Food & Fighting Fatigue

Food & Fighting Fatigue

We all know exercise, stress management and a good night’s sleep are crucial to fighting fatigue. Yet, we shouldn’t forget our eating habits also profoundly and directly impact our energy levels. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked diet and energy-related questions and ways to avoid that afternoon energy slump.

Why should I eat more often?

Eating just one to two meals a day will only zap your body’s energy of the nutrients it needs. It can also increase your perception of fatigue because your brain, which has very few energy reserves of its own, needs a steady supply of nutrients.

How often should I eat?

Eating every 3-4 hours can help you avoid hunger attacks that force you to make unhealthy eating decisions. Choose foods that give you energy and keep you feeling fuller longer.

What should I eat?

Choose fresh, less processed foods for an added boost during those mid-afternoon lulls. While a honey bun may give you a quick boost, that feeling fades quickly and can leave you depleted and craving more sweets. Choose fruit or nuts instead.

How can I avoid fatigue?

  1. Start with Breakfast EVERY morning! Even if it’s just a piece of fruit or an easy “grab and go” breakfast shake, giving your body the proper nutrients it needs to function is key if you’re looking to get long-lasting energy throughout the day.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Sugar-sweetened, caffeine filled beverages may give you a boost for an hour or so, but you will feel the hard crash shortly after. Water helps hydrate your muscles which are more metabolically active at rest. A well hydrated body is a happy body.
  3. Snack smart. Choosing “quality” carbohydrates, such as whole wheat crackers, a piece of fruits or oats will give your body the energy it needs without the hard sugar crash. Pair your carbohydrates with a lean protein, such as tuna, peanut butter, low-sodium deli meats, low-fat cream cheese or low-fat yogurt to give you the long lasting full feeling.
  4. Keep smart snacks at your desk. This can help curb your appetite and keep you away from the vending machines. Keep fruit cups, 100 calorie packs of nuts/snack mix, pretzels or beef jerky in your desk drawers.
  5. Be Prepared! This is one of the biggest downfalls to any diet or lifestyle change you’re trying to make. You’re at work and you hear your stomach growl. It is now that you realize that you don’t have any food with you. Your next best option is the vending machine or some other calorie filled, nutrient void food item. Packing and pre-planning your snacks/meals is the BEST way to avoid making poor nutrition decisions.
  6. Get up and Walk. If you’re able to leave your desk, take a 5-10-minute stroll in the parking lot or your office building. If your building has steps, take a few flights to get your heart pumping. If you can get outside, soak up that Vitamin D – otherwise known as the “sunshine” vitamin or the “happy” vitamin – to boost your mood.


For more helpful tips on eating for energy, check out the following article at


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