Updated: Mar 2
Another afternoon in the office and around 3-4 pm the kettle is on and packs of biscuits and chocolates are out.
Trust me, it’s not just your office- it’s the majority of offices around the world that have an abundance of sugary treats to get through the lull of the day.
Yes, the ‘afternoon slump’ is a thing. It’s a universal, international and a very common ‘thing’.
Due to addictive qualities of sugar, a biscuit and chocolate there and there can suddenly turn into an uncontrollable sugar addiction that not only affects your teeth, but plays a major role in chronic disease, weight gain and mental health issues. Not so sweet after all.
The good news is, there are plenty of options you can swap your afternoon treats for that will keep you balanced, resilient and pretty positive.
So here are 4 of my favourite go-to options to bust the afternoon slump:
Go for foods high in protein, as this will help balance blood sugar, help you restore energy faster and make you feel more balanced and resilient in no time.
When sugar cravings hit, just the thought of having ‘a balanced, nutritious snack’ (when all you can think of is an Oreo) can feel a little out of place. Here, preparation is key. Choose a boiled egg or hummus with vegetable sticks, miso soup with tofu or a few sushi rolls.
If you’re pressed for time, make sure you have some natural protein bars or protein powder sachets ready as these are easy to store when you’ve forgotten to get prep done.
I like natural vegan powders with exciting flavours that satisfy the craving for variety, like the new powder flavours with berries and Matcha from my friends at Pulsin.
Fill up on fats
If you’re familiar with the feeling of saying ‘I’ll just have one’ and then feeling guilty and disappointed a whole pack of digestive biscuits later, this one is for you.
Do you notice how it’s oh too easy to drink a full bottle of fizzy drink and leave wanting more? Now imagine drinking the same amount of Greek yoghurt- could you do it?
Our bodies are designed to send us satiety signals when we eat fats, however the body is unable to recognise sugar in the same way and doesn’t send satiety signals, leaving us wanting more and more and more.
So opt for foods high in fats and you’ll eliminate cravings, feel fuller for longer and forget you ever experienced afternoon slump at all.
Choose olives and dips, a slice of organic cheese with cucumber, oatcakes or a sliced fruit with nut butter, coconut yoghurt or full fat Greek yoghurt with seeds.
It’s no secret that caffeine in coffee and black tea (yes, including Earl Grey) is the offender no 1 when it comes to blood sugar balance. When afternoon slump hits, it’s typical to get a coffee and carry on surfing the spikes and crashes of imbalance for the rest of the day.
To break the cycle, swap caffeine for herbal tea, as there are plenty of great choices to support energy and moods. Go for cinnamon tea, as it works miracles on balancing blood sugar and curbs cravings. Plus, it tastes sweet and nourishing. Liquorish and peppermint tea soothes digestion and is great for supporting adrenals, if you feel rushed off your feet.
You just need to take a look around the office 3-4 pm and it’s quite easy to recognise that concentration levels have massively dropped since the morning. Your brain is most likely feeling a little tired by now and it’s a perfect time to give it an extra boost.
Giving your brain the right foods will help improve your cognitive function, focus and memory (who wouldn’t like some extra of those, right?). So ditch beige foods for snacks and make a conscious decision to include more colour in the afternoon, as colour means vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The more tired you are, the more colourful and nutritionally-dense foods I would go for.
Add some dark berries to your afternoon yoghurt snack or have a freshly- squeezed vegetable green juice and say goodbye to sugar cravings.
If you struggle to stay awake and focused, choose Matcha green tea, ginseng or ginko tea ‘brain food’ for an extra boost. Try out Lions mane or Chaga medicinal mushroom supplements for some long-term brain TLC (and some super-human brain powers).