Weight Loss Support - So Tired...Anyone else experienced this?

05-21-2010, 12:56 AM
2 weeks ago tomorrow I started eating a 95% clean diet. Lean meats, fruits, veggies, a small amount of grains and some dark choc. every other day or so. Since I started this, I have been SO tired, like HAVE to take a nap in the afternoon tired. I have never experienced anything like this. My calories are fine (avg of 1500 a day)... I have drastically reduced my carbs, not on purpose, but just as a matter of my overall diet change...could that be causing it? My diet used to be about 60% carbs. I really hope this is temporary! Here is a couple of days just so you can see what I've been eating

Example 1
Breakfast- 1/2c oatmeal w/ 1/2c almond milk, 6 almonds, 10g raisins, 60g peaches, cinnamon sprinkle
Snack- 1oz almonds
Lunch- 6oz. tuna, 1.5T mayo, 1tsp mustard, 1 small pickle, dash hot sauce
Snack- 1slice Ezekial Sprouted Grain bread, 1T almond butter
Dinner-6oz chicken breast, 1/2c corn, 1/2c black beans, 6c romaine lettuce, 1oz shredded 2% cheddar, 2T light sour cream, 4T salsa
Snack- 2 squares ghiradelli dark chocolate (105cal worth)
Cals: 1600 Fat: 61g Carbs: 133g Protein: 94g

Example #2
Breakfast- 1/2c oatmeal w/ 1/2c almond milk, 6 almonds, 10g raisins, 60g peaches, cinnamon sprinkle
Snack- 1oz almonds
Lunch- 5oz grilled salmon, 1c steamed broccoli, salad w/ tomato, blk olives, 1T parm. cheese, 2T dressing
Snack- Jello Choc. Mousse Temptations
Dinner 6oz xlean ground beef, 3oz steamed carrots, 100g roasted green beans
Snack 100g banana, 1 dark choc. square
Cals: 1688 Fat: 77g Carbs: 115 Protein: 108

05-21-2010, 01:02 AM
Well your menu looks healthy (and yummy) to me. I hope someone better with the nutrient breakdown pipes up. You may just be someone who needs more carbs.

Have you given up soda or coffee or tea recently?

I have always been an afternoon nap (and by nap I mean at least an hour) sort of person. Even when I worked days and got a good night's sleep the night before.

05-21-2010, 10:26 AM
Some folks who lower their carbs do run into an adjustment time. Have a little read in the carb counters forum and see if you can glean any insight.


05-21-2010, 10:30 AM
I agree, sometimes the carb adjustment makes us a tired for a short while. It should last more than a week or so.

I get exhausted every time I make a drastic change. If I vamp up the exercise, I NEED a mid-afternoon nap. I hate it! LOL!

05-21-2010, 10:51 AM
It seems to me that you eat very little for your current weight. We are pretty much the same height and I have to tell you that if I had "1/2c oatmeal w/ 1/2c almond milk, 6 almonds, 10g raisins, 60g peaches" for breakfast, I would be clawing the drywall with my bare hands an hour later. But that's me, perhaps that breakfast keeps you full longer.

Personally, I would suggest a few little adjustments - there is mayo, sour cream and cheddar on your menu - if I was trying to stay on a certain amount of calories per day, I would substitute the above-mentioned for something more nutritious. I would rather have more meat or even more carbs (complex carbs that is) rather than mayo + sour cream.
Also, I would probably try to slash the chocolate in favour of something more nutritious. Not that I don't understand the need to have a little treat.
I recently bought a box of chocolate-y biscuits (I forgot the brand) - only because they were on a blow-out sale at my grocery store and I walked by the shelf (I was not even in the cookies aisle, they had them on shelves close to the checkouts) and I could not resist. I regret that I did not buy ALL the packages. Each is 50 calories but so sinfully delicious. I am actually surprised - I bought them on Monday with the determination that I will have only one a day (after dinner, or so). It's Friday and so far I ate only one, on MOnday night. But I digress).
Anyway, that's just the way I see it.

