Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tired in the Afternoon? Here’s What You Can Do

by Samantha Montpetit-Huynh

Sometimes I think I am obsessed with it and I can’t get enough. Add the fact that it “seems” like this is the winter that will never end, and the thought of curling up on the couch with a giant bowl of buttered popcorn and a movie sounds like bliss.

However, we ALL know how we feel after we binge.

Put crap in and guess what??? Get crap out. Never mind the feeling of guilt than can take over faster than you can get off that couch, but after you’re initial high from all the butter and starch, you get a nice crash that just begins the domino effect of trying to stay awake. And we wonder why we’re tired!

Energy comes from two main things; exercise and food. I would even say food is the predecessor as it has the vital role of whether or not you keep your blood sugar levels steady (awake) or up and down (crash).

Ever wonder why you tend to grab crackers, cereal or other sweets when you are tired? You could say that it’s “just a snack”, but when quick fixes are what you “crave” before any thought is put in it, you are in survival mode.

So how does one curb this? How do you take energetic throughout the day without a “treat” in the afternoon and buckets of coffee at your disposal?

Well just like the rest of it; it’s REALLY complicated. Not. No rocket science here. It’s plain and simple planning. Shocking I know.

Here are 4 ways to boost your energy in the afternoon:

4 ways to boost your energy in the afternoon

1. Out of sight, out of mind.


If those unhealthy snacks are not in the house, you are way more likely not to eat them. JUST DON’T BUY THEM!

2. Plan your meals and snacks.

I never leave my house without my lunch and at least two snacks. Yes I am human and once in a while I don’t crave what I have but I eat in anyway because half the time it’s just hunger; thus the craving is gone.

3. Don’t over-eat.

Ever wonder why you crave sweets after a big meal? If you are eating a meal high in protein and low in carbohydrates (which is good for weight loss), you could be decreasing your serotonin levels (the happy hormone). Serotonin is increased following a sugary, carbohydrate diet. Eating too large of a meal can increase this risk and drive you towards a “fix” after.

4. Protein protein protein!!!

Yes I know I just said too much can lower serotonin, but “too much” of anything is never a good idea. Balance is key. If you have some protein with every meal AND snack, you balance your blood sugar because protein slows down the digestive process, slowing down the production of insulin thus lowering the amount of sugar that is released in the blood. The slower the process, the fuller you feel longer and less likely to crash.


Now none of this is new but sometimes people need a friendly “kick in the pants” as to why they would rather nap at 3pm than finish that last report.

And here’s a nice little FYI… for all of you trying desperately to stay awake on coffee; you’re almost doing yourself a disservice as caffeine lowers serotonin too.

Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

Samantha Montpetit-Huynh is the mother of two beautiful girls and the founder of Core Expectations, Toronto‘s only full services wellness team that delivers personal training, abdominal rehabilitation and other support services to the homes and offices of pregnant women and new moms across the GTA.




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