So, this week started off with ‘Blue Monday’, apparently the most depressing day of the year. There are many reasons that we can feel a bit down at this time of year – post Christmas bills, miserable cold days & much too long to wait until the next pay day.
For most of us, these are short lived feelings, but for some the problem lasts much longer and can be far more debilitating than just a desire to stay under the duvet all day. Dietary and lifestyle changes can really help, but the health benefits of vitamin C when it comes to depression and anxiety are not widely known.
We’ve all heard of the benefits that it has on our immune system, but did you know Vitamin C deficiencies can cause depression and cravings for sugar too?
Stress and smoking can really use up our body’s supply of vitamin C. Smoking reduces up to 40% of the body’s supply of vitamin C daily. A non-smoker needs an average of about 1,000 mg of Vit C per day, whereas an average smoker may require about 3000 mg....
It's thought that a fortnight into January, people abandon their gym membership, fall back into unhealthy eating habits, or reach for that bottle of wine after persuading themselves to partake in Dry January. But why can’t you stick with those resolutions? The key? Well, there are simple and manageable lifestyle changes that make a difference. Whether you take baby steps or big leaps, the choice is up to you.
According to psychologists, even though you might want fast results, you procrastinate. Sustained effort is key to success, so by wanting too much and therefore spreading yourself too thin, you end up at the starting line, feeling defeated already (and even less inclined to begin all over again if you need to).
Resolutions are a healthy way to reboot your life – but you need to keep them real. The secret is to fashion long-term, reachable goals that contribute towards what everybody wants, in the end: happiness. Here’s how:
1. Your attitude determines your altitude. The way y...
The peri-menopause can be one of the trickiest times for women to get their head around. One minute you’re 30, full of energy to do all the things you want in your life. Yes, there may be challenges but none of them seem unmanageable. Life – especially when you look back – seemed pretty great. All of a sudden it seems life and age have snuck up on you. You’re just not quite the same person you used to be. You notice you get tired more easily, some days you’re literally dragging yourself through the day, you’ve lost your get up and go for no reason, the weight you used to be able to lose in the run-up to an important event stays stubbornly in place no matter what you try, and you can’t seem to shift that foggy feeling in your brain.
But it can’t be the menopause, right? You’re too young…The menopause actually refers to a time when you haven’t had a single period for at least a year. The run-up to it can last for years and it’s called the peri-menopause. Think of it as the menopause trans...
It’s the New Year and you’re committed to a healthy start. But those cravings keep on sending you awry. Is it all in your head or is your body trying to tell you something?
Some might dismiss a ‘wisdom of the body’ theory as quackery. However, if you think about the biological processes happening within your body and the factors affecting these, the argument to substantiate a link becomes more compelling. Here’s why.
Food is so much more than just calories. It’s information. The body is a wonderful machine, constantly sending you signs and signals about the information (or nutrients) it needs to function at its best. The trouble is, when you fall into unhealthy patterns, you unwittingly train your brain and body to think and crave certain foods. Often these foods give you a quick fix. You feel great for 30 minutes, yet an hour later your energy levels are on the floor and you need another hit to keep you going. Sound familiar?
This concept applies to everyone, not just women in pregnancy...
‘Hormones’. Oestrogen and testosterone are the two that most likely spring to mind, and their role in puberty, libido, the reproductive system. In fact, our bodies produce a whole host of other hormones which play a role in our health and how we function day in day out. Ghrelin, given its name as a ‘growth hormone releasing peptide’, controls hunger, food intake and combined with growth hormone, fat storage.
Stimulated by the cells in our stomach, ghrelin sends signals to the hypothalamus in the brain telling our bodies it’s time to eat. Small amounts are also released by the pancreas and the small intestine. The more ghrelin in the bloodstream, the bigger the appetite and likely, the more food you eat. After food, ghrelin levels are decreased as we’re satiated, and they don’t rise again until your body starts looking for more energy.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you might be wondering how you can keep your levels low. To be clear, ghrelin is no...
