How to avoid feeling tired in a deficit

It’s so frustrating but every time I drop my calories I end up feeling tired and then go back into maintenance and feel better again. I know I’ve got 20 lbs to lose because none of my clothes fit me anymore. Is there anything I can do to avoid feeling tired? I drink 2.5-3 litres of water a day. I can maintain my current weight on 2400/2500, maybe 2600 calories. I’m honestly fine when I’m at maintenance but for some reason my energy levels tank when I cut calories. Honestly so frustrating!


  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 505 Member've said what your maintenance is....what is your calorie goal when you are 'cutting'?

    Are you excluding whole food groups or anything when cutting or just calories?
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 877 Member
    Are you getting regular purposeful exercise and 6-9 hours of sleep every day? How is your general nutrition when you cut calories? Lots of varied fruit and vegetables? Sufficient calcium, protein, fat? Are you cutting by more than 250 calories? That's where you should start. All of that.

    You can't cut too low when you're already at or near a healthy weight. Exercise gives more calories and more energy.

    I even struggle to cut 250 for more than a few days so when I need to lose it's a 250 cut for the week days and then Maintenance calories for two or more days.

    Yes I’m getting 5 workouts a week plus extra steps of around 8000-10000 steps most days. Workouts include 3 fullbody dumbell workouts and 2 yoga vinyasa flows. This is just what I enjoy and I don’t intend on changing my exercise routine. I’m actually eating more protein aiming for at least 110g per day. I get plenty of fruit and some veg, and I know I could add more veg into my diet these days but that isn’t something that would impact my energy levels.
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,043 Member
    Have you ruled out vitamin deficiencies? A general checkup with your physician may be in order. It could be iron, B vitamins, D.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 877 Member've said what your maintenance is....what is your calorie goal when you are 'cutting'?

    Are you excluding whole food groups or anything when cutting or just calories?

    That’s the thing, my calories vary a lot depending on what I do. I don’t have a fixed number! I just calculated my average calories for the past 3 weeks and they’ve been 2100-2150. I’m definitely eating enough.
  • Ob30470z
    Ob30470z Posts: 10 Member
    I got this, and then found electrolytes which really helped me
  • ChickenKillerPuppy
    ChickenKillerPuppy Posts: 267 Member
    Yes- I echo the comments about just trying to take a small deficit, either by doing maintenance calories 3-4 days a week and taking a small deficit the other days, or by just taking a very small deficit (maybe 2300-2400 calories a day?). It will take longer but you'll still lose. And honestly, kudos to you for knowing your maintenance calories and knowing you feel good with that. So much better than feeling weak and hungry and then eating over maintenance to compensate. Sounds like you are doing a great job.
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,511 Member
    edited March 13
    I've gone through that in the past. I'd start dieting again and simply didn't have enough energy to even exercise, even though everybody would tell me exercise would increase energy. :/

    I hope you can find the answers to your low energy level.
  • HoneyBadger302
    HoneyBadger302 Posts: 1,685 Member
    The calorie range you listed could make or break a deficit, and if you're cutting back in addition to that, it could be you are cutting back too steeply.

    For example, a "deficit" for me is about 200-250 kcal/day, which is the range you gave yourself in the OP. At that, I lose between .8-1.5 pounds/week (it does vary a bit, but averages right around 1 pound/week). That tells me I'm actually underestimating my TDEE a tiny bit, because 250/day deficit should only come out to about .5 lb/week - but it's still in a loss range I'm okay with so I stick with it (currently have about 15-20 pounds to lose still).

    I would try for more consistency for starters, and track your weight on a trend app - if you need 2600 to maintain, 2400 IS a deficit - if 2400 is maintenance, then, yes, you would need to go below that, but I wouldn't go too far.

    Honestly for myself, if I cut back more than I do right now, I also struggle with energy and the hangries. Diet breaks are important for me too so my body adjusts otherwise my hunger signals go crazy, which is usually a sign it's time for a 2 week maintenance wherever I'm at...within just a matter of a few days my hunger starts to stabilize again, and the idea of going back to a deficit in 10 days doesn't sound bad at all.
  • Walkywalkerson
    Walkywalkerson Posts: 447 Member
    I have been struggling with maintaining a deficit for months now.
    I'm on my last 20 lbs and even a 200/ 250 cal deficit makes me feel starving and tired.
    I have increased my fat intake over the last couple of weeks and I feel a little better - but the scale isn't moving 🙄