1

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Too tired to exercise so don't - am i right?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 13, 2012 at 8:39 AM

I've been Paleo for a few weeks now but with a few wobbles when I ate non-paleo things. Initially I was making good progress and my sleep had reglated really well so I was waking early enabling me to go for morning workouts. The past week and a bit though I've been like a zombie in the morning I just can't wake up or get out of bed and this fatigue eases as the day progresses but lasts majority of the day. Maybe I am not eating enough but when I do its high fat moderate to high protein and low carb although I eat lots of veggies they're all low carb choices like broccoli, lettuce, cucumber and cauliflower....actually hose are pretty much the staple! I eat twice a day say 12pm and then again around 8pm. Each meal is either cooked in lots of coconut oil or has lots of extra virgin olive oil poured over it with avocado. I take a multi vitamin and fish oil and have 2 cups of coffee a day in the morning with coconut milk or coconut cream.

My main issue is that I am aware how fatigued I am in the morning and so decide not to exercise for fear of raising stress levels which is detrimental.

1) Am I right to or should I just plough on? Is it best if I'm too tired in the morning to forego exercise and just rest? 2) Is it pointless to exercise in the afternoon or evening as I read its best to exercise fasted and in morning? 3) Can you have late onset carb flu? I'm getting headaches now too but that's just been in the past couple of days.

I'm scared if I listen to my body I'll become a couch potato! I want to be Paleo for health reasons but also to drop body fat % and lean out.

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on October 24, 2012
at 06:38 PM

That's great advice David, I hadn't considered the knees needing time to adapt from cycling aspect!!! I think I need to stop throwing myself into things and take time to ease myself in. I am starting to lift heavy things as well so we'll see how that goes!! :)

Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

(1297)

on October 22, 2012
at 11:52 AM

Having just seen all the other answers I wonder whether you are overtraining? If you are used to doing lots of cardio (5-7 days per week), you will certainly need more carbs to maintain your schedule which would explain the fatigue. Also, if you bike all summer, then at this time of the year your knees will take time to adjust to the load-bearing. Cycling simply doesn't have the same sort of impact. And finally, if you are interested in improving your tone you should swap some of your bike/run commitment for lifting heavy things.

C8976e6d769b80eb516858cbe254edad

(220)

on October 15, 2012
at 06:28 PM

I am not a morning person and workout at night but it actually leads to less sleep for me as it boosts my energy. Also I think working out while fasting for a few hours will do the same as working out first thing in the morning.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on October 13, 2012
at 12:17 PM

1. If you're tired, that's an important signal and you should rest. OTOH, if you exercise in the morning and feel good after, then do it! 2. If you feel fine exercising in the evening, do that. 3. You're going very low carb, and that can work and is very good for weight loss, but if it makes you feel the way you are feeling, you're too low carb. Throw in a small amount of sweet potato or maybe a piece of fruit post-workout, and see if that doesn't make you feel a lot better. Note: Disagree w/Grottenolm. Too low carb for an exerciser can be as bad as too few calories.

09bdfdb3be1bb05b8aea79d55afd9e30

(174)

on October 13, 2012
at 11:33 AM

I had around a week of general lack of energy. One day towards the end when I woke up I felt more tired than I had the night previously, had terrible brain fog, felt nauseous and spent the day on the couch. Everything picked up from there. I also didn't have any cheats during my first 45 days, so the few blips could be causing the problem. Regarding the time, I have read that fasted exercise in the morning will promote weight loss. But exercise is never pointless. If my body was accustomed to afternoon workouts and I preferred it, that is what I would do.

