It is time to change your mindset. Focus on improving your energy while you aim for balance. Managing your overall energy is the most effective thing that you can do to control your weight. Preoccupation with thoughts about weight can lead to malnutrition, fatigue, mental/emotional stress, hormonal imbalance, health issues, and weight cycling or yo-yo dieting (losing and regaining weight over and over).
If your focus is on improving your energy and maintaining it long-term, then you will do your best to eat the right type and amount of food so you can exercise well, and effectively burn calories, while improving your fitness level and sports performance. You will abandon the thoughts of food deprivation and excessive caloric restriction. You will focus on effective recovery. You will always strive to find that balance in your lifestyle, and get the right dose of challenge, so you can prevent burnout and boredom. It’s okay to weigh yourself occasionally to see progress, but do not make it the ultimate basis of your success.
I’ve had clients tell me stories of their previous weight loss attempts. They were in a hurry to lose weight so they tried extreme diets just to get instant results. Initially, they lost the weight but regained it back after some time. Then they changed their mindsets and focused on the process. They found the right balance by giving importance to energy management, which made them lose the extra weight gradually. They got stronger, improved their relationship with food, really felt better, and sustained the new lifestyle.
You can strongly affect the people around you with your vibrance and positivity. People will remember you for the type of energy that you give, how you make them feel, and not how you think you look.
These are the questions that I always ask myself:
Did I eat the right amount today so my body can function 100 percent again the next day? If I lack food, will eat more for dinner. If I eat more than my usual intake, then I will have extra energy the next day to lift a heavier weight or to add extra cardio.
Did I exercise well today? I make sure that I always have the right amount workouts to make me stronger, not to bring my energy. If I pushed too hard, then inc rase my food intake, sleep more, and regulate my exercise load the next day.
Did I get enough sleep? If I lack sleep, I usually take afternoon naps and I don’t push myself hard with my workout classes. I try to make sure that I sleep early.
Here are ways how to effectively manage your physical, emotional, and mental energy so you can resolve your weight issues and be at your best self every single day:
Being aware of yourself, and what you truly need and want at this moment can bring you closer to your goals and give you faster results.
- Know your motivation. First, you need to know what truly drives you to improve your energy and pursue healthy living. In my case, I try my very best to manage my energy daily so I can maximize my day, feel good, work better, avoid health problems and inspire more people to age gracefully and live longer. I want to enjoy my life with my family for as long as I live. To strengthen my motivation more, I also think of the consequences if I don’t manage my energy – feeling weak and low, becoming less productive, negatively influencing other people and developing health problems.
- After discovering your motivation, set realistic goals related to your energy management. What do you want to achieve in the next four weeks, three months, and for the whole year? Make your goals more specific and action-oriented such as:
- to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep by going to bed before 11 pm and waking up before 7 am every day in the next four weeks
- to improve endurance by doing brisk walking for 20 to 30 minutes, three to five times a week in the next two weeks
- to increase my fiber intake by adding half a cup of cooked leafy veggies with my meals twice a day for this whole week
- Next, make an effective game plan by knowing the basics of effective energy management for healthy living. Choose foods that strengthen your body and immune systems such as whole grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds, fruits, chicken, egg, lean meat, and seafood. Always combine healthy fats with fiber and protein for muscle recovery and effective regulation of energy throughout the day. Avoid foods that raise your blood sugar quickly, followed by a drop in energy such as processed or refined carbs (white bread, white pasta, white rice) and sugary foods (cakes, pastries, sweetened drinks). Control the intake of alcohol to one to two servings (One serving= of 355 ml of beer, 155 ml of wine, and 1 shot of hard liquor) only per occasion since too much can affect your sleep and energy level the next day.
- Consider your exercise preference so you can sustain the habit over time. Choose workouts that can uplift your mood and can give you a sense of balance. Schedule your workouts when your energy is at its peak.
- Lastly, revisit your goals, analyze your activities, and evaluate and revise your game plan. You need to know yourself better, and what really works for you, so you can create more effective strategies to improve your lifestyle. When is the best time for you to eat, exercise, and sleep for you to function well? Knowing what to prioritize and what really needs improvement can help you save time and effort.
Manage your thoughts and emotions
Take every opportunity each day to recognize and use your strengths. Stop making excuses and just act on your goals. Do not wait for tomorrow. There are so many things that you can do in one day to improve yourself. Every second counts. Don’t waste your time and energy.
There may have been tough times in your life when you just feel like giving up. If this happens again, just ask for some time to breathe and recover. Then reset. Life is short, you don’t have a choice right now but to move forward, how fast or how soon, it’s all up to you. Life is always changing, growing, and evolving, and so are you.
Thinking too much about what you cannot have, and what you cannot do will just drain your energy. Do your best to improve with what you can and what you have right now. A positive attitude adds more to your energy. If there’s a slim chance to exercise in a nice studio due to financial constraints or because of the COVID-19 situation worldwide, then look around your house and see where you can exercise. When the pandemic began, I immediately thought of ways to continue my active lifestyle and work out at the same time. I never thought the Zoom workouts with clients will give me enough energy. I have clients who also achieved their best health and strongest by exercising at home. They didn’t complain, they just renewed their mindset of maximizing what they have at the moment, not allowing the pandemic to shatter their dreams of achieving their best health. Actually, fewer distractions will enable you to concentrate more on your goals. This just proves that you don’t need to spend so much just to achieve a healthy lifestyle. In fact, the most sustainable workouts are the cheapest ones.
Manage your support system
Never hesitate to ask her and support from others who can lessen your burden. Your relationship with your loved ones can significantly affect your overall energy.
You might always have the best intentions of improving your lifestyle, but if the people around you won’t cooperate, your repeated efforts might lead to stress. Communicate with people who greatly affect your energy. Inform your loved ones how important your goals are and how these can positively affect your relationship with them. Then discuss how you can help each other to pursue your health goals as a team. Learn how to distribute tasks at home so you can have more time for yourself to pursue your healthy lifestyle tasks like preparing meals, exercising, and making time for relaxation.
Surround yourself with positive people. Ask for help from a trusted workout buddy or a lifestyle or fitness coach. Stay away from negative people who just drain your energy over time and distract you from achieving your goals.
Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow/message her on Instagram @mitchfelipemendoza