How do I keep my energy levels up during the day?

If you want to be like the Energizer Bunny and keep going and going and going all day long, you need to supercharge your metabolism — the cellular process by which your body converts food calories into energy. This isn’t necessarily easy, and it requires an understanding of your own biochemical makeup and metabolism. Here are a few ways you can get started.

1. Practice the power of eight. Boost your body’s metabolism by exercising vigorously, lifting weights, eating 5-6 small, healthy meals a day, keeping yourself hydrated, and cutting back on stimulants.

2. Keep your glucose level up. If your blood sugar level drops too low, you may end up becoming tired, weak, hungry, nervous, and anxious — and worse, incoherent. Keep quick energy sources close at hand, just in case.

3. Get yourself checked for diabetes. If you’re constantly hungry, chilly and fatigued, you may be suffering from diabetes — a metabolic inability to process glucose properly. Go to a doctor and have a blood test done.

4. Schedule your meals. If you eat irregularly or only when you’re hungry, you’re likely to destabilize your blood sugar level. Always eat breakfast, never skip a meal, and consider eating numerous small meals instead of three big ones.

5. Eat high energy foods. Trim “sleepy” foods, like pasta, bread, bagels, muffins, and cookies, out of your diet where you can. You’re better served eating high-energy foods like meat, raisins, Concord grapes, bananas, and broccoli.

6. Pep up your metabolism. If you’ve got a ho-hum metabolism, try eating foods that can help speed it up. Spicy foods and green tea have both proven effective at boosting the metabolism; green tea extract offers the most bang for your buck.

7. Cut the caffeine. Caffeine may give you a quick burst of energy, but you could pay for it later with high blood pressure, insomnia, stress, and addiction. If you can’t give up that daily Starbucks run, at least cut back from venti to grande.

8. Boost your intake of calcium, iron, and magnesium. These three minerals are absolutely essential to bone, blood, and mental function, so you should eat foods that are rich in each. Failing that, take a good multivitamin daily.

The rate of metabolism varies from person to person — among other things, gender, age, amount of muscle mass, and how much you exercise will all affect your metabolic rate –but that doesn’t mean you can’t tweak it for maximal performance. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll have your metabolism revved up in no time.

© 2008 Laura Stack. Laura Stack is a personal productivity expert, author, and professional speaker who helps busy workers Leave the Office Earlier® with Maximum Results in Minimum Time™. She is the president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management training firm specializing in productivity improvement in high-stress organizations. Since 1992, Laura has presented keynotes and seminars on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in today’s workplaces. She is the bestselling author of three works published by Broadway Books: The Exhaustion Cure (2008), Find More Time (2006) and Leave the Office Earlier (2004). Laura is a spokesperson for Microsoft, 3M, and Day-Timers®, Inc and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, CNN, and the New York Times. Her clients include Cisco Systems, Sunoco, KPMG, Nationwide, and 3M. To have Laura speak at your next event, call 303-471-7401. Visit www.TheProductivityPro.com to sign up for her free monthly productivity newsletter.

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