What causes low energy during weight loss?

Individuals who are following a low carbohydrate eating plan may be especially prone to this happening. A person may experience a lack of energy while dieting due to several possible reasons:

1. Loss of water-soluble vitamins through restricted and reduced food intake and increased water loss at the start of the diet. This can be lessened by taking a high potency vitamin supplement. (The Lindora vitamin and mineral supplement is designed for this purpose.)

2. Skipping meals and snacks. Generally speaking, a healthy meal should be eaten every four to five hours, with a lean protein snack approximately every two hours between meals.

3. High level of physical activity. Individuals who are very active (vigorous exercise for two hours, for example) will require a higher energy intake from food. These individuals may need to increase their carbohydrate intake via extra protein snacks that contain some carbohydrate.

4. Loss of minerals such as potassium and sodium. Supplemental potassium and sodium may be necessary during weight loss.

Symptoms of muscle weakness and/or muscle cramps, fatigue, or lack of energy may indicate low levels of potassium. (Conversely, inadequate fluid intake, which may cause a slight dehydration, can also cause these symptoms, so be sure to drink at least 80 ounces of water or other calorie-free fluids each day during weight loss.)

During the Weight Loss phase of the Lean for Life program, Lindora clinic patients take a prescription-strength oral potassium chloride supplement (750 mg./ 10 mEq.) to maintain normal potassium levels. Potassium is also available over-the-counter in lower doses in the form of potassium gluconate. Table salt and salt substitutes also contain potassium.

Low sodium levels can cause symptoms that are similar to potassium deficiency such as dizziness, fatigue, lack of energy, muscle weakness and/or muscle cramps. The amount of fluid within the blood vessels decreases and blood pressure can drop (especially when a person stands suddenly from a seated position) when carbohydrate intake is low. This can cause lightheadedness, dizziness, low energy and a feeling of weakness.

Individuals who have a low or normal blood pressure may find it necessary to add extra table salt to their food and/or drink a cup of fat free boullion or broth twice a day to help maintain adequate blood pressure during a low carbohydrate eating plan.