1b47e0a6d7984e33e59581d8364cc3dd

(716)

on October 13, 2012
at 11:15 AM

I do the exactly same, bike in summer and run when it's colder, and have the same problem with the knees. I also prefer afternoon/evening for exercise, even though I'm a typical morning person. But I haven't come across such studies that say that morning exercise is better or worse. This one indicates that late evening exercise leads to better sleep, and consequently less sleepiness the next day, which is pretty important IMO: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9628115

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:55 AM

How long did it take you to get over carb flu in the end? I know exactly what you mean, despite always having been an afternoon exerciser, I found the days I was the most tired with the least will power were the days I got the best out of myself. I just find that in the mornings I am stiff and tired but now on Paleo, I am more than just tired, I have horrible sleep inertia: brain fog, heavy, heavy head and body almost to the point of giving me a headache, which it recently has! I think it's my paleo blips that is perhaps prolonging my carb flu agony, I do tend to be VERY strict. :s

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:53 AM

All those veggies you are eating are hardly energy dense sources of calories. Eat more fats and protein and start exercising little by little - force yourself A LITTLE - Might I suggest outdoor activities such as an early morning walk to get your senses pumping. Get some natural light on the retinas this week each morning and see how you feel...

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:49 AM

I was wanting to increase my running ability and overall fitness. Over the summer months I bike and then over the winter I run; my running is usually poor as I get injured easily, mostly my knees. Through out the year though I do resistance work and so the mornings will be a mixture of weights and running. From history I find that I run better in the afternoons/early evenings and have never been a morning person but then I read that morning is the best time to exercise and I can't remember where but I also read that the benefits of morning exercise far outweigh afternoon making it redundant...

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:49 AM

Whenever I feel to tired to exercise, it has always been as a result of eating too little, which in my opinion is easy to do on a whole foods way of life. This is regardless of macronutrient intake. Eat a few hundred calories more for a few days and experiment. The only time that tiredness effects me regardless of calorie intake is related to my cycle - that symphony of oestrogen, progesterone, insulin, luteal phase, ovulation. Etc.

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6 Answers

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2
09bdfdb3be1bb05b8aea79d55afd9e30

(174)

on October 13, 2012
at 09:04 AM

When I began eating Paleo I gave myself a month and a half before I headed back to the gym, because I had read that my energy levels might fluctuate as I was adjusting to the changes, and that strenuous exercise might interfere with the process. I opted for some slow walking each morning instead. Perhaps allowing yourself some more time to get used to the diet would be a good idea. I've seen people indicate that it has taken them anywhere up to 3 months to move past the carb flu stage.

That said, have you tried to workout regardless of how you feel? There are mornings when I wake up and feel so tired that at every point of my journey to the gym I have it in my mind to just turn around and go back to bed. Right up until the point that I actually begin to workout. As soon as I start, I feel fantastic. Not to mention that I find I have significantly more energy on the days I do workout vs days I don't

09bdfdb3be1bb05b8aea79d55afd9e30

(174)

on October 13, 2012
at 11:33 AM

I had around a week of general lack of energy. One day towards the end when I woke up I felt more tired than I had the night previously, had terrible brain fog, felt nauseous and spent the day on the couch. Everything picked up from there. I also didn't have any cheats during my first 45 days, so the few blips could be causing the problem. Regarding the time, I have read that fasted exercise in the morning will promote weight loss. But exercise is never pointless. If my body was accustomed to afternoon workouts and I preferred it, that is what I would do.

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:55 AM

How long did it take you to get over carb flu in the end? I know exactly what you mean, despite always having been an afternoon exerciser, I found the days I was the most tired with the least will power were the days I got the best out of myself. I just find that in the mornings I am stiff and tired but now on Paleo, I am more than just tired, I have horrible sleep inertia: brain fog, heavy, heavy head and body almost to the point of giving me a headache, which it recently has! I think it's my paleo blips that is perhaps prolonging my carb flu agony, I do tend to be VERY strict. :s

2
1b47e0a6d7984e33e59581d8364cc3dd

(716)

on October 13, 2012
at 08:46 AM

What kind of exercise do you want to do? You can do low level exercise like walking or slow biking without increasing stress levels and most likely improving your state. It's not pointless to exercise in the afternoon/evening, not sure where you've read that nonsense. You should exercise when you're feeling most energetic, whether this is in the morning or evening is not so relevant.

Note that it takes some time to adapt to lower carb diet, and this can be more than a few weeks depending on how strict you've been with it. So that might explain why you're feeling tired.

