Can Being Overweight Cause Fatigue?

In today’s world, we have to be very active. However, some people appear to be lazy which causes a lot of health issues including chronic fatigue. You might be wondering, can being overweight cause fatigue?

Even though it is true that a lazy lifestyle can cause obesity, it also works in reverse. Overweight people have been known to be less active and fatigued.

Tired All The Time? | What Causes Fatigue? by LetsGetChecked

What drives us to be physically active?

 The natural drive in human beings has forever limited our physical activities for survival and food gathering. Yet, in today’s world, we might not find the need to be physically active for survival.

The trigger for the need for exercising comes from other factors such as being healthy and happy. The athletes who inspire us with their performance have also motivated us to maintain fitness levels like them.

Does being overweight make you tired?

Studies have linked being obese directly to activity levels. In the face of things, it might appear that obesity directly contributes to the onset of fatigue symptoms. obesity is not just a cause of lethargy but also can also stem as an effect of leading an inactive lifestyle. Studies on children have shown that fatigue symptoms appeared as an effect of laziness rather than a cause.

risk of obesity in men and women
Fig 1 demonstrating the risk of obesity in men and women

What causes Fatigue?

The general understanding is that overweight people are lazy. However, there are certain variables and factors as well. It has been researched that a body in a good diet is more active than another body in a junk diet . Let us take a look at the causes of fatigue:

  • Insufficient exercise- Laziness has been directly linked to muscle loss. What we are left with are weaker muscles which demand more effort from the body thereby waning its energy levels. If you exercise frequently then it builds muscles and boosts energy and reduces stress levels in your body. This is the reason why aerobic exercises have been prescribed to people of all age-groups. 
  • Cardiac ailments- Heart issues have been the cause behind fatigue symptoms in people. If a heart is weak it will not transport enough oxygen to the body and its organs. 
Also Read:  How To Start Jogging When You are Overweight

This will cause fatigue. The way out of this is to commit to aerobic exercises to increase its strength. However, having a weak heart also deters your ability to work out and hence allow obesity to develop. 

  • Glucose levels- A study that was conducted across a diverse population showed that high glucose levels cause fatigue . In women, it was noticed that glucose was directly responsible for lethargy than men. A similar study on the type 2-diabetes population showed that fatigue affected both men and women.
  • Drinking liquor- Drinking alcohol in general makes you feel lethargic throughout the day. Alcohol raises the epinephrine in our body which increases stress in us and makes us wake up abruptly in our sleep. It also contributes to sleep apnea which causes fatigue. Liquor also causes fatty organs which makes it difficult for you to work out and fight tiredness.

Eating Too Many Refined Carbs

  • Carbs are essential for any diet to give your body a quick source of energy, but an excessive amount can result in a poor diet. 
  • When your body ingests carbs, they cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar levels, resulting in a boost of insulin and a feeling of exhaustion. 
  • Studies have shown that ingesting fewer carbs and refined sugars during meals can result in having more energy.

Being Inactive

  • When people admit they aren’t active enough, usually they blame it on the fact that they “are too exhausted”, creating a really brutal cycle that can exacerbate fatigue symptoms. 
  • It’s natural for the body to be active, and days spent sitting down will eventually leave their mark. 
  • But studies have shown that exercise can be a great solution for reducing fatigue.

Not Getting Enough Protein 

  • While in general, a poor diet will contribute to being fatigued, protein is especially important for healthy living. 
  • Consuming protein can help boost your metabolic rate more than carbs and fat. 
  • A study showed that college students who ate high protein foods like fish, eggs, and beans had lower levels of fatigue compared to others. 
Also Read:  The Best Exercise For Overweight Females Over 50

Inadequate Hydration 

  • Studies have shown that even being mildly dehydrated can result in fatigue. 
  • Regardless of your weight, drinking the recommended amount of water (15.5 cups for men and 11.5 for women) can help you stay energized and healthily hydrated.

How to Lose Weight and Get Active

But how do you get out of a vicious cycle of inactivity and poor diet choices? Well, it’s a challenge, but one that many people, including you, can achieve with the right tools.

Take It Slowly

  • Like quitting cold turkey, going to the extreme is not really recommended.
  • Try one change at a time, and slowly add them to your schedule (we’ll talk about the importance of routine below). 
  • Add either a 30 minute (or even less) workout slot to your schedule, or add one healthy meal every other day.

Find Exercises and Food You Love

  • When it comes to living a healthier life, there are so many myths that need to be addressed.
  • First of all, exercising (especially when starting out) doesn’t need to be the worst thing in the world. If you need a little help, have a little help. Consider apps that allow you to curate your exercises by duration, or help encourage you with daily goals. Technology can help you exercise at your own pace.
  • You might know the benefits of riding a bike, but you don’t need to start biking for hours at a time to feel them. Take it slow, enjoy the ride, and have fun! Being active should make you feel good, and if you are pushing yourself too hard, you can inadvertently hurt yourself.
  • “Eating healthy” is advice we all get when deciding to change our habits, and there are a lot of misconceptions about what this means. It does look different for everybody. What’s key to remember is “healthy” food can taste good! 

Get Excited

  • You’re changing your life for the better! Say that out loud, and think about all the benefits your life will have. That in itself is great motivation to start changing your life, but it’s not the only way to get excited. 
  • Buy workout clothes, equipment, or a new kitchen aid for healthier snacks. Get a bike that fits you, or buy a juicer! From a psychological perspective, purchasing new things can help you get motivated for the new life you want to live. 
Also Read:  Best Treadmill Workouts For Overweight Beginners

How to treat fatigue?

Apart from diagnostic treatments, here are some remedies for fatigue:

  • Have a proper sleep schedule and adhere to it even on your off days.
  • Remember that fatigueness causes a drop in your work performance.
  • This is why the place where you sleep must have a comfortable temperature and less distractions.
demonstration of the effects of fatigue - inforgraphic
Fig 2 is a demonstration of the effects of fatigue
  • Try eating long before your scheduled bedtime.
  • There are food habits that are imperative to make sure that you don’t wake up with lackluster levels of energy. Avoid consumption of caffeine and food with high sugar levels.
  • Eat fresh fruits and a balanced diet without junk food.
  • Getting ample physical activity can be a way forward. Those who are not into any sort of physical activity should gradually incorporate some amount of exercise.
  • Fatigue causes harm to your mental capabilities, so a careless lifestyle will affect your mind as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

   Can being overweight cause extreme fatigue?

As discussed earlier, your weight and BMI have a direct bearing on your energy levels. Chances are if you are obese you will have low levels of energy because of the fat content in your body.

If you weigh less or in an appropriate amount, your mobility will increase. This entails more voluntary physical activity which will keep you away from the onset of fatigue

Fatigue is often followed by drowsiness and the lack of motivation to do physical or mental work. It also causes muscle aches 

If your BMI is between 25.0 to 30 you are obese but 18.5 to 25 falls within the healthy weight range. 

With impurities all around us, it is high time that we start taking care of our health before there are repercussions. Being obese is not a problem provided you are doing something to remedy your situation.

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