Energizing Snacks To Get You Through the 4pm Slump
It's 4 pm, and you're already yawning and feeling exhausted. You're distracted, groggy & foggy. Step away from double espresso and muffin!
Who hasn't experienced that drained feeling halfway through the afternoon? Making it through the day seems impossible! According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly half of us report an afternoon slump where energy and concentration are low. 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 foods, a big bolus of 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 therein lays the mystery of the afternoon energy slump.
Enter the SNACKS... So, ideally, you should be able to go 5-6 hours between meals without being ravenous. Also, ideally, you would not being feeling groggy in the afternoon. HOWEVER, if you, then snacks are gonna 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 candy bar 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 healthy fat, and clean protein will increase your energy levels for a longer period of time. Some will argue for a complex carb snack as well. I do not. Complex carbs increase your blood sugar too, so from my perspective (and many other experts out there) it's better to give your brain fats and protein.
So, back to that 4 pm 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. Don't do it! Drinking coffee at this time of day will most likely ruin your sleep later. With this snack list in hand and a little planning, you can easily push through and run to the finish line. Don’t let that 4 pm slump take control of you; you have the power to take control of it! Below is a list of my top ten snacks to beat that slump, so arm yourself. You have the power to keep your hunger and energy in check all day!
TEN TOP SNACKS TO PREVENT THE AFTERNOON SLUMP
1. A handful of raw unsalted nuts or homemade trail mix – the protein, fiber, and fat is a perfect snack combination
(avoid dried fruit as this is just concentrated sugar)
2. 2 cups of mixed raw veggie sticks and 2 tbsp of your favorite dip – hummus, tahini, pesto, olive or avocado oil etc.
3. Hard-boiled egg, ¼ avocado, and tomato on a piece of keto bread
4. ½ cup organic sugar-free Greek yogurt (or a dairy-free option) with 1 tbsp nut butter, cinnamon, and ½ apple, sliced, OR Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp mixed nuts, seeds, and berries
5. Green juice – cucumber, kale, spinach, parsley, celery, lemon ginger, and coconut oil
6. Smoothie – unsweetened almond milk, ½ banana, 1 tbsp almond butter, protein powder, vanilla, cinnamon, hemp seeds, maca powder/cacao powder, and ice
7. 1 apple, sliced, with 1 tbsp nut butter
8. Chopped fruit salad with fresh mint and some almonds
9. Nori seaweed, canned salmon/tuna, avocado, spinach, and cucumber wrap
10. Lox & avocado
If you enjoyed this post and are wanting to THRIVE, not just survive, consider working with me as your personal health coach. Together we will make an actionable plan based on where you are and where you want to be. All of my plans include a comprehensive health history, food plan, recipes, shopping lists and a plethora of support materials, not to mention all the mindfulness tools & techniques I teach you to put those gremlins to rest for good! Check out my 6-week Sugar Repair program details here http://drlaramay.com/6-week-vibrant-sugar-repair In the program, you get a ton of delicious satisfying recipes as well as strategies that will help you let go of the sugar habit, which will help you balance your mood, lose weight, improve your sleep, improve your skin, and so much more!
I invite you to join me on my Facebook page,facebook.com/drlaramay, where I’ll be sharing more information, tips and recipes to help you live a happier, healthier life.
To your wellness,
- Dr. Lara
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