7 Hacks To Beat Your Post-Lunch Dip (#6 is best!)
Did you wolf down a ‘skinny’ breakfast (or none at all) and rush off to work dragging your desperate body (protesting “No, no NO!”) behind you? We’ve all done it.
And throughout the hectic morning do you plough on, with regular hits from coffee (black, no sugar) or energy-drinks?
And come lunch-time, do you tuck into sandwiches/a baguette/a panini/pasta salad and a bag of trendily flavoured crisps? And an apple (for conscience) and then relax while your grateful body says “YES!!”
But twenty minutes later the fog starts rolling in and you’re yawning constantly, losing concentration and fighting the overwhelming need to just close your eyes and… sleep!
Experiencing a mid-late afternoon energy dip is a perfectly natural part of our daily ‘circadian’ rhythm. But to be honest, for most of us the afternoon wash-out is self inflicted with a less-than-optimal start to the day, followed by energy-draining habits we’ve developed in the course of our increasingly device-driven, sedentary lifestyles! So – are you ready to change and lose the post-lunch dip?[Image Credit: Confident Coaching]
7 Hacks to Beat the Post-lunch Dip…
#1. Eat for energy
Starting the day with a balanced, energy-packed breakfast (that means proteins, fats and carbs) kick-starts your metabolism and you need to keep it revved-up all day with a balanced (not-at-your-desk) lunch; regular ‘metabolic’ snacks; and a dinner that will give you sufficient energy for a sound night’s sleep (this is mega).
Make sure you’re hydrated before eating (and throughout the day) is important for good digestion and for energy. BUT keeping hydrated does not mean downing litres of water and rushing off to the bathroom every half-hour. If you’re doing this you’ll be depleting crucial electrolytes – nutrients that help stimulate nerves throughout the body and balance fluid levels.
Breakfast: Eggs any style and Spiked OJ
Just season and lightly scramble 2/3 eggs, add chopped herbs of choice and scramble in a nice nugget of butter. Add a glass of fresh ‘spiked’ orange juice and your body will thank you!
Mid-Morning: Half a cup of cottage cheese drizzled with honey (I love raw) + fresh fruit.
Lunch: Medium jacket potato + tuna and chopped spring onions bound in well-seasoned Greek yoghurt + ‘spiked’ coffee (following lunch, European style).
Mid-Afternoon: Carrot sticks & seasoned yoghurt dip + fresh fruit.
Dinner: Make dinner matter! Cook-from-scratch and try an eat in company when you can. White fish is a highly nutritious but often overlooked in favour of fatty fish like salmon. Make sure you balance the protein with carbs (white or sweet potatoes, roasted roots) and a generous helping of a selection of your fave veggies. I love this Californian Grilled Fish and it truly is real food, fast!
Btw: You get extra brownie points if you ‘make-it-from-scratch’ with local, organic, what-you-see-is-what-you-get ingredients!
#2. Get your blood pumping…
– Stand UP!
Sitting is the new smoking…
“Past studies have found,” declares a 2014 article in The New York Times, “the more hours that people spend sitting, the more likely they are to develop diabetes, heart disease and other conditions, and potentially to die prematurely — even if they exercise regularly.”
Not only that – moving your body reverses ageing, according to science writer Gretchen Reynolds:
“A recent Swedish study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that when you sit all day, your telomeres (the tiny caps on the ends of DNA strands) get shorter. Which is not a good thing. As telomeres get shorter, the rate at which the body ages and decays speeds up.
Conversely, the study found that the telomeres in [those] who were sitting the least had lengthened. Their cells seemed to be growing physiologically younger.”
Stretching your body – for even 20 seconds can have a huge effect on your energy levels—particularly if you’ve been sitting at a desk for hours. Here’s how you can stretch your body without even leaving your desk!
– Take a hike!
#4. Breathe like a baby…
Want to feel energized and razor-sharp? Breathe like a baby! Watch a baby breathe – notice how their little tums move in-and-out rhythmically as they breathe and notice how loudly they’re able to cry (oh – the memories…) despite their tiny size! Babies breathe as nature intended, from their diaphragms, not their upper chest as we adults do. Diaphragmatic breathing increases oxygenation bringing a big bunch health benefits to just about every part of your body. This is a very good thing.
#5. Get some powerful shut-eye…
‘Power naps’ might sound macho and trendy – but they’re NOT just for men! The research shows they pack a powerful punch when it comes to improving cognitive and motor performance and even help you to run faster!
In fact, a power nap can help your health in surprising ways – so, any time of day, go find yourself a quiet corner and zzzz away for 10 – 20 minutes.
#6. Call a loved one and tell them why they matter
What can we say? You’ll absolutely make their day – and you’ll feel pretty good too!
#7. Turn off the lights and get to bed!
The more we sit indoors, under fluorescent lighting, staring into our computers, iPads, tablets, cell phones and TVs, the more we’re disrupting our natural daily (circadian) rhythms with drastic knock-on effects. We can’t avoid artificial light at work, but the last thing we need is to prolong exposure when we get home and become a device couch potato.
So, unless you’re happy to be enduring rubbish sleep; high stress levels; the risk of developing many chronic diseases; impairing your cognitive and memory function and even struggling with stubborn fat… turn off the lights and get to bed!