Where, oh where has my energy gone?

In Fitness, Nutrition by Angela

tired woman
Some questions that I get frequently from people are 1) I want to lose weight, but it never seems to work, why? 2) what do I eat? and 3) I never seem to have any energy, what can I do?  Well, there are a lot of answers to all these questions and the simple (and annoying) answer is “it depends”.   Annoying, but true.  It depends on your situation.  Let’s focus on the main reasons:
1) you have no energy because you don’t eat well, don’t know really what eating well means, don’t exercise, or you exercise too much.  Lots of different variables here.  If you want to break it down into what you should eat, let’s keep it simple: eat things without packaging and labels.  Eat lots of high quality protein.  High quality protein is a chicken breast, pork tenderloin, lean sirloin, etc.  Low quality would be a Special K protein bar.  Things with lots of ingredients (and I don’t mean as part of a recipe) should NOT be a staple in your every day diet.  A sample balanced simple meal?  Chicken breast, kidney beans, steamed broccoli with olive oil.  Not a lot of calories there, but a lot of nutrients.  If you would like help setting up a plan and have no idea where to start, please see my webpage, because I’d be happy to help you meet your goals!
On a second note about energy, if you don’t exercise, well, food is used for fuel and if you don’t use it, you store it.  So you may have lots of stored energy but no circulating energy.  There is nothing more rewarding than building your body and taking care of your muscles and joints.  Even if you just start with walking every day and maybe doing some pushups or bodyweight squats, you’ll notice an increase in energy and ease of breathing and joint mobility.
2) If you have been dieting for any longer length of time without a break, then your metabolism has reset to your lower caloric intake.  If you have hit a plateau, and you WERE losing weights, one of the best things you can do is to take a while and eat at maintenance calories, thus resetting your metabolism to burn calories back at a higher rate, so that when you do resume dieting, you will make progress again.  If you continually drop your calories, and when that doesn’t work, you increase your output (exercise/move more) eventually, your metabolism will bottom out and have no where to go.  By continually resetting your metabolism, you will have a steady drop.  If you over exercise you are likely to experience a myriad of symptoms: tiredness, fatigue, muscle pain/weakness, slight depression, racing heart in the morning, decreased interest in the gym, stalled weight loss, injury, etc.
My quick suggestions?

  • Focus your meals around high quality lean protein (the less packaging the better), fresh vegetables and healthy fats.
  • Take a dieting and workout break every 8-12 weeks.  Bring your calories back up and stay out of the gym for a whole week.  Do nothing besides normal activities, and instead, get a massage, foam roll, stretch, visit the spa and take care of yourself.
  • SLEEP.  It’s underrated and highly needed.  Get at least 8 hours of sleep a few nights a week, until you can stretch that to every night and from then on, listen to your body.  Don’t set your alarm clock and see how many hours you sleep until you wake up naturally.  This will naturally give you more energy (baring any kind of other health issues).
  • Drink water, LOTS!  You can be amazed how much water makes a difference.  Replace your juice, energy drinks or coffee with water and see what a difference it makes.  If you drink enough water you won’t have the caffeine withdrawal headaches.

There are a lot more variables here, but this is a quick over view.  If you would like help setting up your nutrition or workout plan, please check out my webpage for packages, I’d love to help you achieve a vibrant life!