Lifestyle, Lifestyle

Can food reverse a burnout?

Maybe you’ve increased your load too fast and your muscles aren’t getting a chance to recover, this could cause a burnout and prevent progress.

We all have days where we’re not feeing super perky. But if that feeling of fatigue and even exhaustion is lingering, it might be a sign you’re burnt out. We asked Aquanation personal trainer Byron Manning about nipping a burnout in the butt with your diet.  

Signs you might be burnt out

We get it, life can get super hectic. Whether it’s work, study or just life commitments there are times where we all feel like we’re about to fall in a heap. Then again, you might be so caught up in your busy life you may not even realise you’re about to burn out. 

Manning says there are some common signs that might indicate you’re on the verge of burning out. “Signs include physical fatigue that’s not really going away or mentally you can’t get yourself fired up for training, you might be less focussed or general motivation for staying active is lacking when you wouldn’t normally have an issue.”

What’s the culprit for your burnout? 

When you’re in a big slump, Manning recommends looking at the external factors that have caused the burnout in the first place - simply looking at how you’re training and recovering is a great place to start.

“Maybe you’ve increased your load too fast and your muscles aren’t getting a chance to recover, this could cause a burnout and prevent progress,” he suggests.

For Manning, hitting the hay a little earlier and getting into routine is another goodie. “Set a realistic routine whether that’s getting enough sleep or getting into the habit of the program you’ve been given and setting achievable goals.”

Reversing your burnout with food 

Manning explains there aren’t really any magical food cures for a burnout, but how you eat can definitely impact your energy levels.


He says a really important factor is not restricting yourself. “If you are following a diet for a particular reason, whether it be body composition goals or you’re an athlete trying to support your performance, having a diet break where you’re not restricting yourself can help you progress physiologically and physically,” the personal trainer recommends.

For Manning, improving how you eat overall and not restricting yourself is better practice for sustaining your energy levels and achieving your fitness goals.

Get cookin’ good lookin’

We’re not all gourmet cooks, but Manning says cooking can be a therapeutic way of getting out of your burnout funk.


“Making food colourful and changing it up can definitely assist with the monotony of repeating meals through the week.” He adds that getting your meal prep game on point can also help you manage your time.

Hit the gym

This one might seem odd, but exercising to get some energy back actually stacks up.


Manning says exercise can be a great way to destress and changing up your workouts can certainly help. “Meditation, working out with a friend, taking your workout outdoors or listening to a new playlist while you workout are easy ways to shake things up and get away from a restrictive mindset,” the personal trainer advises.


Byron Manning is a personal trainer at Aquanation with a Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Science at Deakin University and is currently undertaking a Masters of Dietetics at Deakin University. Learn more.