Lack of energy...Am I getting enough calories?

  • Hello.  I am in week 8 of my Body for Life challenge.   I do see I am making progress.  However in the last 2 weeks I am feeling a big lack of energy.  I mean I am tired all day long.  I am hungrier than normal also.  I have been sticking to the food list and eating clean.  I am taking in about 1200-1300 calories a day.  I want this so badly and am so excited to start seeing significant changes over these last 4 weeks of the challenge so I don't want to screw it up by over eating.  But I am fearful my lack of energy is from too few calories.   Any thoughs? 

  • Barring any unforeseen medical conditions, you simply are not getting enough fuel to feed your body.

    Post a sample of your daily eating plan if you don't mind.

  • Personally I think your caloric intake is too low to help you recover from BFL wear and tear. My intake is around 1700 daily. You need to feed the machine! and stay hydtrated too. :) Week 7 can be tiring, try to nap a bit more and drink a bit more water too. Hang in there, you will overcome this!

  • Thanks for the replies.  No medical issues that I am aware of.  Here is today’s plan which is pretty typical of most days.

    8:00 ½ cup oatmeal

           1 scoop protein powder

    10:30 Myoplex Light Bar

    1:00 1 whole wheat tortilla

           Chicken ***

           1/8 cup of 2% cheese

           2 tsp taco sauce

    3:00 1 scoop protein powder

           8 oz skimmed milk

    6:00 Chicken ***

           ½ cup brown rice


    Depending on when I get my workout in I may or may not get the 6th meal done.  Many times I can’t work out until 8:00-9:00 in the evening so I don’t want to eat that late.  If I can get my workout in by 7:00 I’ll will have a protein shake afterwards.  That’s not very often.

  • Okay:

    First of all, you are missing a carb at 3PM.  going by the book alone, that is going to make you a very hungry soul for the rest of the evening, surprisingly you don't go on a carb binge in the evening.

    Second,  you need to get that 6th meal, do not worry about the time you do it, eat at 10:30 if you have to.  Missing one meal a day is not the end of the world(though it may impact you negatively in the short term but it's reparable), missing multiple 1 meals per day has a cumulative effect that will add up to a negative results.  All those proteins and carbs your body needs, especially after a workout are being left out for the wrong reasons.

    Fix those issues up and you'll be fine.

  • My lack of energy/fatigue came on due to lack of water or lack of proper sleep. I filled a gallon jug in the morning and committed to drinking the whole thing each day. I planned better to get adequate rest. Came back around for me.

    You only have 1 veggie. Make sure you get in two. Your body needs them.

    6 meals are absolutely necessary. You have got to get it in. I eat my last one sometimes at 11 at night. That thought process about eating late at night being a problem does not correlate with BFL. The high protein, equal healthy carb meal plan is to adequately fuel your body THROUGHOUT the day. Eating late is actually a good thing. Keep the insulin level stable. If you don't get your 6th meal in, you will feel fatigued. I struggled within my first week to get it in and then I forced it and felt better. FUEL YOUR BODY!

    Cottage cheese and an apple is a GREAT last meal before bed.

    Keep the faith!

    Faithful Renee :0)

  • I'm counting the skimmed milk as a carb.  So I guess I will add something there and then an after workout meal and see if my energy level improves.  

    I get plenty of water....sleep is questionable.  Unfortunately I just don't sleep well...never have.  I get about 7 hours but wake up several times throughout the night.  Energy hasn't been a problem until the last two weeks.  I'll trying increase a few hundred calories and see what happens.   I was just worried about taking in too many and not getting the changes I'm so excited to start seeing!

  • Heather: Here is a post you may not have seen before that might help. Its a repost from BFLMike. Take care!



    As you approach the last 3 or 4 weeks of your challenge, you will be met by many conflicting emotions and events! Here’s what is "likely" to happen if you have been working hard and dieting consistently. (If you haven’t been working hard and dieting consistently you’re probably not reading this and not even trying anymore anyway!):

    1. Tired..First of all, you’re going to be a bit tired, even after a weekend of light activity and reasonable eating. Bottom line is that a 12 week all out transformation takes a toll on both body and mind, and right now the body is beginning to signal that it is getting leaner and that it isn’t recovering fully from the beating you are giving it.

    While this could turn into an overtraining effect if it continued for another 8 weeks, keep in mind you have at most 4 weeks to go and this is the reward time. Force yourself to get a little more rest, even a nap if you can work it in, but DON’T cut back on the workout intensity. This is when muscles start popping out, striations and tendon inserts show up, and you begin to look like that poster or that photo you’ve been dreaming about! Completing a winning transformation takes lots of strength and stamina, and this is when you need it most!

    When you’re going through Hell, keep going!

    2. Emotions can really be on edge….. It can be almost like 4 solid weeks of PMS for some ladies! So, guys, if you’re reading this and your significant other is in week 8, it might be time to stock the bomb shelter or man cave with more beer and Diehard movies!

    3. Others will notice the very serious changes…. and they often kick into overdrive their efforts to "stop the madness" because your new appearance threatens them or requires them to think about why it is that they are not changing

    4. Hungry…..You will definitely feel a need for more food than in the past. You will be experiencing true hunger after two hours instead of around three hours as before. Depending on your leanness levels and goals you will want to choose either to ignore the hunger and eat the same schedule, if you are still needing to lose scale weight, or to add in about 20% more protein per meal if you are wanting to continue to grow or preserve muscle and are near the leanness level you want.

    I promise you that the next and last four weeks will not be easy. In fact, it will be very hard. But this is clearly no time to quit–you can practically see the finish line from here.

    Do what champions do, and literally force that flesh to do what you want it to. The body always thinks it’s going to die and tries to send all these "stop" messages to the brain.

    The disciplined mind will take those whiney messages for what they are worth and will step it up to the very end!

  • Skim milk as a carb?  Never heard that before, not saying it's wrong or anything but it's approx. 12 carbs per cup so regardless, it's not enough.

    By adding a carb to that meal, and ABSOLUTELY eating your 6th meal no matter the time(there were times when I ate at midnight to get my 6th meal in), you will add the necessary calories.  In the end though, STOP COUNTING CALORIES!!!!!! to define your dietary plan - lol.  Seriously though, just get your proper portions, protein and carbs x 6, vegetables x 2, and you will be getting what you need.

  • Thanks Legs...I had not seen that.  That just about describes me to a T!

  • Im glad it helped. BFLMike always had something to say to me that made sense. Im so glad I saved a few of his posts. :) And good job for asking....someone around here is always able to help. Now give those last weeks horns girl!!

  • Armster: I have heard of some people using milk as a carb. I agree though, it wouldnt "fill me up" the way oatmeal would. :)

  • I'm always weary of using liquid as the sole carb, just seems so empty.  Add to the fact that it contains only about 1/2 the carbs necessary would explain on part of the issue here.  Missing that 6th meal though is the crux.

    Note over the course of a week alone, say you miss 4 meals, that's 80 grams of the necessary fuel.  It's going to catch up to a person to be sure.

  • Fat free milk is actually on the food list under carbs now.  But I see what you guys are saying....I'll add an apple with my protein shake at 3:00.

    Thank you so much for all your advise.  I'm ready conquer these last 4 weeks!   I'll let you know if these little changes help with the energy level.

  • Is it?  I learned something today.

    You stil haven't mentioned if you are going to get that 6th meal...I assume you are right?