05-21-2010, 11:07 AM
Your carbs do look pretty low. I am 5'9" and want to lose 1 - 2 lbs a week. Sparkpeople puts my range of carbs between 183 and 265.

Your menu looks good - but can you squeeze more veggies? Veggies would add some carbs without adding calories. I would also think a full cup of oatmeal for breakfast would be better than just 1/2 a cup. 1/2 a cup wouldn't keep me going for the morning. Or for you tuna lunch - put it on a slice of your sprouted bread.

05-21-2010, 11:14 AM
Everything looks pretty good. You didn't mention anything about your exercise so I can't comment on your cal level without know that. I've been pretty tired this week also for no apparent reason, could be nothing. It could also just be a symptom of weight loss. Some people get tired during active loss. I had stalled for 2 weeks and this week I've lost 3 lbs, so hard to say. I'd say just keep doing what you're doing and give it a little more time.

05-21-2010, 11:29 AM
You are not eating enough for your body weight. 1600 is very low for 300lbs. A good general rule used in the weight training community is body weight x 12 for fat loss (with the attempt to preserve muscle mass, which I assume you want)... that would be 3600 calories :)

You could even go down to 10 x body weight at 3000 calories. Remember, you did not get to 300lbs by eating only 3000 calories per day, while it seems like a lot, it is still a significant drop from where you were. This number changes as you lose.

That is just my opinion on it. If you were 5'8 and 145lbs, I would say that 1600 is a good range for fat loss, but you aren't. Eat for fat loss for the body you have now and not the goal weight. Adjust the calories as you lose.

05-21-2010, 11:32 AM
To help you try to figure this out, I think we need a little more information.

- What are your exercise habits?

- This is probably so obvious, you've already considered it, but how long are you sleeping, and what is your sleep like?

- Have you changed your caffeine intake?

- What time do you eat?

- What time do you get sleepy? Is it always the same time? How long before & after eating?

Maybe thinking about those factors will give you some insight, too.

Beach Patrol
05-21-2010, 11:39 AM
Simple question: Is it TOM?

I get super-crazy-tired when it's my TOM. The past 3 days, for instance, I have been VERY fatigued. Started this morning. THAT explains it (for me).

05-21-2010, 11:43 AM
I'm one of those people who does not do well if I go too low carb. Yes, I know there is an adjustment period but aside from the fact that I don't really like feeling like crap for even a day let alone two weeks, I've never gotten to the point where I feel great doing low carb. Losing weight, yes, but feeling lousy and that's not a good enough trade off for me.

I generally average about 160 gr carbs a day, which keeps me between 40 and 45% of my total calories. That's still low-ish compared with the standard American diet and I'm still losing weight. Not super fast, but fast enough. Personally, I'd consider shifting your foods around and eat slightly more whole grain and a little bit less fat. I'm not anti-fat by any means but I thnk you can play with the balance between fat and carbs and maybe feel a bit better. I think your protein is good where it is, so I'd play around with fat and carbs more than that.

ALso, make sure you are drinking enough water - being dehydrated can also make you feel tired.

05-21-2010, 12:58 PM
I also think that you are probably not eating enough for your current weight and perhaps activity level. When you don't eat enough, your body will naturally want to reduce your activity level. Bump it up to 2000 to 2500; you will still lose weight, but you'll feel much, much better. And then later you will have room to cut calories if you need to.

05-21-2010, 02:49 PM
Ok, let me see if I can answer all the questions

1. I am so not a breakfast person, so what I've been eating is really more than I want. Also, I just picked the previous 2 days as samples, but I don't always eat that for breakfast. I eat 2 eggs w/ 1c of greek yogurt half the week and the oatmeal the other half.

2. I imagine I could ditch the mayo and cheese, but those were used in an effort to up calories w/ out adding bulk b/c I really am satisfied on what I've been eating. I think it may be due to the larger protein portions and high fat. All adding carbs does (even complex ones)is make me ravenous...I'll have to figure this one out...

