The Energy Booster Diet

Skip the caffeine -- these healthy foods naturally boost your energy throughout the day

If you drag yourself out of bed in the morning, can't function without gallons of coffee and run out of gas every afternoon, then an energy-boosting food plan is right for you. Instead of relying on caffeine or a trip to the candy machine for a fleeting burst of artificial energy, choose healthy foods to rev up your engine. Here's how the Energy Booster Diet will keep you energized all day long: 

  • The right combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat eaten at regular intervals will help keep energy levels high. This diet includes balanced meals designed to boost your energy throughout the day.
  • Eating healthy snacks will help keep your blood-sugar levels even so that you don't have energy "highs" and "lows." This meal plan includes tasty food suggestions to eat every three to four hours to keep your energy level from falling.
  • Not drinking enough liquids can cause you to feel fatigued due to dehydration. That's why this diet includes fruit juices and skim milk with every meal choice, rather than ultra-sugary sodas or sweetened beverages that can cause energy lows.
  • Eating fried or fatty foods can make you feel sluggish. This food plan emphasizes natural, unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables that won't slow you down.

BREAKFAST

option one

  • plain fat-free yogurt with low-fat granola and mixed fresh berries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

option two

  • 2-egg omelet made with low-fat cheese, chopped veggies and low-fat ham or turkey
  • 1 slice whole-grain toast topped with fruit spread1/2 cup grapefruit juice

option three

  • Shredded wheat cereal with skim milk and a banana
  • 1 slice whole-wheat toast with peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice

LUNCH

option one

  • hearty veggie lentil soup
  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread topped with low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 grapefruit1 cup skim milk

option two

  • turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread
  • 1 cup dark greens such as kale or spinach with low-fat dressing
  • 1 medium tangerine1 cup skim milk

option three

  • grilled chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread
  • 1/2 cup sliced tomatoes
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 cup skim milk

DINNER

option one

  • 3 ounces fillet of sole
  • 1 baked potato topped with low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup steamed broccoli
  • sliced peaches
  • 1 cup skim milk

option two

  • 3 ounces grilled flank steak
  • 1/2 cup vegetable pasta salad
  • 1/2 cup steamed spinach
  • sliced pears
  • 1 cup skim milk

option three

  • 3 ounces chicken and rice bake
  • 1 cup tossed dark greens with low-fat dressing
  • 2 small plums
  • 1 cup skim milk


SNACKS:

Eat one of these snacks mid-morning, mid-afternoon and in the evening if you're still hungry and active. Remember to eat every three to four hours throughout the day to keep energy levels high.

  • 1/2 cup dried fruit mixed with 1/4 cup nuts
  • apple with peanut butter
  • banana with peanut butter
  • orange slices and one ounce of low-fat cheese
  • 1 cup Fiber One cereal with skim milk
  • 1/2 turkey or ham sandwich on whole-grain bread
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers with 2 tablespoons low-fat Italian dressing
  • 1/2 whole-grain English muffin with 1 ounce melted cheese
  • 1/2 whole-grain bagel with 2 tablespoons hummus
  • 1 boiled egg with 1 slice whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 1/4 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup plain yogurt with 1/4 cup low-fat granola
  • 1/2 cup water-packed tuna with 6 low-fat Triscuits


Healthy Dos and Don'ts:

Do:

  • Drink plenty of water -- at least 64 ounces -- throughout the day
  • Take a daily multivitamin supplement
  • Choose whole, unrefined grain products as often as possible
  • Limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day at the most
  • Eat a piece of fruit if you're craving something sweet
  • Try one long-lasting butterscotch hard candy when all else fails and sugar cravings can't be denied

Don't:

  • Skip meals or snacks
  • Eat fried foods and other foods high in fat (French fries, onion rings, fried fish, etc.)
  • Eat potato chips
  • Eat gravy and sauces
  • Drink beer, wine, alcohol, soda or sweetened beverages (Snapple, Fruitopia, etc.)
  • Consume added sugar (in coffee, tea, cereal, etc.)
  • Eat white bread and crackers



 

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