Sometimes we feel tired or unproductive because we didn’t get enough quality sleep. But other times, our sleepiness is due to a different culprit: a sugar-filled diet. Turns out, what we eat and drink can affect how we feel — mentally, physically, and emotionally. A diet that’s high in sugar can make us more likely to crave a nap after we eat, whereas a diet that is higher in protein can not only satisfy our hunger, but also give us energy to take on the day.

Here are some tips to help you consume less sugar so that you can feel energized all day long:

Bring your lunch to work at least once a week

Not only are you saving money by not buying lunch at least once a week, but you also allow yourself healthier meal options that you can prepare at home. Try meal-prepping on a day off from work, or consider bringing leftovers from a previous night’s home-cooked meal. You can also try pairing some healthy snacks with your main lunch item. Some healthy additions you can add to your lunch are chopped veggies with hummus, an apple with almonds, or nuts and dark chocolate! 

Satisfy your sweet tooth with natural sugars

We tend to indulge our sugar cravings with “traditional” desserts, like ice cream or cookies. But naturally sweet foods, like fruit, can be just as satisfying. Plus, choosing fruit over processed desserts comes with an extra benefit: The high water content increases your hydration, too.  

Replace one sugary drink a day with water

Dehydration can make us feel tired, moody, and unfocused — a.k.a. it’s essential that we stay hydrated throughout the day. And while a sugary drink or soda can taste good, it doesn’t help us feel better overall. If you are someone who loves their flavored drinks, try switching to water with small steps: You can add fruit to your water, or try drinking a flavored sparkling water. By doing this, you’ll stay hydrated and cut out any unnecessary sugar from your diet.