Women’s Health Month: Eating for Impact

Betty
Betty Posts: 8,330 MFP Staff
edited June 23 in Food and Nutrition
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Eat to Improve Your Energy, Focus, Sleep & Mood

It’s Women’s Health Month! To celebrate, we want to empower women everywhere to Eat for Impact with foods that will improve energy, focus, sleep, and mood. All month long, our registered dietitian (RD), Stephanie Nelson, will share how what you eat affects your well-being. She’ll also offer easy ways to adjust your eating habits to achieve your desired goals. Follow along on IG, Facebook, and our blog, then join the conversation.

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Comment in the thread below: How do you Eat for Impact? What foods boost your energy, focus, or mood? Are there foods you eat when you want to sleep better?

Have tips of your own to share? Let’s hear ‘em!

Week 1: Eating for Energy
Week 2: Eating for Focus
Week 3: Eating for Sleep
Week 4: Eating for Mood

Please Note: By commenting or replying in this thread, you acknowledge and agree to the use of your name, comments, replies, and/or entries, whether in whole or in part, by MyFitnessPal, including for the purpose of generating and distributing marketing materials to help inspire others. When posting, please follow our community guidelines. Any off-topic comments and disparaging remarks are subject to deletion.
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Replies

  • ilariadm1
    ilariadm1 Posts: 14 Member

    Comment in the thread below:
    • What foods make you feel more energized?
    • What foods do you avoid when you’re feeling fatigued?
    • Does eating larger or smaller meals throughout the day affect your energy levels?

    I find I can recognize mainly the fatigue caused by the lack of some food or the ingestion of something, rather than the energy boost after eating something. For instance, I don't feel so energized when I drink a coffee, but what I do notice is the lack of energy and the sleepiness if I skip it!
    Same happens with carbs-packed meals: I'm italian so here we usually have pasta for lunch, but I had to quit it on working days as it makes me feel fatigued all afternoon! I prefer to have carbs for dinner, the sleepiness helps me falling asleep.
    So what works for me is a vegetarian lunch based on veggies+ a protein source (veggie patty, tofu, eggs, leftover quiche, ecc), many snacks during the day (usually 1 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon) and a "free" dinner eating what I feel like, also based on my boyfriend's cravings.
  • stephanienelsonrd
    stephanienelsonrd Posts: 39 MFP Staff
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  • PurplePenguinnn
    PurplePenguinnn Posts: 11 Member
    Eating low carb food and foods you find on the outside rows of the grocery store usually make me feel more energy... I avoid lasagna at lunch at work because it makes me want to sleep
  • Tab122377
    Tab122377 Posts: 77 Member
    What foods make you feel more energized? Salads and fruit -
    What foods do you avoid when you’re feeling fatigued? sugary food.
    Does eating larger or smaller meals throughout the day affect your energy levels? Not as much size of meal but the quality of meal if i have egg or oatmeal for breakfast it holds me but if grab muffin it deflates me
  • stephanienelsonrd
    stephanienelsonrd Posts: 39 MFP Staff
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  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,790 Member
    This week, we’re focusing on eating to boost energy and sharing simple ways to adjust your food intake to combat fatigue so you feel more energized throughout the day.
    Comment in the thread below:
    • What foods make you feel more energized?
    • What foods do you avoid when you’re feeling fatigued?
    • Does eating larger or smaller meals throughout the day affect your energy levels?

    Experientially, I don't mostly find that specific individual foods make me feel energized, or deepen fatigue. Energy or fatigue, to me, to the extent they're food-related, are more affected by having reasonable overall eating patterns.

    I do think that this can vary individually, and that individual people can experiment and learn their own patterns.

    For me, I think my overall energy is better if I routinely get a solid breakfast with adequate protein, protein spread through the day, some healthy fats, and a boatload of varied, colorful veggies and fruits. If I start feeling hungry with a meal not coming up soon, I prefer to have a small snack (usually something like string cheese, an apple, or a couple of prunes.

    If I have a workout coming up and am not feeling enthusiastic, I'm more like to turn to a small snack of sweeter foods, like the prunes, some no-sugar-added applesauce, or even a small chocolate. (It may be that the boost is more psychological than physical!)

    With more extreme exertion, such as a long rowing or canoeing outing, food timing can be important for me, as can hydration. I've noticed that a short snack/drink break during a multi-hour trip can really perk me up once I'm fatigued.

    A meal or day off my preferred eating patterns, during normal daily life, doesn't seem to give me energy level problems . . . but if I get something other than my desired nutritional patterns over a period of days for some reason, that can result in low energy.

    I don't consider calorically-reasonable sweet foods (even added sugars) a bad thing in the context of overall good nutrition (including reasonable overall calories), but certainly see that some super-large sugary thing, eaten in isolation, can cause a "peak and valley" effect in energy, unless hearty exercise is part of the situation. Context matters, though: As a short endurance athlete (rower), sometimes quicker-energy foods have a useful role for me.
  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 328 Member
    I've discovered that I need a minimum of about 30 g of complex carbs per meal or my energy crashes an hour or two later.
  • WantHealthyHeart
    WantHealthyHeart Posts: 6 Member
    I’m finding that fresh fruits and leafy green vegetables give me more energy.

    I have found that eating a larger lunch when I’m at work makes me want to crash and fall asleep.

