food for energy

“Eat, you need food for energy.” NOT TRUE.

Your strength has little to do with what you just ate in your last meal or even what you ate that day.

Eating or not eating doesn’t change your body’s energy levels one bit, but it can make you feel like it.

Physiologically, if anything, eating can only lower your energy and usually does. 

Energy production and use in the body are tightly controlled and organized. Your daily energy budget was set well before your day even started and will not shift just because you ate something or decided to exercise or not.

When people feel down or report low energy, it is usually not connected with the literal energy levels in their bodies. You don’t go into a “low energy mode” in that sense. Your energy budget stays the same whether you feel energetic or not.

Eating stimulates certain hormones and reactions in your body, like insulin production, which will decrease other hormones like human growth hormone that maintains and build muscle. 

With each meal, testosterone will drop, and energy-storing actions increase as your body’s natural healing and recycling comes to a near stop.

So what happens when I feel low in energy?

When you feel uneasy or get a headache, feel dizzy, distracted, or unfocused from skipping a meal, it has nothing to do with the energy level in your body. It doesn’t even have to do with the blood sugar level at that moment. These are symptoms of something else like a detox reaction or a withdrawal symptom.

But snickers satisfies!

When getting hangry from not eating, as in angry and hungry at the same time, making them irritable or short-tempered, it’s not hunger; it’s a detox reaction or sign of metabolic challenge or weakness. 

If when you eat, you get a near instant rush of calm over your relieving irritability, you know it has nothing to do with energy or even hunger because that food is not broken down and into your intestines or absorbed into your bloodstream nevermind refueling every cell involved in making you feel better. What you feel is the effects of the drug-like impact of food as it calms the addiction pathway ending your withdrawal.

So next time you feel a “drop in energy,” try changing your physical state by moving or exercising, standing up and stretching, taking a few deep breaths, telling someone a joke, or listening to your favorite uplifting music. 

Call a friend and ask about their day if it gets worse. You know they will tell you, and that distraction can be enough to allow the withdrawal symptom to pass because they will if you don’t feed into them.

Feeling uneasy is a sign to make some changes, not a reason to dose up by eating, and it doesn’t mean that skipping a meal or fasting is bad for you anymore than soreness means exercise is bad for you either. 

Always remember you have all the energy you need to get your work done, finish what you started, get in that workout, keep with your fasting, and pushing through will not “stress” you any more than eating will, probably less.

You got this. Whatever it is, your body has you covered, trust it and get back to work!

We can do better!

Dr. Don

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