1. PROBELM: YOU EAT THE WRONG LUNCH
Breakfast is most important meal of the day, right? Not so fast. Sure, it’ll set you up nicely, but choosing the wrong lunch will leave you with a lack of energy, especially if you’re working late.
If you crave an afternoon catnap, you’re probably not getting enough protein midway through the 9-5. ‘If you’re sat at a desk all day, a protein-rich lunch will keep your physical energy topped up through to the evening,’ explains registered nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert.
SOLUTION: MATCH YOUR PROTEIN AND CARBS
Rob Hobson, registered nutritionist and co-author of The Detox Kitchen Bible, suggests lunch with a 1:1 ratio of protein to carbs – with your protein serving the size of a deck of cards.
Easiest way to nail it? Chicken, avocado and quinoa salad – protein, healthy fats and carbs in one – giving you the energy you need to power on to the end of the day (and then the bar).
Veggie? Go for a mixed bean and feta salad. Done.
2. PROBLEM: YOU’RE NOT SLEEPING RIGHT
Hold the front page – don’t get enough sleep and you’ll be tired the next day. Yep, obvious enough. But it might not just be a case of not getting enough sleep – you may not be getting the right sleep (that means solid blocks of uninterrupted sleep).
A study in the journal Molecular Metabolism found that, while waking in the night is natural, just one night of sleeping for only four uninterrupted hours increases insulin resistance. Which brings on the carb cravings, lining you up nicely for that mid-afternoon low energy slump.
SOLUTION: MAKE MAGNESIUM YOUR MATE
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge found magnesium can help your body play nicely with those circadian rhythms.
The result? A night of blissful sleep. Your body needs 300mg a day and dark leafy greens should be your first port of call, but grab a daily 375mg magnesium supplement and you’ll smash your RDA. Sweet dreams.
3. PROBLEM: YOU’RE NOT ACTIVE ENOUGH
Here’s a catch-22: don’t do enough exercise and your physical energy will tank which, in turn, means you’ll have zero interest in doing any exercise.
But Norwegian research found the physical energy drain caused by inactivity costs the global economy around £55.5 billion every year. So getting more under your belt will actually make you more productive.
SOLUTION: MOVE MORE
Yes you guessed it. Book in for a blast spin class after work or even stop by your gym for a quick 30 minute sessions before the day starts. Leave your gym kit by your bed, you’ll have your trainers tied before you’re fully awake!
4. PROBLEM: YOU LACK VITAMIN B12
While a vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to anaemia, that’s worst-case scenario stuff; simply not hitting your RDA (2.4mg a day, according to Mayo Clinic) will zap your mental energy and your attention levels and cognitive function along with it.
SOLUTION: BOOST YOUR B12
Your best B12 booster to kiss goodbye to mental fatigue and low energy is to get it from animal products; Lambert suggests upping your intake with shellfish or steak with eggs.
Not a meat eater? Milk, cheese and yoghurt contain plenty to pep you up, but some plant-based foods are fortified with the vit, too.
5. PROBLEM: YOU’RE TECH OBESSED
Mobile’s always within reach; it’s under your pillow as you sleep. So far, so typical. But non-stop use of a device can do some serious damage to your mental energy levels.
Research from the University of Illinois found constant use of a phone could lead to low energy fatigue, anxiety and depression.
SOLUTION: DO A DIGITAL DETOX
On day one, keep a digital diary (not on your phone, obvs) noting everytime you check your texts, emails or Asos order. Then go cold turkey at all the times your checking was non-urgent.
At dinner, on the bus – keep your device hidden. Embrace FOMO safe in the knowledge you’re doing wonders for your mental energy (and wellbeing).
Sourced: Woman’s Health