Isn’t strange how, as you get older, time whizzes by so fast you can barely remember what year it is, but slows to a glacial pace as soon as the holidays are looming. It can feel, this time of year, like walking through quicksand to get things finished before the break.
Healthy Food Guide is all about finding solutions to make your life healthier, therefore easier. So, here’s a list of the best ways to get more energy to make it through the slog till Christmas.
- Eat a good breakfast, ideally with protein such as yoghurt or eggs, to keep you satisfied for longer. If you’re in a hurry, blend a banana, frozen berries, kiwifruit, oats and plain yoghurt with milk for a fibre-packed smoothie on the go.
- Eat a varied diet. Feeling fatigued can be a sign you are deficient in something, and eating the same old thing day in day out can exacerbate that. Plan your meals to include a wide variety of vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and proteins to make sure you have the best chance of getting the various nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need.
- Keep hydrated. Drinking enough will help your body work at its best and can make a big difference to how you feel. Dehydration thickens your blood, so it can’t supply optimum energy to your brain and body, making you feel sluggish and tired. Eight to 10 cups of fluid a day is a good guide, but the amount needed varies when it’s hot or if you’re exercising.
- Get plenty of sleep. This seems obvious but poor-quality sleep is one of the main reasons people feel low in energy. To get a good night’s sleep avoid caffeine later in the day, limit alcohol consumption before bed, exercise (but not right before bed), go to sleep at around the same time each night, allow time to relax and wind down in the hour before bed, and keep your bedroom quiet, dark and cool (around 16-18°C).
- Snack smart. Nuts, high-fibre muesli bars, vege sticks, yoghurt, and cheese or peanut butter on wholegrain crackers are all great snack options that will satisfy for longer.
- Stay on top of stress. Hormones produced when you’re stressed, such as cortisol and adrenaline, make your heart, breathing and metabolism speed up. If this happens over a long period of time it can put pressure on your body making you feel exhausted. Regular exercise that makes you puff, such as fast walking or dancing, is a great way to relieve stress. Or, you could try yoga, meditation, or catching up with a friend who makes you laugh.
- If you try all of the above and still feel tired, pay your GP a visit. You could be short on vital nutrients, such as iron or B vitamins, or have an underlying medical condition, such as coeliac disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue or depression.