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Energy enhancing foods to avoid afternoon lunch crash & fatigue?

After starting my new office job, (first one not in a restaurant!) I've been battling the afternoon crash. You know when you feel so sleepy, sucked out of energy and low? Which is so weird because I'm used to working long hours in restaurants, standing up and moving around, being able to push myself without feeling fatigued. Yet working from 7:30am-5pm, in a cubicle mainly sitting down, I feel like I'm going to die around 1:30ish till I get off. Anyone have any suggestions to what might make me have more energy to make it through the work day? Could my diet affect my tired feeling, because loading up on caffeine works for only so long....Any suggestions help, Thanks.

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  1. The best trick I know of for avoiding the afternoon slump is to avoid carbs at lunchtime. Stick with vegetables and protein and you should notice immediate improvement!

    3 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      I totally agree with biondanonima, avoid pasta/bread type foods at lunch.....also, I've found that if you still start feeling a little down or sleepy at 3 or 4, take a very quick walk around the office or go up some stairs...anything to get the blood moving will refresh you from sitting for so long.
      Also, you might consider eating a smaller lunch and then having a healthy snack at 2 or 3...some v-8, or handful of nuts, carrots, apple with peanut butter, greek yogurt.

      1. re: biondanonima

        Actually I found the biggest difference when I avoided carbs for breakfast like toast or what not. I'd read about eating this way a few years ago when I too was looking for a way to stop nearly face-planting on my desk mid-afternoon. So I chose a breakfast of eggs, or fruit and yogurt, an apple and peanut butter etc for breakfast and I felt a little perkier.

        1. re: im_nomad

          +1 on controlling carbs....but it's important to understand that anything that spikes your blood sugar up will end up making you feel tired when you're sitting at a desk. Try to keep some snacks around that are not high in carbs and eat something every 2-3 hours. If you are starving by the time you eat lunch you will inevitably overeat and then crash afterwards. The things that help people control their weight are usually the same things that keep your body functioning at its best no matter where you are: Small, balanced, nutrient dense foods every three hours or so, and a very careful eye on sugar and simple carbs.

      2. Mints and get up and walk around.

        1. Maybe not the healthiest thing, but the 2:00pm Red Bull works for me (sugar free these days).

          1 Reply
          1. re: LorenM

            sugar-free? speaking of not being the healthiest thing...

            anyway it sounds like the OP is looking for alternatives to caffeine. guess that just leaves more Red Bull for you! ;)

          2. This might sound crazy, but I've personally found that the best way to stave off the afternoon crash is to skip lunch. I always found myself passing out after lunch, once I eliminated lunch I stopped being tired. If I really feel like I need food I'll eat just a little bit.

            If you do want to eat, keep it low or no carb as others have suggested. I used to always go comatose after an indian buffet at lunch.

            1 Reply
            1. re: joonjoon

              Skipping lunch is what works best for me too. When I have to eat lunch, I look for fish, and no alcohol!

            2. Your body is just shutting down. Not much you can do from a diet point of view (things like caffeine excluded). Try walking around 5 min every hour. If you've a sufficient lunch break, walk over somewhere. For bathroom use, use one that's on another floor (or just generally far), if possible. You can even try getting one of those small/portable exercise devices for the desk.

              Keep up the good work!