The past week or so I've just been so TIRED. I wake up and just want to roll over and go back to sleep for another hour. I fall asleep on the Metro on my way home. I drive home in a daze, wishing I could fall into bed when I get there, just for an hour...
At first I chalked it up to getting up earlier for work and staying up too late on the computer, so I worked on getting to bed earlier. But I've been getting maybe seven, or seven and a half hours of sleep and I'm still feeling tired all the time. I'm not sure if I'm just not getting restful sleep, or whether I need more sleep in general. Or if it's something else.
The reason I bring it up here is that my weight loss has plateued around 278/277 during this time. In looking at Fitday, my average daily calories for the last two weeks are about 1550. I had been aiming for 1500-1800, and started working lower in my range when I hit the plateau, hoping to jump-start it again. No such luck so far.
Could I be eating too little? I do allow a "free" day once a week, where I still try to make healthy choices but am not as careful about the total calories. That shoots my calories for that day into the 2000+ range, but seldom does it go over 2300. I'm pretty good about getting lots of fruits/veggies in my diet, and I've started taking a multivitamin again.
I'm not doing formal exercise, like aerobics and such, but I have been pretty consistently walking a few blocks to and from work (stopping a stop early on the Metro) and taking the stairs at work if it's one or two flights. I usually climb up five flights during my day, and down four. If I go get coffee, add two more onto that. And a couple times a week days I work in my garden or I go swimming for half an hour or so. That's the extent of my exercise (which is much more than it was four months ago!), so I don't think I'm in danger of over-exercise fatigue.
Has anyone else encountered this energy-sapping tiredness in their weight-loss journey? Is it something I need to worry about, or will it eventually go away as my body adjusts?
09-07-2005, 10:46 AM
Have you had your iron levels checked? If your cut back on eating red meat and not eating enough leafy greens you could be anemic.
I don't think your calorie level is too low necessarily. You may consider a review of the kinds of foods you eat. I consider my overall food choices to be healthy ones but I can tell a difference in how I feel when I spend a week or so eating especially clean foods.
09-07-2005, 12:19 PM
In addition to iron levels, hypothyroidsim can be a major cause of fatigue. I would think your calories are fine, but I would check to see that you are getting (a) enough protein and (b) enough complex carbohydrates. Other things to think about are that, even though you are getting 7 - 7 1/2 hours' sleep, that may not be enough; many people need more than that to be fully rested. Also, fatigue in overweight people can be a sign of sleep apnea, which can be dangerous.
So, if it continues, I'd definitely visit the doctor.
09-07-2005, 02:44 PM
I was thinking iron and protein too. Are you getting enough? And vitamins? 1500 calories should be plenty as long as they're good calories. Does Fitday show you if you're getting the right balance of nutrients? I would definitely ask you doc if you're doing all the right stuff and still feeling overly fatigued.
09-07-2005, 02:56 PM
I took the liberty of nosing around your fitday journal for a few minutes. I agree with the other gals. It's more likely what you are eating, not how much. Your fats seem pretty high. You can get a lot more nutrient dense foods in there, if you ditch some fat calories. I see low fat cottage cheese tho' ... good, good, very good!
Go ahead and see your doctor. It never hurts to make sure you're OK physically.
The other thought I had is .... we are women ... things fluctuate ... hormones ... fluids ... moods .... sometimes we're just plain tired. Fresh air, a nice walk, a nap ... they all might work quite nicely.
09-07-2005, 03:03 PM
I'm often very tired. I've tried playing with a couple of things to sort it out, I increased what I was eating a bit and gave myself a bit more room for manoevre - not much result. I started sleeping more (I go to the gym before work and possibly didn't adjust the time I went to bed enough at first) - not much result. I don't drink many caffeinated drinks at all, but don't really want to. I'm considering looking into whether some additional vitamins might help, but any other ideas would be helpful!
It's not affecting my weight loss at all, and I've still got enough energy to exercise (maybe doing it first thing uses all my energy resources up?!), but I seem to feel very drained mid afternoon in particular and find myself almost falling asleep at my desk. Not good.
09-07-2005, 03:11 PM
When I see 'afternoon tiredness' my immediate thought is for a protein rich lunch. For a lot of us, it's a long time from lunch until supper. A nice healthy snack does not hurt. Lots of successful losers eat every 2-3 hours.
I take a multivit. According to fitday, it is filling in my insufficiencies.
09-07-2005, 03:15 PM
I tend to have mixed bean chilli for lunch - I used to have tomato soup and deliberately changed it to up the protein content. I also usually have a yoghurt too, but it doesn't seem to help.
09-07-2005, 04:33 PM
You could try increasing your Vitamin B's. There are some studies that show that the RDA is WAY low for most people, and the B vitamins provide a good portion of our energy. If you are taking your multivitamin at night instead of in the morning, you could be keeping yourself awake(r) with the higher amounts of B at night instead of having the benefits of it in the morning.
