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Eat to Avoid the Midday Slump

August 15, 2021

It’s coming. You can feel it. You’re trying desperately to will it away, but, inevitably the clock strikes 3:00pm. Suddenly, you are exhausted. The thought of striking the letters on the computer keyboard seems like a daunting task, not to mention you can barely keep your eyes open.

‘Argh!’ you think to yourself. When this happened yesterday, you swore it wouldn’t happen again. As you walk to the café to get a cup of coffee, you wonder how to avoid this midday slump tomorrow. Here’s the good news:  there are steps you can take to energize your body throughout the day and avoid this desperate feeling.

Eat Breakfast

The best place to start is with breakfast. Before we even talk about what to eat, let’s recognize that it’s important TO EAT breakfast. 

Why? First of all, your body has been in a state of rest, relaxation, and recharging for several hours. It needs fuel in the form of high quality carbohydrates and protein to get going in the morning. Replace the energy zapping processed foods such as muffins, croissants, and cereal with things like:

  • Oatmeal with flax seeds, almonds, and blueberries
  • A couple of hard boiled eggs (that you can grab-n-go in a hurry if needed). Pair them with rice and avocado and you’re starting your day off on the right foot.
  • Scrambled eggs, bacon/avocado, greens, and high quality toast (if you can handle bread). 
  • A protein, greens, fat, and fiber breakfast smoothie. 

The other reason breakfast is so good for your energy regulation is because of what is happening energetically during that time of day. Your body is like a small universe, reflecting the environment, seasons, and relationship with the sun. During 7am and 9am, just like the sun is rising, your stomach energy is more powerful and strong. This is a great time to eat, and between 9am and 11am it is a great time to digest. 

If you are someone who is trying to lose weight and using an intermittent fasting approach, try fasting through dinner rather than skipping breakfast. 

Stay Hydrated

It’s also important to remember to drink water throughout the day. Dehydration is certain to cause sleepiness and fatigue. Imagine that a few glasses of water could be the difference between your 3pm exhaustion and vitality.

If you are drinking water, but don’t seem to feel energized by it, or have the sense that you simply aren’t absorbing the water, try adding some sea salt to your water. It does wonders to help you absorb the water, and maintain a healthy balance of minerals. 

The Snack Reset

Don’t forget to put some thought into your snacks. A sugar-filled, or processed snack can push you onto a blood sugar roller coaster ride that will be sure to set you up for an after sugar crash that makes you both sleepy, moody, and foggy headed. 

So, be sure to stay away from excess fats and sugars, which are in candy bars and most packaged food. The fatty foods will make you feel lethargic and the sugars will provide an initial spike, but then you’ll feel the afternoon slump as you come down from the sugar high. Take a few minutes to prepare trail mix with almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Goji berries, and Incan berries. For sweetness, you can add some cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips (I prefer the Enjoy Life brand because their products are free of common allergens).

Other ways to figure out a good snack would be to make sure it is made up of fiber, fat, and protein. For example, celery and almond butter and a hard boiled egg, or hummus and carrot sticks, or avocado and chickpeas on rice cakes. 

The midday madness doesn’t have to continue. You can control how your body feels by nourishing it with healthy food (and water) throughout the day. 

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