Are you going through the day feeling sluggish, even though you have had 7 to 8 hours of sleep? It may not be your amount of sleep that’s making you feel less than your best. Rather, what you are eating may be at fault. Is your diet making you tired?
How Often Are You Eating? Do you need some coffee mid-afternoon to make it through the rest of the workday? Many of us hit an afternoon “lull” around 3-4 pm. It may be due to a drop in blood sugar. Having a healthy snack between meals will keep blood sugar balanced, keep metabolism up, can help to support healthy weight loss, and can prevent afternoon fatigue.
Sugar Control: Avoid sugary snacks that will cause large fluctuations in blood sugar, and instead pair a piece of fruit with some yogurt or nut butter. Make your own trail mix with raw nuts and seeds. Try some veggies with hummus. What you may notice with all of these snack options is that they all include a little protein and some fiber – both important to a healthy diet. Protein and fiber help to stabilize blood sugar, promote regular elimination, and support optimal health, including energy, focus and stamina to get through your day.
Dietary Intolerances: If you are still feeling sluggish and also experience a bloated feeling after eating, excessive gas, diarrhea, chronic constipation or any constant digestive issue, you may have a food sensitivity. Eliminating specific foods or entire food groups can do wonders for energy. Food intolerances cause our body to react as if fighting a cold or flu. Needless to say, this uses a lot of energy and can leave us feeling drained and lethargic. Cutting out these foods gives your immune system a much needed break, decreases inflammation, increases energy, and can also lead to improvement in symptoms such as joint pain, eczema, and the already mentioned bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation. To be tested for food sensitivities, contact Margo Gladding at 800-869-9159 ext 1025 or by email for more information.
Here are some other reasons that you may feel tired.
Water: Even moderate dehydration can wreak havoc on energy and concentration. Put down the coffee or energy drink, both of which cause a quick pick-me-up followed by an even larger energy crash, and opt for another glass of water. Aim for a minimum of 8 glasses a day. You can add some lemon for variety and flavor.
Don’t Skip Breakfast: Including a small amount of protein and fiber in your breakfast will help kick start your energy and keep you going for the rest of the day. Something as simple as whole grain toast, nut butter and a banana can make a huge difference in how you feel.
Add Omega-3: Fuel for your brain, omega-3 fatty acids found in flax and fish (fish oils) help to support cognitive function. Some studies suggest they protect against age-related memory loss. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are a necessary energy for all biological processes. EFA deficiency causes fatigue, difficulty with concentration and mental clarity, joint pain, dry skin, hair and nails, as well as poor cardiovascular health, among a number of other symptoms.
Photo from here, with thanks.