"Why are you so tired?" Dr Libby.
This week, nutritional biochemist, author and speaker, Dr Libby came to Perth on her Australian tour, "Why are you so tired?" and shared with us some of the reasons why we might be feeling so exhausted all of the time.
Dr Libby really is a wealth of knowledge and is a true vision of health. I think it is safe to say that everyone there learnt a great deal about their bodies and left feeling motivated and inspired to look after themselves better.
Lack of energy is one of the biggest complaints I hear with my clients and is consistent throughout most age groups.
Why is it that so many people are feeling utterly exhausted?
A lot of it has to do with our busy, chaotic lifestyles that we all lead. There are a lot of external pressures and demands in this current society and our bodies are not used to or equipped for this sort of existence.
But let's take a look at what else could be going on internally and what changes can we make to amplify our energy.
I am going to share with you here some of the key things I learnt from the inspirational, Dr Libby Weaver.
Her talk addressed 3 main areas of concern when it comes to energy.
- Emotional (and I will add to this lifestyle)
This covers all of the ins and outs of how energy (also known as ATP) is made in our cells, starting from the food that we eat to the usable energy that is produced.
The main biochemical reaction that we need in order to produce energy is the KREBS CYCLE.
There are numerous nutrients and enzymes that are needed for this krebs cycle to work efficiently and if we are lacking any of these substances, our biochemical reactions will be compromised and this will lead to fatigue.
Within each cell, structures known as mitochondria are the real energy power houses and without them we simply can't make energy. This is where the food we eat is actually converted into usable energy.
To increase the number of mitochondria in your cells, you need to increase your muscle mass.
You can do this with resistance training or weight bearing exercises. This will in turn increase your metabolic rate.
CoEnzyme Q10 is a special type of antioxidant that is absolutely essential for the krebs cycle to function efficiently. This can be taken as a supplement to assist energy production in the body. It is also extremely beneficial for heart health. The chemical form is called ubiquinol.
* If you would like to know more about CoEnzyme Q10 and are interested in taking a pharmaceutical grade supplement to support your energy production, please contact me.
Food is what our bodies need to be energised and nourished. The food that we eat is what is converted into energy in the body.
- We need to eat real, whole foods that are packed full of nutrients. When I say nutrients, I mean vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These are what keeps us alive. Make sure your diet is full of variety, eat as many coloured vegetables as you can and include things like berries, olive oil and dark green leafy vegetables everyday.
- Teach your body to burn fat, not sugar by regulating your blood sugar levels. Eat at regular times and avoid high GI, sugary, processed foods. Imagine that your energy source is a burning fire in your body. Feeding it sugar is like giving it petrol, you will get a sudden burst of energy but it will dwindle very quickly. Feeding it (good) fat is like giving it wood. It will burn longer and much more consistently.
What good fats should you be eating?
Nuts, seeds, avocado, fish, olive oil, coconut oil and the list goes on.
- B vitamins are crucial to extract energy from food. Be aware though as B vitamins are destroyed by light and heat (over 10 minutes).
- Iron is the most common nutritional deficiency, particularly in women. We all know that if we are low in iron, we feel lethargic and fatigued. There could potentially be something that is blocking your iron absorption. This may be gluten, calcium, fibre or something else.
- Here comes the one that no one wants to hear. Caffeine! Be honest with yourself, how does coffee really make you feel?
Some people might not be affected as much as others but start to listen to your body and really hear what it is trying to tell you. Caffeine drives the production of adrenaline in your body which makes us feel alert but can also be very depleting on our adrenal glands.
Try having just one a day and don't have coffee after lunch time. That seems like a fair enough compromise, right?
Emotional and lifestyle
- Our mind and body are in constant communication with each other. Our body hears what our mind says. Consider the way you talk to yourself everyday and how that makes you feel about yourself. Does it make you feel uplifted and energised, or are you hard on yourself, making you feel lousy and depleted.
- Ask yourself, what are you doing in your life that you don't want to be doing? Why are you not living the life you want to?
Constantly doing things that we don't want to do can be very draining on our energy.
As Dr Libby says, "if it is not a hell yes, then it's a no."
Learn to say no to people and things that are not good for you or that are making you feel exhausted.
Remember... "You are busy with what you say yes to."
- Does your brain feel like it has too many tabs open? Are you always over thinking and worrying about something?
Just like when your Iphone or Ipad has too many apps open, it will drain your battery. It is no different with your own energy.
Write a to do list, schedule your day properly. This will save you having 100 things running through your brain all day.
A few other tips and tricks to think about..
- Morning rituals. Be sure to start your day right with some quiet time, meditation, movement or writing.
- Move your body as much as you can. Sitting compromises your bodies ability to burn and produce energy.
- Stay hydrated. Your body needs water to remove waste and toxins effectively.
- Sleep is so underrated in todays society. We ALL need between 7-9 hours of good quality sleep. Reduce your screen time at night and make sleep a priority. This alone can be life changing.
- Breathing. Deep, relaxing, extended breathing (especially your exhale). So simple but so unbelievably effective.
A bit more on breathing..
Deep, slow breathing with an extended exhale is the only scientifically proven way to allow your body to get out of that fight or flight response and into a more calm, relaxed, rest and digest state.
By lengthening your exhale, you are moving your diaphragm which sends a message to your body letting it know it is safe.
Practising deep breathing every day is one of the best medicines you can give to your body.
There is a lot to learn and a lot of information to take in, which can all seem quite overwhelming.
Just start somewhere. Try one new thing. Commit to making a change in your life and then notice how you feel.
If you have any questions, or you'd like to find out more, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
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