I usually suffer from a mid-afternoon energy slump at work. Often I crave a sugar hit around three pm and I eat chocolate or lollies as a pick me up. As I am hoping to lose about five kg of weight, this is obviously not good. What else can I do in the afternoon to pick up my energy levels?
This is a really common problem and it has two main causes. One is that after a lunch we often feel sleepier and the second is that the body's natural circadian rhythm of being awake or asleep goes through a dip mid-afternoon. (That's why so many cultures have siestas to get over the energy slump).
For most of us, an afternoon snooze is not going to cut it in the workplace. So often the solution lies with nutrition to help us power through the afternoon.
First up, it's important that you eat breakfast and lunch to ensure your metabolism is ticking over. Skipping meals can lead to massive energy crashes.
When it comes to your choices for lunch, you may want to consider adding some lean protein as this will keep you feeling satisfied for longer. This might mean adding lean chicken, meat, fish or sushi to your lunch choices.
Mid-afternoon, it's also worth picking a low GI snack. Low GI foods release sugar into the blood stream more slowly. Unfortunately foods like lollies will lead to a peak in sugars followed quickly by a slump which exacerbates low energy further.
Good choices for afternoon snacks might include beans on wholegrain toast, tuna on toast, nuts, yoghurt and fruit. A mid afternoon quick brisk walk, even if it's just for a few minutes, can also work wonders to lift your energy.