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Monday, June 28, 2010

Dr. Frank Lipman's Anti-Spent Program

Constantly exhausted? Feeling old before your time? Get your bounce back with the energy guru to the stars...

By Dr Frank Lipman
Last updated at 9:31 AM on 28th June 2010
Crashing fatigue, insomnia, panic attacks, caffeine cravings, loss of sex drive and premature aging.
Since I began practicing medicine in the Eighties, I have noticed an alarming health trend.

Despite being apparently disease-free and in the prime of life, people in their 30s, 40s and 50s have been coming to see me in disturbingly increasing numbers for help with these and a host of similar complaints.
Two young women on inflatable hoppers, laughing
Bounce back: You can prevent yourself getting run down by following Dr Lipman's advice
In fact, I'd say that an unbelievable 75 per cent of the people I treat in my practice now are overwhelmed, exhausted and afflicted with this disorder that makes them feel decades older than their years.
I call it Spent, because that's how you feel. You don't have the where-withal to enjoy your life.

You are running on empty - your energy account is in the red. I have worked with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Bacon and Donna Karan, and as a result of the plethora of exhaustion-related health problems I have come across in my work as a GP over the past two decades, I have developed a simple lifestyle programme that has revived many thousands of people, transforming them from feeling weak, overwhelmed, sick and tired, to energized, inspired, strong and profoundly healthy.
It is a six-week regime that you can start to follow and feel the benefits from today.


  1. Do you struggle to get up in the morning?
  2. Do you feel unusually tired most of the time?
  3. Do you need coffee, caffeinated soft drinks or sugary snacks to get going first thing and to keep you going throughout the day?
  4. Although you feel physically exhausted at night, does your mind continue to race?
  5. Do you feel you are ageing too quickly?
  6. Do you suffer from bloating, constipation and/or indigestion?
  7. Is it a struggle to lose weight in spite of dieting and exercise?
  8. Do you have achy muscles and/or joints or tension in your body — particularly your neck and shoulders?
  9. Is you sex drive diminished?
  10. Do you often feel depressed, lack motivation or have trouble concentrating and remembering things?
  11. Does little or nothing seem to rejuvenate you?
  12. Do you find that you fall ill frequently — and that it takes a long time to recover?
If you answered yes to more than three of these questions, you are more than likely Spent. That means, as the name suggests, you are burned out — physically, mentally and spiritually — and you need help. But don’t worry. Although you feel rundown, it is within your power not only to make yourself feel better, but quite possibly better than you’ve ever felt.
The easiest way to work out if you may be suffering from this modern phenomenon is to take my 12-point quiz on the right.

How does a anti-Spent program work? Well, it is all about common-sense really - and keeping in step with the body's natural rhythms.

If you think about it, our bodies are not designed to cope with today's stressful, overloaded lifestyles.

We were not built to be sedentary nor to follow addictive, punishing exercise regimes either. We are not designed to exist on just a few hours sleep a night, live indoors with very little exposure to sun and nature, eat bizarre combinations of processed foods or subsist on faddy low-fat or low-carb diets.

Nor were our brains wired to handle profound amounts of mental and emotional stress. I believe so many of us are exhausted because our modern lifestyle has removed us from nature and we have become divorced from its natural rhythms and cycles.

There are more than 100 rhythms that form our internal body clock. This clock has what are called circadian rhythms, which reflect nature's 24-hour cycle of day and night and govern most of our physiological processes.

Each rhythm influences a unique aspect of body function, including temperature, hormone levels, heart rate, blood pressure, even pain threshold.

As humans, we are physically designed to eat natural and seasonal food and exercise in spurts, with time to rest and recover. We thrive with fresh air, sun and water.

We are built to sleep when the sun goes down and wake when it rises. But very few of us are living this way. Instead, we are living at a pace and rhythm that are completely foreign to our genes and biology.

Though I am not suggesting that everyone gives up their homes and jobs and goes to live on an idyllic desert island, I firmly believe that if we don't move back at least in the direction of our genes, we will all ultimately end up Spent.

Fortunately, I have found that when prompted correctly with natural light and good food at the correct time, appropriate exercise and exposure to nature, our genetic clocks can reset themselves, boost energy levels and mood, and even help us to lose weight.

So here's how to get off the Spent treadmill and begin living life to the full again.

To eliminate fatigue, the following programme should be followed closely for a period of at least six weeks. It is a kind of 'detox' period, after which, some of the forbidden foods can be reintroduced in small quantities and the lifestyle changes can be honed and adapted to suit.

Spent is a multifaceted problem, which means that simply eating better will never be enough to beat it.
A good night's sleep is the second, absolutely essential step for optimal energy levels. Here's how to get quality shut eye.
  • Impose an 'electronic curfew'. Most of us jump from high-speed vertical to horizontal within a matter of minutes at bedtime, and wonder why our thoughts are buzzing and we can't get to sleep. To help your mind and body prepare for sleep and encourage your body's natural sleep-wake cycle to kick in, make it a rule to switch off the television, your laptop and phone at 10pm. 
  • Take time to wind down. Unwinding and relaxing tense muscles is one of the best ways help your body make the transition from racing around to restoring itself. Practice some stretches and then take a 'breathing break' just before you go to bed to aid a relaxed deep sleep. Find a comfortable space, sit down and spend five minutes with eyes closed, concentrating on breathing deeply in and out through your nose. It is a great way to settle the mind and relax the body, and the technique can also be used to control stress and food cravings throughout the day. 
  • Keep your bedroom as dark as possible. Even the smallest blink of light from a mobile phone or an illuminated alarm clock can stimulate the pineal gland in the brain and consequently interfere with the body's natural release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin at bedtime.
 female running
Run for fun: Do gentle exercise rather than pushing your body to the limit or doing nothing at all
Our idea of exercise has become completely distorted. It sometimes feels as if there are only two modes.
First, fanatical exercisers who work out one or even several times a day, pushing their bodies to extreme limits and exhausting themselves.

