My midday energy slump is getting me down in the dumps!
A bowl of oatmeal with strawberries and blueberries; a spinach and broccoli omelet
Youve been sitting at your desk all day, so why does it feel like youve just run an energy-siphoning marathon? The culprit could be too little fiber in your morning diet. Fiber plays an important role in combating energy loss, but Americans often consume less than 5 to 10 grams of fiber (far less than the recommended 20 to 35 grams) over the course of a day, says Michael A. Schmidt, Ph.D., author of Brain-Building Nutrition.
Eating adequate fiber also prevents spikes in blood sugar that can affect your wakefulness and alertness, he adds. Schmidt suggests eating whole grains like oats or rye in addition to high-fiber fruits like blueberries, apples and strawberries. Also, ensure that youre getting enough magnesium in your diet. Magnesium is necessary for long-lasting energy and is central to regulating your energy metabolism, notes Schmidt.
Combine leafy greens like spinach or broccoli, which are high in magnesium, with a protein-rich omelet, or add magnesium-rich nuts like almonds, peanuts or cashews to your cereal or oatmeal.
I eat breakfast, but my stomach growls an hour later.
Cottage cheese with yogurt; hard-boiled eggs with whole-grain toast and nut butter
Being hungry so soon can be a sign that youre not eating an adequate amount of protein, explains Schmidt. Eating only fruit for breakfast can quickly leave you hungry. Youll feel satisfied longer if you smear protein-rich spreads like peanut butter on your toast, he says. Stick with whole-grain bread, since fiber makes you feel full as well.
I cant take off weight and dont even eat breakfast!
An egg-white veggie omelet; low-fat breakfast burritos
Skipping the most important meal of the day could be stopping you from slimming down. Numerous studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who regularly eat breakfast have a lower body weight than those who forgo it. Plus, eating a small breakfast prevents late-morning hunger, which can lead to overeating, adds California weight-loss coach Brooke Castillo, author of If I Am So Smart, Why Cant I Lose Weight?
Avoid processed, high-carb doughnuts, bagels and muffins. Instead, choose a complex carbohydrate that will result in a slow, steady release of blood sugar, such as whole-grain toast or cereal. Include lean proteins because they satisfy the appetite for a longer period than carbohydrates alone, Castillo says. She recommends sautéing whipped egg whites with canned mushrooms, spinach and nonfat cheese, or microwaving instant egg whites if youre pressed for time.