Are you familiar with the “mid-afternoon slump?”
If you’ve never experienced this natural phenomenon and you have bounds of energy all day long, please feel free to skip this article!
But if you often get to 2 pm and you feel you can barely make it through the afternoon without a nap, please read on.
Symptoms like fatigue, feeling shaky or dizzy, palpitations, headaches and brain fog often categorise the mid-afternoon slump.
But whether you’re chasing deadlines or chasing kids, as busy women we simply don’t have time to feel under par.
While these symptoms can be attributed to numerous possible causes, it’s often related to blood sugar. Thankfully, it can be easily managed and avoided.
What is Blood Sugar?
Blood sugar is also referred to as glucose. It’s the primary sugar that enters the body through the foods we eat. As readily-available energy for the body, glucose provides nutrients to the organs, muscles, and nervous system.
Insulin is a hormone that is released from the pancreas. It moves glucose from the blood into the cells for energy and storage and helps to keep blood sugar at a safe level.
Almost everything you eat affects your blood sugar. If you pay attention to your body, you can often feel this based on certain foods you consume. Cake, sweets or soda will have a greater effect. However, foods such as white bread, white rice, pasta, starchy vegetables and some fruits can cause blood sugar to rise.
This isn’t a problem for most people. But when we regularly consume a lot of high-carbohydrate foods, the pancreas has to work extra hard, releasing large amounts of insulin to bring blood sugar levels back to a safe level.
Sometimes the pancreas over-adjusts, causing blood sugar levels to drop too low, which then causes cravings for more carbohydrate-rich foods.
The cycle continues.
The symptoms of this roller coaster can include irritability, weakness, blurred vision, dizziness, headaches, brain fog and fatigue. It can also wreck havoc on your hormones.
It’s All About Balance
For the record, I do not vilify carbohydrates or believe that everyone needs to eat a low carb diet to manage their blood sugar.
However, Western countries are facing the worst obesity crisis we’ve ever seen and this is due to a massive over-consumption of certain foods and poor food choices, particularly refined sugars and certain carbohydrates.
Consistently filling up on lots of high carbohydrate foods isn’t good for blood sugar or health overall. Ideally, each meal would contain a balance of the macronutrients; carbs, protein and fat.
While a few instances of mismanaged blood sugar don’t usually indicate a health issue, in the long term it can lead to problems such as diabetes or insulin resistance.
The majority of blood sugar issues we see in our world today are reversible, preventable and manageable. We just need to equip ourselves with a little knowledge and a little time listening to our bodies.
If you are concerned about your health or blood sugar, however, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional. Your GP can easily check your blood sugar levels with a simple blood test.
How to Manage Blood Sugar
I know first-hand how mismanaged blood sugar can wreak havoc on your day, your productivity and your health.
Thankfully, it can be easily managed with a little attention to your body and your diet.
I’ve created a three-day, done-for-you meal plan specifically designed to help manage your blood sugar for more energy and better health.
The plan includes three days of delicious, nourishing recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, as well as a shopping list to make it all easier. The recipes contain a range of proteins, whole grains, legumes and antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies. All of the foods included in this plan have a low glycemic index, which means they won’t spike your blood sugar.