By Lisa Drayer, CNN
Let me guess: you eat a clean diet, enjoy a lot of fruit and vegetables, avoid meat and are much more plant-based. They also banned bread, cookies, and cakes from the house. There’s only one problem: you can’t stay awake and alert during the day.
On the surface, this lifestyle may seem healthy, but it can involve some behaviors that actually stole your energy.
“Eating healthy can sometimes become unhealthy and drain you of energy if you’re too restricted,” said Yasi Ansari, a registered nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Here are a few ways that what is known as a “healthy” diet can make you sluggish – and what you can do to get your energy back on track.
Cutting too many calories
“Trying to lose weight and cut your calories too much may result in not having the right amount of energy or fuel to get through the day,” said Elizabeth DeRobertis, a registered nutritionist and director of the Nutrition Center of Scarsdale Medical Group, White Plains Hospital.
Eating provides the energy you need to stay focused and productive throughout the day. And while people sometimes think that if they want to lose weight, they should eat as little as possible, it won’t work in the long run, said DeRobertis, creator of the GPS Weight Loss Program, an online self-paced weight loss program. If someone becomes too restrictive in their intake, their metabolism may slow down and you may feel energetic. “You’re too hungry … and as a result you eat too much,” said DeRobertis.
“When you are feeling low on energy, check the energy you are taking in,” said Melissa Majumdar, on Atlanta-based Registered Nutritionist and Certified Obesity and Weight Management Specialist. “Start by adding an additional 1 to 2 ounces of lean protein, half a cup of whole grains, or 1 tablespoon of healthy fat and reanalyzing.”
Eating too seldom
Going without food for too long can also make you feel tired. “Some people find drowsiness or sluggishness as a sign of eating more than traditional hunger signals,” said Majumdar, who is also a metabolism and obesity coordinator at Emory University Hospital Midtown. “If you run out of energy two or three hours after a meal, add a balanced snack of fiber and protein, like fresh fruit with a handful of nuts or a small bag of edamame.”
“Recognizing when your body starts to get hungry can help you understand how best to stick to your diet and timing to ensure that your energy is stable throughout the day and that you are helping your body with its To meet demand, ”said Ansari.
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Cut too many carbohydrates
Low carb can also make you feel lousy. Not only can eating too few carbohydrates make you feel tired and irritable from low blood sugar; it can also lead to dehydration, which can cause fatigue. “For every gram of carbohydrate stored in the body, around 2 to 3 grams of water are stored,” explains DeRobertis. But if someone cuts their carbohydrate intake too drastically, water is released and dehydration can result.
“When someone experiences a loss of energy in the afternoon, I always think of a plant that has withered and needs water,” said DeRobertis. “If we water the plant, it will perk up again. And I imagine that this happens to our cells if we are not well enough hydrated during the day. “
Cutting carbohydrates, especially cookies and sugary treats, is perfectly fine, but be careful not to skimp on high-fiber carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
No balanced vegetarian diet
Banning animal proteins as part of a vegetarian diet is not necessarily unhealthy, but it is important to ensure that you have a balanced intake of all nutrients.
“If someone opts for a vegetarian or vegan diet but doesn’t make sure they get enough vitamin B12 and iron (from dietary supplements and plant sources), anemia and the resulting feeling of fatigue can develop,” explained DeRobertis.
Iron-rich foods include beef, iron-fortified cereals, spinach, and beans. When consuming plant-based sources of iron, it is advisable to add some vitamin C to improve absorption. “An example could be a spinach salad with a small glass of orange juice or a lentil soup with chopped tomatoes,” says Ansari.
Vegans should also be aware of a possible vitamin B12 deficiency. “B12 deficiency can take years to develop, so supplementing early if you’re not eating animal-based foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products,” said Majumdar. Nutritional yeast can also add some vitamin B12, but would need to be eaten daily to provide enough, Majumdar added.
Eat too many carbohydrates
Too many carbohydrates in one session can also contribute to sluggishness.
Even healthy carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body, and our pancreases produce insulin in response to keep our blood sugar stable.
“If someone eats too many carbohydrates in one session – even if they are healthy carbohydrates like brown rice, beans, sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta, or quinoa – too many can raise blood sugar in some, and high blood sugar makes us feel tired and tired lethargic, ”DeRobertis said. (While this is common among people with diabetes, it can happen to anyone who eats too many carbohydrates in one session, she said.)
Be careful with how you feel after different meal combinations, and if you find yourself feeling tired after a high-carb meal, you should spread your carbs out throughout the day, DeRobertis advised.
Exercise too much
Excessive exercise can also make you feel tired. “How much is too much depends on the person, other demands in their life, stress levels, general health and fitness levels, and types of exercise,” said Majumdar.
Too little energy during exercise can also contribute to fatigue. “During exercise, the body typically burns a combination of fat and carbohydrates. When you don’t get enough carbohydrates, it becomes more difficult to keep your workout energized, and as this pattern progresses, the body’s stored carbohydrates called glycogen are not replenished, ”Majumdar said. This can leave you feeling drained, frustrated, and demoralized with your workouts, according to Majumdar.
“Take stock of how you are feeling before and after your workout and consider adding carbohydrates or calories to your intake or reducing your exercise to keep energy levels balanced,” said Majumdar.
If exercise eats into bedtime, it can affect energy levels as well. Getting enough sleep not only gives you energy, but also helps the body actively repair muscles and tissues that are used during exercise, according to Majumdar.
The CNN Wire
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