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Why your healthy diet could be making you exhausted


Cutting carbs could be making you exhausted Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Guille Faingold

You’re eating a balanced diet, drinking water like it’s your job, and working out regularly—but still falling asleep at your desk. So, what gives?

You might not have heard of the “carb flu,” but it’s a thing, Byrdie reports—and it could explain why even your iced matcha isn’t making you feel energized.

“You can feel less energetic if you’re someone who eats a lot of carbs and suddenly cuts them out.”

Basically, if you’ve ever cut your carb intake drastically, then promptly gotten flu-like symptoms—AKA feeling run-down, experiencing mental fog, and even headaches and muscle aches—then you’ve probably already suffered through this.

“You can feel less energetic if you’re someone who eats a lot of carbs and suddenly cuts them out,” Isabel Smith, RD, told Byrdie. “I don’t necessarily think people should cut carbs, but instead swap processed carbs for whole grains, or eat more [starchy] vegetables.”

Going carb-free might feel great in the beginning, but you can easily go from powering through your SoulCycle classes to skipping them altogether. And if that’s the case, you’re better off sticking to a happy medium when it comes to your intake. (Hello, Kayla Itsines-approved sweet potato enchiladas!).

“Vegetables should be your primary source of carbs,” Smith says. “Your body doesn’t need other forms, but life without them can feel restrictive and austere.”

There you have it: The next time you’re feelin’ blah, look to the carbs in your diet. Switching up the type and amount might make a bigger difference than you think.

Love sweet potatoes? Here’s how to eat them all day long. And when you want something lighter, get your carbs from this creamy broccoli soup.