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I get really tired in the afternoon after lunch. How can I stop this?
Posted by Jayson Hunter on 22 April 2011 11:18 AM
Your body is trying to tell you something. All you have to do is look at what you ate for lunch that caused you to feel tired. Was your lunch high in carbohydrates: bread, pasta, rice, fruit, rice cakes, sweets, cake, or other processed carbohydrates? Was your lunch high in saturated animal fats (like red meat, butter or whole dairy foods like cheese and milk), processed fats (fats found in margarine and most processed foods like cakes and cookies), or fried fats. Did you have any protein, like lean chicken or turkey, salmon, shellfish, or non-fat dairy products. The cause of your mid-afternoon slump is most likely eating too many carbohydrates or eating too much saturated fat. A meal high in carbohydrates, particularly processed carbohydrates (like sugar, and anything white) breaks down very quickly into glucose in your system, causing your blood sugar to spike, which will give you an initial rush of energy. However, because your brain cannot handle such a big hit of sugar, it sends a signal to your pancreas to quickly release a powerful hormone called insulin which brings your blood sugar back down. When your blood sugar level is high, too much of this hormone is released causing your blood sugar level drop way below the levels your brain needs to function. This is called a hypoglycemic or low blood sugar state. This is the cause of your sluggishness. Bad fats interfere with the amount of oxygen that gets to your brain, also causing sluggishness and fatigue. To fix this problem you need to eat a balanced meat of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Then monitor your body's response. A good example would be a grilled chicken breast with a green salad with a dressing balsamic vinegar, or a Meal Replacement Shake (which is a balanced blend of whey protein, lower glycemic carbohydrates and a small amount of fat).
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