There may have been a time where your ABC’s consisted of chips, burgers and American cheese. But we’re older and wiser now (… sort of). If you’re someone who likes a list, here are some tips and tricks to help you live a healthier lifestyle…
A – Activity
Sitting eight hours at a desk without breaks means you’re losing out on physical activity that can help you burn calories. Take the stairs, get off the tube a stop earlier and walk to work, walk around the park in your lunch break – do whatever you can to get your body moving.
B – Breakfast
Choose healthy breakfast options such as eggs on wholemeal bread with avocado or rolled oats with fresh berries.
C – Cut white carbs
“Swap to whole grain alternatives that release energy slowly. The carbohydrates in whole meal bread are broken down slowly over several hours and so do not give any sudden flooding of sugars into the bloodstream. Also, this gradual release helps you to feel full for longer, suppressing your appetite and stopping you craving sweet foods,” explains Dr Glenville.
D – Diabetes
According to the Diabetes and Wellness Foundation, there are currently 3.8 million people with diabetes in the UK. Dr Wendy Denning, working in association with CuraLin Diabetic Supplement suggests to avoid pre-packaged foods, cut-out or limit your sugar intake, make healthy diet and changes and increase your levels of physical activity.
E – Energy levels
“Try to keep your blood sugar levels and energy levels stable by eating regularly. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a healthy snack mid-morning and one mid-afternoon, with no longer than three hours between,” suggests Dr Glenville.
F – Fitness
“Regular exercise is essential, it releases feel good hormones, lowers stress hormones and encourages a good nights’ sleep. Do energy forming exercises such as running or aerobics in the morning and focus on milder activities later in the evening like a walk or yoga,” suggests Dr Glenville.
G – Gut health
“We’re learning more about the importance of the ‘friendly’ bacteria and other microbes that live in our gut. They’re thought to influence our immunity, mood and weight, as well as our digestion. Traditional fermented foods such as Kombucha can be a key way to maintain the healthy bacteria in our gut. I recommend Equinox Kombucha, which comes in four different flavours” explains Nutritionist Cassandra Barns.
H – Harmonise with hemp
“Phytocannabinoids are natural substances found in the hemp plant, most of which are non-psychoactive. Research has suggested that some phytocannabinoids can have benefits for our health including anti-anxiety, calming effects. For this reason, a supplement containing natural phytocannabinoids such as the brand new Natures Plus HempCeutix Complete Capsules could have benefits for calming our nervous system and helping prevent burnout,” explains Cassandra.
I – Immunity
“Echinacea is most commonly used as a herbal immunostimulant. You can get Echinacea root and make a herbal tea or a herbal tincture to prevent flu symptoms and the common cold. It appears to increase red blood cell count and reduce the length of illness,” explains Francesca Cappozzo, Nutritionist at Maitre of Thyme.
J – Junk food
“Junk food and pre-packaged, processed foods usually have no nutritional value. Remember to consume a varied and colourful diet and choose foods rich in fibres such as sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, roots, legumes and pulses. These foods can satisfy a sweet tooth and prevent the scales shifting,” suggests Martina Della Vedova, Nutritionist at Natures Plus.
K – Keep hydrated
It’s recommended to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day. “Don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink. You can do that by monitoring your fluid loss during hot weather, illness or exercise, and drinking enough liquids to replace what you lose,” advises Dr Glenville.
L – Laugh
“Having a laugh is one of the best remedies for stress. Many studies show that laughter boosts our energy, decreases stress hormones, improves immunity and diminishes pain. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals that make us happier and relaxed,” explains Dr Glenville.
M – Meal plan
Say goodbye to those pre-packaged supermarket lunches. “Meal prepping on a Sunday can ensure you have healthy, nutritious lunches available to take with you to work. By already knowing what you’re going to eat for lunch it eliminates the factor of spontaneity, which can lead to the temptation of buying take-away or processed and packaged foods,” explains Cassandra.
