Does your motivation/work quality drop off after lunch?
You’re not alone.
Every day, millions of people around the world suffer from the infamous “post-lunch” energy crash.
Today I’m here to deliver some great news your way: this early afternoon energy crash CAN be avoided using some simple strategies.
Yes, it is possible to FEEL GOOD after lunch!
Here are 10 Optimal Living strategies that will keep you rocking high energy levels in the afternoon & help you overcome the dreaded crash.
These strategies might not all work for you, but I suggest you use the same approach as Bruce Lee did for martial arts: try everything, keep what works best for you, and create your own “style”.
1. Eat More Raw Fruits & Veggies with Lunch
When we cook food, the heat de-activates the food’s enzymes. As a result, our body needs to use its own enzymes for digestion.This makes our body work extra hard and drains our energy.
With each meal, always try to have raw veggies or fruits. Not only are they healthy & packed with nutrients, they will help make the digestion process a lot smoother.
2. Eat Less/No Meat at Lunch
Out of all the foods we eat, meat is the hardest to digest. While fruits take about 30 minutes and vegetables about 1 hour to be digested, meat takes 2 hours or more.
Remember how felt last time you had a big steak? Yeah, that was your body fighting an epic battle to digest all of that cooked protein.
With experience, I’ve noticed that having a vegetarian lunch was much easier to digest & made me feel much better in the afternoon. Give it a try and see how it works for you!
PS: According to John Robbins in Healthy at 100, the world’s longest-lived populations generally eat meat only about twice a week.
Check out YoungAndRaw.com for some awesome meat-free recipe ideas.
3. Avoid Sugary & High Glycemic Index Foods
The glycemic index of a food refers to how quickly a carbohydrate is converted into glucose and released into the bloodstream.
A high GI lunch (i.e., fast food) will provide you will a quick burst of energy soon followed by a crash.
Some great low GI foods are most fruits & vegetables, lentils, beans, hummus, quinoa, wheat tortilla and nuts & seeds.
You can check out an extensive list of GI levels for different foods right here.
4. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods should be avoided as much as possible. Stripped from their nutritional content and filled with weird chemicals, they’re not only bad for our health but also hard to break down because the body doesn’t recognise some of their components.
Skeptical? Watch this video. You’ll be shocked.
5. Chew Really, Really Well
As you understand by now, we need to make it as easy as possible for our body to digest the food. Chewing extremely well is a great way to do that.
Not only does our saliva contain digestive enzymes which starts to break down the food, but by chewing better we make our stomach’s job a lot easier.
Some people advocate chewing a certain number of times but here’s what it comes down to: only swallow your food when you feel like it’s been totally broken down and there are no more chunks.
6. Practice Intermittent Fasting
Want to eliminate the post-lunch energy crash? Skip lunch!
Intermittent fasting is the practice of fasting 14 hours for women, 16 hours for men and eating all of our food in the remaining 10/8 hours.
It offers a wide range of health benefits including increased fatty acid oxidation (our body learns to burn more fat as energy), decreased cortisol levels (less stress), and increased longevity.
To learn more about this great Optimal Living practice, read my article On Becoming Superhuman: Fasting for Fast Weight Loss, Better Health, and Supreme Fitness.
I personally do Intermittent Fasting 2-3 times a week (fasting from 12am to 4pm) and I generally enjoy enhanced mental clarity throughout the fast.
PS: It’s easier to you think!
7. Drink Less Coffee
Coffee does have its merits, but it also have several downfalls: it’s a highly acidic substance (our body functions better in a slightly alkaline state), it’s a diuretic (it dehydrates us) and the boost in energy it gives us is only temporary.
Drinking coffee is like using a credit card: enjoy now… pay the price later. If you have 2-3 cups of coffee in the morning, you’re bound to feel the crash in the afternoon as the caffeine exits your body.
Try switching to green tea: it packed with antioxidants, it promotes fat loss, its caffeine is released over a longer periods, and it contains the amino acid L-Theanine which has a calming effect while improving concentration (I call it Zen Energy).
8. Eat Cinammon
According to a Swedish study, “cinnamon has been shown to be one of the most effective [herbs and medicinal plants] at regulating blood glucose”. By reducing the spikes in blood glucose, it also helps prevent the ensuing crash.
It also helps us feel fuller longer and it thus a great ally for anyone trying to shed a few pounds.
Try having a cinnamon stick for desert to harness this spice’s great benefits.
9. Practice Hara Hachi Bu
Translated from Japanese, this literally means “eat until you’re 80% full.” Residents of the Japanese Island of Okinawa, who are among the longest-lived and healthiest people in the world, are notorious for this practice.
It takes about 20 minutes for our fullness signs to kick inl, so by stopping eating when we’re 80% full, it gives the “fullness signal” time to catch up.
This practice is highly beneficial to increase our energy but also to lose weight and increase our longevity.
10. Take a Power Nap
If you’ve tried all these strategies and you’re still feeling tired after lunch crash, take a short nap!
Although they’re fairly uncommon for adults in our society, are naps very enjoyable and offer tons of benefits. As a daily napper myself, I can’t recommend them enough.
And don’t feel like you’re “weak” if you need a nap: many great thinkers in history were avid nappers, including Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, and Napoleon Bonaparte.
Even if you’re at work, why not take a shorter lunch and sneak off for a quick nap in your car?
Ladies & gentlemen, the post-lunch energy crash CAN and SHOULD be avoided.
Apply the strategies above and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your new energy levels. Your coworkers might even be amazed by your newfound mojo.
Let me know how it goes, and if you have any more ideas please share them!
Here’s to rocking your afternoon! :)