Depriving yourself of complex and simple sugars because you want to lose weight is actually just as harmful as consuming too much.

Firstly because glucides are your body’s main source of fuel for generating energy. If you don’t absorb enough glucides you may become chronically fatigued. You feel exhausted after even a minimum of effort, and often suffer from muscular pains.

Another common cause of muscular pain is a lack of magnesium. This occurs frequently, especially among persons on weight-loss programs, since magnesium-rich foods are also often rich in calories. Other factors that can result in a magnesium deficiency:

– alcoholism

– malnutrition

– improper absorption of nutrients by the intestines

– certain health disorders (pancreatitis, diabetes, hypo-parathy-roidism, hyperthyroidism).

To prevent a deficiency eat more of the following foods:

– cocoa, chocolate

– whole grains, whole grain rice, whole grain bread

– oleaginous fruit

– mollusks

– dried legumes

Use wheat germ (available in health food stores) to season salads, soups, cooked vegetables, etc., and instead of bread crumbs when preparing breaded dishes. Also try to add raw spinach, beet or dandelion leaves to your salads, and some chopped almonds or smoked oysters to cooked green vegetables. Lentils, beans, chick peas, broccoli and all types of cabbage can be served cold, seasoned with some chopped shallots or onions and a little olive oil.


A Vitamin E deficiency is characterized by circulation problems, anaemia, skin disorders and muscular exhaustion. If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, increase your intake of Vitamin E.

Main food sources include:

– wheat germ oil

– hazelnuts, almonds

– leafy green vegetables (lettuce and spinach)

– wholegrains

– cod liver oil

Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that protects cells and tissues. Women who take contraceptive pills, or who are pregnant or breast-feeding should increase their daily intake.

Because of its antioxidant properties, it’s also a good idea to take more Vitamin E during critical periods of menopause and / or aging, or if you are under a lot of stress.

More Vitamin C is also recommended in these situations.

Caffeine and other medicated stimulants may give you a boost at first, but quickly force your body to expend too much energy, resulting in muscular exhaustion and heart problems over the long term. Avoid stimulants as much as possible.


A lack of glucides can cause muscular weakness. Reintroducing reasonable amounts of simple (rapid assimilation) and complex (slow assimilation) sugars to your diet should solve the problem. Muscular weakness can also be caused by a lack of potassium, which is involved in a number of important organic functions:

– potassium (along with sodium) plays an essential role in keeping cellular membranes permeable;

– it is indispensable for the metabolism of proteins and sugars;

– it plays an important role in neuromuscular excitation and in maintaining heart functions.

The daily recommended dosage for adults is between 0.5 and 3 grams per day. In most cases the amount of potassium absorbed from food surpasses this requirement (about 2 to 4 grams daily).

Potassium-rich foods include:

– dried apricots

– bananas, plums

– cocoa

– carrots, spinach

– dried chestnuts

– dates, dried figs

– wheat germ, corn germ

– fresh herring, whiting, cod, trout

– lean ham

– powdered eggs

– meat (lamb, beef and rabbit)

Certain treatments or medications can result in a potassium deficiency:

– prolonged cortisone therapy

– certain types of diuretics

– a strict no-salt diet

– abuse of laxatives

In addition a magnesium deficiency will result in a significant loss of potassium, which in turn causes symptoms of abnormal muscular weakness and general fatigue.

Athletes and manual laborers lose a lot of minerals through perspiration, to the point where they show negative sodium and potassium levels (joggers are especially at risk). This can cause cramps and cardiac arrest. An effective preventive measure consists of drinking a large glass of grapefruit juice before making a concerted physical effort. Also take a potassium supplement and drink a glass of fruit juice during the course of the effort.