Sunday, August 4, 2013

Long Day ? Keep your Energy Levels Up !!!

Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you might be working an extremely long day, say 12 hours or even 15? These days can be hard to manage on so many levels, especially when it comes to staying energized and healthy, and just because you feel like you are constantly on the run during this time doesn't mean you should neglect that healthy aspect!

Apart from the nutritional aspect there are other ways to keep your energy levels up. If you find it in your schedule, I love to start my day with a quick run. Getting in 20 minutes or a few miles around the block not only destroys fat like nothing else, but gets your day started just right with some great energy and a clear mind.

If you have been seated for an extended amount of time, it is always good to get up every hour or so to take a lap outside or even bang out a few pushups or dips on a chair. Getting the blood pumping can keep you feeling alive! 

One more thing you can do, if your job allows, is to keep some uptempo music loaded onto your phone or iPod. This can make all the difference and the right music has been proven to increase heart rates and even release adrenaline! Take that with some coffee ! :)

It's always best to keep your metabolism running at a great speed, in order to make sure your body is burning fat, and also to stay energized, and the best way to do that is by eating every 2 to 3 hours. You read it, 2 to 3 hours. I know what you're thinking - "How am I going to ever eat every 2 to 3 hours especially if I'm on set at a shoot or a casting?". It's really quite simple, and I know you've probably heard it before but it's all about meal preparation. Eating in this way keeps your blood sugar levels steady and picking the right foods that don't spike your insulin will also make sure your energy doesn't crash like it will with sugary foods.
Typically, the best way to go about meal preparation is to split your week up into 2 cooking days.  On those days you cook for the next few days. Sundays and Wednesdays are my personal favorite days to prepare my meals for the week, but pick whatever works best with your schedule. Make sure you cook out all 6-7 meals that you will be eating each day, store them in Tupperware containers and each day pull out your meals and pack them up in your lunch bag for the day. An item to look into is a 6 pack bag, it's a bag that you can store your food in, and includes 2 gel packs to keep all your food items cool.

Now, what should you be cooking in the meals? I know that's what you're asking. Truthfully, the answer depends on what your goals are. It could be that you're trying to lose weight, maintain or even gain weight, so with each of those factors your food will vary. A few things to consider and some simple rules to live by are to always include lean proteins (chicken, tilapia, round steak), green leafy veggies (broccoli, asparagus, brussels), and complex carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, barley). Those complex carbohydrates and green leafy veggies are going to be your fuel to keep you energized, so don't feel like you should ever skip them! You can also add in some healthy fats such as almonds, almond butter, avocados and olive oil, just remember not to get too crazy with those fats - because they are still fats and add a lot of calories.

For info on how many calories to shoot for and also what ratio of protein/fat/carbs to take in, check out this link - TMT NUTRITION
So in short, if you're prepping your meals, you never should have to miss a meal, and your energy should always be flowing! Get creative with you meal prepping, follow your macros, and always be prepared. 

If you don't have the time to prepare your meals in advance, one amazing option I have discovered is Good Measure Meals. They will deliver healthy pre-measured meals right to your work place.

Thomas Murphy, CSCS