3 Foods That Make You Lazy

Do you ever feel unmotivated, blue or just plain lazy? Of course, we all feel this way every once in a while, including yours truly. But if you’re off your game everyday or  more often than normal, it could be related to your diet. Here are 3 foods that make you lazy.

Food has a funny way of affecting all sorts of things in our body, especially hormones. In addition to our body’s natural changes related to menstrual cycles, menopause, various stages of growth, etc., hormones can get thrown out of balance by eating the wrong types of foods. When hormones are out of balance, not only are we affected physically, but mentally, too! I actually spend a lot of time discussing food an hormones in my upcoming book, The Belly Burn Plan. Fortunately, regaining mental clarity and all the motivation that comes with it can get corrected as soon as your next meal.

tasty purple donut, isolated on white

Processed Starchy Carbs
Sure, it’s a no-brainer that this group of food can pack on the pounds, but processed carbohydrates can have a dramatic impact on your motivation and productivity, too. Often touted as energy giving, these refined foods act more like energy drainers instead. Breads, pastas, pastries and energy bars are made up of carbohydrates. The most prevalent ingredient of these carbohydrates within many of these foods is enriched wheat. Enriched wheat has been stripped of its nutrients, including fiber, magnesium and potassium. It’s called “enriched” because some of the nutrients have been artificially pumped in again on the back end.

Enriched wheat breaks down and converts to sugar much quicker than whole wheat. When this happens, blood sugar levels sky rocket causing a greater-than-normal amount of the hormone insulin to be released. Insulin helps to bring blood sugar back to normal levels again. But when too much is released, it can cause blood sugar levels to plummet, creating fatigue and the uncontrollable need for a midday nap.

Solution: Avoid enriched wheat. If you must eat grains, eat whole grains instead. Keep in mind, eating too much whole grain can still make you feel sleepy and less productive. Exercise portion control, especially when it comes to starchy carbs. The best bet is to fill your stomach with vegetables first. They’re the healthiest form of carbohydrates you can get!

Diet Soda
It doesn’t have calories…so how can it affect your brain? Just because something is calorie-free doesn’t mean it’s chemical-free. A study consisting of over 260,000 people that was presented to the American Academy of Neurology in 2013 showed that those who consumed diet soda were at a 30% increased risk of developing depression. If that’s not reason enough to forgo diet soda, there’s plenty of research that shows people who drink diet soda are at an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Solution: Reaching for a sugar-loaded soda won’t be of any help. In fact, sugar consumption has been shown to inhibit BDNP (brain derived neurotrophic factor), a key growth hormone. Instead, add a splash of fresh orange juice or lemonade to sparkling water. You’ll eliminate the chemicals found in diet soda and significantly cut back on sugar. It’s a win-win.

Healthy-Sounding Junk Food
It doesn’t matter if the package says “gluten-free”, “low fat” or “a good source of omega 3s”, processed foods are processed foods. Beware of just about anything that can sit on a shelf for a long period of time without growing mold. With the exception of canned foods and non-perishables, such as rice, a vast majority of food products on store shelves contain harmful ingredients from trans fats to MSG and everything in between that either enhance flavors or act as a preservative.

Trans fats (anything ingredient with the words “partially hydrogenated” in it) have been shown to disrupt brain communication, MSG is linked to headaches, and many other preserving or enhancing foods are linked to myriad cognitive effects that can have an impact on your overall brain function. Trans fats and MSG are known hormone blockers, too, creating disruption throughout your body – not just in your brain.

Solution: We’re often tempted to eat healthier-sounding foods because, well…we think we’re making a good choice and that makes us feel better. Many healthy-sounding foods are in fact healthy! Carrots, apples, quinoa, avocado, coconut oil, almonds, eggs, dark chocolate (the list is endless) are really good for you! Keep eating them.

If you’re in the market for a food product that comes in a package, read the label first.  No matter how healthy a food sounds, don’t make the mistake of buying something with a list of ingredients that takes you more than five seconds to read through. If it does, there’s a good chance you’re eating more chemicals than real food.


Traci D Mitchell is a nationally-recognized health and fitness coach, and author of the Belly Burn Plan. Featured on numerous news programs, publications, and radio shows, such as the TODAY Show, Steve Harvey, Dr. Oz, Oprah.com, and SHAPE magazine, Traci specializes in weight loss through clean eating and high intensity interval training. Traci is also a speaker, and has a natural ability to engage and motivate large groups. Her new book, the Belly Burn Plan is a “non-diet” approach that focuses on personalized workouts and diet plans that teaches readers how to eat and exercise according to their body type, and includes tools and tips that will teach readers how to eliminate inflammation and focus on hormonal balance- so they can start to see real results! You can learn more about Traci on her websiteFacebook or Twitter.

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