Sports and games with the little ones can give you a stronger connection with the people you care about the most, while helping you to get in better shape. You may feel embarrassed at first when the kids run circles around you, but you’ll learn to adapt.
Take the necessary time to recover from injury, illness or exhaustion. In the last few years, I’ve learned that recovery is almost more important than training. High school wrestling and soccer taught me to power through injuries, which I was much more able to do then because I was a teenager. Now that I’m older, I do what I can to take care of myself. I listen to my body, stretching when I have tight muscles and resting when I’m in pain. Following RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) has helped me immensely when I get knocked around in a soccer game or have aches and pains after a run. When I feel sickness coming on, I make sure to take the necessary time and make the needed nutritional changes to recover. And if I’m exhausted, I make sure to get extra sleep for a few nights in a row to recover. Trying to push through injury, illness or exhaustion without letting yourself recover can make those negative physical states last much longer. Take care of yourself and you’ll be more willing and able to take care of your side project.