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16 November 2021

How Your “Healthy” Lifestyle Could Be Making You Tired

Jairek Robbins

You are doing your best to live healthy. No junk food. You hit the gym every day. You eat healthy and prepare your own meals. You sleep for at least 7-8 hours every night. But, you are constantly tired and you can’t figure out why, or what you can do about it. Here are a few possible reasons that could be behind your constant tiredness.

Drastic reductions in your calorie intake

Particularly for those who would like to lose weight, dramatic reductions in calorie intake are common. However, this reduction may be the reason why you are always feeling tired.

As you may be aware, our bodies need calories in order to function normally, whether it is as simple as breathing, walking, pumping blood around our bodies, and so many other functions.

Each person needs a different amount of calories on a daily basis depending on your age, gender, metabolic rate, and other such factors. Once your body isn’t getting that minimum number of calories, constant feelings of tiredness will result.

It is therefore advisable to reduce your calories gradually so that the sudden change doesn’t shock the body into failing to function as it should.

Eating irregularly

As we have already mentioned, our bodies require energy from the food we eat in order to function optimally. If you eat irregularly, chances are that your stores of energy will be depleted long before your next meal, and tiredness will follow.

The right thing to do is to have regular meals so that your body can have a near-constant supply of the energy and nutrients it requires to perform at its best. For example, eat something every four hours so that the energy you expend is replenished in time to keep you going.

Excessive exercising

You may also be feeling tired all the time because you are exercising a lot more than is necessary. Exercise regimens should be designed bearing in mind your age, gender, goals (boosting strength or cutting excess weight, for example), among other factors.

In other words, you only need to exercise to the level that will give you the desired results. If you exceed the level that your body can handle at the moment, you are likely to be left feeling tired throughout the day as your body struggles to cope or recover from the excessive demands made upon it.

To avoid this, work with a professional trainer to set realistic fitness goals and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts in line with the way your body is adapting to the demands made upon it.

Your diet is low on fiber

There are two kinds of fiber that you need to know as you plan your meals. The first is soluble fiber, such as that found in oats. The second is insoluble fiber, such as that found in veggies.

How is fiber connected to your tiredness? When you have a meal containing fiber, the fiber reduces how quickly the sugars from your meal are absorbed into the bloodstream. In this way, there will be a constant stream of energy flowing into your bloodstream and you will be able to perform at your best level.

This is in sharp contrast to consuming food without fiber in it. The sugar (glucose) will be absorbed all at once, and then there will be a dip in your energy once that energy spike is used up.

Make fiber your friend and you will experience higher levels of energy throughout your day!

Limited protein intake

Without going into all the geeky stuff, protein is needed in the synthesis of ATP, the main carrier of energy into each cell in your body. If you don’t eat enough protein with your meals, your body will be unable to make enough of these energy carriers, and you are likely to feel tired a lot of the time.

Another key reason why protein is important in your diet is that it slows down the rate at which digestion takes place, thereby regulating the pace at which glucose is absorbed into your bloodstream.

It is therefore important for you to have protein, such as lean meat, protein shakes, beans and other such sources of protein each time you have a meal.

Excessive carb restriction

Some diets encourage people to avoid eating carbohydrates, or to severely reduce their intake. Without going into the merits or demerits of such diets, let us just say that carbs are the primary sources of the sugar (glucose) which your brain and body needs to function.

When you limit how much of this energy source you consume, the body may burn fat and muscle tissue in order to generate energy, but this is an option of last resort and that is why you may be feeling tired quite a lot.

It is also interesting to note that your carb intake is correlated to your level of hydration. When you restrict carb intake, the body releases a sizeable amount of the stored water, and your cells will “wilt” just like a plant which has been denied moisture.

You can now see how tiredness will set in once you become dehydrated. Body cells require water to absorb energy and excrete wastes, so you will feel tired if the cells are unable to perform these functions.

At the other end of the spectrum is an excessive intake of carbohydrates. Carbs yield sugar/glucose, and an excess of glucose in your bloodstream is likely to make you feel tired and drowsy. The key is moderation if you want the benefits of carbs without triggering the unwanted effects (weight gain or energy dips, for example).

Your vegetarian diet may be unbalanced

Without going into whether the vegetarian diet or any other diet for that matter is good or bad, the main issue is whether you are getting all the nutrients that your body needs to thrive. For example, meat is a great source of iron, and if your diet doesn’t provide ample sources of this mineral you are likely to become anemic and feel tired all the time.

If you are getting your iron from plant sources but not having enough vitamin C to facilitate the absorption of that iron, chances are you will be tired and anemic to some extent.

As you can see, making a few lifestyle adjustments may be sufficient to correct the constant tiredness that you feel. If no change is noticed in 4-6 weeks of implementing those lifestyle changes, consult a healthcare worker as you may be having an underlying condition which could be behind your chronic tiredness. The doctor will recommend the right tests to undergo and what action will be required to fix the condition.


To Your Success,

Jairek Robbins

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