Atkins Diet and Fatigue

On some diet plans, pills are recommended that have stimulants as the active ingredients.  Stimulants do indeed suppress appetite but they also tend to, well, stimulate the entire body.  This may result in spectacular highs where you seem to have boundless energy for a few hoursâ??and then just as suddenlyâ??you find yourself too tired to even think, let alone move!  Other diet plans may not advise special pills made from stimulants, but they will ask that you limit caloric intake to the point of exhaustion.  But is fatigue an issue on the Atkins diet?

Unfortunately, this is a complicated question to answer because there are several potential causes of fatigue.  One of the reasons many of us chose the Atkins diet was because we were tired of being tired all the time.  Overeating is a very common cause of fatigue.  We have all had a large supper and found ourselves wanting to doze off afterwards.  Oddly enough, undereating or starving yourself to the point of passing out is also a common cause of fatigue.

Without a steady influx of food at regular intervals, the body must attain all of its energy from fat stores.  This process takes time and it requires water.  Prolonged drains upon the fat stores will result in fatigue, especially if any significant physical activity is also being undertaken during the period without food.  Energy cannot be converted fast enough to meet demands so fatigue results and forces the body to conserve energy.

Fatigue is not an issue with the Atkins diet because the state of hunger is never induced or prescribed.  In fact, it is the contention of Dr. Atkins himself that practitioners can eat as often or as much as they like.  So long as the calories are coming from high-energy sources such as protein, the number is not important.  Therefore, with no limit on food intake or times of feeding, the Atkins diet will not force a person to be hungry for any sustained periodâ??and thus not cause fatigue in this instance.

However, the Atkins diet is considered a diureticâ??in other words, it causes dehydration because of ketosis and changes to the metabolism.  Dehydration is another known source of chronic fatigue and constipation.  Both of these conditions are possible in the Induction phase but can be avoided by increasing fluid intake to compensate. 

Another source of fatigue is blood sugar problems.  By following the Atkins diet correctly, your blood sugar problems should diminish as the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.  However, people with thyroid problems and diabetes may still require medication to better control the condition.  Be sure to consult with your diet prior to beginning the Atkins diet if you have either of these serious medical conditions.

The Atkins diet may cause temporary fatigue in the beginning due to dehydration, but you can compensate fluid intake and eliminate this problem.  Overeating, undereating, and blood sugar problems are all either eliminated or reduced by the Atkins diet.  Because all are known causes of fatigue, it is certainly true that the Atkins diet helps reduce fatigue and produces an even distribution of energy throughout the day.

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