by Coach Jimmy Hays Nelson
When it comes to energy, weight loss, and nutrition I’m not sure if there is a more controversial topic than Carbs!
Are they the enemy? Are they vital? Are they like “The Force” with a dark and light side?
Now I am not a nutritionist but I do know Carbs, the slang term for Carbohydrates, are vital for the human body to run. If you are looking to increase your energy, your carb intake is very important. The key though is knowing WHEN and WHAT KIND of Carbs you should be eating.
Like I said, I am not a professional nutritionist, but I am someone who was able to lose 100 pounds and keep it off for over 10 years. My energy levels have been compared to that of an excited puppy dog seeing his owner after they have been gone all day. So the formula and opinions I am about to give you are not based in science and theory, but on good old fashioned practice with results!
Early on in my weight loss journey I was given this simple sentence to follow:
Eat breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, and Dinner like a Pauper.
I follow a very similar guide when it comes to the timing of my carb intake. Feel free to copy this little guide and post it on your refrigerator.
Meal 1: Carbs, Protein, Fat
Meal 2: Carbs, Protein
Meal 3: Carbs, Protein
Meal 4: Protein, Fat
Meal 5: Protein, Fat
This isn’t a rigid constraint system with no wiggle room. However it does remind us of a few things. First to make sure we are getting carbs into our daily food intake. Second to make sure we are eating five times a day. If you truly want to increase your energy in the office then I would challenge you to NEVER go more than four hours between meals. Personally I eat every 2.5 – 3 hours. When I go beyond 3 hours without eating my focus wains and my mood gets rather short and cranky. (Just ask my wife. I’m sure she would be happy to share all sorts of stories!)
An example of a high energy nutrition day for me might look something like this.
Meal 1: ½ cup of Oats, 5 Egg Whites, 1 Tbsp of Coconut Oil
Meal 2: 6oz of baked sweet potatoes, 6oz of baked chicken breast, 1 cup of Spinach
Meal 3: 1-2 Cans of Tuna, 1 cup of brown rice, 1 cup of green beans
Meal 4: 6oz of grass fed lean ground beef, 2 cups of spinach, ½ tomato, 3oz of avocado
Meal 5: 6oz of tilapia, 2 cups of green beans
Meal 6: Chocolate Shakeology with 1 Tbsp of Almond Butter
As you can see my meal plan actually has 6 meals! That is because I train pretty hard in addition to running my own business and doing my best to keep up with my 1 ½ year old son! For you, 5 meals may be plenty. I know when I first started adjusting my meal plan just eating more than once or twice a day was a huge adjustment.
If a meal plan like this immediately evokes panic in your brain, stop and take a deep breath. Like any change in life, it is best to take it as a step-by-step process. If eating 5 full meals a day seems like its impossible, then commit to eating 3 full meals a day and keeping some high protein snacks on hand at work to make sure you have peak energy levels at all times.
Easy on the go snacks include almonds, string cheese, raisins, high quality protein bars, Shakeology, brown rice cakes, apples – in fact I have a whole list of easy on the go foods in my free food guide.
Ultimately, if you want to increase your energy and your performance throughout the day, then don’t go long stretches without food! You wouldn’t expect your car to run at peak levels without fueling it on a regular basis would you? Look at your carb intake the same way. You need more early in the day when you are more active and more is being asked of you, and less later in the day as your body is preparing for rest and recovery.
I hope these simple tips helped. Now go take action and make it productive day full of your max energy!
Jimmy Hays Nelson Beachbody Coach is a self-proclaimed ‘former fat guy’. In his mid 20’s he was an overweight college dropout, who found himself living back at home with his parents. Knowing something had to change, he took action.
Through his transformation journey he lost 100 pounds, started his own business, was featured in the Shaun T workout series INSANITY, and has been seen multiple times on QVC with his buddy Tony Horton promoting P90X.
He founded NELSONGY FITNESS with his wife Kelly to reach out to give hope and support to those that are dissatisfied with their current situation. Whether you are lacking physically, emotionally, financially, or nutritionally we are here to help you see REAL RESULTS!