If you feel exhausted while trying to establish a healthier diet and lifestyle, it is important to understand what your body is going through and know what to expect to help yourself and stay on track. During weight loss, there are several mechanisms that affect your metabolism making you feel tired, hungry, irritable and unfocused. This may persist for two weeks to ninety days, depending on how favorable are your eating and lifestyle choices.
Here are 4 strategies that can help you from dozing off.
1. Don’t fuel yourself with sugar and caffeine to get thru the day
If you are it’s likely that you have pushed past your nutritional reserves for a long time. Reaching for sugar and caffeine as immediate energy sources masks nutritional status, thus these must be avoided. During weight loss and to prevent weight regain it is extremely important to include nutrient dense foods, superfoods, and high-quality supplementation to replenish nutrients at cellular level. Keep in mind that after getting enough nutrients it will take time for your cells to be able to produce enough energy and then some to spare for exercise or improved overall performance.
2. Eat nutrition-rich foods
If your weight loss plan doesn’t include enough nutrition, your cells will in return slow down metabolism. Not meeting your daily calories will get your brain into thinking that there is a famine and will signal the rest of your body to slow down in order to save your life. Eating less lowers thyroid activity (pseudo hypothyroidism) down regulating energy levels as well as the desire to move. On the other hand, meeting your recommended daily calories or eating enough food from nutrient-void foods will have the same effect as at cellular level. A comprehensive nutritional weight loss plan may include fewer calories but never at the expense of nutrition.
3. Be mindful of what you eat
It is an irony that the main objective of food is nutrition but we are choosing to eat processed food -in the name of flavor or convenience- that increases toxic load! If we are mindful of the fact that the main objective of food is to provide nutrients we would never consider drinking soda, regardless if it is “calorie-free” or not. Processed food has become a chemical transportation system! And chemicals and toxins from additives, coloring, and flavorings have biological impact and physiological damaging functions. Our bodies, to save us from dying, use fat tissue as a defense system against this injurious attack by storing these toxins. During the process of weight loss, as the fat tissue is being mobilized it will release these toxins into the blood stream initiating an oxidative cascade. If (and only if) your hard-working liver has been caring for with enough nutrients it will happily do its job and convert these fat-soluble damaging compounds into molecules that can be eliminated thru urine, lungs or sweat. Voilà! most of the aging and disease promoting toxic load can be neutralized. What are the most important nutrients our liver needs to do this impressive job? Antioxidants from fruit and veggies; minerals from veggies, nuts, and seeds; Omega 3 from fish and nuts; and, high biological value protein.
4. Get enough sleep
Having a clear and extremely different day and night routine will help your day and night hormones perform at their best. People who wake up feeling tired after sleeping enough hours, crash at noon or have a difficult time falling or staying asleep most probably have an altered circadian rhythm, the natural cycle of changes that humans go through in a 24-hour period. As human beings, we require a third of our daily hours to re-establish biological functions as during those eight sleeping hours there are specific hormones that repair and reset the entire body. If we are eating without regard to the day and night cycle, we are working against our hunger-appetite and satiety hormones. If the light exposure is the same between the two shifts from the use of computers, TV, iPad or artificial lighting, we are not letting our nervous system balance the rest or our hormones to induce tissue repair from physical and emotional stress further accelerating aging from the brain to the gut. To avoid feeling sluggish in the morning due to confusion in your brain between day and night hours, you need to eat heavier during the day, lighter at night, establish specific mealtimes to avoid snacking and chronic feeding, and reducing light exposure during sleep hours. Basically, day time is for feeding and moving and night time is for sleeping.
Weight loss is not about the decisions we make from the number that shows up on the scale, but the sum of choices we make on a daily basis after a prolonged period of time. Your body is very loyal, let some caring and love do the magic!