Tired? Fatigued? Work through this checklist....

Are you struggling this week?  Feeling fatigued and just not able to function at full capacity?

There can be quite a few reasons why we are fatigued.  Usually it's not something too terrible - you'll normally be able to work through a list like this one and find a few things to work on that will help you.  Recovery, rest, general health - these are all key things to monitor in your journey...

Here is the checklist I'll work through with clients when they are feeling flat and wondering why:

 

Carbohydrates - have you been on a low carbohydrate intake for a sustained period?  Don't go under 100g per day for extended periods unless under strict instructions from your doctor or dietitian.  

Sleep - have you got a well managed sleep routine that includes at least 7 hours per day?  Do you wind down towards sleep time and avoid caffeine later in the day?  Are you in total darkness as you sleep?

Training Duration - if you are very flat and fatigued I recommend you cut back on any training session that is longer than 45 minutes for a week.  This will allow the body to recover and limit buildup of stress hormones like cortisol. 

Training Intensity - same reasons as above.  Hard training is stressful on the body and I constantly see people doing hard training and then not doing easy training to allow the body to adapt.  Big mistake.  

Carbs at night - having a portion of carbohydrate at dinner can help us sleep.

Stress Management - what's going on in your world?  Can you eliminate something or handle it better?  Top athletes have sports psychologists in their team.  Do you need to learn some skills that will help you?

Compound Exercises - doing large muscle group exercises like squats and deadlifts have very positive effects on your hormonal status.  

Low Calorie intake - sustained low calorie intake will kill energy levels and cause metabolic slow down.  Again - something that should only be done under supervision of dietitians and doctors.  If you are unsure of your calorie requirements, use an online calculator (or talk to a dietitian) and then run your food intake through My Fitness Pal to estimate where you are with your intake.  If you are more than 500 calories under your required amount, you might need to increase that. 

Iron - have you had your iron levels checked?  See your doctor and run the blood tests.

Morning Fast - give it a try.  Take the morning off.  Are you stressing your Gastro Intestinal tract by eating constantly?  The GI tract uses a lot of energy to operate, give it a break sometime! 

Double Your Vege Intake - you might be deficient in any number of vitamins and minerals that could affect your energy levels.  Boost your intake, shock the system, make sure you are ticking all the boxes!

Eliminate Wheat - sometimes there may be an intolerance that is causing you to feel flat.  Gluten, the protein contained in wheat, can cause GI disturbances in some people and simply taking out wheat from your diet for a few days can, for some people, be quite a handy trick.  Try it.  

If all of these things do not work for you, then talk to your coach, GP, or dietitian.  There is always an answer - sometimes it's just not clear what the answer is.  

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