9 Reasons Why Your Energy Is Low
Posted on 25th May 2020 at 20:40
Have you ever suffered with low energy? Me too, it’s the worst feeling. It literally pins me down & I feel like I’m so under productive! With many areas of my day; food choices, motivation to do work, desire to exercise & train. It affects so many things.
Here are just a few of the thing’s as to why you may be suffering with low energy…
YOUR CALORIES ARE TOO LOW
This ones a sneaky devil. It’s a catch 22 between wanting to lose weight in a timely fashion, whilst also prioritising energy. Whether we like it or not, being in a deficit is going to decrease our energy levels. It’s science. It’s also not great to go super low on calories in the bid to lose more weight. This WILL affect your energy on another level, your NEAT will decrease, lethargy will kick in, your ability to focus will taper off & your training sessions will be sub optimal.
My recommendation for choosing what calories are right for you is to track food intake where you can, take measurements, pictures & weight. Track performance on your training, assess day to day energy with a daily journal, make comments on hunger, appetite & cravings. This will need to be done for a couple of weeks to get a good handle of what’s working & what’s not. If the calories are too low, you will see a drop in weight, but you’ll also see a drop in other areas. Do not just go off weight & body composition when trying to make overall progress.
NOT HYDRATED ENOUGH
The boring one, but you know is important. I do have battles with clients to increase this across the board, they know it’s important but just struggle to find the habit sometimes. This is due to years of not really valuing water intake. Hydration is key for many many reasons, it helps to keep migraines & headaches at bay, it can help with digestion & also the ability to ‘feel full’.
Currently, you may be consuming more coffee & tea than water itself. This is something we can work with. Look at taking 1 coffee or tea out a day for a week & replacing with a water. Change the goal posts every 2 weeks & see how much more water you can get on board. You’re going to need to the toilet more, it’s inevitable. Your body will eventually get into a routine & start to utilise the water more efficiently.
A good way to check if you are hydrated is by the colour of your urine. Ideally, this should be a very pale yellow. If it is clear you could be drinking too much water, and it if it is darker you need to drink more. When checking the colour, be aware that some medications, supplements and some foods such as beetroot can also affect urine colour.
SITTING AROUND TOO MUCH
Have you ever been sat at your desk for hours on end, driving to & from work, between clients etc & the last thing you want to do is get up & exercise. It’s true, the more you sit around & do nothing, the more you want to do it. Although your head is telling you ‘get up’, the battle is real. It’s extremely difficult. I trialled for a week trying to train at midday after lunch, after I’d spent all morning on calls & doing desktop work. The struggle I had peeling myself from my work was incredible. I was locked in & also my motivation to train was very low. As I’d been sat down all morning, this wasn’t the greatest way to get me up & moving.
What I do now is train first thing in the morning before anyone is up. The distractions are limited, my phone is on do not disturb, notifications, emails & alerts can’t come through. This then enables me to get my training done, in a timely manner. Giving me the rest of the day to be productive in other areas. I then choose to go on a walk later on in the day if I like.
The idea behind ‘under promising’ & over delivering are working very well at the moment.
TOO MUCH CAFFEINE & SUGAR
Relying on caffeine in your day is usually a bad sign that you’re masking fatigue. It will give you the ‘pick me up’ you desire, however isn’t great for overall benefits of general energy we require. We can almost get into a vicious cycle with it as we are searching for that ‘boost’. We’ll get it, however at some point we’ll have to come back down, if however you’re constantly drinking it you’ll never get the chance to ‘come down’. We may also then look at sugar & reach for the sugary snacks & treats later in the afternoon when we reach that lull point. I’ve seen if I have quite a heavy filling meal at lunch & head straight back into my work, come 2/3pm I am out for the count with wanting to snack on sugar, fizzy pop in order to give me the little push I need!
What do I do now? I’ll limit the amount of volume & overall portion size of my meal, I’ll eat things that are easy to digest & have more protein. This will be sure to help me stay quite level through the back end of the day with energy.
NOT PRIORITISING YOUR SLEEP
Head over to our 3 ways to improve your sleep article
POOR QUALITY FOODS
Our processed foods & overeating article is a great read that gives you an insight into how it can affect many areas of your life, not only energy but also body composition too. We all know eating a predominantly highly processed diet isn’t going to be great for many areas of your life. Your day to day energy is one of them. Does that mean you can’t eat them? Does it heck, it just means do limit the amount you’re having of them. Choose when you eat them, don’t rely on them. Don’t allow them to become a habit, just because they are ‘convenient’, doesn’t mean you have to accept they are a part of your daily food intake.
Poor quality foods can mean a number of things, one being they lack all necessary vitamins & minerals our bodies do need to actually function & offer a happy medium state. I won’t bore you with the rest but honestly, prioritise your veggies & fruits!
This will coincide with your poor quality foods. If you’re lacking in the necessary vitamin department, I personally believe you will feel the effects of this. The number one priority for clients is to get their fruits & veggies on board. This will cover all the basic vitamin requirements. I don’t programme extra supplements into anyone’s routine unless very necessary. We may use ‘medi checks’ online to go through some home testing to see what deficiencies could actually be occurring. We’ll then exhaust food intake before any other means.
YOU’RE OVER TRAINING & OVER DOING IT
I get it, you want to see some real good progress, doesn’t everyone? I used to make the mistake of going ‘ALL IN’ when it came to training & exercise, which 100% gave a negative outcome. I needed time to adjust & get used to the new stimulus, instead I took the p*** a little because I thought that was going to get me results. As soon as I started being more productive in my sessions & training less over the week. I saw better results, I had more energy & made more progress.
Start at the lower end of the spectrum & build up over time. Feel like your performance is tapering off a little or feeling a little ‘run down’. You need to start taking more of a rest, decreasing the load a little bit, opt for more steps or low intensity cardio.
This is quite a loose term if I’m honest. It’s important we look at your overall stress & manage it. Being in a stressed state will not only affect your energy levels, it’ll affect many other areas of your life too. Get on top of your stress & manage it!
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