Dan Churchill’s guide to eating your way to more energy

Are you all too familiar with the 3pm slump, and feeling like you’re struggling to keep your energy up throughout the day? Celebrity chef Dan Churchill reveals his top tips for revamping your eating habits to maximise energy for sustained periods.

Keeping your energy levels consistent throughout the day can be a challenge for many people, but there are ways to stop the spikes and crashes!

Centr chef and owner of Charley St restaurant Dan Churchill shares his top tips for maintaining stable energy throughout the day.

Know what foods digest well for you, and which don’t

When it comes to satiation and energy, it’s important to know what foods work well for you – and if you don’t know, find out! It’s a bit of trial and error since we’re all different, but generally, paying attention to your gut is key. Incorporate plenty of probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt to help regulate the gut microbiome. My protein powder yoghurt is a great option to keep you feeling full and balanced.

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Understand your habits

If you know you’re generally tired at the end of the day, this could be because of a combination of nutritional intake or your genetic body type. Know what isn’t working for you and adjust. When it comes to energy specifically, I will say in general, studies show that eating a diet high in a diverse group of plants helps with energy levels! The phytonutrients found in plants are great for sustaining energy.

Find meal timings that work for you

We’ve been conditioned to think that smaller portions, more often, are the way to go. For me? That’s not the case. Focusing on large, satisfying meals (but less of them) keeps me feeling energised – but if I feel like a snack, i just make sure it’s something protein-rich like my almond butter protein bars.

You can also look into eating plans like intermittent fasting, which helps you maximise the use of each cell in the body. Don’t do what works for others, do what works for you. So if you’re someone that doesn’t require breakfast, great! Skip that meal. Eat around the times you normally feel energy lagging as well, so that may mean eating more in the morning or in the night for you. It’s really about knowing your own body and what works well for you.

Be sure to eat around your workout schedule

The other factor in working out when (and what) to eat is your exercise routine. Most people work out in the morning and would want to eat around that in the morning so they don’t have a post-workout slump. A nutrient-packed protein smoothie can be a great option if you don’t feel like a heavy meal – just make sure it has protein, fibre, and ideally some greens to help fill you up. It’s also important to give your body time to get into rest mode. Whether you’re deliberately intermittent fasting or not, having your last meal at least two hours before bedtime helps get your body into the mode for bedtime.

Be mindful of caffeine

Craving a coffee when your energy starts to plummet? It’s understandable, but it can be making those spikes and crashes worse than they need to be throughout the day. Having one to two cups a day is fine, but if you start to notice this is disturbing your sleep, scale it back.

Dan Churchill is the owner of Charley St Restaurant in New York, chef for Centr, podcast host of The Epic Table, fitness ambassador and author. You can follow him on Instagram here.