B vitamins are also water soluable, so if you took more than you needed, they'd just come right back out. Since I have to be careful w/ my caffeine consumption most of the time, it's a way I can safely increase my energy level.
09-07-2005, 08:02 PM
Synger - How old are you? (a bit personal, don't you think?!). I ask because Dr. Pamela Peeke (as seen on the TV show, Cooking Thin) wrote a book called Fight Fat After Forty (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/014100181X/qid=1126133925/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-0241442-0402361?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 ) and she says that energy lulls are very common. She tries to write about including energy boosting foods in your diet (like fruit salad with protein). Anyway, I'm not 40 or over but she has some wonderful ideas (I love Cooking Thin).
09-08-2005, 02:40 AM
First off, 7 hours of sleep is not enough for me! I need a minimum of 8, and I often sleep longer on the weekend. If I get less sleep, I just get less efficient during the day.
Second, I have found that getting enough protein helps a lot. When I went back to school, I found that I would fall asleep during class - unless I had a goodly amount of protein for breakfast and lunch. Cereal and a salad wouldn't do it! I needed yogurt, cheese, meat, beans, etc. I actually had an appointment with a nutritionist today, and she recommended trying to get at least 75 grams of protein each day while trying to lose weight. This is between 20% and 25% protein, so not really excessive, but more than many people get. Count up your protein grams for a few days, and see where you are.
09-08-2005, 07:58 AM
Wow, 7 hours of sleep--I am lucky to even get that on the weekends--normally I only get 5-6 per night during the week! This explains why I am tired--you, on the other hand...
If it is a nutrient deficiency (iron or B vitamins), I would give your multivitamin a while to work its magic. We are all so accustomed to instant gratification, but it can take a while for our bodies to adjust to new things (you said you just started taking it again). If you still feel so tired after having taken the multivitamin for a few weeks, then I definitely suggest a trip to the doctor. Might seem excessive for just someone who's sleepy, but being so tired can be a symptom of a lot of serious conditions, so best to be checked out to rule them out.
I'm sorry you feel so sleepy--I certainly understand where you're coming from! Hey, at least you're sleeping on the Metro--if I get caught in traffic, I practically fall asleep in my car (and lord knows you can't go anywhere around here without hitting insane traffic)! :dizzy:
09-08-2005, 08:18 AM
Thank you for all the responses! You've given me much to think about.
My protein is good. I have PCOS, so I know I have to have protein with every meal/snack to keep my blood sugar and hunger from spiking. Breakfast is usually fruit with cottage cheese or lowfat string cheese or yogurt. Lunch is lean protein and veggies. Afternoon snack is fruit and a protein bar. Dinner is.. whatever. But I still try to go with protein and veggies (chicken and broccoli/mushrooms last night, for instance).
Fitday says that in the last month, my average daily protein is 95 grams, or 23% of my calories, so I doubt that's the problem.
My fruits/veggies are pretty good, too, so I'm over 100 percent on my B-vitamins (Thiamin, riboflavin, b6, b12) and vitamin C. The only water-soluble vitamin I'm a bit low on is folate. I don't eat a lot of bread or pasta anymore, though sometimes I eat Kashi cereal.
My fat-soluble vitamins are not as high, come to find out. For the past month, my averages have been high on vitamin A, but below 100 on vitamins D, E, and K. Vitamin D is the lowest, at only 35 percent (most of the others that are below 100 are in the 80s and above) We make more vitamin D from sun exposure than from our food, so I'm not too worried about that.
What surprised me was the trace minerals. My selenium is fine, but both iron and zinc are only around 80 percent. I figure that is probably covered in my multivitamin, but it's something to be aware of.
Of the major minerals, my phosphorus is great. My calcium is just under 100 percent, but my magnesium is kinda low. Again, I think my multivitamin will help with that, but I may do some research into magnesium-laden foods.
Fitday is not complete, though, and I know it. When I added in info for the Kashi cereal and for my protein bars, I added the macronutrients -- fat, carbs, protein -- but not the vitamins and such. So it's not tracking micronutrients for those things.
As to the other suggestions... I am 41, so it may be one of those "lulls". (sounds like a very interesting book). I probably do need to get more sleep.
My fats may be kinda high at 35 percent of my intake. But I'm not working a low-fat plan -- more a "good fat" plan. I use butter instead of margarine, and olive oil and hazelnut oil in my cookking. I bake or grill rather than fry foods. But I still eat red meat fairly often. So that may be somethign to look into and "tweak".
The sleep apnea consideration is kinda scary, and I don't want to think much about it. *sighs* That means I probably need to. I'll try to get an extra hour of sleep-time for a while, and see if I'm still feeling so tired. And if so, I'll go to the doctor.
09-09-2005, 02:43 AM
:grouphug: I'm so sorry you are so tired - I've BTDT. I am NOT a pleasant person to be around when I'm over tired - I"m not a person who does well on less than 7-8 hours sleep. My husband can get 4-5 hours and be fine, I don't get it. Me - I need SLEEP!