Health not weight loss is the goal. Five points to better health.
WHO (2018) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
You are not what you eat. But it has been proven without a doubt you can be healthy at any body size. Over restrictive dieting has been shown to cause upsets in metabolism and mental health leaving the dieter heavier within 5 years and with disordered eating behaviours. Let’s strive for health via the following five main points.
- Get Enough Sleep. Rest is important for muscle repair and cognitive functioning. These two states ensure better energy levels and decision making. Ultimately this will mean less sweet/caffeine cravings for quick energy fixes and more capacity to listen to your body.
- Daily Exercise. The merits of exercise are huge. The first is raised metabolism via increased lean muscle mass and increase rate at which you burn calories for up to 24hrs after the activity. Exercise also increases happy hormones like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals all play a role in mood and positive well-being.
- Eat a Variety of Foods. Each day foods need to be selected from the 5 food groups: breads and cereals, fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat groups. Variety needs to come in within each food group for instance in the meat group in the average week: fish two times; meat 2 times, chicken 2 times and non meat dish egg/legume/tofu meal once.
- Eat Smart. Be prepared and take time to do menu plans, shopping lists, and try a new recipe each week. Try to limit take away, eating out or pre-prepared frozen meals/jars. Have well stocked healthy canned and frozen stores for times of convenience.
- Eat Mindfully. Listen to your body cues, slow down the eating process and be in a pleasant environment. Eat in the safe hunger range not when you’re starving and not till your overfull. Try and be aware of and limit superfluous eating (when you’re not hungry) or out of boredom or emotions. Have a back-up plan and do something you enjoy like a hobby like puzzles, colouring, ring a friend, have a bath or listen to music when tempted to superfluous eat.