If you feel you are tired throughout the day or lack energy, you are not alone.
As a Registered Dietitian, fatigue is one of the most common symptoms people often tell me. While feeling tired once in a while is completely normal. The problem arises when you are constantly feeling fatigued.
Chronic fatigue has an underlying problem most of the time. In most cases, it is lifestyle related. This means you have a sudden energy boost once you change that habit.
Here, I answer the question: why am I so tired all the time? I’ll give you the top five reasons experience has taught me why people have chronic fatigue and what to do about it.
Reasons You Are Tired All the Time
1. You Have a Nutrient Deficiency
One of the main reasons people often have chronic fatigue is due to a poor diet.
When you consume highly processed foods, you are not giving your body the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy. In other words, you are not nurturing your body.
Some vitamins, like the ones in the B complex, are in charge of converting the food you eat into usable energy in the body. When you don’t have enough, your body cannot process food as it should.
Another reason you might be tired due to nutrient deficiency is when you have anemia. When you don’t consume enough iron, your body cannot transport oxygen effectively throughout the body. This makes you feel tired all the time.
To determine if the reason you are constantly tired is due to nutrient deficiency, get tested. You can get some bloodwork done to check which vitamins and minerals you lack.
So, what can you do about it?
- Eat enough calories for weight, height, age, and activity levels.
- Make sure that half your plate is of non-starchy vegetables.
- Eat at least three different color fruits or vegetables per day.
- Have protein in every meal.
- Consume whole grains instead of refined grains.
- Reduce your sugar consumption.
- Include healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
2. You Have Poor Sleep
Another reason you are always tired is that you have an inadequate sleep.
During your sleep, your body regenerates. When this process is affected, you might feel tired the next day.
While you might think you are alone in this situation, let me assure you that you are not. Research shows that over 40% of people can experience insomnia at one time during their lifetime. This can be because you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
So, what can you do to get better quality sleep?
- Have a consistent sleep routine.
- Make sure your bed is cool and dark.
- Take a natural supplement like magnesium bisglycinate or ashwagandha.
- Limit caffeinated drinks.
- Try meditation before going to bed.
- Avoid blue light devices one to two hours before bedtime.
- Avoid having naps throughout the day.
3. Your Sugar Levels Are All Over the Place
Your sugar levels play a huge role in your energy levels.
You create a sudden sugar spike when you consume foods high in sugar. Your body tries to reduce this spike by releasing insulin. Your insulin works so efficiently that it removes that excess sugar from your blood. However, this leads to a sudden sugar drop (causing a lack of energy).
Having your body constantly have these ups and downs in sugar levels is probably causing chronic fatigue.
So, how can you have more stable sugar levels?
- Avoid simple sugars (pastries, candies, sweets, and cake) and prefer whole grains (legumes, brown rice, and sweet potato).
- Take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water to reduce the sugar response.
- Pair a carb with a protein, fat, or vegetable. Proteins, fats, and vegetables are a buffer to avoid getting a bad sugar spike.
- Eat your vegetables first and leave your carbs for the end of the meal.
4. You Are Stressed
Constant stress is also linked to chronic fatigue.
When you are stressed, your body goes into fight or flight mode. While some stress can be good for the body, constant stress releases hormones that can cause harm to your body. It can create symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and increased cravings.
I cannot tell you that you won’t ever have stressful situations, but you can work on learning how to manage them.
- Identify the source of the stress.
- Journal to help you figure out your feelings and express them.
- Practice gratitude.
- Have a “dump session” (dedicate some time to your day to let yourself express everything).
- Practice meditation.
- Express yourself.
- Accept there are things you cannot change or control.
5. You Are Not Exercising
Finally, you don’t have enough energy throughout the day because you lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Research shows that when you do a workout, it can boost your energy levels compared to sitting down all day.
You don’t necessarily need to spend several hours at the gym. There are other ways to increase your activity levels to help you boost your energy levels.
Here are some things you can try.
- Put an alarm and move around for at least one minute. You can do some stretching or walk around for one minute.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Five minutes is better than nothing. If you cannot do 30 minutes of exercise, strive for at least five.
- Try different exercises. That way, you can determine which is your favorite one?
The Bottom Line
There are several reasons why you might be feeling fatigued throughout the day. Having bad nutrition choices, poor sleep, varying sugar levels, not handling your stress levels, and not exercising can all affect your energy levels.
Make sure to make the necessary adjustments to your lifestyle to ensure you have adequate energy levels during the day.
If you have good habits but still have low energy levels, consult with your healthcare provider to help determine if there is an underlying condition affecting you.