Why does unhealthy food make you tired, and what does food give us? food gives us energy. We need it to live, and we can’t survive without food for more than a few days.
However, many people don’t understand that not all foods provide the same amount of energy and in fact, some foods actually give you less energy than they take from your body.
Therefore when we eat unhealthy food, we get tired rather than energized.
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Why Does Unhealthy Food Make You Tired?
As further explained in my article on what food energizes you, some foods take a lot more energy to digest, and therefore they end up giving less energy back. That’s why unhealthy food makes you tired. Let’s look at the main ten reasons:
1) High amounts of proteins
Foods that are considered healthy for the normal human being provide a decent amount of energy, but they will make you more tired than energized if consumed in high amounts.
The main culprit here is foods containing high proteins, such as red meat and eggs. Proteins take a huge toll on your bodily processes and therefore leave you tired.
2) High amounts of carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are one of the main energy sources in a normal diet, but sometimes you will find foods that contain huge amounts of it- they may be healthy or unhealthy.
In any case, eating too many carbohydrates will make you tired as well because your body needs to burn more energy to digest them.
3) High amounts of fat
Eating high amounts of proteins and fats will make you tired because they take too much energy to digest- all that energy is coming from your body’s reserves, which means that you’re getting less energy back due to the effort it takes to process these substances.
You can compare eating fats to eating plastic- these substances are so difficult to digest that it’s as if you’re consuming plastic.
4) High amounts of fiber
Eating high amounts of fibers from whole grains and vegetables will make most people tired because the digestive process is very complicated for human beings.
The body is not accustomed to this kind of food and therefore needs a lot more energy to process and digest it. Your body also needs more water if you want to digest fibers, so make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
5) High amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids
Most people don’t know this, but fats such as corn oil and other seed oils contain high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids.
This has been a common source of problems with the modern diet because the body is not accustomed to such high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids, and therefore it needs more energy to digest it.
6) High amounts of sugar
High amounts of sugar from candies, fruit juices or soda drinks will make you tired for the same reason as eating fats- the body needs a lot of energy to process sugar because it’s not used to processing sugar.
If you want to stay energized throughout the day, it is best to avoid sugary beverages and foods as much as possible.
7) High amounts of artificial sweeteners
Most people don’t know this either, but thousands of research studies link artificial sweeteners to fatigue and other problems. People who consume large amounts of sugar substitutes such as Nutrasweet, Splenda or Sweet n’ Low usually suffer from chronic fatigue because their bodies are not accustomed to these substances.
8) Compounds that absorb water
Many processed foods contain compounds that cause them to swell in size and block water absorption. Foods containing a high amount of these compounds will lead to a very severe case of constipation if consumed in large amounts, which will make you tired because your body won’t have enough energy to burn fat.
9) Compounds that cause intestinal irritation
Foods containing large amounts of preservatives and other ingredients may lead to intestinal irritation and cause you to feel fatigued for this reason.
10) Low amounts of nutrients
The last but not the least common reason that causes fatigue is due to a lack of nutrient-specific substances such as iron or magnesium. Food processing reduces the mineral content in most foods, so if you’re not taking supplements, then you may end up with fatigue caused by a lack of various minerals.
Solutions to the problem
One of the commonly used solutions is consuming energy drinks or even coffee, but I do not recommend these because they usually contain high amounts of caffeine, which will make you more tired in the long run.
Instead, I recommend that you take a look at your daily dietary intake and try to stick with natural foods as much as possible. High amounts of sugars should be avoided completely, along with processed foods containing high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids.
Eat plenty of fiber from vegetables and whole grains, but don’t eat too much, or it will cause stomach problems and/or you’ll become tired from the digestive problems.
Include a lot of lean meats, seafood, nuts and seeds into your diet on a regular basis to get plenty of protein that will help you burn fat more easily.
Ensure that you eat foods rich in magnesium, such as pumpkin seeds or almonds and foods high in iron, such as lean meats or leafy vegetables.
Be sure to avoid sugary foods and drinks, especially soda drinks that may contain high amounts of sugar substitutes which are known to cause fatigue.
Don’t overeat because it will make you tired for the same reasons as eating fats- your body needs a lot of energy to process food! When you sit down to eat, make sure that you only eat until you are satisfied and not stuffed.
Make sure that your body is getting enough vitamins and minerals, so if you don’t take supplements, it would be best to try eating foods high in magnesium, which is known for improving energy levels.
If these dietary changes do not help or need more guidance on improving your diet, please leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you for reading!