The best way to fight that afternoon sleepy feeling is to eat a big lunch. Use your lunchtime to take a mental break, to immerse yourself in a pleasurable preparation and eating experience, and feel refreshed, energized, and ready to do even more after you enjoy your big lunch.
Eating a big lunch is also a great way to control your weight. Since you’ll be full, you won’t even think about wanting a snack at 3 or 4 in the afternoon, which is when your willpower is low, your fatigue is high, and you’re most likely to consider eating foods you would quickly shake your head at earlier in the day.
Here are three tips to make a big lunch that will keep you going:
- Use a template for your lunch. Make basically the same thing every day. Keep it simple, with a few easy to substitute ingredients. Maybe a big salad with beans or nuts. Maybe a stir fry with veggies and tofu. You can make both those dishes with any seasonal veggies you have and dinner leftovers are easy to incorporate, too. Keeping the same basic format will make eating a big, healthy lunch automatic and easy, both to make and to shop for. When you feel yourself getting hungry, you’ll naturally start following your routine and making your great lunch without getting distracted by shiny things in your cabinet.
- Eat a little early. The longer you wait to eat lunch, the more tired you will be both before and after eating. Preserve your energy. Eat by the clock, not by how hungry you feel. You may think, “Oh, I’m not hungry yet. I’ll wait.” But as soon as you start thinking a little bit about lunch, you’re going to find yourself hungry. So don’t wait. Have your food made and looking delicious right while you’re still at a high level of energy.
- Low on cheese. Don’t add cheese or simple carbohydrates to your lunch. Make sure you’ll feel full and have some crunch in each bite by sprinkling nuts, sesame seeds, or roasted chickpeas over your dish. More than a small serving of cheese, noodles, white bread, or white rice can give you a tired feeling. Add plenty of olive oil, sesame oil, avocado slices, or yogurt to make your lunch taste rich and smooth. You’ll feel full without that slowed-down, fatigued feeling.