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Mid-afternoon slump wreaking havoc with your productivity? Energy levels just not how they used to be? 



I know the feeling…all the coffee in the world still leaving you feeling like you need to nap at your desk when 2pm rolls around. Trouble is, you can’t sleep because you still need to complete the work day, dash to pick up the kids, run into the shop on the way home, get everyone bathed, fed and ready for the following day, all before you try to muster the energy to get yourself a ‘proper’ meal. It isn’t looking good.

 

I popped a little question up on my Instagram story this week asking about people’s energy levels; there were many of you struggling, not only from day to day but also with such fluctuating energy levels throughout a day. Some of you knew why but the implementation of improvements is tricky with life getting in the way, some of you weren’t sure why your bodies and minds just didn’t seem to be cooperating anymore.

 

That’s okay – today we’re here to talk energy, fatigue and what we can do to see a marked improvement right now!

 

Energy, in this context and in the grand scheme of things, is the ability to be able to go through your day, doing all of the things required of you. That might be running a home, a full-time job, looking after your parents, running the kids here, there and everywhere, trying to exercise and eat well…and the rest! With such a long list of ‘to dos’ each day, is there any wonder that we often lack the ability to sustain ourselves physically and cognitively?

 

I personally believe that we’re living in an epidemic of stress and tiredness – it’s a problem BUT that does NOT mean that there aren’t some basic things that we can do about it.

 

There are many, many factors that might affect our energy, these could differ from day to day for you but certainly differ from person to person – that is why an individualised deep dive into your lifestyle is pivotal, not just another health and fitness approach or diet, professing to get you feeling 100% again.

 

Our nutrient status, our sleep quality and quantity, our stress management, our hydration, our lifestyle practices, our physical activity levels, our relationships, inflammation, our metabolism, our hormones and SO many other factors are influencing our levels of fatigue as each day goes by.

 

As a nutritionist, people expect that the first factor I turn to is our food choices when coaching someone towards feeling fabulously sustained energy from day to day. Of course, it is VERY important and something that we look at early on but it’s really important that we look at the other factors around that because those are actually the biggest impact on our nutrition choices. If we haven’t got our sleep or stress management right, for example, our hormones and our metabolisms are impacted and therefore our nutrition choices might be less than optimal – a holistic, individualised and bespoke approach is the ONLY way to approach health and wellbeing and I truly and wholeheartedly believe in that.

 

So, only when we have it all in row using what is ideal for us as individuals and our lifestyles can we begin to look in detail about what a healthy and nutrient dense diet looks like for you to support your personal energy demands. Are we getting enough iron for example? This can be tricky with the rise in plant-based nutrition so it’s important, again, that you are considered as an individual!

 

Many of us rely on supplementing caffeine in order to increase our physical and mental energy – now I’m not going to sit here and preach to you that we shouldn’t be drinking caffeine, that would be rich! I am an avid coffee drinker and am a firm believer that, within the context of a healthy lifestyle, it certainly has its place BUT reliance on caffeine is NOT okay. Wouldn’t it be great if we could go through our day not feeling like we ‘need’ that boost in the morning, or even as that afternoon slump is creeping up on us?

 

One thing to highlight here is that if you have weight loss goals, diminished energy levels or fluctuating energy levels can be very common – largely due to the fact that we are working on consuming less energy (in calorie form) than we are expending. If we are losing weight in an appropriate and healthy way we shouldn’t feel too effected by that slightly lower energy intake, however, if we are using an approach that feels somewhat restrictive we could leave ourselves in a situation whereby energy is chronically low OR fluctuating because we are under eating, feeling very restricted both physically and mentally and therefore later overeating, not only diminishing our weight loss efforts but causing our glucose levels in our blood stream to rise and fall rapidly meaning that we have no chance of sustained energy levels throughout a day.

 

Does this sound like you? Then I want to hear from you! Even if you know what you need to work on, share with me one thing that you are going to focus on changing this week – only a small thing, we know that small, sustainable habit change is the most optimal course to success.

 

I think in the 21st century we can all do a little better at optimising something in our day or week to work on firing on all cylinders that little bit better – mine? This week I’m going to work on taking a little more time over eating my meals without distraction – I know this is excellent for my digestive system and metabolism which, in turn, will have a positive knock on for my physical and mental energy levels.

 

Tell me over on social media or in the comments here – what will yours be?

 

Peace and love for now, A x

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