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How to Boost Your Energy With These Healthy Habits

by Lumen Editorial Desk · February 24, 2023 · 5 minute read
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Reenergize yourself with one healthy habit at a time

Do you feel like you're running on empty? Energy levels depleted, struggling to get through even the simplest tasks? You're most likely part of the nearly 50% of Americans that report (1) feeling mentally and physically exhausted during and toward the end of the day.

Few are aware that it only takes minor changes to turn our foods into efficient energy sources for our bodies to feel energized. So let's put those sluggish feelings aside and focus on what we can actually do about it! Your metabolism is your body's hub of energy and the source of how you feel during the day.

To hack it and optimize your inner energizer bunny, our Lumen experts are spilling their secrets. Read on! 

Improve your energy levels with the right nutrition

Understanding how to eat in order to optimize your metabolic flexibility, for example, what to eat before a workout for energy, can make a huge difference in how you feel on a daily basis. Everyone’s body responds differently to certain foods, but we've gathered sources and guidelines to what types of foods you should eat depending on your metabolic state and how your body is using these foods as a source of energy.

But first, to learn more about how your body is doing this, taking a morning breath measurement will give you guidance on how to plan your day and get the right proportion of macros to keep you energized.

After a long day, it's hard to turn down the easy option that targets your taste buds rather than your health when your kitchen is filled with high-fat and sugar foods.

Try get into the habit of always stocking your kitchen with foods that give you energy.

A balanced diet will provide you with plenty of energy because it contains all the nutrients your body needs to operate optimally. Aim to consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, protein sources, nuts, seeds, and other nutritious foods on a regular basis.
Marine Melamed,
Certified Nutritionist

Which foods give you energy?

Choosing healthier options is step one, but what are some of the best foods, fruits, and snacks for providing you with the energy you actually need? Focusing on slow absorption or low GI carbs will gradually release glucose into the bloodstream and prevent glucose spikes followed by a glucose crash leading to cravings and low energy—examples include legumes, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and whole grains. Increasing your fiber intake can also help slow and gradually of sugar in the bloodstream. Which foods make you feel energized for longer?

natural energy boostersnatural energy boosters

Which fruits and snacks give you energy?

high energy foods

High energy foods diet

These foods and snacks are a few examples of what can give you a boost of energy when you need it. Now, what do you do with them?

Set yourself up for success in the kitchen

Meal prepping is a great strategy for ensuring you have both meals and snacks readily available when you need them. Make a shopping list and stick to it. Plan out your healthy macros of carbs, proteins and fats according to your personalized nutrition guide and in-app recipes. 

Top tips from our Lumen experts:

  • Take a few hours once a week to meal-prep healthy meals and snacks. This will help you curb turning to fast food and other unhealthy options.
  • Keep unhealthy foods high in fat and sugar out of your pantry to reduce temptations.
  • Eat small meals throughout the day to readily provide your body with energy.
  • Have a filling and nutritious breakfast in the mornings.

Related post: Master your eating times

Exercising to maximize your energy levels

Regular exercise could help increase muscle mass, and improve metabolic flexibility (4). Building habits around your energy levels means finding the sweet spot in how exercise and energy levels help each other and rely on each other. This also means determining whether you are fueled enough to reach maximum performance during your workout. 

Progress is made physically when you are consistent. Sticking to a routine will enforce these healthy habits of movement. This will also allow you to incorporate progressive increments, whether that be through increasing resistance, time, or something else, which will help you grow over time and reach your goals.

boost energy

While it is likely that you have a form of exercise that is your favorite, giving attention to numerous areas of fitness will help your body perform at its best while making a positive impact on your overall health.

A great example would be combining weight training, running, and yoga over a week. Don't forget to include rest days for your body to repair and recharge. 

"Every day is different and depends on what's happening in MY body. It's like a fully loaded carb cycling program with the goals of helping me lose weight and to become more metabolically flexible. And guess what? It works! It's working for me. And I love food and eating. It's a reasonable approach and very personalized."
Rachel, 45, Maryland

Lumen User

Be realistic with the habits you're taking on

There is no need to overwhelm yourself with a workout schedule. If you don’t have time to exercise every day, that is fine! Instead, start with two or three days a week, see how doable that is for you, and go from there.

Top tips from our Lumen experts:

  • Choose a realistic number of days to work out every week and stick to it.
  • Do at least one activity that contributes to improving your strength, endurance, and flexibility every week.

  • Find a routine that works into your schedule, this could be walking your dog or attending a recurring workout class. 
  • Track your progress, by tracking your metabolism and learn what activities optimize it best. 

