Paleo Diet – Why Do I Feel So Tired?
One of the first things you will notice after you have been following a Paleo diet for a while that you have more energy. However, there will be times when you suddenly start to notice that your energy levels seem to dip slightly.
So just what reasons could there be for this sudden dip, especially as you thought that your healthier diet was supposed to make you feel better? Well, there could be several reasons for this dip in energy levels. In order for you to determine what the cause is you need to look at what you have done recently that is different. Did you give up drinking coffee or tea, which have high levels of caffeine in them! Are you finding that you aren’t sleeping and you did? Have you made some other major changes to your Paleo lifestyle?
What you shouldn’t be doing, however, is looking just at your diet why your energy levels have suddenly dropped.
If you cannot find anything else responsible for this change you need to look at what you are eating. It may amaze you to discover that there are certain Paleo foods that you consume that affect your energy levels, without even realizing it.
In this article, we will look at a few of the reasons why you’ve suddenly noticed that you don’t have as much energy as you had previously.
Reason 1 – Making The Change Over To The Paleo Diet
One of the first things you will discover is that during the first 3 weeks you felt tired because you’ve chosen to change over to this diet. Changes of any kind including following a different diet can leave you feeling tired. Whilst you are still sorting out your routine during the first weeks you’ll find you need a great deal of willpower. This can leave you feeling drained both mentally and physically. During this time your brain will work a great deal harder, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you are feeling so tired.
As well as this being one reason for you feeling tired, when you begin to follow the Paleo diet you’ll discover that most of the calories you eat will come from fat rather than carbs. For those who have followed a high carb diet before often during the first 2 weeks of changing to a more low-carb diet, they suffer from what we commonly know as “low-carb diet flu”.
The best way to deal with feeling tired at this time is to be patient. You should never be afraid to let yourself have a break. Plus it is important to remember that these feelings won’t last forever. Also, remember that your body must work harder in order for it to cope with the new diet and lifestyle you have followed.
Reason 2 – You Aren’t Getting Enough Carbs
When it comes to the Paleolithic or Caveman diet there isn’t a need to eliminate carbs completely from it. Even though fat will provide most of the energy for you, carbohydrates still play an important role, especially for women, children, and athletes.
Carbs are a nutrient, and like others, you don’t want to consume too many of them, but you don’t want to avoid them altogether. Figuring out the right amount can prove challenging. For most of us, the problem is we eat too many. If you eat too many carbs to provide the energy you need then those you don’t use up will get stored as fat. This can lead to you suffering from sugar highs and crashes throughout the day.
The best way to include more carbs in your diet is through making sure you eat the right kinds. You can get the carbs you need from Paleo diet food such as sweet potatoes, bananas, and chestnuts. Also, plantain along with certain root vegetables (carrots and winter squash) can provide you with the good carbs you need. But make sure you eat these items on a Paleo food list in moderation.
Reason 3 – You Are Not Getting Enough Calories
If you think that eating 2 boiled eggs along with some veggies for breakfast each morning is enough, think again. The same also goes for eating half a chicken breast with salad at lunchtime. Neither of these Paleo meals will provide you with sufficient carbs. Instead, what you must do is eat enough food to supply your body with what it needs, even when you are trying to lose weight. One of the most important things you need to remember is that food is “ENERGY”. If you aren’t eating enough then you’ll feel constantly tired and run down. Tiredness is one symptom associated with starvation.
Okay eating a big pile of vegetables is healthy, but they aren’t able to provide your body with all the calories needed to function properly. When creating your Paleo diet plan ensure that you include a good amount of fat and lean meats into them. It is important to increase the amount of meat you eat as you will reduce the foods that contain high levels of starch in them. The kinds of foods you will no longer be eating following this diet include bread, pasta, and rice.
When it comes to determining just how much you should eat you need to look at how many calories you are expending daily. Then you need to make sure that you are eating enough food to cover what you are using. Today there are many gadgets, tools, and apps available that enable you to track the number of calories you use. So allowing you to see how many you need to eat.
Reason 4 – You Aren’t Eating Enough Fat
As we all know when it comes to getting energy from food, carbs are important. But what you might not realize is that fat is vital. The main reason why most people do not eat enough calories is down to the fact it scares them that they may eat too much fat. Because of this, many people even avoid including healthy fats in their diet. Remember a lot of the foods that contain carbs in we will eliminate them from this diet. This again could be the reason why not only do you feel tired constantly but hungry.
One important thing to remember is that there is no reason for you to be “scared of including fat in your diet”. There is no such thing as a “low-fat Paleo diet”. In fact, the term “low fat” is something that should never be included in your vocabulary.
It is perfectly acceptable for you to eat plenty of butter along with animal fats and fatty cuts of meat. These are good for you!
But there is one type of fat that you will find really will help to keep your energy levels up. The fat that we are talking about here is “Coconut Oil”. It contains a special type of saturated fat known as MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride). Unlike some other types of saturated fat, you’ll find that your body can digest and absorb this one much quicker. As a result, it will provide you with an instant boost of energy.
Next time you start to feel a little run down and need a boost of energy enjoy a spoonful of coconut oil in place of a cup of coffee or a sugary snack. Not only will it provide you with the energy you need, but you also won’t suffer any kind of sugar crash after.
Reason 5 – You Aren’t Including Enough Salt In Your Diet
This is something that those people following a Paleo diet suffer from in the same way as not getting enough calories or fat. We are frequently being told that not only is salt unhealthy but it is dangerous. But this isn’t the case. If you don’t include enough salt in your diet it can prove just as unhealthy as if you were to eat too much.
When you follow even a modified Paleo diet it is easy not to include enough salt, especially where you have eliminated all processed foods from your meals. This is because they contain high levels of salt. Also, you may find that you don’t cook with salt as you did previously.
One problem you are faced with when you reduce your salt include is that you are reducing the amount of iodine your body receives. Although iodine isn’t found naturally in salt, they have fortified most of the table salts with it. It is important to make sure that you are getting sufficient amounts of iodine as it helps to keep the thyroid healthy. If your thyroid isn’t healthy then it cannot function properly. This will mean that the production of hormones in the body cannot be controlled.
It isn’t just the iodine that is found in salt that helps to stop you feeling tired, the same also goes for the electrolytes in it. These are one of the most important minerals that the body needs to help it function properly, especially after a person has been exercising. For those who don’t include enough salt in their diet, they are at risk of developing a condition known as “hyponatremia”. If you develop this condition not only will it cause you to feel tired, you start to suffer from muscle cramps and feeling confused.
Reason 6 – You Aren’t Getting Enough Nutrients
As well as you not getting sufficient amounts of iodine there are plenty of other nutrients that your body needs and which you may miss out on. Many of these can help to prevent those feelings of tiredness you are suffering from now. The kinds of nutrients that you need to ensure that you are getting enough of are Iron, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Choline, and Selenium. These can help your body to function more effectively.
You could take supplements of these, but there are plenty of foods that appear within the Paleo food pyramid that contain these. The kinds of foods you may want to include in your Paleo diet recipes using various fish, shellfish, meat and vegetables such as beets and spinach.
Here are 2 resources that may be of help to you
We’ve compiled a Paleo Diet Food List that may help and our FREE paleo transition guide will give you tips on changing to a Paleo Lifestyle just click on the image below