Wake up! You can ‘cure’ the post-lunch slump…
The clock says 3 p.m. and you’re not sure you’re going to make it. Two hours until quittin’ time and you want more than anything to curl up in a ball under your desk and go to sleep. At this point in the day – the same as many others behind it – you would give anything for a nap.
But instead you reach for that third cup of coffee or that brain-rotting diet soda and try to refocus your energy on the screen in front of you. Or worse, you head for the candy machine…
Sound familiar? If so, you may be suffering from the dreaded afternoon slump. Think it’s an inevitable part of your work life? Think again! Did you know that you – that’s right YOU – are causing it and you can prevent it too. You are what you eat and if you are eating a bunch of foods that just sit there and decay in your gut then you turn into a ZOMBIE! (And so do most of your co-workers so don’t worry that you are alone in this…).
The good news is that you don’t have to go through life feeling like crap every work-day afternoon. There are, in fact, a number of ways to prevent the afternoon slump and/or beat it back if it’s already upon you. As in now – this very moment!
Let’s take a look at the hows:
How does this happen? Well a few things that can steal your energy are:
· A diet high in processed carbohydrates and sugars and low in protein and fat. These carby sugary gut bombs (Americanized Thai food, anyone?) tend to putrefy in the gut and cause the overgrowth of yeast and bacteria and turn you into that aforementioned walking dead creature, rotting from the inside out.
· A massive lunch that takes away your energy by diverting too much of your resources to digestion. We knew we shouldn’t have gone back for that third helping of the buffet, but…
· Not enough sleep: five or fewer hours a night is too little but that’s what many of us get.
· A dependency on caffeine or other stimulants.
· Lack of regular exercise.
How do we prevent and reverse the afternoon slump?
1. First and foremost: Stay hydrated!
All of your body systems need water to function at their peak. Drink at least one glass of water every two hours. You won’t believe how much this helps!
2. Get Some Sun.
A brief dose of natural sunlight can give you a boost thanks to the serotonin-boosting power of all that Vitamin D. Go for a walk around the block, or just bask in any rays you can find while you take a break or eat your lunch. Fresh air will help you un-slump too.
3. Move around
As soon as you feel tired, stand up and make your body move with some stretches or even a brief walk around your office or home. This gets the blood and endorphins flowing and will perk you up. Also, when you are not at work, be sure you are getting adequate exercise. Focus on trying to go for a 30-minute walk at least once per day.
4. Prevent it in the first place. Stop blasting yourself with high-glycemic carbs (white rice, pasta, white beans, sugar and bread) at lunch. What goes up must go down. Instead focus on lean protein, plenty of greens and fresh fruit and a fist size of lower-glycemic carbs such as black beans or lentils. You won’t believe how different you feel and how the afternoon slump is no longer an issue. If you do need to snack, opt for something healthy such as a raw nutrition bar (Lara Bars are my favorite) or a banana with some raw nuts. These natural sugars are much more efficiently assimilated by the body and won’t cause a crash like other carbs do.
5. Get your zzzzzs. Sleeping 7-8 hours a night will give you sustained energy during the day and make you less reliant on caffeine to stay perky, allowing you to break your reliance on coffee and soda. Less caffeine equals fewer crashes!
GO DEEPER! In fact learning to eat well at all meals and take care of yourself will give you sustained energy throughout the day. If you’ve watched Movies Like Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and Forks Over Knives (free on Netflix) then you might be wondering how to go about changing your diet to one that promotes health and energy rather than one that makes you tired during the day.
That’s where I come in.
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Want more? Check out these foods that actually prevent that slump!
Source: mind body green and manifest health now
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Elisabeth Dunham, CNC, CHC, AADP
Certified Nutrition and Healing Coach specializing in:
Plant based nutrition for all tastes, from vegan to paleo
Health From the Inside Out via Manifest Health Now!
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