Five Top Tips: How to keep energy levels up on the ward and whilst on-call

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We've all been in those situations where you are overrunning, you realise you're late for your afternoon clinic, and then you remember you squeezed in an out of hours shift....and you've barely eaten all day.

The easy thing is to grab the stale biscuits from the staff kitchen or eat crisps from the A&E vending machine that patients are sensible enough to avoid! However, it is important to keep energy levels sustained throughout the day to maintain mental alertness, good decision making and for our general well-being.

So, what is the Healing Doctors way?
1) Eat breakfast - I know you may feel sick early in the morning, not have time or think that eating breakfast makes you hungrier...but eat it anyway! Your brain cannot function properly without it and you are much more likely to choose sugary, fatty foods mid-morning if you don't. Check out this article if you don't believe me! http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3092383.stm

2) Eat protein with every meal or snack - this regulates insulin and glucose levels providing more consistent energy.

3) Give up caffeine - drinking caffeine is a “bank loan”; it helps in the short term but you and your body pay it back with interest. Warning: you may feel pretty awful for a few days when you first give up

4) Drink water frequently - this may be in the form of herbal teas, fizzy drinks do not count! You will perform better and avoid that horrendous feeling of getting home after a 12 hour shift and realising you haven't passed urine all day!

5) Avoid sugary foods - Again this is like borrowing from the bank at an unknown rate of interest. Sugar is addictive and causes chaos for your poor pancreas and liver

Dr Sarah Khan and her colleague Dr Fleur Appleby-Deen founded “Healing Doctors” http://www.healingdoctors.co.uk/which offers weekend retreats for doctors, helping them get away from the stress of General practice so they can perform better in their work.

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