So, I have been starting to eat vegan for about the last three weeks! (woot) about 95% of the way there...
My question is, why do I have less energy now? I am constantly tired early in the evening and just overall, have less energy!
It's very annoying, I have read that it may be due to a lack of protein in my diet, any other ideas?
Congrats on your transition!
While making your switch are you eating mostly whole foods (whole grains, veggies, fruits, beans)? I find that when when I eat a lot of of processed meat analogs I don't feel the greatest. Same goes for highly processed foods in general. Your body could also be detoxing.
If you feel the need to add more protein, try adding more beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains to your diet. That should give you a protein boost.
you are probably under eating on calories... try to make sure you are getting as many as you used to.
Congrats on going vegan!
I second SarahMonster: Your body is probably tired because it is detoxing. Switching to veganism eliminates a lot of toxins from your body that you were receiving upon eating animal products and thus it may feel sluggish for the first little while (don't worry, it won't last forever!) Make sure you get adequate sleep and drink lots of water to help the initial detox-period go smoother.
As well as what others have said here, maybe read about vegan B12 & omega-3 sources... I get a little droopy when I'm low on those. I don't worry much about protein-- if you're eating a balanced diet w/ plenty of whole foods, you're probably getting enough. Humans just need about 10-12% of calories from protein (like 0.36g/lb/day, if I remember right)-- & that's usually not difficult as long as you're eating enough calories for your body's needs...
I'd also look at complex vs simple carbs, for a steady release of energy vs. burst/ crash cycles...
When I went off dairy, I experienced significant 'detox' symptoms (no kidding: think it was opiate withdrawal)-- the worst was over within 10 days of zero dairy, but if you've been coming off it slowly vs 'cold tofurkey' (teehee), maybe that period could last longer, & still be giving your body grief...
Don't give up: most people who eat a plant-based diet have MORE energy than others; just get through the transition period, & it'll be better!
Do you get enough H2O? Its wierd, but when I started eating more vegan foods, and less processed ones, I found that I drank way less water because I didn't eat as much sodium, so now I have to make sure I get my 64 oz in a day, and then I have tons of energy!
Everyone has chimed in with good suggestions so far!
I would also like to say that you should have MORE energy as a vegan, not less! When I'm tired, it's usually due to:
-not enough water consumed
-not enough calories consumed
-not enough rest
I doubt protein is an issue, unless you're just eating junk food. As someone else said, it's best to focus on whole foods. I would also recommending consuming lots of fresh, organic veggies & produce.
Hope that helps!
I agree w/ what's been said.
If I'm low on energy it's usually due to a vitamin deficiency. Iron, the B vitamins, and Omega-3's are all important for energy, so make sure you're getting those. Also the calories, make sure you're taking in enough because that will definitely drain your energy. Animal products tend to be more calories dense (for example hamburgers, cheese, etc) so you may think you're getting more than you are. That one is easy to check tho, just write down all the calories you take in for a day or 2 and see if it's enough. Also do you exercise? If you start feeling drained try to go on a walk or something and it'll help.
i wouldn't worry about supplementing anything... that's just me.
yay for eating more!
WOW thanks so much guys for all of the info!
So I've looked at my diet for the last few weeks, and I think it's due to my calorie intake. I started using fitday and realized I am getting way less calories than I was when I was eating meat ( ~1,000 less) oops! Also, I also heard about B12 being important for energy, I may start taking a supplement, who knows.
I definitely get enough water in the day, thats all I drink now...
A lot of vegan substitutes are fortified w/ B vitamins, so you might not need a supplement, replacements for dairy are most likely to have them. Actually I started drinking a probiotic thing called Good Belly and they have these little 2 oz shots that contain a lot of vitamins including 100% B12, B6, Thaimin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Folate (B9), and Biotin (B7), among others, so you may want to look into something like that. It would probably absorb better than supplements anyway. But I've really noticed a difference, I went on antibiotics 3 times in the past 5 months so really needed those probiotics and between those and the vitamins I feel much better :D
soy milk protein odwallas have 100% b12 in 1 serving (which is only half the small bottle) and tons of protein (10 grams a serving) as well :) good luck i hope u feel better soon :)
I'm not a vegan expert, but gathering the worlds perspective on this transition, it would mean eating only fruits and vegetables, but that is far from true.
You need to do a fair amount of substituting in order to maintain your health.
Try eating carbs for breakfast, things like beans on toast is a good way to process the energy, and helps the body digest more efficiently.
Beans, nuts, legumes, as well as vegetables like potato and sweet potato are good sources of natural carbs.
You might want to think also about taking some vitamins, I'm sure previous people have suggested the appropriate ones.
ummm i only eat fruits and veggies....
very occasionally a few nuts or seeds. it's true. no substitution or supplementation needed.
I'm sure you are getting enough protein (that's just not hard to do) but you could be approaching anemia! Watch your IRON and B12.. stock up on raisins, spinach, spirulina, beans (esp. tofu and tempeh), etc. Iron is a constant battle for most people while B12 stores can last up to a year.
I didn't read the other posts so I'm sure this is repetitive.
good for you D. when I made the switch I felt really exhausted and hungry all the time, this lasted about a month or two and then it was like a switch was flipped, I slept better and had more energy than ever, the thing that got me through was starting the morning with a huge breakfast usually starting with fruit then cooked some home fries (nuked a potato for about 5 min that way its really quick to brown in the pan) some smart life sausage and some toast with earth balance, jam or PB. snacking alot and drinking tons of water helps, getting through it is tough and is a test in determination but it is worth it, hang in there!