Eggs for breakfast – and nine other small changes to make today for … – The Telegraph

Incorporate new things into your daily routine – without feeling like it’s a struggle
“Many people have been conditioned into thinking of January 1 as a day when we deprive ourselves of all the things that we have been encouraged to indulge in during December,” neurologist Dr Rachel Taylor says. “But the brain is hardwired to make it difficult for you because it does not deal with deprivation well.”
The tips from the experts below are small changes that you can start to incorporate into your daily routine – without feeling like it’s a struggle. But Dr Taylor advises that if you need extra motivation to make a change, “start to really reflect on how that food/drink/activity makes you feel. 
“The brain is much more likely to accept change when you have done a sound job in convincing it that it is worth the extra effort and energy it is going to have to expend on managing the change.”
“A good night’s sleep starts from the moment you wake up,” Dr Taylor says. She suggests wrapping up warm and taking your cup of tea outside as soon as you wake up (or as soon as the sun rises if you’re an early riser) to get 8-10 minutes of natural sunlight. 
The reason? It increases the brain’s release of serotonin, “the neurotransmitter that underpins essential functions like eating, energy balance, how we can regulate moods and energy levels in general”.
She says an early morning blast is essential. “The rate of production of serotonin has been shown multiple times in research to have a direct correlation with the amount of sunlight a person gets: it rises quickly when access to sunlight increases. 
“The more serotonin you have the more melatonin your brain can make, which is not just good for sleep, although that is its primary role, but is a really powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound.”
That early dose of sunlight could have added benefits for weight loss: a study from the University of Alberta found that lack of exposure to sunlight could lead to an increase in fat and therefore contribute to weight gain.
Ditch the sugary, high-carb cereal for a more balanced start to the day. “If you start your day with a good quality source of protein, some fat and some vegetables, you will balance your blood sugar levels,” says nutritionist Grace Kingswell, who advocates eggs and vegetables to start the day.
“It will have positive benefits for your hormone balance, PMS, energy levels, mood, stress response, cravings, satiety, weight management, and so much more.”
Researchers at the University of Missouri found that a higher protein breakfast produced lower spikes in glucose and insulin after meals, which led to increased feelings of fullness throughout the day (if you struggle to eat first thing, try adding a protein shake, such as one from Increased vegetables also have added benefits for your gut health.
Kingswell is launching a free blood sugar reset challenge in January on her Instagram page @gracekingswell/.
A post shared by Grace Kingswell 🧿 (@gracekingswell)
We all know we should floss our teeth – but a compelling reason comes from a recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that showed poor oral health increased the risk of dementia. 
“Cleaning between your teeth is essential,” says Dr Reena Wadia, dentist and founder of the periodontist practice RW Perio. “If you don’t, it’s a bit like only washing one side of a dirty dish and then using it again. You need to clean all surfaces. Interdental brushes are ideal, but if they don’t fit then use floss. Once a day is key.” 
Try the Waterpik Water Flosser, which claims to be up to 50 per cent more effective than traditional dental floss (£89.99;
To double the benefits by the sink, personal trainer Zana Morris recommends “when brushing your teeth each morning or evening try a one-legged squat (rest one leg behind the other and go down as low as you can on your standing leg, keeping your weight towards your heel, and back up again) and do 10 on each side”. 
As well as increasing leg strength, this will improve your balance, which could extend your life, according to research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Meditation has never been more popular: there are currently more than 51 million posts on Instagram. And for good reason – research shows it has myriad powerful effects: neuroscientists at UC San Diego recently reported that mindful meditation can be as effective in reducing pain relief as medication. 
While in another recent study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers found that a guided mindfulness-based program was as effective as the use of medication for patients with anxiety disorders. 
Even for a beginner with no serious health issues, a 13-minute daily meditation improves mood, sleep and memory, according to researchers at John Hopkins University.
But when to squeeze it in? Apple Fitness + has just released a new series of meditations (from meditations for beginners to the more specific meditations to strengthen relationships) that can be done while on the move. 