Maximize your sleep habits for energy and metabolism

Sleep is something that not many people get enough of, yet it is essential to our health and gives us the energy we need to carry out daily tasks. However, when effort and a bit of planning are utilized, your sleep habits can improve, and help with more energy and a better metabolism.

For some, certain environments can make falling asleep more challenging. While you may have a bit more difficulty with calming your mind before sleep, you can at least set yourself up for success with external factors. 

There are five stages of sleep, and the rapid eye movement (REM) stage actually plays into your metabolism (5). It is during the REM stage that you experience heightened brain activity. This means your body requires the metabolizing of glucose to support such activity; this leads to increased metabolic flexibility.

For healthy sleeping habits, our Lumen experts recommend trying out:

  • Avoid screens at least one hour before bed
  • Make your sleep environment conducive to sleep 
  • Keep your room dark and cool
  • Going to sleep at the same time and waking up at the same time

  • If you struggle to fall asleep, set a timer on calming music to help soothe you to sleep

Check-in with yourself and track your energy levels 

Keeping track of how much energy you have and how you’re feeling throughout the day can give great insight into what could be triggering certain energies or moods. Pay attention to your body and things like hunger, thirst, fatigue, and burnout. The food you eat can have a big impact on your energy levels. Keep track of what you're eating and when, and pay attention to how your body responds.

Top tips from our Lumen experts:

  • If you notice that certain foods make you tired or sluggish, try cutting back or eliminating them from your diet.
  • Consistency is key when it comes to tracking your energy levels. Try to record your energy levels at the same time each day, and be sure to stick to your diet and exercise plan consistently.
  • Find activities that relax you and incorporate them into your routine. The more you stick to doing them, the easier and more natural it will become a healthy habit. 
"Lumen's daily goal of taking time to do something you enjoy made me realize I don't do that often enough. I made that a priority on my habit tracker, and now I enjoy at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted reading, meditation, or stretching. I didn't realize how much I needed that time until I made it."
Brionna, 38, California

Lumen User

Utilize stress management and mindfulness

When you consume larger amounts of carbohydrates, your blood level will increase and then drop sharply due to how your body processes glucose. Because of this, it is vital that we maintain a balance when it comes to shifting between burning carbs and fat for energy. Inefficiency with this might have a negative impact on your health, and this can lead to stress.

Stress can raise cortisol and epinephrine/adrenaline levels. Both these hormones shift your body into a fight-or-flight response. In this case, your body will burn carbs even in the absence of available carbs. Your body has the ability to generate glucose from non-glucose sources (i.e. protein and fats) in a process called gluconeogenesis. Managing your stress can help improve metabolic flexibility and reach your health goals. You can do other relaxing activities like meditation and journaling.

Breathe in, breathe out, repeat

Meditation incorporated with deep breathing in the diaphragm may result in an improved resting metabolic rate (2). The practice also allows you to take a moment for yourself to calm your mind and center yourself, whether you are in the midst of a busy day or just waking up in the morning.

Top tips from our Lumen experts:

  • Find a time in the week to socialize. The increase in dopamine can give you energy and may put you in a good mood
  • Try incorporating meditation or breathing exercises for at least a few minutes a day.
  • When you start to feel overwhelmed, try journaling or jotting down your thoughts to help put them into perspective and relieve the jumble in your head.

Final Thoughts

Nearly everyone aspires to feel happier and more energetic on a daily basis. We all have a lot to juggle, and our health can sometimes be put on the back burner because of it. But when you aren’t able to nourish and support your body, you will find that your energy levels drop while your stress levels rise, making your daily tasks that much harder to complete.

By creating a routine that is realistic and sustainable, you will likely find yourself feeling better than ever. Our bodies do so much for us, and sticking to habits that boost our metabolism and energy levels is a great way to give back!


  1. Lee, H. 2018. Effects of breathing exercises on resting metabolic rate and maximal oxygen uptake. NCBI. 
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff. 2022. Water: How much should you drink every day? Mayo Clinic. 
  3. McPherron, A. 2013. Increasing muscle mass to improve metabolism - PMC. NCBI. 
  4. Pacheco, D., 2022. How Your Body Uses Calories While You Sleep. Sleep Foundation. 

Our contributing team of in-house registered and certified nutritionists, dietitians, scientists, and researchers helping people become metabolically healthier

Lumen Editorial Desk

Our Lumen editorial desk includes an in-house team of certified and registered nutritionists and dietitians, scientists, researchers, and writers.