Do You Feel Tired All The Time?

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With 1 in 5 GP appointments relating to tiredness or fatigue, there’s something of an energy epidemic in the UK. TATT (tired all the time) has become a recognised shorthand used by doctors to describe a patient who regularly complains of fatigue when there is no underlying medical condition.

I was inspired to write my new book Va Va Voom: The 10-Day Energy Diet (Headline £14.99) because I constantly hear people in my nutrition clinic blaming their age for their lack of energy. Whether you’re 29 or 69, it’s far more likely that diet and lifestyle are the main culprits and a few simple changes and new habits could make a world of difference to how you feel.

The book is full of simple, practical advice to restore your energy levels. It includes energy quizzes to help you identify what kind of tired you are (e.g. energy highs and lows, mentally drained or lack of stamina and physical strength); information about energy boosters and robbers to help you address your personal energy issue; a 10-day energy reboot plan and a Va Va Voom maintenance plan to help you keep on track in the long term.  To purchase a copy of Va Va Voom go to

If you'd like a bit more Va Va Voom in your life, here are 3 simple changes you could make straight away to get the spring back in your step:

1.      Eat More Protein
Lack of protein is one of the most common mistakes people make in their diet and women are often especially guilty of that by only eating protein with the evening meal. It’s easily done if you have some form of cereal or toast in the morning followed by a salad for lunch, but if your only significant portion of protein is a chicken breast or salmon steak with your evening meal, it simple isn’t enough.

Protein is essential for the body in many different ways, but it’s particularly important to fill you up and to keep you going during a busy day. Protein plays a vital role in maintaining blood sugar balance because it helps to slow down the release of carbohydrate in the body which will keep you and your energy levels going for longer. Good sources of protein include meat, fish, eggs, pulses, quinoa, nuts and seeds and eating a portion of protein with every meal and snack will help to balance your blood sugar, so you avoid the dreaded mid-afternoon energy slump that you probably know all too well.

3 ways to boost your protein levels
- add a tablespoon of pumpkin or sunflower seeds to your morning cereal or porridge
- make sure that protein represents ¼ of the meal at lunch and dinner. This could be a chicken breast, boiled eggs or a portion of quinoa, for example
- include protein at snack time. Try 50g of houmous with carrot sticks or an apple with 7-8 almonds, that’s a much better bet than a sneaky bar of chocolate.

2.      Audit Your Caffeine Levels

Caffeine is a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to energy. There’s no doubt that a dose of caffeine can provide a short-term energy boost which can help mental alertness, and some studies have shown that it may also help to enhance athletic performance. However, there can be too much of a good thing and an over-reliance on caffeine to support a busy life can have a very negative effect on our long term energy.

Caffeine is a powerful natural stimulant and you’re probably already aware that it can disrupt your sleep but there are also other less obvious ways that it can deplete your energy. Excessive levels of caffeine impair the insulin response in the body which can lead to a blood sugar crash and an energy slump. High levels of caffeine can also block the absorption of iron in the gut, which will inhibit the production of haemoglobin and the transportation of oxygen which our body cells need to produce energy.

Beware of surprising sources of caffeine, it’s not just all about coffee – for example, green tea contains as much caffeine as black tea so if you’re drinking several cups throughout the day, this could be depleting your long-term energy. Energy drinks, colas and even dark chocolate are all other culprits which will top up your caffeine levels.

3 Ways To Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
- Use smaller doses at home and ask for one shot instead of the standard two shots of coffee when you’re ordering at the coffee bar
- Don’t dunk your teabag for too long – leaving the bag in for 5 minutes can double the caffeine content of your tee
- Swap caffeinated colas for cordial with sparkling water, if you want to keep a bit of fizz


3.      Manage Your Magnesium
If there’s one nutrient that could make a big difference to a tired and busy woman, it’s magnesium. Magnesium is the multi-tasker of the minerals and, like you, is programmed to do a range of vital jobs. Magnesium acts a natural stress-buster which helps to calm the nervous system and activate our natural shock absorbers so that we’re better equipped to handle pressure. The more stressed we are, the more our body will use up magnesium, so you could be running low at the very time you need it most. Muscle twitches and cramps are a common sign of magnesium deficiency, and that twitchy eyelid you experience when you’re tired and stress is a classic symptom.

If you feel tired most of the time yet struggle to switch off, it could be time to top up your magnesium levels.

3 Ways To Boost Your Magnesium Levels
- Eat a generous portion of leafy green vegetables every day. Foods such as spinach, kale or watercress are natural high in magnesium
- Swap white carbs for brown carbs such as wholemeal bread or brown rice because the outer husk of the grain which is removed in refined white products is an excellent source of magnesium
- Try an Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate bath) – 2-3 handfuls of salts in the bath and the calming magnesium will absorb through the skin, setting you up for a good night’s sleep

I’m offering Really Helpful Club members a FREE 30-minute Va Va Voom assessment in February, so please get in touch to arrange your session.

Va Va Voom: the 10-Day Energy Diet by Jackie Lynch (Headine £14.99) is available on Amazon or via your local bookshop.