4 reasons your tired all the time
One question I hear quite often is “Why am I so tried all the time?”
If you are frequently asking yourself this question then there could be a couple of things going on to influence your lack of energy;
1. Not eating enough
This seems like an obvious one but you’d be surprised the amount of food diary’s I go through and find that people aren’t eating enough. The body’s main fuel source is carbohydrates but it can also make energy from protein and dietary fats.
Making sure your eating enough fuel for energy is a first protocol when energy is low. Tailor your carbohydrates for the early part of the day and make sure your having your carbohydrates with a good quality protein for long sustainable energy. Eat small and often, try not to skip meals and be sure to fill that plate with lots of veggies too!.
2. Poor Digestion
Whilst your body uses the macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and protein) for energy vitamins and minerals act as catalysts for energy. The body needs adequate vitamins and minerals to make energy from macronutrients and also to synthesise hormones and regulate sleep.
Can you imagine if your digestion is impaired i.e. if you experience constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, flatulence, burping and/or reflux/heartburn regularly your body is at a disadvantage and may not even be absorbing the nutrients it needs to even create energy.
Adding lots of fibre into the diet (vegetables, fruits and wholegrains), ensuing plenty of fluids and avoiding processed foods and stimulants can help improve digestion and energy levels.
3. Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep seems to be another obvious point because if we are not getting enough sleep we are going to feel fatigued the next day. Ideally we want about 7-8hrs sleep but what if you are getting up to 8hrs sleep per night and your still waking up feeling tired throughout the day and need a coffee to get you going? Well your hormones could be out of sync too…
4. Hormone Imbalance
Our hormones are all connected and when it comes to energy it could be caused by a number of things;
Imbalanced blood sugar – processed carbohydrates and sugary meals digest quicker causing a surge in blood sugar and triggering the release of the hormone insulin which helps the glucose into the cells of the muscles where it is converted to energy. We know the old saying “what comes up must come down” and its around this time it crashes hard and we start to feel fatigued (usually known as the 3pm slump). Making sure to eat small and often as well as having good quality protein or healthy fats with your carbohydrates will help slow down the surge of glucose and give you a more sustainable energy.
Stress – When we are stressed the body reacts as if it is being chased by a tiger and releases the hormone cortisol. Everything from digestion to reproduction systems shut down. The body has one job and one job only and that is to produce enough glucose for energy in order to stay and fight the tiger or run. Yes, you guessed it, this excess glucose also triggers the release of insulin contributing to imbalanced blood sugar.During prolonged periods of stress the body can continue to release high levels of cortisol for days , weeks or even months after the stressful event has passed leading to long term difficulties in hormonal imbalances and a feeling of prolonged fatigue. Making sure to implement some relaxation techniques on a regular basis can help bring the body back down to “rest and digest mode”.
Your thyroid – These hormones regulate your body’s growth, metabolism and your body’s temperature. Your metabolism determines how quickly your body burns energy and how quickly metabolic reactions in your body happen. It affects lots of things, including how much you weigh, your memory, your mood and how much you sleep. Adding lots of fruit and steamed/ baked vegetables to the diet will support his as well as managing stress, reducing sugars , gluten and saturated fats opting for oily fish, nuts and seeds is preferable.
Low energy affects a lot of us at various times but when it gets to a stage that its occurring more frequently than not it may be worth taking a look at your diet and lifestyle and making some small changes as suggested above and if it doesn’t improve seek guidance from a professional.
Learn more about how you can boost your energy, our podcast with Olivia Beck “Why Am I So Tired All The Time?” is available now.
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Elysia Doody is a Functional Nutritionist & Exercise Coach specialising in female health and wellness.
She’s embraced Functional Medicine to address her health concerns, and is now helping as many women as possible in a similar position.
Taking everything she’s learned through education, her own health, and working with clients, she’s keen to share it all through online programmes.
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