Your diet can help you beat tiredness. Read on to find out how…
In our increasingly fast-paced world, it’s no surprise that so many of us regularly feel low on energy. “There are many reasons why you may be feeling so tired,” says Linia Patel, consultant dietitian and sports nutritionist from The British Dietetic Association. “The majority of tiredness results from poor nutrition and hydration habits, but there are other factors that may contribute to poor energy such as vitamin D deficiency, insulin resistance, thyroid abnormalities and gluten intolerance. However, before you self diagnose and start cutting out any food groups – make sure you talk with your GP or see a registered dietitian or nutritionist.”
If you have been feeling fatigued, there are some simple things you can do to give yourself a boost – you may even find that
some very simple lifestyle alterations can go a long way to ridding you of your fatigue. However, if this is an issue you
and is ongoing, then it is best to seek out the advice of your GP to try and get to the bottom of the problem.
STAY WELL HYDRATED
Our bodies are made up of 70 per cent water and our brain and muscles are 75 per cent water so it is not surprising that
even mild dehydration (or feeling thirsty) has an impact on how well we perform mentally and physically. Keeping well
hydrated is key to boosting your energy levels and enabling you to function throughout the day.
DON’T GO HUNGRY
The key to boosting energy levels is maintaining optimal blood sugars. Chances are if you’re always tired, your blood sugar has something to do with it. To get your blood sugar levels under control you need to get your carbohydrate intake right. It’s not about cutting carbs completely. Its about knowing which carbohydrates to eat when. For main meals focus wholegrains such as ryebread, wholegrain rice and pasta, quinoa, new baby potatoes, beans and lentils.
PERK UP WITH PROTEIN
Protein is the nutrient that is often forgotten yet is so powerful in controlling blood sugar levels and keeping your brain
alert. Add some lean meat, fish or vegetarian protein, to your main meals. Snack on unsalted, unroasted nuts, greek yogurt and hummus (with raw veggies of course!).
ENERGY ENHANCING SUPPLEMENTS
There are some safe supplements that will give your adrenal system (which is the body’s main stress fighter) a boost and help increase your energy. These are vitamins such as B vitamins and vitamin D, which are most often linked to feelings of fatigue.
4 Energy Zappers … and how to fix them
Not sure what’s causing your tiredness? Here are four very common triggers
Sitting on the sofa or at a desk for ages can sap your energy – your body associates the lack of movement
with going to sleep.
Solution: Get up and walk around frequently and stretch often to keep your mind and body alert.
Bad posture – such as hunching forwards and slumping in your seat – puts your spine out of alignment. The more out of balance your spine is, the more your muscles have to work to compensate.
Solution: Whether you’re walking, sitting or standing still, give yourself regular posture checks. Aim for your head to be lined up over your body and your ears directly over your shoulders.
While losing weight will boost your energy, going on a crash diet will do the opposite. Very low-calorie diets, especially ones that give you less than 850 calories a day, will make you feel even more tired and can damage your health in other ways
Solution: Lose weight by eating healthily, cutting out junk and sugary foods, and reducing your portion sizes. Aim to lose no more than 2lbs a week.
Sugary choices, such as processed cereals, pastries, muffins and toast with sweet spreads, will give you a quick surge of energy as your blood sugar peaks. But you will slump just as quickly a couple of hours later.
Solution: To get a steady release of energy all morning long, eat a breakfast based on unrefined starch. Try homemade porridge with milk and a little honey, wholegrain cereal with fruit sliced over it and natural yoghurt, or an egg with wholewheat or granary toast.