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Fact File - Top Tips - How To Avoid The Afternoon Slump

If you're like many people; shortly after lunch your head begins buzzing, your concentration plummets, your eyes droop and the top of your desk begins to look as cosy as a feather mattress. There are many plausible theories for the midday dips: the morning surge of hormones has petered out; some degree of “brain tedium” – in other words, boredom – has set in. Or it may have something to do with what you ate; all meals divert blood from your brain to your gut but some foods also bump up levels of the soporific hormone serotonin.

Some interesting facts –

Typical causes of the afternoon slump –

  1. Stress levels
  2. Quality of sleep
  3. Lunch and snack choices
  4. Boredom

Sugar and caffeine are often found in coffee, energy drinks and sodas. Although they are stimulants, both products can make you feel sleepy after the initial surge of energy they can provide. The way the body processes sugar and caffeine leads to fatigue in some people, a condition sometimes called the "afternoon slump."

Essential info; Percentage of employees who regularly miss or cut lunch -

  • 56% every day
  • 55% once or twice a week
  • 45% once or twice a month


Win the battle of the afternoon slump!

Although this is not an extensive list, here are some suggested foods to get you started.

Remember always aim for a healthy balanced diet, plenty of exercise and find time to relax. If you have certain medical issues, you may be asked to avoid some of these foods by your Health Care professional.


Whole grains, pulses and Vegetables (for long lasting energy foods – base your meals on these, but watch your portions)

  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Brown/wild rice
  • Whole grain bread
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Buckwheat
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Curly kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Mixed salad
  • Squash
  • Courgette
  • Aubergine


Fruits (includes dried, but try to keep to fresh). Crunchy vegetables and a few nuts and seeds (great for snacks to keep you going)

  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Satsuma
  • Strawberries
  • Orange
  • Apricots
  • Banana
  • Cherries
  • Chopped carrots
  • Cucumber sticks
  • Chopped peppers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds


Protein Rich Foods (include a portion at your meal, but watch the amount and avoid fatty versions)

  • Pulses (lentil, beans, chickpeas)
  • Lean meat
  • Fish
  • Low-fat yoghurt
  • Cooked egg (not fried)

More helpful information -

Should you eat healthily - here

Foods to boost your immunity - here 


To find out more about The Healthy Employee Workplace Wellbeing Initiatives please call Anna on 07778 218009 for an informal chat.

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