Is your diet making you feel tired?
Many people complain about feeling tired all the time. The problem may be even worse and more apparent today than ever before due to lockdown – being stuck at home most of the time – and the winter months with short days and little sunshine. Fatigue is a common symptom of many diseases and conditions and should not be dismissed. However, in today’s modern society, many people experience the constant feeling of tiredness due to their lifestyle and can easily boost their energy levels by introducing some simple changes. Read on to find out more.
Most factors influencing your energy levels (and also often your overall mood) are related to your every day lifestyle choices. Here are a few of the key things which may cause excessive tiredness and advice on how to change them to help you feel better.
Carbohydrates are a quick source of energy in our diets. That means that once consumed, the body can quickly digest them and turn them into energy. Carbohydrates are a very important group of macronutrients in our diet (among others, they are the main fuel for your brain). Unfortunately, many of us too easily and too often reach for the highly proceed carbohydrates and sugars in the form of snacks such as chocolate bars, cereals, crisps.
When we eat carbohydrates, we quickly get a spike of sugar released into our bloodstream; what follows is a very sudden drop of sugar in our bloodstream once it is processed. This is what we can experience as the feeling of exhaustion.
Studies have shown that reducing the intake of sugar and processed carbohydrates can help increase the energy levels. Eating carbohydrates as part of nutritionally balanced meals also helps stabilise the blood sugar levels and as a result reduce the feeling of tiredness after a meal.
Make sure your meals are balanced and healthy, reduce intake of processed carbohydrates and sugar. If you’re struggling to meal prep yourself, why not try having your healthy meals delivered with Fitasty?
Another reason related to food and diet which may be causing you to feel tired is simply not eating enough calories. Calories are units of energy in our food. Even if you were laying flat on your back all day, your body still uses energy to maintain all your bodily functions. The amount of calories required by each person throughout the day depends on their age, weight and height as well as their level of physical activity throughout the day. If you eat less than what your body requires, your metabolism may slow down in order to conserve energy, potentially causing fatigue. You would also start losing weight.
If you don’t know what your recommended daily calorie intake is, speak to our team and we’d be happy to advise you.
Getting enough good quality sleep at night can make a world of difference to your energy levels and your mood. A recommended amount of sleep for an adult is between 7 and 9 hours. Your personal preferences and needs may be different.
While your body can survive on little sleep and you can get an energy boost from drinking coffee or energy drinks, there are long-term consequences to this type of lifestyle.
Getting enough sleep is essential: when we sleep, our body completes many important cycles and processes, including storing memories and releasing hormones responsible for managing our energy levels and digestion.
Make sure your sleep is deep and restful: it is good to have a ‘getting ready for bed routine’ to set your mind in the sleepy mode. It is also recommended to sleep in darkness and reduce blue light exposure for at least 1 hour before going to bed. Sleeping at regular hours has shown to also impact the energy levels throughout the day so try to stick to a pattern as much as possible.
If you’re struggling to sleep restfully, why not try meditation? There’s plenty of sleep meditation videos and podcasts available on various platforms.
It may sound strange when we say ‘exercise more and you’ll feel less tired’ but research have shown that increasing physical activity reduces fatigue in healthy people and in people with various illnesses including chronic fatigue syndrome. Even the smallest improvement in the levels of physical activity can have beneficial effects. So go on, stand up, stretch a bit or go for a walk. And if you’re looking for more inspiration, read our blog with 5 simple ways to increase your spontaneous daily activity here.
These are the main lifestyle factors which can influence your energy levels throughout the day. Reducing stress levels, improving your diet and adding some more physical activity to your daily routine can make a huge difference on how you feel. However, remember: if you’re feeling chronically tired, it is important to rule out any medical conditions first.