The food you eat is often referred to as fuel, because to your body, that’s exactly what it is. It’s the fuel your body needs to operate at peak performance. The right foods can leave you energized and feeling healthy and alert. At the same time, eating the wrong foods can be hazardous to your health. Aside from obvious problems, like weight gain and cholesterol, what you eat could also affect how alert you are throughout the day; it can also make you tired and sluggish.
If you’re tired, you may want to review your diet, because what you eat could be making you tired. To find out if your diet is making you tired, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you eat large, fattening meals?
Eating very large meals that are high in fat sit in your stomach longer than smaller meals. This takes blood away from your brain and muscles. As a result you will feel sluggish and tired for hours. So if you are eating high fat, high calorie lunches such as burgers and fries and other high fat restaurant or fast food meals and wondering why you are tired in the afternoon, that could be why.
Do you stop when you’re full?
Many people still have a “clean your plate” mentality. You will have much more energy and feel less tired if you only eat as much food as your body needs. Think of it this way–you don’t continue to fill your car with gas when the tank is full, so why would you do it to your body?
Do you drink a lot of caffeine?
For some people, caffeine is what keeps them alert during the day and helps wake them up after not enough sleep. Coffee, energy drinks and other highly caffeinated beverages do pick you up and make you more alert in the short term, but you will crash later, making you much more tired than if you had skipped caffeine entirely.
Do you skip breakfast?
Many people aren’t hungry in the morning, but a balanced breakfast can keep you energized throughout the day. Skipping breakfast is more likely to make you feel tired, sluggish and irritable.
If you are guilty of some of these habits, your diet could be making you tired. The following are some things you can do to fix it:
• Eat small, balanced meals throughout the day. Instead of eating three big meals, eat smaller meals throughout the day. Strive for a mixture of vegetables, carbohydrates and lean proteins.
• Don’t eat too much. Too much food weighs you down, making you tired. Stop when you’re full.
• Avoid caffeinated beverages and instead, try to get enough sleep the night before. Putting yourself on a sleep schedule where you go to bed and get up at the same time every day, in addition to a healthy diet, can make you feel less tired.
• Eat a healthy breakfast. Even if you’re not a breakfast person, eating a healthy breakfast can actually make you feel less tired.
• Lose weight, if you need to. If you’re eating too much and have excess weight, adopt a healthier diet to lose weight, which will also give you more energy and make you feel less tired.
A lack of sleep isn’t the only thing that could be making you tired as eating the wrong foods can as well.