Being on a weight loss plan can play a major role in energy levels as the human body relies on nutrients from food to produce energy. There are ways to find balance during this process to ensure you lose weight and keep energy levels up.
How Dieting Can Affect Mood
If you’re dieting and experiencing some fatigue, you’re not alone. Giving up foods you enjoy can make you feel tired, anxious or grumpy, although this is usually temporary. A small study found men and women who were dieting became more preoccupied with thoughts about food, experienced strong urges to eat more frequently and felt less in control of their eating. Unhealthy eating patterns can lead to mood swings due to blood sugar fluctuations and nutritional imbalances. Some of the culprits that cause low energy levels include:
- Skipping meals (especially breakfast) can lead to low blood sugar, thereby leaving you feeling weak and tired.
- Cutting out entire food groups can deplete you of essential nutrients such as zinc, iron, B and D vitamins, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Low levels of these nutrients are associated with worsening mood and decreased energy.
- Eating too many refined carbohydrates (e.g. white bread and pastries) can cause blood sugar to rise and fall rapidly, resulting in low energy and irritability.
Diet & Nutrition Tips to Increase Energy Levels
Different types of foods are absorbed at different rates, so experts recommend combining food groups. This approach results in brain cells being fed continuously, which helps maintain alertness and energy. Staying well hydrated is essential for digestion and energy. This is especially crucial when you’re dieting and exercising. A general rule of thumb is to drink fluids equaling at least half of your body weight daily, at least half of which should be water.
Multiple studies indicate consuming low-energy-dense foods helps people lower their caloric intake while maintaining feelings of satiety. Foods with lower energy density provide fewer calories per gram than foods with higher energy density. Lower-energy-dense foods are high in water and/or fiber and low in fat (e.g. fruits, vegetables, and broth-based soups). Additional healthy tips to boost your energy levels while dieting include:
- Never skip breakfast because this essential meal helps the body burn more calories by kicking the metabolism into gear
- Don’t cut food intake below 1,200 calories a day (women) or 1,500 calories a day (men), unless you’re under the supervision of a health professional
- Eat protein and fiber at breakfast to help you stay full longer and stave off hunger
- Eat a balanced diet with a variety of unrefined carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, with plenty of vegetables and healthy oils
- Choose lean red meat, poultry, and fish, as well as nuts and seeds to get adequate protein and iron
- Substitute low-energy-dense fruits and vegetables for higher-energy-dense foods
- If you’re low on energy, try eating small meals and snacks every few hours instead of three large meals a day to help feed the brain’s energy reserves
- Drink 1-2 cups of caffeinated coffee or tea in the morning if you feel tired
- Limit alcohol consumption to prevent the sedative effects and extra non-nutrient calories
Exercising the Right Amount
Start slowly if you haven’t worked up to an adequate fitness level, otherwise the strenuous exercise will leave you feeling drained. If you’re a novice, get enough exercise to feel challenged without reaching the point of exhaustion. Start with 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise three to five times a week (e.g. walking). It’s important to add some strength training because building muscle helps boost the metabolism. Based on a study they conducted, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends getting between 150 and 250 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week to lose weight.
How Supplements Can Help – Boost4 Boosting Your Energy
Getting adequate micronutrients is important for maintaining health. If you limit your caloric intake without eating a variety of nutrient-rich, low-energy-dense foods, this can lead to inadequate micronutrient intake. If you’re on a diet, high-quality supplements such as Lindora Boost4 can provide an energy boost as well as other benefits. Before you take supplements, discuss this with a healthcare professional. Lindora Boost4 offers an array of helpful benefits for individuals on diets, such as:
- May repair cell damage caused by environmental factors including radiation, pollution, stress, and infection
- May fight off stress and anxiety
- May defend against infection, disease and other potentially harmful bacteria
- May increase energy and endurance levels
- May help aid in alleviating muscle and joint pain often associated with arthritis
- May aid in proper immune function by delivering 79 mg of Vitamin C
- May improve cognitive abilities; boosts focus and concentration
The compassionate professionals at Lindora are committed to helping you achieve a diet with the perfect balance, so you can reduce caloric intake and lose weight while maintaining or improving your energy levels!
Dr. Amy Lee, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Lindora Clinic