Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsors National Nutrition Month, a month-long campaign to “focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.” Healthy Hairdresser is all about that! For you hairdressers, who stand much of the day and need all the energy you can get in order to provide the best service to your clients, we’re happy to share the Academy’s five tips for eating to boost energy:

1. Eat often. Fuel your metabolism and maintain muscle mass by eating every three to four hours.

2. Eat light. Today portions are huge! If your meal carries you five to six hours without hunger pangs, you’re probably eating too much at once. You will feel less sluggish by eating smaller portions more frequently.

3. Balance your meal. Fill your plate with a little of everything: whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy and a little healthy fat such as olive oil. This balance will help you sustain energy.

4. Snack wisely. To bridge meals and keep your energy consistent, choose snacks with protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates. Grab an apple, a handful of nuts, a baggie of carrots, a hunk of string cheese, a carton of Greek yogurt or a cup of fresh berries.

5. Quench your thirst. Avoid energy-zapping drinks like soda, sugary coffee and the misleadingly named “energy” drinks, all of which will give you a quick buzz but later tend to cause an energy crash. Drink water, low-calorie flavored water, fat-free or low-fat milk or unsweetened tea.