Do you ever hear something on the news about health and wellness, only to open up social media and read the opposite? Do you find yourself hearing some really good advice only to have a health professional tell you why that won’t work. Has your friend lost weight following a program that just isn’t working for you?
Even as a health professional – the information out there can be confusing, misleading and confronting! Of course we all want to be healthy, well, a healthy weight, a good role model for our kids etc BUT how do we do it?! With the amount of conflicting information out there – it seems easier to switch off and ignore it…. in the mean time just hope our health just kind of sorts itself out.
So how do we figure it out? Here are my top 3 tips
1 – simplify! Get right back to basics with your food. Think about where your food comes from. Think about how close it is to its natural state when you get to prepare and consume it. Our body knows what to do with food. It struggles to know what to do with numbers and preservatives and manufactured products. A sample day could be:
– a smoothie with banana, oats, dates, raw honey and almond milk
– an apply and almonds
– tuna on rice cakes with avocado
– a homemade muffin
– grilled chicken with steamed greens served with lemon, parsley and walnuts
By nourishing your body with good, simply food – it will start to show through improved mood, energy, sleep, clarity of mind and overall wellness. One meal at a time!
2 – there is no ‘quick fix’! The dieting industry is a billion dollar industry – all promising you their program will work, and just drink this 3 times a day and your dreams will come true. Here is the thing… change takes time and your body needs to be loved, not starved or deprived. It is just as important what goes IN to your body as it is about what you are taking out of your diet. We need foods that heal. Foods that promote energy. Foods that decrease inflammation. Foods that improve gut health. You won’t get this from any ‘lose weight quick’ program.
Did you know that the average weight gain after a low calorie, restrictive diet is 5-8kg MORE than what you lost! So if you lose 15kg on the program… you will likely gain 20-23kg back. No one wants that.
The best thing you can do is stay consistent. There are programs that give you the lifestyle support and foundation you need to make long term changes, but like anything – you need to stay with it as a lifestyle change to see any long lasting change. Fitness, nutrition, mindset – they all require you to make the decision that this is how you want to live from now on, and then you go for it! Consistency and Persistence.
3 – sleep! You’ve heard it before and you will hear it again. Lack of sleep has the ability to undo all the health and wellness steps you are taking. Our body needs sleep to repair, to reduce stress, to recover, to heal and if we don’t get enough – we don’t rest and if we don’t rest, our cortisol levels are elevated. Elevated cortisol levels inhibit weight loss (along with impaired function, energy and mood).
Also, when we are tired – we are more likely to reach for quick and convenient foods such as chocolate, bakery sweets, chips etc for a quick energy hit (only it doesn’t last long and we reach for them again!). We are more likely to drink more coffee and less water. We are more likely to skip out on exercise and sit more etc…
Aim for a consistent bed time each night.
Switch off devices 30-40 minutes before you go to bed.
Read a book, have a bath – do something to help slow you down.
Aim for a consistent morning routine.
Try this for 30 days. Take notice of how you feel now, and then each week that passes.
With all the knowledge and science out there now, it can get easy to go down the rabbit hole of what’s best and who knows what. However – our body’s haven’t changed that much since our ancestors. Our needs are simple – water, sleep, fitness and nourishing food (and less stress!). Whenever you hear a piece of advice or news headline about health – ask yourself:
– who is saying it and what do they have to gain from it?
– does it line up with what you know about health and the human body?
and if its beyond your level of understanding – ask your nutritionist! We have been trained to analyse science, look for research, question what we read and use our knowledge to back it up.
Too much of our days are spent thinking about food, worrying about weight, wondering what diet to try next – so simplify, align with a health practitioner you can trust and who’s information makes sense and then go and enjoy life! Free yourself up!