Feeling tired

Hazel_p94

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Hi guys, so I recently have become vegan. I started January 1st and so far everything has been fine not missing any foods and loving all the new food I'm eating. But I find myself being really tired I'm eating lots even more than before lots of fruits and vedge and meat substitutes too but I just feel tired really quickly I've never had this problem before any help or tips?
 

KLS52

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For me, it’s usually that I haven’t hydrated myself with enough water throughout the day. I can go all day without drinking a drop. Make sure you’re drinking enough.

How’s your sugar/carb intake? Mine tends to be high some days and it definitely makes me tired, especially if I’m not drinking water.

And sleep...precious precious sleep. I do not get enough.
 

karolinaraton

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Hi there and welcome to the vegan life! It’s very common to experience fatigue while transitioning into tge plant based diet. Just because you are eating more veggies and fruit it doesn’t mean you’re eating enough as plants and vegan meat substitutes contain less calories. It would be really helpful to know what you’re eating during the day so we could figure out the issue as I think you might lack iron in your diet.
 

David3

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Hi Hazel,

Good question! On the other veg forums, this is a common question from newer vegans.

Assuming that you don't have a cold, flu, or other medical problems, a common cause of new vegan tiredness is simple lack of calories.

Beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are low in calories. As a result, some new vegans unintentionally under-consume calories. Depending on your weight and activity level, you likely need 1500-2200 calories per day. Now, consider that:
  • Beans only have about 230 calories per cooked cup.
  • Whole grains only have about 200 calories per cooked cup.
  • Fruit (except for dried fruit) only has 40-100 calories per cup.
  • Non-starchy vegetables only have 5-40 calories per cup.

An easy way to increase your calorie intake is to include nuts, nut butters, and seeds in your diet. Nuts have about 600-1000 calories per cup (depending on the type of nut). Peanut butter has about 100 calories per tablespoon.

.
 

Lou

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I could make like 100 guesses. but let's just take the guess work out.
Go to CronOmeter and sign up. It's free!
You will need to set up a profile but it takes only a few minutes.
Also, there is a bit of a learning curve to it. They do have a great Help Menu if you run into any problems.
Maybe the first couple of times you use it it will take some time but once you get used to it and learn the shortcuts cuts it takes just a few minutes a day. And you don't have to do it everyday. After a week or so any deficiencies you are experiencing should stick out pretty clearly. then you just have to find foods to add to fix that.

One of the things that might be an issue is iron. and plant-based iron (non heme iron) is not as absorbable as animal-based iron (heme-iron). so it's not unusual for a vegan to need more than 100% of the RDA of iron.

Do you take a multivitamin? you might try taking one and seeing if that helps.
 

David3

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Hi Hazel,

Hopefully you're still with us! As you can see, it's pretty difficult for your fellow vegans to diagnose your problem over the internet!

When I had an issue with my vegan diet about 15 years ago, I received great help from a local Registered Dietitian.

In the UK, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through the British Dietetics Association: https://freelancedietitians.org/dietitians-in-private-practice/ . In the Shropshire area, it looks like there is at least one RD whose practice includes vegan nutrition.
.
 
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PoppyBlue

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I was tired for the first week and a half then BAM! Woke up one morning and just had loads of energy to burn since then. My husband took a bit longer but it passed too so don't give up. Like those who have mentioned already, take those vitamins!
 
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The Master Of Design

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I experience tiredness from time to time but I think that's normal and it can happen to anybody for multiple reasons.
Anyways, I think David summarize it pretty well. Thank you David!

Hi Hazel,

Good question! On the other veg forums, this is a common question from newer vegans.

Assuming that you don't have a cold, flu, or other medical problems, a common cause of new vegan tiredness is simple lack of calories.

Beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are low in calories. As a result, some new vegans unintentionally under-consume calories. Depending on your weight and activity level, you likely need 1500-2200 calories per day. Now, consider that:
  • Beans only have about 230 calories per cooked cup.
  • Whole grains only have about 200 calories per cooked cup.
  • Fruit (except for dried fruit) only has 40-100 calories per cup.
  • Non-starchy vegetables only have 5-40 calories per cup.

An easy way to increase your calorie intake is to include nuts, nut butters, and seeds in your diet. Nuts have about 600-1000 calories per cup (depending on the type of nut). Peanut butter has about 100 calories per tablespoon.

.
 

vishvadave

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Hi Hazel,

As I transitioned from being a vegetarian, I only had to give up dairy products. It is important that you get sufficient nutrients from veggies and fruits, this is a link I generally use to understand how much nutrients I'm taking in from fruits and veggies. An apple is actually packed with vitamins, so an apple a day surely keeps the doctor away ;)

And with feeling tired and eating a lot, I recommend having chia seeds, they keep you full, packed with fibre and give you plenty of energy. I recommend having them with plant-based yogurt, or as pudding or simply with fruit-infused water (this tastes amazing).

I hope this helps, and things will surely get way easier with time, I promise.
 
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David3

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Hi Hazel,

As I transitioned from being a vegetarian, I only had to give up dairy products. It is important that you get sufficient nutrients from veggies and fruits, this is a link I generally use to understand how much nutrients I'm taking in from fruits and veggies. An apple is actually packed with vitamins, so an apple a day surely keeps the doctor away ;)

I agree with vishvadave, although apples are not particularly vitamin-rich: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2
.
 

Emma JC

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