Then there are the marathon sitters, those who torture their bodies with immobility.
Both approaches can encourage Spent syndrome.

Moderate exercise is the key to beating exhaustion, and walking is the best way to start, whether you are a couch potato or addicted to exercise.

A daily walk burns calories, increases metabolic activity, helps counteract energy-sapping posture problems and massages your internal organs. It also strengthens the abdominal walls and improves breathing.
The key to restorative exercise are short bursts of exertion followed by recovery.

Start striding out at high intensity (so you are slightly breathless, but still able to speak), followed by low-intensity walking for three to four minutes.

Do this every day for a total of 30 minutes, preferably outdoors. Alternating action with rest triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to activate the relaxation response, so instead of stressing your body, you're using movement to relax it.

There's no greater healer of Spent than the sun. For the past 25 years we have been

Spent force
One in five women and one in ten men say they are ‘abnormally tired’ according to a recent study
brainwashed by doctors, dermatologists and skincare companies about the dangers of the sun.
But just as we need darkness to support our sleep cycles, humans need the sun, and in particular morning sun, to regulate their circadian rhythms, stimulating their metabolism, immune system, hormonal functions and vitamin D production.

Try to get 30 minutes of daylight outside peak hours (midday-3pm) every day, maybe while you're doing your daily walk.

In this day and age, it is hard not to fill up our lives with 'shoulds'. I should be working harder. I should be exercising more. I should be making more money. I should be spending more time with my children, friends, family.

But this is a negative form of thinking that loads our brain with more feelings of guilt, worries and stress. Stop 'shoulding' on yourself and concentrate on enjoying the present and the things you love doing.

For the next six weeks you need carefully to rethink what, when and how you eat.
Perfect lunch: Salmon and salad
Perfect lunch: Salmon and salad
1. Cut out processed foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners
Processed foods, white sugar and artificial sweeteners are corrosive to everyone's health and well-being, but for those who are already stressed and tired, they can be poison.

Processed foods and sugar can disrupt key physiological systems, putting the metabolism on a rollercoaster of unnatural and extremely taxing highs and lows that make us feel Spent.
Artificial sweeteners can also trick us into overeating.

For the next six weeks you must avoid processed foods, sugar and sugary foods, and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharine, sucralose and acesulfame K.

Beat any cravings for salty and sugary foods by drinking plenty of plain or sparkling water laced with lemon or mint throughout the day.

Replace empty sugars, such as carbonated drinks, biscuits and cakes with fruit smoothies, a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts or a small pot of plain yogurt sweetened with a teaspoon of raw honey.
1000mg of the food supplement glutamine (available from health food stores) taken every four to six hours will reduce cravings by tricking the body into thinking it is getting glucose.

2. Say goodbye to caffeine and alcohol
Eliminating caffeine, particularly coffee and 'energy-boosting' caffeinated drinks from your diet is essential to overcome exhaustion.

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can stay in your body for up to seven hours, or longer if you are taking oral contraceptives, blocking sleep neurotransmitters and over-exciting adrenal glands.

Alcohol is equally disruptive. It cuts oxygen to the brain and is high in sugar. There's no need to go cold turkey, however. Begin by halving your intake of caffeine and alcohol for four days, then gradually cut back day by day until your intake is nil.

You can 'dilute' coffee, by using half regular and half decaffeinated. Dilute wine with fizzy mineral water.

3. Take supplements
A good-quality multi-vitamin and a fish-oil supplement taken daily will help to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need for optimal health and energy.

4. Eat early, eat well
In terms of our physiological food clock, our digestion functions at its most efficient from first thing in the morning until it reaches its peak at midday. For this reason, breakfast and lunch should be your largest meals of the day.

The average person spends 15 hours a day sitting down, according to a WeightWatchers UK survey

A protein and nutrient-rich breakfast is the best way to set your energy levels on the right track for the rest of the day.

A bowl of unsweetened muesli packed with nuts and seeds and served with almond or rice milk is a good choice. Alternatively, try sardines, smoked salmon or poached eggs on rye toast - or a fruit smoothie blended with 3 or 4 tablespoons of protein powder (widely available from health food shops and gyms).
Lunch should be a portion of lean organic protein, such as grilled chicken or fish or a mixed bean or lentil salad, with plenty of vegetables on the side.

As daylight wanes, the body clock slows down the secretion of active hormones and our metabolism. A light salad supper with a small portion of lean, organic protein and some whole grains, such as wild rice, brown rice pasta or quinoa will help you relax and detoxify while you sleep.

To curb cravings, add a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack of dried fruit and nuts or unsweetened yogurt with fresh berries or a slice of rye toast topped with half an avocado and tomato.

For optimal digestion, try to eat your meals and snacks at the same time every day. Sit down for each meal and really savour what you are eating.
resource:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1290120/Constantly-exhausted-Feeling-old-time-Get-bounce-energy

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