How many times a day do you wish for more energy? A consistent exercise program and a good night’s rest will boost your energy levels. However, your diet could be the reason you’re nodding at your desk well before lunch. Your body depends on your diet to get the energy it needs and the foods on your plate will either drain or sustain you. Here are a few possible reasons your diet is making you tired.
1. You stretch out your mealsYour blood sugar levels drop when you go long hours without eating because your body uses the available glucose to provide energy. When there’s no available glucose, some body functions slow down, and you’ll feel hungry, irritable and tired. Instead of piling your plate at mealtimes, eat smaller meals and grab healthy snacks to munch on an hour or two after meals.
2. You ignore wholegrain foodsBreakfast foods like pancakes, donuts, English muffins, toast, and cereals are loaded with sugar and don’t contain enough fiber. These very foods contribute to your mid-morning slump. If you start your day with high-fiber foods instead of the fast-digesting alternatives, you’ll prevent blood sugar spikes followed by crashes and feel full throughout the morning. Whole wheat pancakes and bread, oatmeal, and high-fiber cereals are just a few ways to get your daily fiber requirements.
3. You don’t eat enough vegetablesVegetables, especially dark and leafy kinds, are rich in color, which means they’re nutrient-rich. The dark greens of kale, spinach, collards and other leafy vegetables provide a generous helping of vitamins A and C, iron, fiber, protein and calcium. Make a kale salad or stir-fry broccoli for an instant energy boost.
4. Your diet restricts red meatIt’s not uncommon for vegetarians and menstruating women to suffer from iron deficiency. Iron is essential for strength and endurance, so you’ll lack energy if you’re iron-deficient, even if your diet is otherwise balanced. Red meats are an excellent source of iron so go ahead and fill up. Make sure to get lots of vitamin C to promote good iron absorption.
5. You count carbsLow-carb dieters often complain about the lack of energy. Counting carbs promote weight loss, but it will sap your energy. An ideal diet must contain at least 50 percent complex carbohydrates, which provides energy as soon as they’re digested. Eat complex carbs with protein and fat and you’ll increase your energy levels without compromising weight loss.
6. You’re juicingThe vast majority of individuals juice fresh fruit and vegetables to eliminate toxins and include essential vitamins and minerals in their diets. Making the switch to juicing can initially sap your energy if your diet normally consists of sugars, processed foods and other unhealthy choices. However, with time, your body will adapt to your new way of eating and your energy will return.
7. You don’t drink enough waterDrink more water, and you’ll have more energy. Even mild dehydration can have an adverse effect on your energy levels as lack of fluids affects the rate at which your body channels nutrients to their final destination. Drinking 8 glasses of water helps increase energy and improve your overall health. If you don’t like plain water, consider adding some fruits and vegetables like cucumber, lime, lemon, grapefruit, or berries to your water to make it tastier.
8. You have food allergies
Sometimes lethargy can be attributed to food allergies. If food allergies block absorption of certain nutrients, you’ll suffer from chronic fatigue and other complications. Consult your physician to learn of any sensitivity to gluten, soy, dairy, nuts or other foods.
9. You drink too much coffeeScale back on caffeine as it can actually increase fatigue. You’re ingesting too much caffeine if you’re always on edge or rely on coffee and other stimulating drinks to get you through the day. Cutting the habit might take some time, but you will have more energy once you quit.
10. You don’t combine diet with exerciseDiet plays a significant role in providing the energy you need. However, a vigorous workout daily might be the best solution for plain old fatigue. Exercise breeds energy, so get moving, and you’ll banish fatigue. There’s no need to spend hours in the gym. Aim to do your morning exercises each day to improve your health and boost energy levels.
Now that you’re aware of the possible reasons your diet is making tired, make sure you make some smart diet changes. If needed, see your doctor or dietitian to find out more information. You might feel tired because of lack of sleep and high stress levels as well. What diet changes are you going to make?