Are you still fatigued after implementing steps 1-4?
Add these next three small steps to complete your energy building repertoire!
Note: This is the second article in two-part series. Make sure to check out Overcoming fatigue steps 1-4 before starting with this one!
When energy levels are low, the thought of massive change is paralyzing. You read a well-intentioned doctors’ advice about overcoming fatigue by “simply” eliminating nightshades, grains, gluten, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
What the heck are you supposed to eat then?
Implementing a diet like that requires a massive amount of effort. And effort requires energy. A resource you currently do not have enough of.
Worry not. This is the second article in a two-part series. I’ve created seven small steps you can take to start overcoming fatigue. They’re so small that you can probably have them all implemented within two weeks! Be sure to check out Overcoming Fatigue steps 1-4 first.
Just because these are small steps does not mean they’re ineffective. If you implement all seven, I’m confident you’ll notice an increase in your energy.
I’m going to jump right back in with the last three steps you can take towards overcoming fatigue. We start this post with number five.
Step #5 – balance your blood sugar
I’ve gone on and on about how your blood sugar contributes to fatigue and how carbohydrate intolerance leads to blood sugar irregularities. If you want to overcome fatigue, you need to balance your blood sugar. This step cannot be skipped.
Fortunately, you can take some simple steps that will have a profound effect on blood sugar balancing. No diet overhauls needed.
To have balanced blood sugar, I want you to remove foods that are known to be hidden dietary causes of blood sugar irregularities.
Pop and sodas
- Yes, even the sugar-free, calorie-free varieties.
- Sugar-free drinks are being connected to gut issues like IBS. It’s thought that their effect on your blood sugar could actually more problematic than originally thought.
- To balance your blood sugar, ensure you’re avoiding all pops and sodas.
- Contrary to what you may have read on the internet, juice fasts or cleanses are not a way to overcome fatigue.
- When you juice a fruit, you remove all the fiber. Fiber helps to balance your blood sugar. Without fiber, a glass of juice is just another high-sugar drink.
- A glass of juice will have around 20 grams of sugar in it. To put that in perspective, a can of pop has 24 grams – only four grams more sugar in it.
- Juice is one of those sneaky foods that tend to upset your blood sugar. To overcome fatigue, stop drinking juice!
- These delectable morsels are secretly high in sugar. Very high. If you’re wanting to overcome fatigue, I recommend you avoid them entirely.
- Avoid: mangos, pineapples, melons, bananas, figs, grapes, and lychee.
- In place of tropical fruits, opt for blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries. These fruits have far lower sugar content which will help keep your blood sugar balanced.
That’s it. Start with these three. Just by removing tropical fruits, juice, and pop you’ll notice improvements in your blood sugar. If you’ve already done this and your blood sugar is still imbalanced, check out our course on how to Stop Feeding Fatigue!
Step #6 – Get some ketones in your blood
The average North American gets 40-60% of her daily calories from carbohydrates. If you’re eating 1500 calories a day, that’s over 700 calories that are coming by way of carbohydrates.
The average ketogenic dieter gets 10-20% of her calories from carbohydrates. It is this restriction of carbohydrates that pushes the body to stop running on sugar (carbohydrates) and start running on fat (ketones).
Humans are unique in that they are duel-fuel burners. Meaning that you can run on either sugar or ketones. This flexibility in your metabolism is likely what kept your ancestors alive during periods of near-starvation. And it’s this two-fuel system that can help you optimize your energy levels.
There are fewer chemical reactions needed to convert carbohydrates to energy than fats to energy. This is why the ketogenic diet recommends dramatically reducing your carbohydrate intake. The carbohydrate reduction will force your body into using ketones as its energy source.
But starting a ketogenic diet is a massive step. And this post is all about small steps you can take to increase your energy. Fortunately, technology has created a way for you to get some of the ketogenic benefits without embracing a full-blown ketogenic diet.
One way to keep your blood sugar balanced is to eat on a regular basis. But that too can be an all-out effort. Instead, try adding something called MCT oil to your diet. You’re going to want to use MCT oil that is exclusively C8 chains (Caprylic Acid).
MCT oil stands for medium chain triglycerides. It’s a specific chain of fat found in coconut oil. MCT oil is colorless, odorless, and stays liquid at room temperature. It’s a great addition to smoothies, salad dressings, and even coffee!
When you typically eat a fat source, your body has to digest the fat in order to extract the energy. With MCT oil, you get to skip the digestion and the MCTs go right to your liver. There, they are broken down into ketones (aka – energy). Essentially, MCT oil is liquid energy.
Should you start supplementing with C8 MCT oil, you’ll quickly have ketones circulating in your blood – just like someone in ketosis. The next time you get hungry, your body has a backup fuel source. This alleviates your need to eat every hour. The circulating ketones will keep your brain well fed between meals. This will help to balance your blood sugar.
One tablespoon of MCT oil each day should be more than enough to get some ketones circulating through your blood. And with ketones in your blood, you’re one step closer to getting rid of fatigue!
Step #7 – encourage autophagy
I know I talked about reducing your stress and how stress contributes to fatigue. This negative type of stress needs to be managed as best as possible. But Eustress, or, positive stress can be a stress that actually benefits your body!
Autophagy is one of those eustresses that you should incorporate into your fatigue-beating routine. Autophagy is a Greek word for self-devouring. Within your body, autophagy refers to the process that occurs when your cells devour unnecessary or dysfunctional components. It’s one of the healthiest cellular processes you can get your body to do!
Autophagy can be so beneficial that researchers are thinking it may be essential in preventing diseases like cancer. (2) Autophagy in mice has been shown to decrease autoimmunity and even regenerate the myelin on nerves. (3) Think of autophagy as hitting the reset button on your cells. Just like how a reset on your computer helps it run better, autophagy can help your body run better.
Do you know what the number one sign of forthcoming autoimmunity is?
Autophagy could very well be your ticket towards higher energy!
How do you induce autophagy?
Autophagy occurs in response to stress. One simple stress that is a great way to induce autophagy is calorie restriction or fasting.
But you’re fatigued. You need energy from food. Fasting sounds exhausting.
What I’m referencing here is something called intermittent fasting. You will not need to avoid food for days. Hours will be more than enough time to induce autophagy. Intermittent fasting involves abstaining from food for a particular length of time through the day. Even if you suffer from extreme fatigue you’ll be able to complete intermittent fasting.
A simple way to get started with intermittent fasting is to restrict your food consumption window to a 6-8 hour period of the day. For example, you would eat all your meals between noon and six/eight PM. A bulletproof coffee for breakfast (which is outside your food consumption window when intermittent fasting) is just fine.
If the idea of fasting does not sit well with you, a ketogenic diet also causes autophagy.
Some quick cautions on fasting: those of you who tend towards the extreme end of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) may not do well with fasting. If you’re pregnant and/or breastfeeding, autophagy will have to wait.
Ok, there you have it, the final three small steps you can take (today!) to start overcoming fatigue.
If you have any other suggestions, leave them in the comments section below!
Also published on Medium.