Inside Scoop: If you’re feeling tired all the time these may be some of the possible dietary culprits.

This post was submitted by Benita van der Spuy, writer for local health and fitness businesses.

Everyone wants to maintain a good level of energy throughout the day, but this isn’t always possible. There are a host of reasons you might be feeling tired all the time. Aside from having a busy schedule, lack of sleep and some medical conditions that you can discuss with your doctor, there is another contributing factor that is often overlooked.

Your diet and the nutritional value of the foods you are eating could be making you feel tired. By making small changes to your diet and your daily food consumption, you can start feeling more energetic quite quickly. Let’s look at some of the possible culprits bringing those energy levels down.

 

WHY ARE YOU FEELING TIRED ALL THE TIME

 

Intake of Refined Carbohydrates

Several studies have been conducted proving the benefits of cutting out refined carbohydrates from your diet or at least minimizing your intake.

Refined carbohydrates generally hold less fiber and can digest faster leaving you hungry again shortly after. They affect your blood sugar levels, contribute to diabetes as well as deplete your energy levels.

It’s important to note that not all carbohydrates are bad. There are some which hold high levels of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Of course, when eaten in moderation, they can offer great nutritional value. Some examples of the good carbohydrates include:

  • All vegetables
  • Whole fruits such as apples, strawberries and bananas
  • Legumes like kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas
  • Chia and pumpkin seeds
  • Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts
  • Your whole grains like pure oats and brown rice

 

Increased Consumption of Red Meat

Many of the foods we eat today are not the same as they used to be. Farmers and food processing plants are under a substantial amount of pressure to produce, package and distribute faster, in order to keep up with the demand from the public.

This has led to many establishments using hormones to help stimulate faster growth in animals. The overconsumption of red meat has been linked to an increase in a variety of illnesses. Some of these include cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Red meat is also very heavy and can be harder to digest. If you often feel tired after eating red meat, this might be due to your body taking longer to break down the food in the digestive tract. Here are some healthier ways to enjoy meat and you can also focus on lighter meats and fish such as salmon and white meat place less pressure on the body. Salmon is also high in Omega-3s and can give you an energy boost.

A great way to track how different foods make you feel and whether they may be affecting your energy levels is to use a Food & Mood Diary. You can download your free copy below.

Too Much Caffeine Isn’t A Good Thing

You might not realize it, but there are many products in your pantry, aside from coffee, that contain caffeine. Caffeine gives you short-term boosts of energy, but they never last long, which is not sustainable for the amount of daily activity required of us. Aside from your regular morning cuppa, here are some other products that are known to contain caffeine:

  • Protein bars
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Ice cream or yoghurt
  • Hot chocolate
  • Flavored waters
  • Dark chocolate

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some of these pleasures in moderation, but it’s important to be aware that in addition to your coffee, they might leave you crashing and burning after a short amount of time.

 

Unhealthy Preparation of Vegetables

Vegetables are the earth’s goodness, delicately packaged into a single product. They come packed with vitamins and minerals, but sometimes the way we cook them can leave us without any positive influence from these natural foods.

Deep frying vegetables or dousing them in sugar can prevent you from receiving their full benefit, and could leave you feeling heavy and lethargic afterwards.

 

Not Drinking Enough Water

Symptoms of fatigue from dehydration can occur even if you’re not even feeling thirsty yet. Make sure that you stay hydrated throughout the day with plenty of fluids including water, herbal teas, soups and high content water fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cucumber, greens and berries.

Consuming Too Much Fruit

When it comes to fruit, it should also be eaten in moderation due to the high levels of natural sugars. Every fruit is different and can also affect each person differently. For example: cherries contain a hormone called melatonin, which is responsible for your sleep and wake cycles. Cherries and tar cherry juice are even being studies to help with insomnia.

It’s perfect if you want to snooze, but if you have a big bowl of cherries and find that you’re feeling tired then have a smaller portion.

If you’re looking for a natural way to gain more energy from your fruit and vegetables, here are some fruits to add to your shopping cart:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Oranges
  • Watermelon

These fruits are all high in vitamin C. Apples for example are great if you are looking for a slow-release of energy. Bananas are a good source of both energy and carbohydrates. Fruits eaten in moderation are like a fresh revival of the senses, and are great for boosting energy levels.

 

What Else Can You Do to Boost Your Energy Levels?

Aside from adjusting your diet, what else can you look at to boost your energy during the day?

There are quite a few things. For one, try and give yourself intermittent breaks for light exercise. This doesn’t have to be a 20-minute workout. Getting up from your desk every 60 minutes and doing a lap around the office can be enough to get the blood flowing and give your body a little break from its sedentary position.

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence available to support the hypothesis that taking short breaks helps you get more things done. So, in short, you need to spend energy to generate energy. Don’t fall into the trap of getting stuck into work at your desk, and only snap out of it four hours later, wondering why you’re lethargic or unable to concentrate.

For many people, living healthily isn’t a choice but rather a requirement. Constantly feeling tired can be the kiss of death for professionals. If your job or lifestyle requires you to be on the go, pay attention to your diet, make small, incremental changes and see if it affects your energy levels.

To track how different foods affect your energy levels and mood, make sure to download the Food & Mood Diary below.

Benita van der Spuy

Benita has a keen interest in digital marketing, specifically paid media marketing. She writes on these topics as well as for local health and fitness businesses, such as Switch Playground. When not browsing LinkedIn for the latest thought leadership pieces on pay-per-click news, Benita can be found around a barbeque with her friends.

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