Foods, Fat, and Fatigue

One of the most common excuses people give for unhealthy eating routines and their lack of physical activity is that they are too tired. They can’t cook a healthy meal because they don’t have the energy, so they turn to fast food. They may be burnt out from a long day at work so they skip the trip to the gym on the way home. Being tired a common part of life, but some people have problems with fatigue. This is a progressive condition that moves past just being tired.

Defining Fatigue

Once a body hits a certain point of mental or physical exhaustion, fatigue begins to set it. Throughout the course of a normal day, the body’s ability to complete certain tasks starts to wane. This is due in part to the depletion of energy stores that had been present at the start of the day, but the body also naturally starts to slow down in order to prepare for a good night's sleep. It also might start shutting down to save the body from injury if the muscles have been overworked.  While fatigue should be a natural phenomenon, too often people are plagued with inconvenience, discomfort, and potentially a limiting condition that affects the quality of life. Unfortunately, many don’t take the time to learn about fatigue, which only complicates the condition they find themselves in.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

In more severe cases of fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can set in. This is where severe mental or physical exhaustion has been present for at least six months or more. Even though the individual may be going to bed each night getting some rest, the body is never rejuvenated.  With CFS, the symptoms move past feelings of tiredness or low energy. There could be pain that develops in the muscles or joints, while your whole body seems unable to move or lack the strength to exercise. Your cognitive functioning could be impaired, leaving you suffering from confusion, lack of concentration, or forgetfulness. Your mental health could also suffer, with mood swings between apprehension, anxiety or depression. Those who have severe fatigue also complain of dealing with sensitivity to pain, headaches or migraines, and muscle weakness. For those who are overweight, fatigue problems can quickly turn into CFS, but often it can be traced back to the weight issue.

Addressing Your Fatigue

Living with fatigue or CFS can impact your quality of life, as the malaise or low energy levels can keep you from a social life, interfere with your employee productivity, and sabotage your mental health and close relationships. For those that are overweight or obese, fatigue can often be resolved through a lifestyle change that loses the excess belly fat and pursues an exercise routine that builds endurance and core strength. To get started on a weight loss routine that will burn through the stored fat you have and teach you how to limit your intake for optimum health, the HCG diet might be an option. Many have found that it helps drop the weight without having to commit to an excessive exercise or activity routine, which can be difficult to achieve when fatigue is present. After shedding excess weight, you may find that your energy levels improve and you can attempt more exercise. However, there are some dietary changes that you can make to help address fatigue as well.

1.     Drink Water. Many people fail to get the water intake needed for adequate hydration. As a result, mild dehydration is a common cause of fatigue. Reduced blood flow to the organs and your brain puts everything in slow motion.

2.     Mix Proteins and Carbohydrates. In order to avoid the afternoon slump where tiredness seems to wash over you without reason, fill your lunch plate with a healthy balance of protein and carbs. Protein contains tryptophan, which promotes a calm, relaxed feeling that counteracts emotional fatigue. Carbohydrates boost the brain’s intake of the tryptophan. The afternoon slump is a common problem with those that are dieting and only eating salads for lunch. Add the protein and some carbs for the right balance.

3.     Eat Breakfast. The brain is one of the most energy-zapping organs of the body, as it uses about 30% of your daily caloric intake. Eating a good breakfast gives you the fuel you need to get through the morning. For those with a higher metabolism, it is extremely important that you include carbohydrates, like a whole grain muffin, as well as dairy and some protein to give you the energy to make through until lunch.

These three small dietary changes can help you avoid daily fatigue. However, for more serious cases of chronic fatigue, evaluate your weight and make lifestyle changes in order to overcome a condition like CFS.

 

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