How often have you found yourself suffering from the dreaded 2:00 pm slump?
Sometime after lunch, usually around 2 or 3 pm, you find yourself a little low and craving sugar.
You sneak out of your office to Starbucks and Double Tall Skim No Foam Latte with three splendas and a cookie (that’s what I used to do) or reach for the office candy dish…
I find that often when I’m craving sugar in the afternoon, my body is asking for quick energy.
This means that I need to find ways to give myself more energy from nutrient dense foods during the beginning of the day.
To give myself more nutrient energy rather than chemical energy.
Authentic energy rather than fake energy.
How do you break through this slump so that you can have stable energy all day long?
Eating lots of nutrient dense whole foods and avoiding inflammatory foods will help with your energy levels, but there are some other things that you can do to deconstruct and deal with your afternoon energy dip.
- Record your energy dips in a food journal. How do you feel? What kind of food (if any) are you craving? Writing down these slumps will help bring out patterns and make deconstructing them a bit easier.
- Learn from the patterns that you notice. If you find that you’re consistently dipping around the same time in the afternoon, that’s an indication that something in your morning routine isn’t quite right.
- Do some n=1 experimentation: see if you can make your energy levels more consistent by eating more at lunch time, or play around the starchy vegetables and healthy fats. Try a few methods (one at a time) for a week at a time to see if you can figure out how to keep your energy levels stable.
- Satisfy your cravings with nutrient dense foods like fruits and vegetables. If you find after your experimentation that you’re still feeling low in the afternoons, make sure to satisfy your cravings with nutrient dense foods rather than sugary foods. Whole fruits and veggies are natural sources of carbohydrates (or sugars) that can be used as quick energy.
- Avoid reaching for caffeine. Caffeine will give you a chemical boost, but reaching for coffee when you’re tired can exhaust your adrenal glands (the glands that produce stress hormones) leading to more problems with fatigue and stress. Reach for a glass of water or kombucha (fermented tea) instead.
- Consider non-food options. Could it be that sitting at your desk all day is draining you? It might be that you’re doing everything right in terms of food, but the non-food areas of your life need a bit of nurturing. Use that afternoon coffee break to take a walk or just go outside and enjoy some sunshine. It might be that stepping away from your desk is just what you need to boost your energy.
If you always have low energy around the same time in the afternoon, the most important thing you can do is to start listening to your body.
Pay attention to patterns and patiently experiment to deconstruct your energy slump.
Do you have strategies sustain your energy over the course of the day? I’d love for you to share in the comments below!