Post-Lunch Slump? Here's 7 Ways To Avoid It...
Why is it that 2pm is the hardest hour to get through?
Ever felt like your desk looks a little too comfy after lunch and wanted to settle down for a quick nap before your computer? Well, you're certainly not alone, and it is completely normal. But there are ways to avoid it, so we're here to break it down for you so you can stop the post-lunch fatigue and get straight back to what you were doing.
But first, why does it happen?
Simply put, our body uses energy to digest your food, more than you might think. While your body is busy turning your food into energy, we can flag a little. But sometimes there's a little more to it...
There are a few pesky hormones involved too, because eating triggers both our happy and our sleep hormones. This is because our body produces insulin after we eat which then converts to sugars (glucose), circulating in the bloodstream into glycogen within our cells. If your body produces too much insulin, however, it causes the essential amino acid tryptophan to move into the brain. Once there, it increases the production of serotonin and melatonin, two neurotransmitters that have a calming effect and regulate your sleep.
Carbs are the main food group to make you feel tired, as they will boost your levels of serotonin, which will make you feel happier, but also much sleepier. So steer away from carbs on your lunch break, and stick to proteins and vegetables.
It's more common to feel sluggish and tired after we've eaten a large meal, so it's important to listen to our body and not over-eat!
And generally, if you overeat on fatty foods, you can be left feeling sleepy as your body has to work overtime to break down the food you've eaten.
It could also be because you have a food allergy or intolerance. Allergies and intolerances are usually associated with digestive problems, such as bloating, gas, reflux, indigestion, as well as lethargy.
How to avoid the post-lunch slump:
1. Don't skip breakfast
We've all heard this one before, but making sure you eat breakfast can help prevent that mid-afternoon slump. If you skip breakfast, it sets the energy levels for the day, meaning you'll feel tired and sluggish from the off. It also means that you'll feel hungry and over-eat, and you're more likely to make poorer food choices. Start your day right, and you'll make it through the afternoon.
2. Eat smaller meals throughout the day
Because your post-food fatigue is down to your body trying to digest what you've just eaten, eating smaller but more frequent meals will ease the tiredness. Try balancing a small lunch with a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack so that you consume enough calories, just a little more spread out. It means your body won't have to work quite as hard to digest, and we can keep our sugar levels up over the whole day
3. Chew gum
There have been studies on the effect of chewing gum on concentration levels as it increases the amount of blood and oxygen flowing to the brain, making you feel more awake. So after lunch, pop in a piece of gum, and it will help to keep your mind focused.
4. Opt in for macro-nutrient balanced meals
Instead of choosing processed and starchy foods, make sure you have a balanced meal, including colourful vegetables and whole grains. About half your meal should be non-starchy vegetables, one quarter lean meat (or alternatives) and one quarter whole grains.
It's also important to stay hydrated throughout the day, too, as dehydration can make you feel very sleepy!
5. Go outside or get moving
Stop spending your lunch break inside, and get out for a bit. And even better, schedule a walk in!
Exercise keeps you alert throughout the day by optimising oxygen and blood circulation around the body and to the brain, which minimizes the post-lunch slump. And it's a good excuse to get outside for a bit!
6. Check in with your doctor
So if you're really feeling tired all the time and it's affecting your day-to-day life, check in with a health professional. Sometimes feeling tired can signal a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
7. Try Pure Energy
Here at Organica we combined natural essential oils to create a handy roller you can carry round with you, to focus your mind and kick tiredness to the curb. It's full of orange and bergamot oil, known for their ability to boost energy levels and fight the effects of fatigue! And if you click this link, you can receive 30% off!
Food for thought
There's nothing nice about returning back to your job after lunch and feeling overwhelmingly tired. If this problem persists, it can be down to an iron deficiency which is common, especially in women, so make sure to see your doctor! But other than that, the post-lunch slump is pretty normal, but easily avoided. So eat your breakfast, chew your gum, and carry your Pure Energy Roller with you!
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