A balance of good food and exercise gets you through the cold winter

So today I wanted to talk about food, brain food or mood food as we call it!

And how a diet could be making us ill.

In the past I have tried different diets after gaining five stones in both my pregnancies.

And I know certain diets are awful....

They can leave you feeling deprived, fed up, like you’re counting every calorie or point and very conscious of anyone who even suggests you might like a piece of chocolate.

I made it a challenge to learn about my own body, my own hormonal balances, what foods I can work with and which foods definitely don’t agree with me.

Now I’m back to pre pregnancy clothes, though I’m not lighter on the scales as I have a lot more dense muscle now, but size wise I’m there!

Scales are for fish remember, they give no true accuracy, re your body fat!

So what foods can help? You would be surprised. A varied diet can have huge bonuses on your physical and mental well being.

Here’s a quick list of what foods do what..

1. Oil rich food helps with the function of your brain and helps lift moods

2. Protein rich foods help with depression and PMS.

3. Magnesium and zinc rich foods help with depression, anxiety, migraines and boost your immune system.

So pack your diet full of oily fish, mackerel and salmon, nuts , eggs and cheese.

And don’t forget green leafy vegetables, lots of spinach, cabbage and the rest.

Make your plate a rainbow of colours at each meal time.

Everyone is the same when the dark nights arrive - we feel like hibernating.

Maintaining a fitness routine throughout the winter months is a challenge. However it reaps its own rewards.

Come the Spring you will have improved your immune system, you’ll feel a lot more positive for venturing out and socialising and, of course, you’ll have staved off the dreaded pounds and will not need to hide them under big woolly jumpers.

Even if it’s going for a bracing walk, wrap up warm, and even take a flask with you to enjoy on your pit stops.

Or if it’s attending evening fitness classes, book them into your diary, like you would any other appointment.

Helen Smith runs HS Group Fitness and DynamiX Fitness Studios.

Ladies only Fitness and Weight Loss programs and Sports and Conditioning Studio.

You can enquire via the websites, www.hsgroupfitness.co.uk or http://dynamixfitness.co.uk.