Eating too much or too little
Chowing down on too many or too few kilojoules from any food might be the biggest – and most common – lunchtime fatigue mistake. To process food more efficiently, the body will divert energy from the brain to your digestive system. This happens when you overeat.
“If you’re not eating enough protein, carbs and fat you may simply not be eating enough kilojoules – and kilojoules are energy,” says Batayneh.
While you won’t become vitamin deficient from just one low-nutrient meal, micronutrients help your body to function optimally. Fatigue, especially in the afternoon, can arise when regularly skimping out on micronutrients from whole food sources, she adds.
For sustained energy and blood sugar, every meal should be balanced with one serving of protein, one serving of carbohydrate, and one serving of fat. This can also decrease cravings and overeating, says Batayneh. If possible, include vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc and B vitamins (Fine suggests whole grains, produce and legumes) to keep your metabolism humming and to avoid early-onset fatigue.
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