Is it all in your head or is your body trying to tell you something? Some might dismiss a ‘wisdom of the body’ theory as quackery. However, if you think about the biological processes happening within your body and the factors affecting these, the argument to substantiate a link becomes more compelling.
Here’s why. Food is so much more than just calories. It’s information. The body is a wonderful machine, constantly sending you signs and signals about the information (or nutrients) it needs to function at its best.
The trouble is, when you fall into unhealthy patterns, you unwittingly train your brain and body to think and crave certain foods. Often these foods give you a quick fix. You feel great for 30 minutes, yet an hour later your energy levels are on the floor and you need another hit to keep you going. Sound familiar?
This concept applies to everyone, not just women in pregnancy who are typically associated with an appetite for unusual or inedible substances such as clay, coal or d...
Easter is going to turn up this weekend, whether you like it or not. Chocolate and hot cross buns are all around; in every shop and TV commercial. It’s enough to melt away your good intentions and, with this much pressure, binging feels almost inevitable.
Of course, chocolate is available all year round. The trouble seems to come when there’s too much chocolate, as is the case at this time of year, which leads to too much temptation, eating too much in one go, then feeling miserable because you over indulged. The worst parts of a binge are the feelings of guilt and failure that you feel afterwards. So let’s fix that.
Let’s accept that Easter will mean chocolate indulgence on one level or another. Here’s how to make the best of it.
1. Try to discourage family and friends from buying chocolate for you. This puts you back in control of how much you have.
2. Ideally you’ll want to choose the darker chocolate eggs or chocolate selection. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less room there i...
Did you ever do a double take as you walked past a mirror and realise that THAT woman is actually you? Sometimes it is almost as if your fat cells take on superpowers while you sleep, adding inches in the space of just a few hours. How is it that all of those tricks you had up your sleeve in your 20s and 30s for quickly shaving off half a stone before the summer holidays just don’t work anymore, despite your dedication and willpower?
The ‘midlife’ years can be a challenge for all sorts of different reasons and, yes, weight loss IS harder. The rules are different when it comes to weight loss when you’re over 40, that’s for sure. Aside from diet, the seven remaining pieces of pie are thyroid hormones, the stress hormone cortisol, the fat storage hormone insulin, oestrogen, sleep, digestion and exercise.
It’s a path you need to navigate carefully to find your own magic formula, but losing weight, regaining your energy, getting back to your best is possible with the right advice, and...
When the temperature drops, the chance of you coming down with a cold or the flu increases significantly. It’s widely accepted you’ll get sick more often in the winter. That’s because you’re likely to be inside more and the common cold thrives better in dry air than where there’s humidity, and, when you spend more time indoors, you’re exposed to more germs.
Here’s something interesting about the common cold: when your core internal temperature falls after exposure to cold, the immune system’s ability to battle the rhinovirus (the virus that causes it) is also reduced. The immune system literally slows down. Cold feet may also play a part. In a recent study, researchers made students sit with their feet in cold water for 20 minutes. These students were found to be statistically much more likely to catch a cold in the next five days than the control group (those who didn’t have to sit with their feet in cold water).
The flu virus is also transmitted much faster when it’s cold out becau...
Hey, would you like to come to this place, spend the evening at that place, have a mince pie, sausage roll, mulled wine, taste my world-beating Christmas cake…? And you’ll go because you can’t resist. You’ll feast like you’ll never see another meal, and you’ll consume frightening amounts of festive tipples because otherwise you’ll be missing out on all the fun, right?
FOMO – shorthand for fear of missing out – is the acute and often unjustified belief that everyone is having way more fun than you, and that you're somehow being left out of all the said fun. And it reaches its annual high any day now.
Small wonder. Apparently, the British cram 44% more social occasions into December than any other month.
But FOMO really is not your friend this month (or indeed any month) – especially if you want to maintain your weight over the holidays. Let’s take a look at how that festive FOMO usually pans out…
You’re committed to healthy eating at Christmas, and you go to one buffet parties or ev...