It’s 2pm. It’s dreary and drizzly. It’s Monday. Could there be a more perfect combination for that mid-afternoon “I could take a nap” energy slump?
As a nutritionist, it’s no surprise that the afternoon energy crash comes about 2 hours after eating lunch. Everybody thinks nutrition impacts whether or not you have high cholesterol and other internal medical stuff, but there’s much more immediate effects from food. Believe it or not, what you eat (or don’t eat) can have a profound impact on how you feel right here, right now.
You can have fantastic energy all day long if you address proper sleep and eat the right foods at the right times. However, let’s keep things simple and just focus on avoiding that . . . yaaaawn . . . nasty 2pm energy crash. Here’s my prescription for a productive afternoon full of “smooth energy.”
Rule 1: Between 11am and 3pm, drink at least 1 liter (about 32oz) of water.
Rule 2: Do not drink or eat any refined carbs such as candy, snack chips, pretzels, granola bars, soft drinks, juice, sweet tea, etc
Rule 3: Eat lunch when you’re mildly hungry, before you’re “get out of my way, I’m headed to the buffet” starving.
Rule 4: Eat the following three foods at lunch . . .
Protein – grilled or baked chicken or fish (have about 1 palm-worth)
Smart Starch – sweet potato or brown rice (have about 1 fist-worth)
Healthy Fat – avocado (½), olives, or raw almonds or walnuts (10 to 12)
Rule 5: Eat slowly and chew thoroughly. Try to chew every bite at least 15 to 20 times.
There you have it. Change just one meal and you just might become a believer in the amazing power of nutrition! I challenge you – try it for three days and see what happens. I guarantee you’ll have more energy during that slumpy 2pm to 5pm timframe. Chime in on the comments section or shoot me an e-mail and let me know how it works for you. **Bonus – you’ll be amazed at how this lunch will also help to combat your typical afternoon cravings!
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