You've experienced the lethargy that follows a huge holiday dinner. Everyone spends the next couple of hours plopped on the couch. That shouldn't happen after an ordinary meal. You should feel replenished and energized. If you feel more like taking a nap instead, something is off. You should consider making changes in what and how you are eating.
Eat Smaller Portions
When you eat, your body focuses energy on digesting your food. Your nervous system is activated, and blood flow is redirected toward your digestive system to aid with the process. The larger volume of food you eat, the longer this process will take. It's little wonder you feel worn out.
When you eat smaller portions, your food will digest more quickly and efficiently. Your metabolism remains relatively stable, leaving you with the resources you need to stay active. Several small meals throughout the day are better than one large meal.
Eat More Plant-Based Foods
Meat and fish can sit in your digestive system for a couple of days while your body tries to process the complex proteins and fats. You may feel sluggish after a meat-heavy meal. In contrast, plant-based foods give you more energy because they are simpler in structure, allowing your body to extract nutrients more efficiently.
Try replacing meat with plant-based foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Natural foods tend to be the most nutrient-dense. You can derive all the protein you need from legumes, nuts, seeds, and root vegetables.
You may think that sugar is a great source of energy, but it can actually work against you. Consuming sugar, especially processed sugar, gives you an immediate rise in blood sugar, which can give you a burst of energy, but it doesn't last long. You'll experience a crash within an hour or so. Sugar is the culprit in the famous mid-afternoon slump.
Most foods contain natural sugars, so it's impossible to completely eliminate them. However, reducing processed sugar can have a significant impact on your energy level. Try to avoid any processed food that comes in a box.
Making just a few changes in your eating habits can help you feel more energized. If you feel your energy level dropping, have a snack, but avoid empty calories. Remember, your body can't get through the day on junk. Real energy comes from real food.
Check out this article on what to know before creating a healthy meal plan!