Getting Past the Afternoon Slump
(by the American Institute for Caner Research)
It's three o'clock. You can't concentrate and your energy is running low. You may be experiencing an afternoon slump. If you usually resort to candy or coffee to pull you through the rest of your day, you may want to try some of these healthy alternatives to keep you going.
Make sure to schedule your tasks throughout the day so that you can remain productive. If you are full of energy in the mornings, get most of your challenging work done then. Save simple, mechanical tasks for your down times. When you feel an afternoon slump coming on, you may just need a change of pace.
Eat a Power Lunch
Your lunch may not be powerful enough to last through your busy day. A lunch containing protein and dietary fiber will satisfy hunger longer. Add lean meat, poultry, tuna or other seafood, nuts or beans to a salad. Include whole grains; they are more nutrient-dense and provide more dietary fiber than refined grains, which will keep you satisfied for longer. Make your sandwich on 100 percent whole grain bread, or roll up your wrap in a whole-wheat tortilla. Replace empty-calorie cookies with a bunch of grapes or raw broccoli and cauliflower florettes. These fruits and vegetables will help keep your energy level up throughout the afternoon.
Take a Break
Don’t automatically reach for food when you start to feel the afternoon slump approaching. A snack may provide a break, but it can also lead to undesirable weight gain. If you are not sure if you are actually hungry, first try to sneak in some exercise. Take a 10-minute walk around the block. Or do some stretches at your desk.
Sneak in a Snack
If you are truly hungry, have a healthy snack. True physical hunger is a signal that the body needs more fuel and, if ignored, will only get stronger and more out of control. Keep healthy snacks within easy reach. Try a piece of fruit, a handful of lowfat trail mix, a small container of yogurt, or some celery and carrot sticks. Snacking on fruits and vegetables has the added benefit of helping you to reach five or more servings a day - the amount recommended by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) to help prevent cancer.
Want more ideas for healthy snacks? Order a free copy of “Sneak Health Into Your Snacks” by calling AICR at 1-800-843-8114 ext.10.
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