Many people experience a drop in their energy levels a while after lunch. The most common cause is “post-lunch hypoglycemia” which is closely related to your INABILITY TO BURN STORED FAT.
In passing, I should point out that when and how much you exercising and poor sleep could also cause afternoon fatigue. In this article we shall look into the most common cause mentioned above.
So, if you have this problem and want to do something about it, the first thing you have to do is take a critical look at your DIET.
If you can convert your body from being a carb (sugar) burning machine to a fat burning machine, YOU CAN BOOST YOUR MENTAL AND PHYSICAL STAMINA.
As I have touched upon in previous articles, there are two fuels your body can use, sugar and fat. By switching your body from using carbs as its primary fuel to burning fats instead, or becoming FAT-ADAPTED (as our ancestors were), you virtually eliminate such drops in energy levels.
One way to tell if you’re fat-adapted or not is to observe how you feel when you skip a meal. If you don’t feel ravenous and cranky, you’re OK.
Being FAT-ADAPTED also gives you the following benefits:
- Having plenty of accessible energy on hand, as you effectively burn stored fat for energy throughout the day.
- Improved insulin and leptin sensitivity, thereby decreasing your risk of virtually every known chronic, degenerative disease.
- Effectively burn dietary fat (the fat you eat) for your energy, which means less dietary fat being stored as body fat.
- The ability to rely more on fat for energy during exertion, sparing glycogen (stored sugar) for when you need it; flight or fight.
- IF YOU CAN WORK OUT EFFECTIVELY IN A FASTED STATE, YOU ARE DEFINITELY FAT-ADAPTED.
So, how do we start?
First, replace carbs with healthful fats.
Keep in mind that the carbs I’m asking you to replace are the harmful ones; grains, everything made from grains, sugars and everything with sugar in it.
The good carbs are all kinds of vegetables and fruits. Please keep in mind that I advise consuming fruits ONLY IN THE MORNING. Although fruits contain vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, what makes them sweet, FRUCTOSE, is not good for you.
When you cut out sugar and grains, you need to radically increase your consumption of vegetables because, by volume, the grains you need to replace with vegetables are much denser. You also have to dramatically increase your consumption of healthful fats, which include:
*Olives and olive oil
*Coconuts and coconut oil
*Butter made from grass-fed organic milk (if available)
*Raw nuts like pecans, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazel nuts, etc.
*Organic eggs, from free-range chickens (if available)
Avoid all oils like canola, corn, soy, and safflower. And trans-fats should never be consumed; we’re talking about all liquid oils that have been solidified by hydrogenation. Margarines are, of course, at the top of the list.
A reasonable goal will be to have as much as 50-70 percent of your daily calories from healthy fats, which will radically reduce your carbohydrate intake.
To emphasize what I’ve outlined above, if you have a problem with “Afternoon Fatigue” and seriously want to do something about it, the first step is to eat properly, aiming to become “FAT ADAPTED”. I strongly recommend that you take time to read, understand and put into practice the suggestions in my March 11, 2015 article “Nutrition/Health.
Even though gluten intolerance is the subject of my next article, it can also contribute/cause fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.
This is the first step.
When you no longer feel ravenous and cranky because you’ve skipped a meal, when you no longer doze off in your office chair after lunch and when you can go through your weight-training program on an empty stomach in the morning, you are ready to move on.
Depending on your interest/demand on this subject, I will again go over:
- Intermittent Fasting and how it can help.
- Fighting Fatigue with Exercise.
- The Importance of Non-Exercise Movements During Your Workday.
- An Obvious Culprit: Poor Sleep.
So, the take home message is that together we can banish afternoon fatigue with appropriate diet and lifestyle changes.
See you all next time.
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