Please tell me I am not the only one who has ZERO energy come mid afternoon?
Yesterday I fell for it again. I knew it would come back to bite me, but in the moment I just didn’t care.
I found myself looking down at the clock on her phone for the 5th time in as many minutes.
How could it only be 2:12pm?
I was ready to call it a day at work and just go home and crash!
I grabbed the only food I could find in her office: a granola bar. Not really the best choice, but I was desperate for a kick.
I was able to get a little more work done before I found myself even more tired than before.
I couldn’t focus on my computer screen.
A few years ago, this turned into a trend that never failed.
It seemed like everyday by mid afternoon I had ZERO energy left.
I had tried everything it seemed to boost my energy, but I would just find myself here again: another afternoon slump.
Then I figured out what was going on…of course it had everything to do with my PCOS.
Today I am sharing how I fixed this energy problem along with my typical schedule for my meals to help keep my energy levels stable throughout the day.
Lack of energy is one of the BIGGEST complaints by women with PCOS.
So rest assured, Cyster…you are not alone!
What exactly is going on with our energy levels?
The theory behind this has to do with polycystic ovarian syndrome’s relationship with abnormal hormonal levels.
Basically insulin resistance impairs glucose (sugar in your blood) from supplying the energy needed to your cells. This leads to you feeling tired ALL. DAY. LONG.
When you eat something that is higher in sugars, it sends your blood sugar levels spiking. After your body gets that sugar taken care of, you have virtually nothing left in your bloodstream to give your body any energy.
This is why it is so important that us cysters focus on managing our blood sugar levels and keeping them pretty steady throughout the day.
If you are struggling with lack of energy on a routine basis, you may want to get checked by your doctor for some certain health conditions before you freak out about overhauling everything in your life.
I wrote an article that discusses these conditions that you can read by clicking here.
On that note…
How can we fix our energy levels?
How do fix our energy levels when we don’t have anything going on when us besides that “wonderful” PCOS diagnosis?
Let’s start at my favorite place: FOOD! Our diet is the #1 thing we can do to keep our energy levels up.
It is important to never go too long between meals. Eating every 3-4 hours is a good goal to shoot for which will allow your blood sugar to remain more steady throughout the day. We don’t need you crashing!
For example, my day pretty much goes like this:
- Breakfast at 630am
- Mid morning snack around 930 or 10am
- Lunch at 1230
- Mid afternoon snack around 3pm
- Supper around 6pm
- Small (yes…very small) nighttime snack around 930 if needed
It is VERY important that you are cutting out processed sugars/refined sugars that come in anything packaged. This also includes grain products. Be sure to look out for hidden sources of sugar such as ketchup, salad dressing, yogurt, cereal, fruit drinks, sports drinks, granola, etc.
When you diet is high in processed sugars, your blood sugar will spike, causing your insulin levels to raise + then causing your blood sugar to crash. This will make you tired! You can’t cut carbohydrates, though. Carbs are what fuel your body.
You need to grab complex carbs such as what is found in veggies, fruits, beans, etc.
This means you focus 90% of your daily calories on fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. To boost your energy, boost the nutritional content of your food. Make sure your diet focuses on getting more nutrients every day.
- For some more tips on how to eat the healthy (no fad diet crazy stuff here), click here for my Get Started with Eating Healthfully with PCOS article.
- For some healthy snack ideas that won’t spike your blood sugar all over the place, click here for my PCOS friendly snack ideas.
- For some healthy supper ideas that will keep you full longer so you don’t find yourself craving those midnight unhealthy munchies, click here for my PCOS friendly dinner ideas.
There are no excuses to partaking in a less than stellar diet. Your life depends on as many nutrients as you can get! So, increase nutrient content of your food and lower the calories you take in during the day allowing your body to repair itself and boost your energy levels.
Here are some other things that can help keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
Stick with your workouts.
When you work out on a regular basis, you stimulate an increase in your neurotransmitter response which naturally boosts your energy. The general thinking would be that using the energy to work out, you have less energy to get you through the day. However, the opposite happens. Your workouts boost your brain power and your energy levels which means working out is more of energy boost than even coffee!
Need some tips for staying motivated for your workouts? Click here for How to Get your Motivation Back when you have PCOS.
Turn off that TV and Facebook.
This is one that I struggle with; just ask my husband! When you spend more time on the tv or computer, it acts like a drain on your brain which makes you feel even more sluggish without the desire to engage in some exercise. So, spend less time on these activities and boost the health of your brain by spending time socializing, reading, or taking up some new hobbies. Enhance your brain; do not drain your brain!
Drink Lots of Water.
If your body is dehydrated, you will not have the energy to get through the day. Try sipping on water throughout the day to keep you fully hydrated. Be sure to cut out sugared drinks like soda, etc. Coffee may give you the caffeine boost, but if you are one to add lots of sugar and cream to your drink, you may be doing more harm than good. You may find yourself with that crash just an hour or two after finishing your cup of joe.
Get outside Today.
The best way to get an energy boost is to get outside every day. Take in that fresh air and sunshine. There are thousands of studies that show the importance of vitamin D on your overall health and protecting your body against diseases. Just being outside is a great way to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate which will give you a great natural energy boost.
This is something that we women do very well. We worry A LOT! Whether we are always worrying about finances, friends, work, family, or the house, we always have something to worry about. You know what good worry does? NOTHING! It just takes up brain space and drains your energy. Lower your stress level by worrying about the things you really can’t do anything about and clear some room in that head of yours for more important thoughts!
Rocking these already? Then do this…
If you are a rockstar at the above steps, I would revisit your workout routine. Are you working out too much or too little which can affect your hormone levels and leave you hungry for more energy?
Grab my PCOS Exercise Cheat Sheet to see if you are working out the RIGHT way for PCOS.