Options to beat the afternoon slump

The afternoon energy slump takes its toll on most of us and then a cup of caffeine or high sugar treat is the first thing we grab to get through the rest of the afternoon. We are trying to make healthier choices this year, which is why All4Women spoke to Jandri Barnard (Registered Dietician) to get a one-on-one exclusive on how to beat the afternoon slump.

For most women, a weight loss diet should consist of a total of about 1300 calories (or 5500kJ) but most woman’s daily intake would be 2000 calories (or 8500kJ). This means that in-between snacks should not be more than 250 calories (1000kJ) but preferably not high in fast releasing sugars, or the energy slump would repeat itself. Preferably you would need to eat a low glycemic index (high fiber) breakfast or lunch with a low-fat protein source included to keep you full and going throughout the day. But if your day was too hectic and you skipped this then there are a few snack options for you:

  • 150cal = 1 medium-sized banana + 8 dried apricot halves
  • 150cal = 1 small (60g) whole wheat roll with sugar-free peanut butter
  • 60cal = 150g strawberries
  • 1 whole mango of about 336g contains about 200cal and is a rich source of vitamin C (67%)

Rather eat your calories in the form of fruit than drink them as juice, as it contains more calories and contains less fiber.

Remember that these snacks contain higher calories:

600cal = 100g mixed nuts and dried fruit or 100g peanuts – rather choose the unsalted versions

370cal = 40g plain microwave popcorn + 230g grapes – giving you fiber with the fruit sugar boost of the grapes

320cal = 60g small packet of plain unflavored crisps

Rather give your carb crave these weight-conscious satisfying snacks consisting of about 150cal in total:

  • ½ medium jacket potato with 35g coleslaw or ratatouille or 30g sour cream and chives
  • ½ medium sweet potato with 35g cream cheese

180g large fries contain 660cal, with highly refined carbohydrate, fat, and salt content.

If you do opt for the coffee option, keep the following in mind:

500ml Skimmed milk caffe latte (180cal) vs 130cal of 500ml black coffee with a drop of full cream milk + 2 chocolate chip biscuits

What would you choose? You can thus have more for the same calories, but rather choose high fiber options like digestive biscuits and try decaf coffee options.

A balanced lunch can include the following and still be under 400cal:

60g Whole wheat roll with 1 boiled egg (mashed) + 1tbsp low fat creamy dressing + lettuce and tomato garnish + 500ml flavoured (not sweetened) water +1 pear + 1 apple + 1 lollipop

 

Are avocados high in calories?

Only high in unsaturated fat, which is also the ‘good’ fats your body needs. Depending on variant and size 1 avocado = about 200cal. Avocados are also packed with potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and folate. A source of cholesterol-lowering sterols and can be eaten on its own as an afternoon snack, mixed with whole wheat pasta for a salad, or added on whole-wheat crackers.

Tamryn Sher
tamrynsher@gmail.com
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