A common complaint in my practice is fatigue, decreased energy, lethargy and more. There are numerous reasons why you could be feeling this way - hormonal imbalances, chronic infections, autoimmune conditions, stress, poor detoxification and methylation and even to poor nutritional diet choices.
As a Functional Medicine physician, I always want to get to the root cause vs just sugar coating and treating symptoms. Sometimes, many symptoms go together and patients are not even aware of the connection. Sometimes even after having all your labs checked by a physician and ensuring all the above are okay, you still need to dig deeper and do additional non-traditional testing. Unfortunately, since functional testing can be costly, I sometimes encourage my patients to try these 5 hacks to see if their energy levels improve. Surprisingly many patients notice the difference as well.
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Diet Is The Key
You are what you eat and what you put into your body matters. Many people are becoming more aware of this. Eating foods high in pesticides actually damages your DNA over time. This is why sticking to an organic, non-GMO, chemical and preservative free diet is the way to go. Organic foods actually improve oxidative damage caused by free radicals that are the cause of cancers and chronic medical problems.
Eating this way also improves protein DNA and nutrient oxidation, improving your mitochondria and your overall energy production. I always advise them to keep checking the Environmental Working groups site for their update on the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15.
I also encourage patients to eat more plant-based vegetables at every meal. Eating cruciferous foods rich in sulforaphane like broccoli is a great way to help detoxify the body, improve hormone regulation as well as fight free radicals and improve overall energy.
Exercise helps improve energy levels unless you are dealing with adrenal exhaustion in which intense exercises can drain you down. We all know the benefits of movement - improved sleep, weight loss, increasing energy. Exercise increases energy by turning PGF2 Alpha into an antioxidant defence system which then improves your glucose utilization and metabolism. The result of all of this is a decrease in the inflammation in the body.
What Goes In Must Come Out
We are often unaware of the things that expose us to pesticides, heavy metals, chemical toxicities, pollution, radiation. Avoiding chemicals and metal toxicity is imperative to have good energy levels. In fact, detoxing the body a few times a year is something I regularly encourage patients to do. Getting rid of accumulated metals, medicines, chemicals that you have accumulated over the year really has a positive effect on your body.
Fast A Little
I'm a big fan of intermittent fasting and encourage many patients to do this. It helps with weight loss, improves athletic performance, boosts your immune system, improves insulin resistance, improves cholesterol levels and is even great for anti-ageing. Indian families have been doing this for years. In fact, I grew up watching my mom do a weekly fast. The goal is to minimize eating for 12-16 hours. But first, consult your doctor to make sure it is okay for you to do.
Eat your latest meal by 7pm and don't eat again until 10-11am the next day. Essentially, you are skipping breakfast. Start off doing this once a week and build your way up to twice a week. You can enjoy your coffee or tea without milk the next morning. Your body burns more fat and gets rid of more toxins when you're fasting. It also can focus on healing your gut and immune system during this time. Most people actually feel energized on days they fast.
Try Freezing Your Tail Off
The new rage in wellness is freezing your butt off - literally for 3 minutes that is! This is a new concept and easily available in most major cities. Cyrotherapy is a little on the expensive side but the benefits are many. Many find this odd but cryotherapy has shown to help improve inflammation, athletic performance, heal injuries faster as well as improved oxidative damage improving overall energy. This is a favorite for many athletes.
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