“The meditations are designed to be incorporated into your everyday life and can be done sitting, standing or while doing light exercise such as walking, hiking or stretching. We want to make it as easy as possible to meditate any time, anywhere,” says Julz Arney, director of fitness for health technologies at Apple.
Available through your iPhone, Apple watch or iPad; first three months are free.
A quick walk around the block after a meal (or snack) can hugely reduce your glucose spike, according to Jessie Inchauspé, the biochemist and best-selling author behind the 1.3 million-strong Instagram account @glucosegoddess, which can in turn lead to the body storing less fat. That’s because movement requires energy. 
So rather than glucose sitting unused in the bloodstream – then converting it into stores of fat – it is soaked up and used by muscles. Walking as little as two to five minutes after a meal can do the trick, according to a 2022 study in the journal Sports Medicine. Plus, you get a breath of fresh air and added benefits for posture.
A post shared by Jessie Inchauspé (@glucosegoddess)
It sounds an obvious one, but check if you’re breathing through your nose and not your mouth. 
“The magic of nasal breathing lies in the fact that the very process of breathing through our nose actually creates nitric oxide, a natural molecule that is a vasodilator, meaning it helps to expand blood vessels in order to improve blood circulation,” fitness trainer Lulu Adams says. 
“Better circulation helps to lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, increase brain function and improve exercise performance, among other things.” 
Swedish researchers found that subjects who breathed through their nose delivered 10 per cent more oxygen into their bodies compared to when they breathed through their mouths. In addition, Korean scientists recently found that breathing through the nose helped cognitive function.  
As retro as it sounds, studies have found that writing in a journal can lead to better sleep, a stronger immune system, more self-confidence and a higher I.Q. 
So no wonder it’s currently back in vogue: according to a new Pinterest report, searches for “Writing Therapy” are up 1,840 per cent, while online stationer Papier says that its wellness journals have become one of the company’s best-selling products (boosted, in part, by Kendall Jenner crediting hers as one of the “things that help me be more present and quiet my mind”.)
A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner)
“Putting pen to paper is a great way to switch off and disconnect from the digital world,” says Taymoor Atighetchi, founder and CEO of Papier ( 
“Without all the distractions, opinions and news online, taking even just a few minutes to diary or journal each day is a freeing method of self-care. There is no feeling quite like filling a blank page – it’s like a judgement-free space just for you.”  
Fitness coach Rachael Sacerdoti, founder of It’s So Simple, is also a fan of journaling – particularly to help identify negative food patterns. 
“It’s brilliant, particularly if you are brutally honest with yourself. You’ll be amazed how emotions, food and exercise are all interlinked and by having everything written down, you can easily spot internal and external triggers.”
Midlifers in particular need to do weight training to prevent the natural muscle loss that occurs in the body after the age of 30. But, Morris says, it need not involve a trip to the gym: you can work out in little bursts at home doing household tasks.
“There are many benefits to weight training, including building muscle mass and increasing bone density, but it doesn’t have to be extreme.”
She suggests 10-minute routines with weights four to five times a week or incorporating movement into your everyday chores, such as a press-up against the kitchen counter top while the kettle is boiling. 
“The greater the angle and the slower you do each repetition the more ‘weight’ on your muscle so the harder and more effective the exercise. Or, if you’re taking the shopping up the stairs, it’s the same as weighted lunges.”
Pilates teacher Amy Brogan, founder of A Body Forever, suggests a spine twist to keep your back in good shape while you’re sitting at your desk. 
“Keep your hips square and pelvis neutral (no overarching or rounding in the lower back). Place the opposite hand to one knee and twist to that side. Movements come from the middle of the back where the thoracic and lumbar spine meet. Do both sides. This stretch is amazing for the spine to release tension, rotate, move and general overall spine health.”
A post shared by A Body Forever_Amy Brogan (@abodyforever)
 Morris is also a fan of stretching when you can. “You can do exercises like hip circles when you’re on a work call,” she says. 
“Put your earpods in, keep your hands on hips, your feet planted into the ground, legs straight, and start doing big circles from the hips, both ways.” She adds that it might be best to “keep the video turned off”.
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