N – Nibble on nuts
Snacking is important to help ward of those mid-afternoon sugar craving. “The best foods to snack on, especially if you have a desk bound job, are unsalted nuts, berries with a pot of Greek yoghurt and lightly salted popcorn,” suggests Francesca.
O – Oily fish
“Essential fatty acids, which are found in oily fish such as Salmon, are important for your health in general, but they also slow down the rate at which the stomach empties, making carbohydrates even more slow-releasing. They can make you feel fuller for longer and also control hunger,” explains Dr Glenville.
P – Pilates
Young, old and all fitness levels can do Pilates. “The wider benefits of Pilates range from an increase in strength and flexibility, better postural awareness, a reduction of pain and an increased function to better sleep. Pilates has also been associated with improving mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, fatigue and fibromyalgia and reducing stress,” explains Eleonora Sansoni, Pilates Instructor at Maître of Thyme.
Q – Quit sugar
Sugar provides no nutritional value and is essentially just empty calories. If you need a little natural help cutting down on those sugary treats, try Natures Plus KetoLiving Sugar Control Capsules, which help to keep your blood sugar levels stable, minimising the chances of experiencing any peaks and dips that can lead us to temptation.
R – Realistic goals
Wanting to lose weight? Set a goal. “Decide and write down how much weight you want to lose and in what time frame – a fitness instructor or trainer can help you work out a realistic goal. Take measurements at the beginning of your journey, take ‘before’ photos as well as recording simple body weight on the scales. Then take new measurements every two weeks so you can see how you’re progressing towards your goal,” advises Cassandra.
S – Sex
“Sex or masturbation can help to relieve tension, burn calories and help you go off to sleep faster. Sex begins in the head, your body’s physical reaction follows. A key part of starting that sexual idea is setting the mood and romantic music can help, as can low lighting, a candlelit bath, or your favourite romantic or raunchy film,” explains Dr Glenville.
T – Take control
“If you feel the symptoms of stress coming on, learn to get your priorities right. There is nothing in your life right now more important than your health. Learn to say no if you feel that you have taken on too much. Being assertive is invigorating and empowering. It also helps to make lists of what is or is not a priority and to tackle the priority tasks first,” advises Dr Glenville.
U – Up your protein
“After water do you know what is the main constituent of our body? Protein! It has such an important role in the body, ranging from muscle growth and repair, creating hormones and enzymes that regulate the metabolism, support the immune system and many others. Include eggs, yoghurt, almonds, fish, chicken, lentils and chickpeas into your everyday diet,” suggests Francesca.
V – Vinyasa Flow
Invigorate your mind and body with yoga. Maija Kivelä, Yoga Instructor at Maître of Thyme explains, “Vinyasa Flow is afree-flow active style of yoga, which each teacher adapts and varies in style. Positions are not held for very long and you flow dynamically in and out of poses, linking movement to breath. This style is suitable for everyone who likes a lovely mix of movement, flexibility, strength and meditation.”
W – Workout with friends
“Being with others who are going through the same journey helps keep you motivated and accountable. If it’s not possible to exercise with friends directly, then try an online workout programme that has a Facebook you can join so you can share your progress and challenges with others,” suggests Cassandra.
X – X marks the spot
Experiencing a breakout? Reach for an avocado to help banish those spots. “Avocado is a good source of vitamin E, which is thought to have several roles in skin health. Like vitamin C, it works as an antioxidant so may protect the skin cells against damage from free radicals, which in turn helps to keep your complexion looking refreshed and revitalized,” explains Dr Glenville.
Y – Your body confidence
“Feeling confident in your own skin is something that requires time to get to know yourself. If there is a moment in your life where you are feeling insecure, grab a motivational book, talk to your best friend, go for a run, meditate and think about how amazing it is to be all so diverse,” suggests Francesca.
Z – Zzz’s
“A good night’s sleep can be a great stress-reliever. Unfortunately, sleeping well can be easier said than done. Do what you can to get to bed early enough to get 7-8 hours’ sleep, make sure your bedroom is a calming environment, and set up a good wind-down routine in the evening, such as taking a warm bath,” suggests Dr Glenville.