One of the questions we get pretty often here at Diet.com is how to avoid the "mid-afternoon energy slump" people tend to run into around 2pm. While you could turn to one of the many popular shot-sized pick-me-ups to try to fix the issue, we recommend taking a look at some of your lifestyle factors and eating habits first, as there are several reasons why you may feel tired after lunch.
Start by asking yourself the following:
- How long has this been happening - can you relate it to a change in your food choices?
- Has anything else changed in your life such as your work schedule or a stressful situation?
- Are you getting adequate sleep?
- Are you well hydrated? Common symptoms of dehydration include fatigue and lethargy.
- Are you getting enough physical activity? One of the best energy boosters is regular activity. Try taking a 10 minute walk after lunch and see if your energy levels improve!
- Has it been longer than 4-5 hours since your last meal? If you go longer than 4-5 hours between meals, include a healthy snack to fill the gap. Remember to start the day right by eating a balanced breakfast! Eating regularly helps keep your blood sugar levels stable; when blood sugar drops, so does your energy level.
Other dietary causes may include large meals and excess carbohydrates. Some tiredness may be normal because digestion draws blood to the stomach, leaving less for the brain and muscles.
Take a closer look at your eating habits overall by keeping a food record. You can use Diet.com’s online trackers to record your food intake, exercise and mood. Look for trends such as what foods, how much, and how often you eat. Remember to also record how you feel before and after eating.
If after evaluating your lifestyle factors and making changes you still feel tired, consult with your health care provider to determine other possible causes.
Final thought: power your day with balanced regular meals and snacks, adequate sleep, hydration and plenty of activity for optimal energy!
Check out a few more related blogs for more information!
11 Tips for Healthier Snacking
Fight Hunger & Aid Weight Loss with Protein
Is Snacking Good for You?