Many people experience a slump in their energy levels by the time the afternoon rolls around. Several factors may contribute to this phenomenon. The most common cause is post-lunch hypoglycemia, which is related to your inability to burn fat. Hence, addressing your diet and eating habits is a key factor if afternoon fatigue is something you suffer from on a regular basis. Other factors are related to when and how much you exercise. Poor sleep also plays a role, of course, and recent research highlights the interconnectedness between sleep and exercise.
If you suffer from chronic fatigue, this may also indicate that you have an underlying adrenal dysfunction. As a practitioner, I provide a salivary test to my clients which helps assess adrenal function levels, but most importantly, should your test results come back positive, I can help you balance your adrenal function naturally, without the use of harmful medications. Contact us today at 727-239-9443 or isabelle@SimonWellnessConsulting.com for more information.
In the meantime, here are your top 3 tips to combat afternoon fatigue:
H2O to the Rescue
Although nearly 3/4 of Americans are aware of the recommended 64-ounces a day, only 34% actually drink this amount, while 10% said they do not drink water at all. However, Americans drink an average of nearly 6 servings a day of caffeinated beverages such as coffee and soda. These drinks can actually cause the body to lose water, making proper hydration even more difficult to attain.
Water makes up more than 70% of the body’s tissues and plays a role in nearly every body function from regulating temperature and cushioning joints to bringing oxygen to the cells and removing waste from the body. Severe dehydration can affect blood pressure, circulation, digestion, energy production, nutrient assimilation and kidney function. But on a daily basis, not getting enough water is the # 1 cause of chronic fatigue. For the records, the average 64 oz of water recommended a day is actually not enough for most people, as this calculation is based on 130-Lbs person. That’s right! It means that amount is not enough for the majority of us!! The accurate formula to stay properly hydrated is actually ½ your body weight in oz of water per day. So, if you weight 200 Lbs, you need to drink 100 oz of water daily.
Diet is Key for Maintaining Your Energy Levels
There are two fuels our body can use, sugar and fat. Our ancestors were adapted to using fat as their primary fuel and but 90 percent of the U.S. population are now adapted to using sugar or glucose as their number one fuel source.
Because most are primarily burning carbs as fuel, afternoon fatigue is typically related to post-lunch hypoglycemia. By switching your body from using carbs as its primary fuel to burning fats instead, or becoming “fat adapted,” you virtually eliminate such drops in energy levels. Overall, being adapted to burning fat instead of carbs has a number of benefits, including:
- Having plenty of accessible energy on hand, as you effectively burn stored fat for energy throughout the day. One way to tell if you’re fat adapted or not is to take note of how you feel when you skip a meal. If you can skip meals without getting ravenous and cranky (or craving carbs), you’re likely fat-adapted.
- Improved insulin and leptin sensitivity and decreased risk of virtually every known chronic degenerative disease.
- Effectively burn dietary fat for your energy, which leads to less dietary fat being stored in your adipose tissue—hence the weight loss benefits associated with fat adaptation without having to cut calories or starve yourself.
- Being able to rely more on fat for energy during exertion, sparing glycogen for when you really need it. This can improve athletic performance, and helps burn more body fat. If you can handle exercising without having to carb-load, you’re probably fat-adapted. If you can work out effectively in a fasted state, you’re definitely fat-adapted.
Replace Sugars & Carbs with Healthy Fats to Beat Fatigue
Keep in mind that when we’re talking about harmful carbs, we’re only referring to processed grains and sugars, NOT vegetable carbs. You need very little if any of the former, and plenty of the latter. In fact, when you cut out sugar and grains, you need to radically increase the amount of vegetables you eat. This is because, by volume, the grains you need to omit are denser than vegetables. You also need to dramatically increase healthful fats, which include:
- Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
- Olives and olive oil (for cold dishes)
- Coconuts, and coconut oil (for all types of cooking and baking)
- Raw nuts, such as almonds or pecans
- Organic pastured egg yolks
- Pasture-finished meats
- Palm oil
- Unheated organic nut oils
Avoid highly processed and genetically engineered omega-6 oils like corn, canola and soy— they will upset your omega 6/3 ratio. It is best to avoid trans fats (a.k.a. hydrogenated oils), but saturated fats (organic is best) are key to a healthy diet. A reasonable goal will be to have as anywhere from 30%- 50% of daily calories from healthy fat, which will radically reduce your carbohydrate intake.
Fat is far more satiating than carbs, so if you have cut down on carbs and still feel ravenous, it’s a sign that you have not replaced them with sufficient amounts of healthy fat. Most people will likely notice a massive improvement in their health and overall energy levels by following this approach.
In addition to the tips above, we recommend you get your nutritional status checked for deficiencies, as well as test your adrenals. As Simon Wellness Consulting, we provide all these blood and salivary testing. For more information, contact us today at 727-239-9443 or firstname.lastname@example.org