Yesterday I mentioned that I was on a nutritional plan for tiredness and fatigue, and that I had lost some weight on the plan as well. Catherine asked me about it, so to answer Catherine's question:
A few months ago, I complained to my mom that I was feeling tired and run down all the time. I felt like an "old woman", I told her. I was tired by 2 PM, and ready to go to bed at 5 PM. Once, I pulled into the driveway at my barn to ride horses, at about 5 PM, and never made it out of my truck. I fell asleep right then and there, and slept until my sister got there a little while later and woke me up. I was also getting headaches all the time.
I was dragging around every evening, until I would finally fall asleep on the couch, or head to bed before 9 PM.
I was sleeping well all night, so that wasn't the issue.
I wasn't doing an excess of hard physical labor.
I had no idea what was up, but I didn't like it. I need a lot of energy to keep up with my busy life.
Right about that time I got a book from my sister in law, Katie. I found it in her Suburban one day when I was babysitting my niece and nephew. I stole it, and began reading it.
It changed the way I think about food, and eat food, forever.
The book is "Skinny Chicks Don't eat Salads" by Christine Avanti, CN.
I highly recommend the book.
Here is what I learned about myself and my eating habits:
As the weather started warming up, I did my usual "Get rid of winter flab" thing: I started eating less and less.
I ate something like this: Granola and low fat yogurt at 7:00 am. Leftovers from dinner, or a sandwich, or a wrap, at 12:00 noon. Dinner was usually some kind of lean chicken/fish/beef and veggies, or some stir fry, or casserole, etc. at 7:00 or 8:00 PM - or later, depending on when I got done riding horses and working in the yard/gardens.
So of course I was feeling tired by 2 pm! I was going from 12:00 noon to 8:00 or 9:00 pm without eating anything, and drinking water and sweet tea. I was eating the right foods; I was just not eating them often enough, in the correct proportions.
I was also not eating many carbs. I don't eat much bread, so the only carbs I was eating were occasional flour tortillas, or the morning granola, or maybe some rice - usually brown. And of course, whatever carbs are in different fruits and veggies and the like.
So here is what I learned, in a nutshell:
You need to feed your body every 4 hours. After 4 hours without anything, your metabolism starts to slow down because your body thinks it's "starving". And, your brain needs glucose to function.
That doesn't mean eat like a piglet every 4 hours. It means eat something smart and healthy every 4 hours. And, well-balanced: a protein, a carbohydrate, and a healthy fat. Very little refined sugar; if any. Sugar makes me so tired!
So this is how I changed my routine:
I try to eat within 1/2 hour after waking up. I am NOT a breakfast person, so this was a challenge. Then I eat a small lunch at 11 am. And I eat a second small "lunch" at 4 PM, even if it's just a low fat cheese stick and some sliced turkey. I eat again at 8 pm (after horses and swimming and gardening), and if I am not in bed yet, I will eat a bowl of pop corn or something again at 11:30 - 12 PM - although, I don't usually stay up that late.
You can't eat processed foods or tons of sugar, or sodas or any of those things; this only works with whole and healthy foods; but you eat more often. Also, she goes into how bad "carb-free" eating is for you. Your body and brain need the glucose from carbs - healthy carbs. Not white bread carbs. Not eating carbs will make you tired and cranky; and sluggish. (And, despite the title, you can still have a salad. It's just a cute title, poking a little jab at people who only eat salads and practically starve themselves into the size they think they need to be. I, myself, love taco salads, with black beans and home made salsa.... mmmm)
Anyways, I did it for a week and I felt better each day! My energy came back, I was like a tornado getting things done in the house, I felt sharper and less sleepy. And, even though I wasn't really on the plan to loose weight, I noticed, and my husband noticed, after a week on the plan, that I had lost some weight; mainly noticeable in my mid section. I didn't even try. I wasn't wanting to loose a bunch of weight; I like the way I look, and don't obsess about being a particular size, or number on the scale. I had gained 10 lbs. after getting married three years ago and just never shook it. I just learned to accept it. It was the lack of energy I was disturbed about.
If you're having such issues, I suggest reading the book; and see if the plan works for you. Especially read the first half of the book. Most of the rest of the book is about meal plans and exercise.
This is the first diet and exercise book I have taken seriously; because it worked - for me.