It’s normal to get tired at the end of a long day, especially if you’ve been working all day. But when your energy levels are consistently super-low at 3 pm, you may be doing something wrong. Lack of sleep is the prime suspect here, but for all you know, it could be your diet. It’s not really how much you eat, but what you eat.
See, certain foods can make you feel tired and sluggish in the afternoon, which is not good, especially if you still have lots to accomplish until the evening. Take a mental note of the foods you consume during the day- you may be having these energy-sucking foods that can make you feel as if you have signs of chronic fatigue, even if you don’t exactly have that condition. You need immediate access to proper chronic fatigue syndrome treatment.
Cereals are a staple in many breakfast tables, so it may come as a surprise that it can be bad for your energy levels. The main culprit here is the sugar lurking in most cereal products. Unfortunately, many cereal products in the market are loaded with refined carbs and genetically modified corn. The sugar may give you a rush of energy in the morning, but it will also give you an energy crash in the early afternoon.
Most people reach for the coffee pot when they need to stay awake. This is why you and countless others at work refill your mugs in the pantry to combat that sluggish feeling during the afternoons. But just like sugar, it can only give you a temporary pick-me-up and then will drain your energies once the caffeine kick wears off. Worse, it can give you that dull headache that we are all too familiar with.
This is worse than caffeine, given the amount of sugar that most energy drinks contain. Yes, it will give you that much-needed energy spike when you are having a hard time staying awake, but expect a huge energy crash when the massive boost wears off.
You’re wondering how red meat can make this list, considering that it’s rich in iron, and iron is essential in fighting off fatigue. While it’s true that red meat is a source of iron, it’s also loaded with fat. Fat is difficult for your body to digest, which can lead to bloating, constipation, and fatigue. If you’re iron-deficient, there are other food options you can alternate with red meat. You don’t have to forego eating steak forever, but try keeping it to once or twice a week.
Bread, Pasta, and Rice
The common denominator here is white flour. Food items that contain white flour are mostly heavily processed, which lessens the amount of nutrients such as vitamin E and magnesium. Eating too much bread, pasta, and rice can wreak havoc on your insulin levels, largely because of the sugar. This is why loading up on carbs can actually make you feel tired or fatigued. Focus on whole grains instead in place of white flour.
Smoothies have become very popular, especially with busy people who want their nutrition quick and convenient. It’s also the go-to for people who hate eating fruits and veggies on their solid forms. But many people drink up on smoothies that come in pre-packaged bottles, and that’s when the trouble starts. A lot of bottled smoothies are loaded in sugar, which, as mentioned above, is not good at maintaining steady energy levels.
This can be another shocker since yogurt is known for being a healthy food item. There is nothing wrong with yogurt itself; it’s what comes with it that spells the difference. The usual variety that you grab in the supermarket is the flavored ones heavy with sugar. There are yogurt products that are actually almost as sweet as a bar of chocolate – and this is supposed to be healthy food. If you must have it, go for Greek yogurt, which contains way less sugar and not as pasteurized as other yogurt varieties.
Low-Calorie, Fat-free Food Items
The sad truth is that a lot of these low-calorie and fat-free options have more additives compared to the full-calorie, full-fat counterparts. This is because the animal fats are replaced with hydrogenated oils and yes, lots and lots of sugar to make it more yummy and pleasing to the taste. You should strike these foods from your grocery list and focus on foods that are high with nutrients instead.
They say you are what you eat, which is why you need to choose your food carefully. Use this guide to make sure you are eating properly and getting the nutrition you need to stay energetic.