Sleep Related

What Causes Overwhelming Tiredness After Eating? (+ 5 Solutions!)

overwhelming tiredness after eatingI’m always trying to get my most important work done in the morning. Why?  Because I know that after my lunch, I’m not worth anything. at least for 20 minutes to 2 hours after lunch (depending on what I ate and how much I ate), I’m simply not productive.  you’ve probably experienced the same thing. But some people have it even worse – They experience an overwhelming tiredness after eating …

We’ve all experienced this at least once. Probably after eating Thanksgiving dinner. For some reason, if you eat a lot of food, your body just shuts down and goes into digestive mode. After a celebratory dinner like that it’s no problem. Everybody expects this and you’re not planning on doing a lot of work after your dinner.

However, when you experience being tired after eating on a regular basis, there can be some problems or things that you’re doing wrong:

What causes overwhelming tiredness after eating?

You probably don’t think about this on a daily basis, but a lot of your energy goes into digesting your food. When everything is working well,you don’t need to think about this. The energy you get from the food is more than enough to cover the energy expenditure from digest into food.

But when things go wrong, you can feel very tired after eating. Probably in half of the cases, this means that you’re eating something that is not suitable for your body type. So let’s check out all the reasons why you might feel overwhelming tiredness after eating…

Here’s why you’re tired after eating:

You’re eating the ‘wrong’ things

If you’re only feeling very tired after eating, and not all the time, then probably you’re eating something ‘wrong’. The reason why do wrong in between marks is between it doesn’t necessarily have to be something bad that you’re eating.

For example, I know for me if I eat a meal that is very high in carbohydrates, then I feel more sluggish after, than if I eat salad with meat. It’s probably because the carbohydrates spike blood glucose levels and at first this gives some energy, but after that it gives you a crash.

Other things that can cause this overwhelming tiredness after eating might be:

  • Grains
  • dairy
  • Anything you might be allergic to

You’re eating too much

Another reason why you might be incredibly tired after eating, is because you’re eating too much. Compare this with the Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re gorging yourself on a daily basis, it’s only natural that you’re going to feel tired after a meal.

Your body is taking in a lot of food, and it needs to digest all of it.

One more variation of this might be when you’re not chewing your food well enough. chewing your food well enough ( experts say at least 25 times), will do a lot of good to pre-digest your food before it gets into your stomach. This is great, because your stomach and intestines have a lot less work to do to bring down the big chunks of undigested food. This can also help solving problems of indigestion.

You have a disease

This is a scary reason why you could feel overwhelming tiredness after eating.  the following diseases can make you feel very weak and tired after having a meal:

  • Diabetes type 1
  • Diabetes type 2
  • Food allergies
  • Sleep apnea
  • Anemia
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Celiac disease

Because it’s normal

The final reason can also be that it’s simply normal. Scientists have found out that the post lunch slump, which everybody experiences is not something that we’re doing wrong. It’s important that our bodies are designed to be a little more tired at this part of the day, and the fact that most people are having a carbohydrate lunch adds to this.

So it can also be that you’re overreacting, and the fact that you get a little tired after eating is stressing you out. You might think that it shouldn’t be like this that and if this causes stress, than it can make you even more tired.

Instead of fighting this tiredness, you can use it and schedule activities after a lunch that are not intensive for your brain. A simple solution might be for example to take a little walk after work a powernap. But you can also schedule your email time or a specific meeting with a colleague.

5 Tips to prevent overwhelming tiredness after eating

If you’re feeling very tired after having a meal, the following 5 tips can help you increase your energy or prevent something that you might be doing wrong:

Eat less/drink more

If you’re feeling very tired after having a meal, then one simple solution can be to try and eat less. For the majority of people it’s already a good idea to eat less, and this can also help to reduce tiredness.

If you’re already skinny, you might not want to eat less. But you can always try switching your calories around the day. Maybe have a couple more snacks, and less big meals.

Another tip that might help your digestion and increase your energy after eating, is to have a little water with each meal. This will decrease the space available for food, and help you digest everything.

Try eliminating specific types of food

If eating a lot is not the problem, you can experience with an elimination diet. This means for example to stop eating bread and gluten for 30 days. You can also try it for two weeks, and after this period of time you will probably have a good feeling if you’re more energetic and whether it’s making a difference in your day to day life.

Prevent stress

For some reason, on my most stressful days, I always feel more tired after eating lunch. Whereas, if I’m having a non stressful day, I can have lunch and go do stuff right away after.

This is probably also true for you. One easy way to have more energy after your meal is to prevent stress throughout the day. The reason why this is so is because stress prevent your digestive system from working.

Some ways you can try to prevent stress are:

  • Meditation
  • Sleeping better
  • Less scheduling
  • Eating healthier

Take a walk/powernap

This overwhelming tiredness after eating can also be used for something. One easy way to get more energy after a meal is to take a walk. This low impact of walking around and moving, will stimulate your digestive system.

You can also use this tiredness after eating. If you do not get enough sleep at night, schedule a powernap after having your lunch – you’re tired anyway, so why not use this feeling.

Go to a doctor

If you suspect that the previous method won’t help you, the best thing is to go and see a doctor. If you have diabetes, then this can be a life-threatening condition. In that case there are probably other symptoms except for being tired after eating. Take a look at the following conditions/links to see if you might have any of the conditions that can cause an overwhelming tiredness after eating:

By Adrianus

Since childhood I've tried hundreds of little experiments to feel better, learn faster and perform higher (e.g. supplements, sports, psychological tricks, sleep and wacky diets).
After I graduated university in 2016, I basically found that sleep was the #1 factor to improve every aspect of life.
Bad sleep = bad life. I started SleepInvestor in 2017 to share my experiments and thoughts about sleep.

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