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Question
Posted by: Jo-Ann | 2009-01-19

Iron= too tired

Hi doc,

I have an iron deficiency and I am so tired I cannot excercise. I work 9 hours a day at the office, and because I struggle to exercise I am slowly but surely expanding.

My office is a home office, so I share the room with 3 other people. That makes getting some exercises in the office a bit difficult. I sneak off into the bathroom about 3 times to do some moves in there (I spend about a minutes jumping up and down, doing jumping jacks and doing ' twists' ). I do the same thing before I go to bed.

Now I know my BMR is 1406 and that my working 9 hours burns about 500 calories. I also walk home to cook and my grooming takes some time as well- all burning calories. I don' t eat that much (I basically live on Wheatbix, Low GI bread, white meat and lots of tomatoe sauce) and I don' t eat junk food or deep fried food. I am taking an iron suppliment but I need something that I can do quickly that will have results.

What can you suggest?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Jo-Ann

Are you treating the iron problem? I presume so...? I know you're taking a supplement, but is it having an effect, and have your energy levels changed? That's obviously important, because without that you're fighting against physiology here.

But for the rest, I think you really need to step back and assess the routine you're in. Your diet, if you'll forgive me for being blunt, sounds abysmal. And the ironic thing is that undereating is just as likely to cause weight problems as overeating, because you're denying your body so many essential nutrients and energy content that you'll adapt by changing your metabolic rate. In the long term, this kind of diet is very counter-productive. This is particularly true given that you are iron deficient. So I really think that priority number one should be to see a dietician and at least sort out what you eat.

As for exercise, I hate to sound flippant, but nobody suddenly discovers that they have all the time in the world to train. You have to make it. And I appreciate the demands of work and how this can interfere with the best plans for training, but you have to really make the time. The one or two minutes you're getting are very minimal and doing little for your overall health. You also can't factor in normal daily activities, because then you start playing this numbers game of balancing the ledger and the body doesn't work that way. On that note, how do you know that your metabolic rate is 1406? And that you burn 500 calories during 9 hours? Because unless you've spent 24 hours in a metabolic chamber (and there is only one in SA), this is guesswork. And if you are off by 10%, then it makes a huge difference. So I really think you need to simplify this, and say, in order: 1) Diet, 2) Routine, 3) Exercise programme, and things will become much easier to sort out.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: Zexeon | 2009-01-20

I' m also drinking Autrin and restrict junk food. Why don' t you join a gym, go jogging, inspie your room-mates to join you or do it at a close friends house? You could even do it in your lunchtime as to get a fuller workout of at least 20 min when possible. I also eat alot of tomato products but have to eat meat as I only drink my iron supplement every now and then mostly when my runny tummy starts as it tend to make me constipated. Maybe you could follow a healthy balanced diet if you struggle with this get some advise at diet doc, your doctor ect. Good luck.

Reply to Zexeon

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