The afternoon slump is something most people have experienced and it often becomes a part of our everyday lives. Here are 5 ways you can avoid it and keep functioning well throughout the afternoon.
- Keep hydrated
- Start your day with a good breakfast
- Don’t skip meals
- Keep your meal portions healthy
- Be prepared with snacks
Chronic dehydration can often be confused for hunger, causing you to eat when you don’t really need and leading to more snacking (likely eating less than healthy options). Dehydration can also leave you feeling tired, especially in the afternoon. Be sure to drink 8 glasses of water a day, more if you are being physically active.
While you have been asleep, you have effectively been fasting. You need to re-fuel your body as soon as possible if you want it to function well for you. So break the fast with “break-fast”. Include protein, complex carbs (read low GI) and some healthy fats. All of which will help your brain and body kick into gear for the day ahead.
Skipping meals means your bloody sugar can get low and you can get very hungry. This leads to you eating more at the next meal, causing your blood sugar to spike. Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced fairly steady throughout the day is a key way to avoid the afternoon slump. So be sure to eat each meal.
Over eating at any one meal can leave you feeling tired while your body digests it. Eating too many carbs, even low GI carbs in one meal, is another way to spike your blood sugar, which will be followed by a blood sugar drop and tiredness. Think 1 cupped hand full of carbs (grains, starches, beans and fruits), 1 palm size amount of lean protein (chicken, red meat, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, natural yoghurt), 1 fist full of vegies, 1 thumb of healthy fat (e.g. oils, nuts, butters, nut butters, seeds) – for women.
Don’t wait until you need a top up to find a snack. You will end up grabbing what’s convenient and probably isn’t a good fuel source. Keeping you blood sugar fairly level throughout the day by having a well considered snack, will help keep your blood sugar level. This means you are less likely to have that slump. Try some nuts, fruits or natural yoghurt with some berries.