Follow these top tips to help you survive mid-afternoon sugar cravings without caving in.
Hands up if you’ve been guilty of desperately seeking sugar come 3 o’clock? Ever wondered why? Accredited practising Dietitian Duncan Hunter says our eating habits are key to keeping energy levels on an even keel and to dumping the mid-afternoon slump.
“Eating a lunch packed with empty carbohydrates such as heavy white pasta dishes or white bread, may seem to fill you up at the time, but once your blood sugar levels go into freefall you’ll find yourself craving carbs again just a few short hours later – usually around 3 o’clock,” explained Mr Hunter.
Ambassador for the New Atkins Nutritional Approach, radio presenter and new mum Fifi Box knows the 3 o’clock slump only too well.
“Mid-afternoon for me is when I’m about to go live on air – so I can’t afford to feel flat. Before I discovered New Atkins I’d run into the studio with a cupcake or chocolate bar to get my energy levels up – but I’d need to keep indulging throughout the show to maintain my sugar rush,” commented Fifi.
The secret to dumping the slump, according to Hunter, is in taking a carbohydrate controlled approach to eating, one which will keep you feeling energised and satisfied throughout the day, and beyond.
Here are Duncan’s top 5 tips to ditch the mid-afternoon glitch:
Scrap the processed white bread and sugar – including soft drinks and lollies - these cause your blood sugar levels (and energy!) to soar and then drop, leaving you feeling tired and lethargic.
Eat small meals every 3 to 4 hours. People often feel tired and drowsy mid-afternoon when glucose levels naturally drop and energy levels follow. Consuming regular carbohydrate controlled meals and snacks helps prevent this.
Build your diet around whole foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, lean protein – including chicken, fish, beef, tofu – whole grains, nuts and dairy. These are packed full of vitamins and nutrients and will keep you feeling full and more energised way beyond the quick pick-up you’ll get from empty carbohydrates or high sugar snacks.
Keep low carbohydrate snacks and treats (such as tasty Atkins bars) handy to avoid the temptation to indulge in fast food or sugar-packed snacks on the go.
- In general, avoid “low fat” products. When manufacturers remove fat they typically add sugar to improve the taste, which means many “low fat” products are stacked with sugar (and calories) instead! Always check products’ nutritional information and try to steer clear of those packed high in added sugar.
“Since following the New Atkins approach I find I don’t have those 3 o-clock cravings since I’m still satisfied from lunch, but to ensure I keep them at bay I keep healthy snacks such as nuts and berries at hand, and I’m never without one of the Atkins bars in my handbag. I can eat a chocolate drizzled nut bar while still looking after my health and losing weight – it’s awesome!”
To find out more about the New Atkins Nutritional Approach visit www.au.atkins.com