Are you reluctant to diet because you often feel tired and weak when dieting? If you want more energy, intermittent fasting is the way to go. Instead of being a diet, it is a planned eating schedule, and this alternate fasting and eating method has many benefits.
Does Intermittent Fasting Give You More Energy?
You may think that when you don’t eat for 16 hours, how could you possibly feel more energetic? After all, your body needs fuel for even its involuntary functions and cell repair.
Each time you eat, your food gets digested, and the glycogen released is used as an energy source. Extra and unutilized energy is stored in the body for future use.
When you practice intermittent fasting, your body may not have this energy source on a constant basis, and the liver uses fat for fuel. This also helps reduce sugar spikes and actually makes you feel more energetic since you avoid the highs and lows caused by sugar.
How Can I Get More Energy While Fasting?
When you eat the right foods during your eating window, you will feel more energetic. Regulated eating habits help the body adapt to the new eating plan.
It is important that you break your fast with lighter foods and not heavy or oily foods that will actually make you feel sluggish, as the stomach takes time to digest them. While you may feel that heavier foods will make you feel full longer, they will be more calorific and counter-productive if you want to lose weight and feel better.
Some of the things you can do to improve energy levels:
- Eat light and easy-to-digest meals when you break your fast.
- To stay hydrated, drink plenty of water. Drinking juices and sodas will only lead to sugar spikes and make you feel hungrier.
- Move – staying active, going for a walk, or just walking to the water cooler for a drink of water will stop you from feeling sluggish. Avoid high-intensity exercise if you are not up for it.
- During the day or eating periods, eat sufficient protein, so you don’t face any muscle break-down. Protein also has a high satiety value and helps reduce appetite.
Why Am I Tired During Intermittent Fasting?
If you are more tired when following an intermittent fasting schedule, it may be due to many reasons. Perhaps your body is used to a diet that comprises more of simple carbohydrates. When following intermittent fasting, if you still eat processed foods and carbs with a high glycemic index, you can feel tired.
Another reason for you to feel tired is that the body takes time to adapt to intermittent fasting. Initially, if you follow IF very strictly, you may feel more tired, as your body gets used to eating less because you are restricting your diet one way or the other. Perhaps, instead of 4 meals, you eat only 2–3 times a day. Since you reduce your snacking as well, you are generally eating less.
One way to get around this is to give your body time to adapt. Instead of shocking your body and fasting for 16 hours from the get-go, do it slowly. This will allow your liver adapt easier and burn fat for fuel when needed.
As time passes, you will feel less tired. In fact, you will experience more energy with intermittent fasting.
What to Do if You Are Feeling Weak on Fasting?
You might often feel weakness while fasting. This can occur due to a number of reasons, such as:
- Physical: your body was used to eating 4–6 times a day. Obviously, you cannot eat so many times if you follow the 16:8 method. Or even another IF plan that restricts your eating a lot on the fasting days.
- Emotional: like for many people, food may be an emotional crutch for you. You eat not just because you are hungry but because food fills some empty space within your emotions. You may reach for food when happy or sad. You may even be a binge eater. And when you eat more or eat the wrong foods, you will actually feel hungrier during your fasting periods.
- Psychological: you may be stress-eating, eating more when you are under stress. When this crutch is removed, you will feel deprived in many ways, and this will translate into feeling weak.
You should identify the reasons for your eating and eat more mindfully. You can keep a food diary or a journal and list down when you tend to eat more. This will enable you to change your eating habits.
When you are determined to follow an intermittent fasting schedule, you can also make sure that you have a stock of zero-calorie beverages on hand.
You can have an electrolyte solution, which has zero calories, carbonated water or plain water, soothing tea, or black coffee. These will help tide you over the humps.
- Once your body adapts to intermittent fasting, you will have more energy and better mental focus.
- Improve energy levels during intermittent fasting – staying hydrated, having zero calorie liquids, indulging in mindful eating, low-intensity exercises, or walking and meditating can help improve energy levels.
- Weakness and tiredness during intermittent fasting – eating the wrong foods at incorrect times, eating more processed and refined foods can cause sugar lows that lead to feeling weak and tired.