Clinical nutritionist Sarah Di Lorenzo wants you to know that feeling tired ALL the time is not something we should come to terms with. And there is a lot you can do to get that energy back.
Reality: Fatigue is a symptom, not a condition! My friends, I am here to tell you that you can remedy this fatigue crisis that you are feeling and which is significantly and negatively affecting your quality of life.
When we think of fatigue generally, many immediately associate it with a lack of sleep, but the truth is, fatigue is much more complex than a few hours of missed shutdown.
There are many reasons why you can suffer from fatigue, including vitamin deficiency, mineral deficiency, post-viral fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances, mood disturbances, low immunity, dehydration and inflammation.
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First of all, the important thing is not to confuse fatigue with the regular fatigue that affects us all at some point of the day, especially when our cortisol levels drop, usually around 4 p.m. or closer to the end of the day. bedtime. Fatigue means that you have a very low energy level on a constant daily basis; you’ve been feeling this way for six months and it doesn’t get better with more hours of sleep.
Fatigue presents with a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional symptoms outside of what we can usually expect, including dizziness, blurred vision, muscle pain, loss of appetite, poor concentration, poor concentration, reduced immune function, short-term memory problems, impaired hand. eye coordination, impaired decision making, poor motivation, and brain fog.
The first thing I suggest to anyone who suffers from the dangers of fatigue is to take a routine blood test. Blood tests are one of the most important ways to keep track of our overall physical well-being and are often the first and best indicator of any abnormalities or deficiencies.
When it comes to fatigue, I specifically look at my patients’ vitamin D levels, iron studies, and any traces or history of viruses such as the Epstein-Barr virus (which has long been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome. ). It is important to eliminate these main causes first.
The next things I assess are a combination of lifestyle choices, diet, water intake, stress levels, and exercise regimes. Even something as simple as a lack of water is known to be linked to fatigue. Approaching the diet is a bit more complex and there are foods that have been clinically proven to make symptoms worse or better.
Foods to Avoid
- Sugar: inhibits the production of orexin, a chemical in our brains that makes us feel awake. The more sugar you eat, the more sleepy you will feel. Eating too much sugar leads to unstable blood sugar levels, which will make you tired as well.
- Alcohol: Anyone who has ever had an alcoholic drink knows its sedative effect – it helps you relax and makes you sleepy to fall asleep faster – but clinical research has shown that alcohol disrupts sleep patterns, so you are likely to have a restless sleep which will eventually result in feelings of fatigue upon waking up.
- Saturated fats: When we eat high fat meals such as fast food, cheese, cookies, and cakes, a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) is released to aid digestion, which is why we often experience this food coma after eating. meal.
- Refined carbohydrates: such as white pasta, white rice, lollipops, cakes, soft drinks, many breakfast cereals, and white flour inhibit the production of Orexin.
- Gluten: is a common food allergen that has been linked to low energy levels and brain fog. It triggers intestinal inflammation and leaky gut, or “leaky gut,” which is a common cause of chronic fatigue.
Foods to include
What we eat plays a huge role in our energy levels throughout the day, and there are certain foods we can eat more of to help fight fatigue.
- Breakfast: I tell all my patients never to skip breakfast! Instead, choose foods with protein and a low glycemic index to give you a good and constant release of energy throughout the morning.
- Eggs: are packed with protein and B vitamins, and their proteins contain an amino acid called lucin which stimulates energy production.
- Protein: will support you and keep your blood sugar stable. Aim to have 100-150g of quality lean protein with every meal, such as seafood, chicken, tofu, lamb, turkey, port, or beef.
- Bananas: are an excellent source of natural energy with potassium B6, fiber and carbohydrates. Note: the sugar in fruit is coupled with fiber, so the energy release is slow!
- Watermelon: is excellent for hydration, essential for the management of fatigue.
- Complex carbohydrates: The macronutrient we need most for energy. Chia seeds, oats, brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes are great for a slow, ideal release of energy throughout the day. Chia seeds are high in protein and anti-inflammatory, and brown rice contains B vitamins which are essential for maintaining energy.
- Antioxidants: found in oranges, strawberries, kale, spinach, and dark chocolate are known to improve energy levels, increase blood circulation, support immunity, and fight cell damage.
- Attorney: is a good fat that promotes blood circulation and reduces inflammation, which in turn increases energy levels.
- Nuts: are good fats and are a great source of fiber and energy. They are fantastic for mid-morning / afternoon snacks, but be sure to keep the serving size at 30g per day.
- Legumes: as lentils and beans digest very slowly, which means that a slow release of energy is maintained throughout the day.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also essential for improving energy levels, and as counterintuitive as it may sound, one of my top recommendations is to start with exercise every day. A morning workout leads to a much more productive day and I promise you will feel a huge difference! Try to exercise four to five times a week, first thing in the morning, but start out light and work your way up.
To fight fatigue, general recommendations are to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night, drink alcohol in moderation (and only socially), snack wisely, stay hydrated, and make sure you find that important moment. for you. Treat your trip seriously, just like you would with a job and with a short term dedication to your health, you will get long term solutions that will give you relief to move on and enjoy life!
Sarah Di Lorenzo is a qualified clinical nutritionist with over 20 years of experience. His latest book The 10:10 dietis a holistic approach to health and wellness, suitable for even the busiest lifestyles.
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