    During the pandemic I used to buy the large paper plates. Recently on a grocery store run I compared the larger ones to the medium sized plates and realized the medium works better for me to plate/eat smaller portion meals.
  • Idontcareyoupick
    Idontcareyoupick Posts: 2,403 Member
    I find mostly that not over eating helps me feel more energized. When I'm very full or stuffed, I'm very sluggish and prone to be less active.
  • jenkauff1
    jenkauff1 Posts: 9 Member
    Unfortunately, I haven't been connecting my food choices with my physical fitness goals and I think now, this is the next step for me.

    What foods make you feel more energized? Caffeine, but it's not really a "food." I do better when I eat protein in the morning (boiled eggs, meat, etc.)

    What foods do you avoid when you’re feeling fatigued? Heavy breads, fatty/greasy foods.

    Does eating larger or smaller meals throughout the day affect your energy levels? This is really where I have failed to recognize that portion-size is important. I have traditionally eaten to satisfy my emotional needs rather than my nutritional needs.

    I don't sleep well, I lack energy, I struggle to focus and I have to be really intentional about my moods because my anxiety is regulated by meds, but depending on the day, it can be really intense.

    Sounds like it's time for a change.
  • stephanienelsonrd
    stephanienelsonrd Posts: 39 MFP Staff
    edited May 23
    This week, we’re focusing on eating for better focus. The single most important thing you can do to fuel your focus is to eat a balanced meal with carbohydrates (like fruits, whole grains, or beans), protein (dairy, meat, or tofu), and healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, or avocados). Also pay attention to which foods make you feel foggy and which make you feel sharp. Check out our blog for more tips like these!

    Comment in the thread below:
    • What foods sharpen your focus?
    • What foods make you feel foggy?
    • Does eating a small or large meal affect your ability to concentrate?

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  • VegjoyP
    VegjoyP Posts: 2,047 Member
    edited May 11
    Week 1)
    What foods make you feel more energized? Raw organic celery, filtered water- blend in Nutra bullet and consume on empty stomach :)

    What foods do you avoid when you’re feeling fatigued? High carbohydrates or anything packaged, too much caffeine. /I find trying to push myself too much with caffeine makes me anxious, anxiety and heart pound.

    Does eating larger or smaller meals throughout the day affect your energy levels?
    This depends. If I am out doing a long walk, I have enough to sustain me throughout the duration of the walk. At work I need to either have periodic snacks, a greens, avocado and protein smoothie or a bigger lunch.

    Week 2)
    What foods sharpen your focus? Avocado green drinks, broccoli, steamed dark leafy vegetables golden milk, Green Vibrance. I have a cup of organic coffee with plant-based collagen booster in a.m.

    What foods make you feel foggy? Carbohydrates. I love oatmeal, sweet potato and the like but It has to be later in day or before bed. I have lemons and occasional berries, watermelon in summer, and cherries but do much better with more nuts, coconut, avocado.

    Does eating a small or large meal affect your ability to concentrate? Too large makes me feel tired, distracted and very uncomfortable.

    I recently started an amazing regimen that is making a huge impact my autoimmune, skin, anxiety and other health challenges. It is much more then calories for me, it is about using food, herbs as medicine. These foods make me feel vital, healing and a sense of peace:

    Celery
    Microgreens
    Dark leafy greens (all)
    Broccoli
    Avocado
    Algae oil
    Vibrant Health Green Vibrance
    Tempeh
    Tofu
    hemp protein, seed proteins, pea protein
    Nuts, seeds, nut milks
    Herbal teas
    Spices and herbs, Turmeric, fennel, rosemary, Himalayan and sea salt, others
    Coconut milk and Almond milk unsweetened yogurt.
    barley grass
    plant sterols
    Milk thistle, chlorophyll, lemon balm

    I also have some plant based protein bars, cacao, coca powder and a few plant based foods

    Yes, it is intense, but I love this way of eating!!





  • wantb
    wantb Posts: 1 Member
    For me, two main things contribute to focus: 1) having a plan, and 2) having my food with me (at work). With these two in place, I can forget about food and focus on what else I have going on!

    That said, alcohol, sugar and caffeine are very distracting for me because I feel myself ‘come down’ from their effects and I cannot focus.
  • stephanienelsonrd
    stephanienelsonrd Posts: 39 MFP Staff
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  • shazmorgan
    shazmorgan Posts: 34 Member

    Comment in the thread below:
    What foods sharpen your focus?
    What foods make you feel foggy?
    Does eating a small or large meal affect your ability to concentrate?

    I'm loving these posts. They are really encouraging me to take notice of what food is actually doing mentally and emotionally.
    I've always been a huge believer of food as medicine, clean eating and nutritional healing. But I had a couple of pretty hefty traumas (father dying suddenly and son acquiring a brain injury) about 5-7 years ago. Ever since this time, I've been on and off with my own health.
    Since turning 50 this year, I've launched myself back into a health and fitness regime whole heartedly!

    What foods sharpen your focus? I find that fruit sharpens my focus. Fresh fruit and herbal teas seem to do the trick for me.

    What foods make you feel foggy? For me, it's food like pasta, meat and fatty or fried foods that make me foggy.

    Does eating a small or large meal affect your ability to concentrate? I find that small meals are far more efficient for my ficus and concentration. Large meals tend to make me fatigued and foggy.
  • stephanienelsonrd
    stephanienelsonrd Posts: 39 MFP Staff
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