A wise person once said that health is the truest form of wealth, for without it we cannot enjoy our lives.  To that effect, several years ago I felt my energy levels draining, my waistline expanding and my confidence shrinking.  It was a wholly unpleasant trend that I felt needed to be reversed post haste.

After much research and experimentation I found several steps which reliably improved my energy levels and led to the loss of excess weight.  

Disclaimer: I am by no means a medical professional or nutritionist, so your mileage may vary.

1: Reduction of processed food and beverage intake; replacement with wholesome foods. That is to say, I did everything I could to take out refined salt, sugar and oil and replace it with nutrient dense leafy greens, legums, seeds, nuts, fruits, etc. Energy levels are closely linked to the ratio of nutrients to calories we are taking in.

2: Elimination of alcohol. And for that matter, any beverage with empty calories.  Our bodies are not capable of calculating calories in beverage form, so it is incredibly easy to overdo it.  The average 12 oz beer has 150 calories with absolutely no nutritional value.  If one is to consume about 1,500 calories per day, then one beer equals 10% of the daily calorie intake.  In addition alcohol has a myriad of extremely negative health effects, even if consumed in moderation.

3: Sleep regularly. I started taking melatonin 1 mg sub-lingual tabs on nights that I didn’t feel tired before bed. Doing so one hour before bed — and making sure the bedroom is absolutely dark (no light at all) helped to improve my restful sleep and boost energy levels the next day. Also helped with mental acuity quite a bit.

4: Exercise in during the earlier part of the day when possible. This helps to improve blood circulation and boost metabolism. Usually leads to two benefits — more energy in the afternoon and less trouble sleeping.

5: Meditation. Spend at least 10-15 minutes a day in a relaxed, peaceful state in a quiet room. Focusing on one single object — such as a thought of a pleasant place, or a shape, or a color. And do so until the stress fades away and comfort levels rise. Stress saps energy like nothing else. Taking a few moments to truly focus and relax can help to boost energy levels.

6: Swap coffee with tea. I used to drink coffee and I found the stimulation far too intensive. It seemed to have me completely drained emotionally and physically when it wore off. Drinking white and green teas has reduced that harsh up and down roller coaster and also improved nutrient intake because teas contain an abundance of phytonutrients and antioxidants.

7: Reducing the toxic load in my home. Swapping out nasty cleaning agents (like bleach, ammonia, etc) with more natural alternatives (like white vinegar, borax and water, or peroxide). Having less of the volatile organic compounds pollute my home’s air supply helped me a great deal. Our bodies have to spend a lot of time dealing with foreign substances they cannot break down — and it really hurts our ability to maintain energy for other tasks.

I will be the first to admit that everyone’s body is different, so these tips may not be the exact advice you need to improve your well-being, but if you aren’t happy with how you look and feel then it may be worth experimenting with your lifestyle to find your optimal balance.

After all, the alternative of degenerative chronic disease is much less appealing than improving our lifestyle and daily habits.