A healthier, happier you is only a scroll away...
When most of my clients first contacted me for personal training or nutritional coaching, they felt they not only needed a kick up the arse (their words) but were stuck in a routine of unhealthy habits they simply couldn't kick.
Too much sugar and caffeine, not enough movement and a distinctive lack of nutrients (among many) can all accumulate into general feelings of sluggishnes, irritability and energy slumps. These slumps consequently lead to craving more sugar or caffiene, or both and the cycle goes on.
If this sounds familiar, please don't worry as there is another way of living! Having been there myself, I know what it's like to want to stay in bed all day, starting the day with a glass of concentrated orange juice followed by one cup of coffee to the next, perk myself up with a chocolate bar and feel too tired to exercise. And that was only by mid-morning...
Remember what we eat will not only be what our bodies wear but also exactly how we feel. If you're tired of feeling tired, perhaps you want to shift some flab and start making the most of life (after all, it's pretty short and precious) then here's eight easy (and FREE!) things you can try today.
1. Make water your first drink in the morning
This is the time your body needs water the most. If your usual morning drink is tea or coffee, try having 500ml of water (ideally filtered) first and then see if you still want it.
If so, try a cup of boiled water with a slice of lemon. Your body is in it's most fragile state first thing in the morning and giving it an acidic beverage can set you up for a day of sugar cravings.
Yes you may experience withdrawl, but after a few days your body will thank you.
2. Have one meal of raw food per day
Since incorporating this into my diet, I have certainly noticed a difference in my energy levels.
Animal protein is far more acidic than plant protein so swapping what would normally be chicken, turkey or fish for a huge salad of greens, sprouts and seeds has made a phenomenal difference.
I do this for either lunch or dinner and it keeps me full for hours due to the high fibre content.
3. Get out of breath for 10-20 minutes
It's ironic how getting out of breath stops you feeling tired!
Fat-burning exercise doesn't need to take hours. Hours spent on the treadmill/crosstrainer may even end up making you fatter due to filling your body with the stress hormone cortisol.
Short bursts of intense exercise intervals (I like sprint drills and skipping) are great for keeping you trim, reducing your stress levels and keeping energy slumps at bay.
4. Avoid sugar
You've heard it before and I've certainly said it before. If you think of sugar as a poison, designed by companies who want your money and don't care about your health...that might be a good starting point.
Remember, the more sugar you have, the more you will crave. Read food labels to spot the hidden sugars in foods (avoiding processed foods makes this a lot easier.)
Limiting fruit to 1-2 portions a day (mine is usually in my green smoothie) also stops you craving it.
5. Don't eat later than 8pm
If you're having a large nourishing dinner full of vegetables, this promotes satiety (fullness) and contains enough fibre to carry you through until the next morning.
It also allows food (proteins and grains) to be properly digested without getting trapped in your system, and supports your body's natural circadian rhythms.
6. Go outdoors
I train my personal training clients outdoors at any given opportunity, mainly because sadly for a lot of them it is the only time of the day they get to experience fresh air!
I've written previously about the endless benefits of getting outside and some natural sunlight on your bones, even if its just five minutes during your lunch break.
7. Mindfully Meditate
I've yet to meet a relaxed peaceful person who doesn't make time in their day to day life for meditation. Quieting the mind, even for just five minutes can tremendously help with reducing stress and anxiety, as well as improving daily productivity and sleep quality.
It can also aid weight loss by making you more mindful of what you are eating, and less likely to eat rubbish as a stress-response. A great way to start is to listen to a guided meditation audio (try the wonderful Tony Robbins) who I am a huge fan of.
8. Avoid wheat/gluten
Anyone who knows me knows of the wonderful things that have happened to me since discovering I was gluten intolerant. Not only was it making my gut bloated and uncomfortable, but also affecting my brain and central nervous system (CNS).
I would struggle to concentrate, feel tired for no apparent reason, and not always get great sleep quality. If you're already cutting out bread and pasta (well done!) have a look at food labels to see exactly what does and does not contain gluten. After a couple of weeks, you may well notice the following things:
- your memory/concentration will improve
- you will sleep better
- you will feel less sluggish
- waking up in the morning will be easier
- your fiance will find that you now get jokes (OK, maybe that's just me...)
So there you have it, eight easy healthy things to try that won't cost you a penny. You could set yourself the target of trying one per day to see for yourself how straightforward they are. You will find the more you do, the more you will want to do. Feeling awesome is pretty addictive!
Even if you just incorporate one or two of them into your life, they will all create tremendous benefits.
Remember the better you feel, the better you will look. I wish you good luck in creating your new healthy habits and look forward to hearing how you get on!