Post Lunch Slump
The post lunch slump is the scourge of the nine to fivers. You bounce out of bed in the morning, perhaps helped by a strong coffee, you blitz your busy morning in the office and before you know it it’s lunch time. Three times a day you have the opportunity to positively impact your health with nourishing and healthy food choices. Do you always take that opportunity?
The problem with the working day is that it can often throw things at you that stress you out or make you reach for food as a comfort, a distraction or a pick me up. Sitting in an office for 8 hours isn’t how man has evolved to thrive; under conditions of blue light and staring at a computer screen. Nevertheless, it’s how so many of us make our livings so it’s important to try and make the best of it.
In an ideal world our internal body clocks would be regulated by natural light exposure all day long, sugary snacks and processed foods wouldn’t exist and we wouldn’t all be addicted to caffeine. This is clearly never going to happen but there are a few simple principles you can adopt to make sure that you maintain your energy levels throughout the day.
1. Give yourself the unconditional permission to eat real food
How many times a week do you decide you’re going to go for the “healthy” option which ends up being an insubstantial and lifeless salad with little or no carbohydrates and then end up ravenous at 3pm, lacking in energy and reaching for the high sugar bliss balls, bar of chocolate or cup of coffee? Give yourself the unconditional permission to eat a balanced meal at breakfast and lunchtime in order to see you through the day. A balanced meal should contain a good quality source of protein, some complex carbohydrates and lots of vegetables - the leafier the better, and some healthy fats. Protein and fat are the most satiating macronutrients, so by making sure you’re getting adequate amounts of those (for example from some wild salmon, tofu, avocado or adding some nut butter to your morning porridge), you’ll stay fuller for longer with even energy levels and no unwanted sugar lows.
2. Not every meal has to end in dessert
Shocking, right? Not exactly. Despite there being a huge market for ‘healthy’ alternatives to our favourite puddings and sweet treats, and clever marketing folk behind these same products to convince us that we need them in our lives - it hasn’t always been this way. Evolutionarily, us humans would have only had the sweetness from the summer berries we would have forged for in the warmer months, or the occasional discovery of a bee hive and the delicious, sweet honey it contained. So we aren’t particularly ‘programmed’ to cope with a lot of sugar on a regular basis. We also live in a cold, damp climate which again reinforces our lesser need for sweet, sugary foods. So - I’m not saying never eat dessert, after all, life is short. However, if you want to maintain stable energy levels throughout the day then perhaps forgo that sugar hit after lunch as it will spike your blood sugar level higher than is necessary, only to likely have you crashing down again later leaving you feeling tired and in need of another fix. Try a spoonful of almond butter instead!
Our Sugar Detox Cleanse is suitable for those who are struggling to cope with sugar and carbohydrate cravings as well as those who are coming off a high sugar diet. It is designed to help reset the body’s natural hunger and satiety hormones while keeping blood sugar and energy levels balanced throughout the day.
3. Avoid caffeine after lunchtime
Drinking coffee after lunch has a two pronged effect on your energy levels: firstly, it will adversely affect your sleep that night leaving you feeling tired and unrested the following day. Have a read of this post to learn more about the lifespan of caffeine in our bodies. Secondly, you’ll get an artificial spike in energy after lunch which initially is great but will swiftly have you feeling more tired than when you started. You want your body to produce and maintain its own energy levels - not get them from elsewhere.
5. Don’t overeat
Eating too much at lunch time is a sure fire way to feel sluggish and lethargic in the afternoon. Of course, make sure you’re getting your protein, healthy fats, vegetables and carbohydrates but don’t eat until you’re stuffed - aim for 70% full. This is because digestion requires a lot of energy and resources from our bodies. So, if you overload your system then you’ll be playing catch up for the rest of the afternoon. On days where you’re really busy and need to be all systems go all day long, you might find lighter meals interspersed with a few balanced snacks to be a more effective way of feeling energetic all day long.
" Another New Year spent careering around a dance floor until the early hours. I embarked on a 5 day Sugar Detox Cleanse from Presscription Juice. I was not working so hunkered down at home along with a few yoga classes and walks in the park. I was not hungry, tired or dizzy. I feel great now and shall try and maintain more of a balance."
- Florrie White, THE SUGAR DETOX CLEANSE