With the clocks going back this Sunday (28th October) you may be looking forward to that extra hour in bed, but this small change could actually significantly impact your health. We’ve asked the experts for top tips in staying well rested and energised during the shorter winter days.
1. Winter munchies
Do you feel as though you’re more tempted to raid the biscuit tin in the winter months? This may not be a coincidence, according to research. The study from the University of Exeter suggests that people face subconscious urges to over-eat at this time of year due to the fact that in our past, being overweight has not posed a significant threat to survival compared to the dangers of being underweight and we have an urge to maintain body fat more in winter when food in the natural world is scarce.
Dr. Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin Diabetes supplement (www.curalife.co) adds, “Our lifestyle is very different to that of people just two generations ago. The modern way of life involves eating excess calories from super-sized meals, processed high-GI foods and snacking between meals. We tend to burn fewer calories than we consume, leading to being overweight and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
“Overeating can not only create weight gain, but reaching for these foods will only make us crash after the initial energy rush, causing a vicious cycle. Don’t be temped to binge eat just because so much food is on offer, especially during the festive period. You can still indulge but try and eat smaller portions, or make up for it by eating lighter meals in between,” explains Jacqueline Harvey, Wellness Expert & Author of Body Cycles (www.jacquelineharvey.co.uk).
2. Be sleep savvy
The clocks going back may be a little disorientating at first as our bodies need some time to adjust to the new sleep schedule. To help you feel more rested and ready to hit the sheets, Nutritionist Cassandra Barns recommends taking magnesium. “Magnesium is also known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’ so try where possible, to add magnesium rich foods to your diet. These include buckweat, sunflower seeds, fish and leafy green vegetables. I’d also recommend taking KalmAssure Magnesium Magnesium Powder, by Natures Plus (£24.50, www.naturesplus.co.uk). This is a naturally chelated magnesium which is very easy to absorb and easily delivered to the tissues.”
3. Support your energy with superfoods
With the darker days drawing in it can be even more tempting to wrap yourself up in a blanket to watch some Netflix, however you can boost your energy levels by feeding your body with essential nutrients. This is where the brand new sense* for Busy Lives is at hand (£21.99, www.boots.com).
“sense* for Busy Lives has been expertly designed to support the modern lifestyle, to help avoid oxidative stress and reduce fatigue. Containing a range of essential vitamins such as, vitamin B12 and iron to provide a natural energy boost, helping you hit the ground running and tackle your to-do list. An additional benefit of the powders is that the ingredients responsible for the flavour also deliver nutritional benefits and increase the product application and efficacy. From the antioxidant rich acai berry, to beetroot, which is associated with boosting exercise performance, to guarana providing a natural way of getting your caffeine hit,” explains Accredited Nutritionist MSc/BSc at sense* (www.senseproducts.co.uk), Dimitra Sentelidou.
4. Step away from the sugar
“We are born with a sweet tooth so we are naturally drawn to sweet food. Breast milk is very sweet and it is thought that this natural attraction to sweetness has evolutionary advantages. Sweetness indicates that a food has more calories and, hence, is energy dense: energy-rich foods would have been vital for our survival in the past. Also sweet tastes tend to be a good indicator that a food is safe to eat – bitter tasting foods are more likely to be toxic and would be avoided. However this natural tendency towards sweeter foods means that sugar is often added to a huge variety of different foods in order to make them taste more appealing so we eat more of them,” explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, (http://marilynglenville.com).
“Once you cut out sugar, your blood sugar levels will stabilise, you will have more energy and you will undoubtedly sleep better. You will also notice a huge array of cosmetic effects – losing sugar will gain you a slimmer body and a clearer, brighter complexion,” adds Marilyn.
5. Support your energy levels through your gut
“We’re learning more about the importance of the ‘friendly’ bacteria and other microbes that live in our gut. Our gut is often referred to as the body’s second brain as it is teaming with billions of bacteria that help influence our energy levels as well as; immunity, mood, digestion and even brainpower,” explains Cassandra.
The brand-new sense* for Gut Health Capsules (£14.99, www.boots.com) can help not only your gut, but also your energy levels! This natural food supplement provides expertly targeted nutrients, supporting gut membranes, digestive enzymes and healthy stomach acids by replacing the harmful bacteria with nutrients that help to heal and maintain a healthy gut.
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