You’ve hit the afternoon blahs and work seems endless. Just grab a candy bar and a pop to keep you going, right?
Not so fast, those empty calories will pep you up for a bit, but you’ll crash and be looking for more junk food to get you through the day. Those empty calories add up and add on the pounds.
Instead, reach for some of these foods to keep you going.
Not only will you have a long energy release to get you through the day, but these healthy foods will help keep off the weight.
For your first energy pick-me-up, grab a glass of water. You might just be dehydrated. The water will help your body function properly. If you are dehydrated, your mouth might be dry and sticky, you might have a headache, or you may be hungry.
Replenish the water you’ve lost through normal bodily functions and you might not need a snack to keep you going. On the plus side, water is important and like most people, you probably don’t get enough.
9. Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
If water doesn’t make the blahs go away, try fresh fruits or vegetables. These are high in antioxidants that your brain needs to function properly and keep up energy levels. Since they are high in water you’ll get a bit more water to stave off dehydration.
Fruits and veggies are complex carbohydrates and your body takes time to digest them. This gives you a long slow energy release to keep you going. For an extra energizing snack, add some nut butter.
8. Whole Grains
Grabbing a white flour bagel or pastry is a no-no. White flour is basically just sugar and you’ll go through it fast. Instead, try for whole grain bagels, or quinoa, brown rice and air-popped popcorn.
Eating white four products will spike your blood sugar and leave you hungry and tired. Instead, the complex carbs and fiber in whole grains take time to digest. That releases the energy more slowly and you won’t need to snack. Go easy on the toppings!
7. Lean Proteins
If you need a healthy topping for your bagel or maybe a just a stand-alone snack, try for meat that is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, mackerel, lake trout, tuna, and sardines are excellent sources.
Research indicates that omega-3 helps with attention and memory. Plus, the protein is important to keep your body working correctly.
If the fishy smell is a no-no, try lean chicken or turkey for a quality snack. If you prefer something vegetarian, try the next option.
6. Nuts and Seeds
Raw nuts and seeds are great sources of protein and healthy fats. Since they are really high in calories, don’t just shovel them in. Instead, measure out a portion and eat those slowly. Again, you’ll have a slow release of energy.
Try sprinkling nuts of Greek yogurt for a filling and healthy snack. Greek yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics and offers less lactose and twice the protein as regular yogurt. Combining it with nuts is a terrific afternoon pick-me-up.
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a super food! Eat them sprinkled on Greek yogurt or in kombucha. Chia seeds don’t have much flavor, but they are packed with protein, antioxidants, fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Health effects may include reducing chronic inflammation and blood sugar levels, build healthy bone, and lower heart disease risk.
With two tablespoons a day of little black seeds, you can make a simple dietary change that will help keep with blahs at bay at work and play!
Almost everyone uses some form of caffeine to get going. Coffee is not always a good option in the afternoon since it will keep some people awake at bedtime. You can find caffeine in other sources like chocolate, tea, and some herbs.
Try tea or a rich dark chocolate square for a boost. Since coffee can be dehydrating and does come with an energy slump, tea can help offset your morning coffee and keep you going in the afternoon.
Keep a couple of instant packets of plain oatmeal or oats for an afternoon pick-me-up. You’ll get fiber and a bit of protein to keep you full. Top with chia seeds, nuts, or fresh fruit instead of butter and sugar.
Oats help control blood sugar spikes and contain a lot of important minerals that may help you feel more alert during the day. They might seem like breakfast food, but oats and oatmeal are an excellent snack any time.
2. Avoid Gluten Products
If brain fog is part of your afternoon slump, try avoiding gluten. Gluten is found naturally in foods that contain wheat. Gluten is a suspect in many diseases and is associated with brain fog.
Going gluten-free is fairly difficult, but you can cut way down on foods containing gluten by eliminating breads and sweets made from white flour. You might feel better and you won’t be eating sugar leaden work snacks like pastries, donuts, and cake.
1. Avoid Sugar
Sugar is bad for you, your waistline, and your heart. Sugar is very good for yeasts that normally live in your body. Yeast thrives on sugars and the more you eat, the more yeast has the potential to make your body home.
Many people find that cutting down on sugar and the accompanying yeast population improves brain fog symptoms.
In addition, spiking your blood sugar by eating white flours and sugars can cause brain fog.
Planning ahead for an afternoon snack may make you healthier and happier! Instead of high calorie sugar snacks and drinks, reach for foods that take time to digest and provide you with healthy fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates.
Add water to your lunch and afternoon regime to stave off dehydration that may be at the root of your afternoon blahs.
Give chia seeds a try because they offer everything you need for a healthy afternoon boost. Work might leave you feeling brain dead, but a healthy afternoon snack will make the day go better and give you energy for afterwork activities.