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Diet and Fatigue

Many people experience it. You know that sudden, unexplained feeling of fatigue that hits you somewhere between lunch and the end of the work day. You can’t focus, your eyes grow weary and you wish you could just curl up for a quick nap. What may cause this?

Some explanations for that loss of energy—and what you can do about it:

Dieting can cause afternoon fatigue, especially if you’re trying to cut too many calories too fast. That slows down your metabolism and can make you feel sluggish. Solution: Multiply your weight by 10; this is a healthy number of calories to maintain your energy each day.

Sugar and caffeine are stimulants, but the boost they give you is only temporary, and once that’s gone, you’ll feel more tired than before you consumed them. Solution: Drink a large glass of water in the afternoon and stretch out a bit. If you’re hungry, eat some fruit. The natural sugars will give you energy without the drain.

Alcohol causes sleep problems; if you’ve had too much to drink the night before, you’ll feel the effects later in the day. Solution: Have a glass of wine early in the evening or none at all.

Cheese, turkey and milk can all make you sleepy about an hour or two after you eat them. The amino acid in these foods act like a natural sedative. Solution: Eat these foods at night; they’ll help you sleep when you really want it.

—adapted from Spa magazine

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