Diet Nutrition

Here’s why you never seem to have energy

It's not just a 3pm slump; your diet and lifestyle could be letting you down.

If you frequently find yourself struggling to make it to the end of the working day or can barely hold your eyes open after a day with the kids, it may be time to look at how your diet affects your energy levels.

While energy levels are dependent on both nutrition and lifestyle (among other factors), what and when you eat has a big impact on how you feel.

So that 3pm slump you know so well? This can be avoided.

Nutritionist and owner of Feel Fresh Nutrition, Abbie O'Rourke, says your depleted energy levels are likely a result of caffeine, stress hormones, blood sugar levels and the quality of your sleep the previous night.

"A common scenario I see often are clients wanting to be 'good' and trying to reduce food intake for the day. Not eating enough food during the morning leads to feelings of hunger and by the time lunch rolls around, said client is famished.

"During lunch, more food than usual is consumed and if underprepared, the client usually opts for a heavier carb option which then leads to a hefty blood sugar drop after lunch," says O'Rourke.

How to stay energised

It may sound obvious, but ensuring you get between seven and nine hours of quality sleep each night will help you stay energised the next day.

However it's not so obvious that whether or not you're hydrated can also affect your energy levels.

Aim to be in bed by 10pm and drink two litres of water per day.

In terms of your diet, ensure you're consuming protein in every meal - and adding protein to the snacks that lack the nutrient.

O'Rourke says "if toast is your thing - add eggs, instead of just having a piece of fruit - add some yoghurt. By making these changes you will be adding quality satiating dietary fat to your meals, which means a smoother ride on the blood sugar train.

"Eating regularly and being prepared with your food will swiftly put an end to fatiguing throughout the day."