How to Avoid a Midday Slump

How to Avoid a Midday Slump

Here are 6 energizing tips to conquer afternoon carb cravings.

Why do we crave carbs during the mid to late afternoon hours? Many things can send us right to the cookie jar, including:

  • Not eating enough earlier in the day
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Boredom

But just because you think you need something sugary to cure your low energy levels or mood, doesn’t mean that’s a good idea. In fact, if you feed your afternoon cravings with simple carbs, you’re likely to crash soon after you’re done eating. Simple carbohydrates, like those found in candy, cookies and soda, give you a quick energy boost that is short-lived.  As your blood sugar levels spike and then fall, they set you up for even more cravings.

Here are 6 tips to help tame your carb cravings:

  1. Don’t skimp on breakfast and lunch. Make sure you’re eating enough earlier in the day so you’re not starving by 3 or 4 pm. Meals and snacks should contain a combination of protein, healthy fat and complex carbs. Add in some fiber to stay fuller longer.
  2. Drink water. Sometimes when you feel like you have to eat, you’re really just thirsty. Drink plenty of water or unsweetened beverages to stay well hydrated.
  3. Take a walk. Physical activity can give you an energy boost. If you can’t get out for a short walk, do a few stretches to release tension.
  4. Choose a healthy snack. Just because you’re craving carbs doesn’t mean you have to grab a candy bar. Instead, be prepared with healthy snacks that include complex carbs combined with protein and fat to give your snack staying power. Try these:
    • Apple slices with almond butter
    • High-fiber cereal with low-fat milk
    • Whole wheat crackers with hummus
    • Dried fruit and nut mix
  5. Wait a few minutes. If the vending machine is calling your name and you think nothing else will do the trick, wait 5-10 minutes and see if the urge passes.
  6. If you have to give in, do so in moderation. Sometimes the only way to stop a craving is to eat the food you can’t get out of your mind. If you do so, have a small serving and then move on. Better yet, combine a bit of what you’re craving with something healthier. For example, if you’re craving chocolate, add a few chocolate chips into a handful of nuts.

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Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

Date Last Reviewed: July 19, 2021

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Nora Minno, RD, CDN

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No information provided by Baldwin Publishing, Inc. in any article is a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical condition. Baldwin Publishing, Inc. strongly suggests that you use this information in consultation with your doctor or other health professional. Use or viewing of any Baldwin Publishing, Inc. article signifies your understanding and agreement to the disclaimer and acceptance of these terms of use.

 

5 Health Benefits of Yoga

5 Health Benefits of Yoga

Need a good reason to do a downward dog? Here are 5 of them.

Yoga is an ancient practice that incorporates breathing exercises, stretching and holding poses. It is touted for providing both physical and mental health benefits. As an added bonus, it is an activity that almost anyone can do at any age and in any physical condition.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced yogi, you may enjoy these health benefits of yoga:

  • Relieves stress and anxiety. Yoga has been shown to lower the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone, produced by the body. It has also been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Since it encourages relaxation, yoga may also help you sleep better.
  • Increases flexibility and balance. This is helpful for people of all ages, but especially older adults. Stretching, slow movements and holding a pose can build muscle strength, increase joint flexibility and improve overall mobility.
  • Reduces chronic pain. If you have pain from osteoarthritis, yoga may help. Research has shown that yoga may help decrease pain and improve function in people with osteoarthritis of the knees. It’s also been shown to improve back pain and symptoms in people with carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Improves heart health. Some research suggests that practicing yoga may lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as slow the progression of heart disease. Reducing stress and inflammation in the body is also good for the heart.
  • Encourages healthy habits. Yoga may not be the cause of someone following a healthier lifestyle but it appears that people who practice yoga also tend to embrace other healthy habits, such as eating healthy, being physically active, sleeping well, maintaining a healthy weight and managing stress.

Ready to give yoga a try? Watch this video to learn how to do a downward facing dog pose right at your desk at work.

Copyright 2021 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

Date Last Reviewed: July 19, 2021

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

Learn more about Baldwin Publishing Inc. editorial policyprivacy policy, ADA compliance and sponsorship policy.

No information provided by Baldwin Publishing, Inc. in any article is a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical condition. Baldwin Publishing, Inc. strongly suggests that you use this information in consultation with your doctor or other health professional. Use or viewing of any Baldwin Publishing, Inc. article signifies your understanding and agreement to the disclaimer and acceptance of these terms of use.