Fatigue and Weight Loss: Are You Overdoing It?
Fatigue and weight loss is a common complaint; many people are surprised when they start a diet and suddenly find themselves yawning all day – isn’t eating healthier supposed to give you more energy? Yes, but sometimes you may be doing things that drag your energy down without knowing it. Take a look at the common causes of fatigue with weight loss and see if any of them may be causing your fatigue.
Fatigue and Weight Loss Cause #1 – Not eating enough calories.
You may be overzealous in your attempts to lose weight, and consequently reduce your calories too much. You definitely don’t want to starve yourself because you’ll only slow down your metabolism and struggle with low energy. Your body simply won’t have enough fuel to keep it going, so you’ll struggle with feelings of fatigue and cloudy thinking. Instead, make it your mission to eat as much food as possible – but choose low-calorie foods. Lots of vegetables, fruit, water, lean protein, healthy fats . . . if you choose these types of foods you should have no problem keeping your calories in line but you’ll also be providing your body with plenty of fuel to fire up that metabolism and give you the energy you need to get through the day.
Fatigue and Weight Loss Cause #2 – Not eating enough protein.
Protein provides the energy to get you through the day. It helps you to build and repair healthy muscle tissue, which makes you physically stronger so you have more stamina. Include a serving of protein in every meal and snack, and opt for lean protein over fatty protein. Eat lean chicken and turkey, beans and lentils, tofu, low fat dairy products, nuts and seeds, fish and seafood. Protein keeps you feeling full longer than carbohydrates, and provides a ton of energy for the small amount you need to eat to feel satisfied.
Fatigue and Weight Loss Cause #3 – Not eating enough fat.
We’ve been given the message that “fat is bad” but nothing could be further from the truth! Our bodies need fat for energy, to help us feel satisfied and content, to help us absorb certain vitamins and minerals, to help our skin and hair feel and look healthier, and much more. The key is to eat fats that are good for you and avoid the ones that contribute to heart disease. Good sources of fat are fish like salmon and mackerel, nuts and seeds, avocados, and olive oil.
Fatigue and Weight Loss Cause #4 – Not drinking enough water.
Our bodies need water even more than they need fat. If you don’t drink enough water, you cause your body to go into a sort of “survival mode”. It tries to retain as much water as possible to protect vital organ functions, and you end up feeling sluggish and fatigued. When you drink plenty of water, everything in your body just works better. Your thoughts are clearer, your organs function better, your joints feel better, your muscles are stronger – and yes, you have much more energy.
Fatigue and Weight Loss Cause #5 – Exercising too much.
Exercise is good, but like anything else it’s possible to overdo it and pay the price. This is especially true if you are out of shape and you’ve just begun exercising. Don’t push too hard! Aim for 30 minutes of exercise daily, or even less if that’s too strenuous. (Be sure to check with your doctor first.) It may even be helpful if you break up your exercise sessions into 3 or 4 shorter workouts. Once you get stronger, you can certainly increase the length and intensity of your workouts, and it shouldn’t cause fatigue.