Does your energy crash during the day?
If you’re reading this in the middle of the afternoon, you may feel like you’ve run out of energy. The majority of my clients report an energy slump mid-afternoon. They find it frustrating – poor concentration stops them performing at optimum level, simple emails take an age to write and complicated calculations have to be delayed until the next day.
There are some clients who feel like they’re on an energy rollercoaster throughout the day. They feel great, crash, reach for the coffee, feel great, crash, reach for the chocolate. You get the idea.
This energy crashing is typically due to blood sugar levels. Highs and lows in blood sugar play havoc with metabolism and end up causing us to crash. They also cause us to store fat, put on weight and experience irregular moods.
So how do you balance blood sugar levels? This is typically the first thing I address with clients. We focus on reducing sugar intake – it’s not easy and can take time as sugar is very addictive and willpower is often not enough to overpower the cravings. I’m not just talking about the sugar you add to your tea or the snacks in your biscuit tin. This is about the glucose that is found in carbohydrates – which are so ubiquitous in our diets.
If you suffer from energy crashes, you may well benefit from the support of a nutrition coach to help you through the process of blood sugar balancing. There are a few simple steps you can take to start the process:
- Avoid heavily refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice and white pasta. Replace them with their wholemeal or wholegrain equivalent
- Eat plenty of protein with your carbohydrates – such as lean meat, fish, chicken, tofu or cottage cheese. Sandwiches typically have the wrong ratio of protein to carbohydrate
- Avoid processed foods
- Eat healthy snacks between meals eg:
- Apple and a small handful of raw unsalted plain nuts
- Small pot of Greek yogurt with handful of blueberries or strawberries
- Crudites such as raw carrot, celery, pepper or cucumber with hummus, cottage cheese or guacamole
So, did you make it to the end of this post without reaching for the chocolate?