Energy Foods
Marie Spano Nutrition Consulting
Marie Spano Marie Spano M.S., R.D./L.D., F.I.S.S.N., C.S.C.S.

Tips for avoiding that afternoon slump

Do you hit a wall at 3 p.m. and dream of crawling under your desk and taking a nap? If you find that you are often left zapped for energy and wondering how you’ll get through the day, you may need to take a close look at what you are eating—or not eating. You may steer clear of doughnuts and weekend beer binges, but tweaking your diet for more energy can still be beneficial.


• Eat small meals every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism up and your energy levels maxed out.

• Eat protein at every meal and snack.

• Watch your carbohydrate intake—one big bagel can have more than 90 grams of carbohydrates—enough to make you fall asleep before you finish it!

• Drink plenty of water or low-calorie beverages throughout the day.

• Reach for a little caffeine. In moderation, caffeine can help increase alertness and focus. Just remember that it stays in your system for 3-4 hours, so steer clear of caffeinated beverages prior to bedtime.

• Eat red meat or dark turkey meat once a week, especially if you are anemic (plant-based sources of iron have a minimal impact on your body’s iron stores).


• Skimp on calories. When your food intake is too low, you’ll stall weight loss, have little energy to get through the day and fall short on your workouts.

• Drastically reduce your fat intake. We need fat in our diet for hormone production, building muscle tissue and many other functions. Don’t skimp on it in favor of a high-carbohydrate diet.

• Drink alcohol in excess. Alcohol is a depressant that can negate many of the gains you are working toward in the gym.

If you feel tired often, then it’s time to look at your sleep patterns, diet and lifestyle. Try these changes first, and, if you still feel zonked, see your physician.


Marie Spano Nutrition Consulting