It's 4pm, and you're already yawning and feeling exhausted. Put that double expresso
and muffin down - they aren't going to get you through!!!
Who hasn't experienced that drained feeling halfway through the afternoon, when
making it through the day seems impossible? According to the National Sleep
Foundation USA, nearly half of us report an afternoon slump where energy and
concentration are challenged. One of the most common reasons for afternoon fatigue is
fluctuating blood sugar levels. If too much sugar is released into the body at once, by
either waiting too long to eat between meals or high carbohydrate or fatty foods, too
much insulin is released to balance the sugar levels. This causes your blood sugar levels
to rise and fall rapidly, leading to a quick burst of energy followed by a deep crash. And
Enter SNACKS. So, why are they such an important part of your day? Snacks are those
150-200 calories that will save you!! They bridge the gap between meals and stop that
rumbling stomach when lunch and dinner are hours away. They keep your blood sugar
stable and your hunger in check so that you are not grabbing a chocolate fix from the
nearest vending machine or gorging everything in sight at your next meal. Snacks will
fuel your AM workout if there is no time for a proper meal and will replenish your
glycogen stores after you have finished that run and strength session. Snacks are also a
great way to get in extra whole foods to ensure that you are getting in the correct
nutrients for the day.
It's important to pick the right snack at the right time, to keep energy levels up and
bridge the gap properly. A snack made up of a complex carb, a healthy fat, and clean
protein will increase your energy levels for a longer period of time.
So, back to that 4pm slump. It's the time of day when another cup of coffee or quick
sugary snack seems like the perfect way to carry you to the end of the day. Hold that
thought! With a little planning and the ideas below, you can easily push through
and run to the finish line. Don't let that 4pm slump take control of you; you have the
power to take control of it! Below is a list of my top five snacks to beat that slump, so
arm yourself with the ingredients and knowledge that you have the power to keep your
hunger and energy in check all day!
1. A handful of raw unsalted nuts/homemade trail mix - the protein, fiber, and fat is a
perfect snack combination to balance the blood sugar levels, keep cravings away and boost energy.
2. 2 cups of mixed raw veggie sticks and 2 tbsp of your favorite dip - hummus, tahini,
3. Hardboiled egg, ¼ avocado, and tomato on a piece of sprouted Ezekiel toast
4.Green Smoothie- smoothies will give you more energy & are the very best, nutrient-dense meal-on-the-go! One of my favourite blend for the cold days is this warming Ginger Bread Cookie Smoothie!
5. 1 apple, sliced, with 1 tbsp nut butter
What pick-me-up do you use for that mid afternoon crash?
Image Courtesy: Big stock photo Angela_Way