Are you always tired or regularly hitting an afternoon slump despite getting enough sleep? You’re in good company and it turns out, what’s on your plate may be to blame. Our eating habits can contribute to low energy levels, especially if you’re loading up on processed and sugary foods. Eating these foods on a regular basis, cutting back may help you feel more energetic.
- Cola - Even with caffeine, these sugary drinks can leave you feeling less than perky. That’s because they speed through your system, giving you an instant rise of blood sugar levels, followed by a crash. And those swings can zap your energy.
- Diet frozen entrees - A lot of these only have about as many calories as a snack, so they don’t give you enough of the fuel you need for energy. They also typically have sugary and high-sodium sauces, highly processed starches and not enough veggies in the portion.
- Fast food burgers - Between the burger, the bun and the condiments, you’re getting a whole lot of salt, saturated fat, refined grains and added sugar, which can leave you feeling less than energetic. And if you’re adding a soda and fries, that’s more fat and calories in your heavy meal that’s a lot to digest. No wonder you’re tired after eating!
- White bread - Whether it's in the form of sandwich bread, a bagel or pizza crust, refined grains are digested quickly, leading to a spike in blood sugar levels, followed by the crash that tanks your energy.
- Frozen yogurt - The average serving has 32 grams of added sugar, which is more than the recommended amount for the entire day, which is about 25 grams (six teaspoons, according to both the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization
- Frosted cereal - One leading frosted cereal has 12 grams of added sugar in three-quarters of a cup, but it’s so easy to overeat cereal, you may eat more than that serving size. And energy levels also take a hit from the refined grains it’s made with, so that’s not an ideal way to start your day.