3. Currently my workout schedule is very light. Walking a mile 2-3 days a week. Once my work calms down (2 weeks or so) my plan is to walk 1.5-2 miles 3x a week plus add in some weight training 2-3x a week. As long as I'm not glued to my bed by then LOL

4. I would loooove to eat 3000 calories a day, but I really see no reasonable way to do it and eat whole foods. I feel like I already get so much fat as it is, so any suggestions on upping my calorie count w/out adding a ton more fat. I'm sure I could get it up to 2000, but 3000 calories of fresh good food is a TON.

5. Sleep is good, solid 8-9 hours

6. I have not cut my caffeine at all... my beverage of choice is iced tea, so I do get quite a bit

7. When I eat -- Breakfast 7am, snack 10am, lunch 1230pm, snack 3pm, dinner 6-630pm, snack 8pm

8. I get tired between 1 and 3 usually, so after lunch but before afternoon snack.

5. Not TOM...actually I have PCOS/IR and only get 2 periods a year currently. I can generally tell when it's coming by major cramps days in advance...nothing so far.

Thank you guys SO much for trying to help me figure this out...I did notice that the example menu I gave you is light on veggies...I went through my food log and on average I would say I get 2-3 more veggie servings than these days depict and a little less fat than on these days...guess my last 2 days were just weird.

Maybe I'll try going up in my calories, but I am really hesitant to add any more grains as it usually spells disaster for me.

05-21-2010, 02:55 PM
Maybe I'll try going up in my calories, but I am really hesitant to add any more grains as it usually spells disaster for me.

You could always just try adding a bit more each week until you find a balance that is right for you!

05-21-2010, 03:15 PM
Heidi, honestly I think I would do a little research on the 3000 calorie suggestion. ;) I have NEVER seen that advice before. Yeah, the math may make sense to a point...but...hmmm...

You can get a lot of really good, nutrient dense food into 2000 calories. (Just pulled a number out of the hat there...)

05-21-2010, 03:22 PM
Heidi, honestly I think I would do a little research on the 3000 calorie suggestion. ;) I have NEVER seen that advice before. Yeah, the math may make sense to a point...but...hmmm...

You can get a lot of really good, nutrient dense food into 2000 calories. (Just pulled a number out of the hat there...)

10-12 x body weight for fat loss is the standard formula used in fitness/figure/body building, based upon slower fat loss for muscle preservation. It's a common formula used in magazines such as Oxygen or Muscle & Fitness Hers. Now, most women using those formulas and looking to lose fat while preserving all muscle mass don't weigh around 300lbs ~ maybe they are around 150lbs. For them, that would be 1500-1800 calories, which is a less shocking number for people to see. But OP is not 150lbs, she is 300lbs, so the number goes up.

I know it can seem like a huge number to the average person, but slow dieting while preserving muscle mass may be preferable to faster dieting with a more substantial muscle loss. Either way, numbers are not set in stone. That's for OP to decide.

I generally go by this guide from Emma-Leigh, who is a doctor that specializes in nutrition:

But you are right that the OP should research the suggestion. Anyone should research before making such dramatic lifestyle changes. I promise my own suggestion is based off years of my own research (including into the credentials of the person whose link I posted to). A suggestion is just that, a suggestion.

05-21-2010, 03:56 PM
Ah, you mention tea... Sweetened or unsweetened? How many grams of sugar are you getting a day?

Many people don't seem to realize this, but all carbs are not created equal. Everyone is different, but whole grains are generally fine, and can be an excellent source of fiber. It should not be a main source, but a whole grain bread, low in cal, used to make a sandwhich is healthy for most people. White bread and sugar are not. When I cut out my rice krispie treat (100cal) from lunch, I stopped feeling like napping in the afternoon.

Extreme tiredness can be a sign of many things but the most obvious would be that you're either not getting enough food (energy), or suffering from either a caffeine or sugar (or carb, since processed carbs = sugar) crash. It may also mean you just started running marathons, but I assume you would have filled us in on that. :p

Since there are medical reasons as well, I would wait another week, maybe make a change or two, but if it doesn't get any better, see a doctor. Just to be safe.