How to Beat the Afternoon Slump #2: Choose protein

Choose activating protein rather than energy-sapping carbs throughout the day to ward off any afternoon crash. For example, a tuna salad without the bread is a better choice than a tuna sandwich (check out our healthy tuna salad recipe here!). A green salad sprinkled with low-fat cheese, a hard-boiled egg and some sliced turkey wins over a pasta salad. Small changes like this can really make a big difference in your overall energy level.

 
When researchers compared men who ate a 1,000 calorie lunch with those who ate a 300 calorie lunch or skipped the meal altogether, they found that when given a chance to nap after lunch, nearly all of the participants did so. But while the lunch eaters slept for an average of 90 minutes, those who skipped lunch slept for only 30 minutes. These were also high-carbohydrate lunches (carbohydrates stimulate serotonin release, which increases sleepiness), which may have contributed to the napping. You should NOT skip lunch altogether, but the combination of eating less and eating fewer carbohydrates should lead to less sleepiness.
 
For some people, it is best for them to snack all day long and eat a number of mini-meals, rather than a few larger meals. Simply snack on nutritious foods whenever you get hungry instead of eating lunch per se - just remember to watch your portion sizes. Then you can use your lunch break for some kind of outdoor exercise (weather permitting) or head on over to Mettler Center for one of our group exercise classes during your lunch hour.