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:49 AM

I was wanting to increase my running ability and overall fitness. Over the summer months I bike and then over the winter I run; my running is usually poor as I get injured easily, mostly my knees. Through out the year though I do resistance work and so the mornings will be a mixture of weights and running. From history I find that I run better in the afternoons/early evenings and have never been a morning person but then I read that morning is the best time to exercise and I can't remember where but I also read that the benefits of morning exercise far outweigh afternoon making it redundant...

C8976e6d769b80eb516858cbe254edad

(220)

on October 15, 2012
at 06:28 PM

I am not a morning person and workout at night but it actually leads to less sleep for me as it boosts my energy. Also I think working out while fasting for a few hours will do the same as working out first thing in the morning.

1b47e0a6d7984e33e59581d8364cc3dd

(716)

on October 13, 2012
at 11:15 AM

I do the exactly same, bike in summer and run when it's colder, and have the same problem with the knees. I also prefer afternoon/evening for exercise, even though I'm a typical morning person. But I haven't come across such studies that say that morning exercise is better or worse. This one indicates that late evening exercise leads to better sleep, and consequently less sleepiness the next day, which is pretty important IMO: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9628115

0
C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

on October 22, 2012
at 11:25 AM

Thank you so much everyone for your help; my energy levels are fluctuating at the moment and I think it's going to be just a matter of getting used to it. I am introducing some turnip, parsnip and squash into my diet so we'll see how those go for me. Thank you!!

Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

(1297)

on October 22, 2012
at 11:52 AM

Having just seen all the other answers I wonder whether you are overtraining? If you are used to doing lots of cardio (5-7 days per week), you will certainly need more carbs to maintain your schedule which would explain the fatigue. Also, if you bike all summer, then at this time of the year your knees will take time to adjust to the load-bearing. Cycling simply doesn't have the same sort of impact. And finally, if you are interested in improving your tone you should swap some of your bike/run commitment for lifting heavy things.

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on October 24, 2012
at 06:38 PM

That's great advice David, I hadn't considered the knees needing time to adapt from cycling aspect!!! I think I need to stop throwing myself into things and take time to ease myself in. I am starting to lift heavy things as well so we'll see how that goes!! :)

0
Medium avatar

(10601)

on October 13, 2012
at 07:20 PM

Total up how many calories you eat in a day. You don't need to start doing it all the time, but do it once to find out if you're undereating. A lot of the veggies you listed are considered "negative calorie" foods, and while this is specious reasoning they have very little food value. I'd expect you should be eating 2000 calories a day to do much exercise and not feel tired out.

0
D4d0165711da841beafe7292b710a532

on October 13, 2012
at 03:04 PM

eat a few extra carbs (squash and pumpkin are great right now) and see if that helps you out a little- especially if you aren't trying to go into ketosis. when i started strict paleo i needed a little sweet potato or pumpkin to help me get out of the slump... i would second the above- make sure you are eating enough- when i started i realized i wasn't eating enough (1200 or less daily) it was challenging for me to adjust to eating HUGE portions of veggies, moderate meats, and moderate fats to meet my caloric requirements.

also if you are too tired to exercise i would say don't. the seasons are changing and our bodies are adapting to a change with all of the new winter bacteria and viruses and sometimes we just need more sleep. work out in the afternoon if you feel so inclined, or just move more during the day. i bought one of those blackout eye masks too- i found that made a HUGE difference with my sleeping.

good luck!

0
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:51 PM

If you feel better exercising in the afternoon, do it in the afternoon! If you've changed your workout routine to the early morning, you might be cutting into your sleep time or cycles so that you feel very, very tired. This might be your body just trying to catch up to your sleep disruption.

Another possibility, is you are undereating. Try bringing your calories up a bit and see how you feel in the morning. When I started tracking my calories I was shocked that I was eating so little because most of my food was watery veggies (it was summer, salads galore). I added in an avocado a day, and energy went waaay way up. I also adapted a more "Perfect Health Diet" approach with moderate carbs.

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