World Fitness Blog : Leading Global Bloggers

September 23, 2023

The food habits that are making you tired, according to a dietitian

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 9:09 pm

Hands up if you are one of the many women who starts the day already behind the eight ball when it comes to energy, relying on sugar, caffeine and snacks just to make it to the end of the day.

While it is not uncommon for those of us with jam-packed schedules to struggle with energy regulation as the day progresses, it may come as a surprise to hear that a number of our daily food habits can actually make the fatigue worse.

So, if you routinely feel as if you could fall asleep after lunch, here are the easy food fixes so you can keep better control of your glucose levels and energy levels – no matter how busy your day is.

READ MORE: The banned drink now available in Aussie supermarkets

Are you finding it hard to stay awake through the day? (Getty)

Not caffeinating at the right time

You could be forgiven for treating your morning coffee as the highlight of your day. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a coffee first thing, it does leave us prone to an energy lull come 9 or 10 o’clock.

Rather, utilising tea first thing, and waiting to enjoy your morning coffee a little later – at 9 or 10 – will help to keep your energy regulated until lunchtime each day.

The same can be said for a lunchtime caffeine hit. If consuming caffeine after lunch does not negatively impact your sleep, you are better off enjoying a coffee, tea or low-sugar energy drink mid-afternoon to avoid the late-afternoon fatigue that commonly sees us seeking out a sugar hit to make it through the day.

READ MORE: Diet Coke could increase risk of depression, study finds

Save your morning coffee until 10am to keep you going until lunch time. (Getty)

Eating lunch too late

When the days are full, especially when you are confined to school hours, it is not uncommon to see lunch pushed back to as late as 2 or 3pm. Sometimes it can be skipped entirely and replaced with an array of snacks, sushi and coffee quickly consumed on the run.

The issue with this pattern of eating is that not consuming a well-balanced meal, three to four hours after breakfast, is likely to leave you feeling cranky and fatigued by mid afternoon.

For a daily dose of 9Honey, subscribe to our newsletter here

Then, you’ll be more likely to seek out sweet snacks and caffeine to get you through until dinner.

On the other hand, prioritising a protein-rich meal by noon or 1pm each day will help to ensure you are well-fuelled with controlled glucose levels until at least 3-4pm each day.

Not prioritising lunch

Not only is the timing of your lunch important when it comes to energy regulation, but so is making sure you have the right nutritional balance. Typically lunches we buy are carb-heavy – noodles, rice, thick slices of bread and jumbo wraps, which are lacking in protein and salad or vegetable bulk.

READ MORE: The health benefits in chocolate

Fill out your lunch with vegetables instead of too many heavy carbohydrates. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This means you are satisfied for an hour or two before feeling unsettled, irritable and craving sweet food.

On the other hand, a protein- and vegetable-rich lunch, with a smaller portion of good quality carbohydrates like vegetables, legumes or wholegrain crackers will not only be a lot more filling, but it will mean you do not experience the lethargy that follows a higher carb meal at lunchtime.

Forgetting the fresh food

Although many busy people would claim to have a ‘healthy’ diet, very few people get the volume of fresh food we ideally need for health, hydration and an optimal intake of the key nutrients directly involved in energy regulation and metabolism.

Quick foods we grab on the run such as sushi, wraps, muffins, and toasties may offer some carbs and protein but the missing bulk from salad and veggies means they are digested relatively quickly.

READ MORE: Eight hours of ‘sleep’ in one hour: What float therapy is really like

Keep as much fresh food on hand as possible. (Getty)

On the other hand, bulking up your meals with fresh food such as a serve of salad, soup or vegetables will help to keep your energy regulated and blood glucose levels controlled whilst also bumping up your intake of essential nutrients.

Feeding sweet cravings with sweet food

When your energy is low, reaching for a sweet treat or drink can bring relief almost instantly. The receptors in the brain light up as glucose floods to the body’s cells – but like a drug, the more sweet food we consume over time, the more we need for the same hit. The effect is short-lasting, often leaving us feeling worse than we did before we reached for that pick-me-up.

One of the easiest ways to naturally self-regulate your intake of sweet food and keep cravings and blood glucose levels under control is to avoid overly sweet foods during the day.

READ MORE: Five self-care rituals you can do in 10 minutes

Once you start relying on sugar for energy, it’s hard to stop. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Not only will you feel more in control of your food intake, but avoiding overly sweet foods such as fruit yoghurt, sweetened tea and coffee, biscuits, cakes, and chocolates will aid glucose control and help prevent feelings of fatigue and lethargy that routinely hit an hour if two after consuming something sweet.

Source

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress