The importance of self-love is paramount, paving the way to a positive mindset. Most people would never talk to family and friends using the words they repeat in a daily loop to themselves. Too many people focus on all the things they hate about themselves and often these traits, habits or body parts are the ones others adore. It is a learned skill to stare in the mirror and talk lovingly to oneself.
The moment you truly fall in love with yourself, you become beautiful inside and
out to your new number one fan, you. The world effortlessly aligns, vibration raises and confidence overflows, but self-love at what cost? Respect yourself. Admire yourself. Nurture yourself. Does self-acceptance mean ignoring the link between weight and health risks? Are we so self-accepting that our daily health choices include living a sedentary, sugar-stocked existence? If any number on the bathroom scale translates to a beautiful body image, what is the point of eating healthy and exercise? Does society glamorize body images that are putting our wellness on the backburner? Life expectancy is linked to a healthy body mass index. Like it or not, the choices we make today impact our quality of life in the future. Being overweight increases the risk of developing a fatty liver, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a laundry list of other diseases.
There is nothing glamorous about filling a prescription. Sickness is not sexy. Offsetting health risks early in life supports aging gracefully.
Food is fuel. Yes, love yourself at any weight, but also enough to make the leap to a healthier food plan today. Bullying, body-shaming and self-loathing are undeniably toxic behaviors. Accepting others and ourselves at any weight is kindness, but it should not translate into throwing health out the window. Lifestyle changes are not easy, but in the end, they are life changing and ultimately influence how many candles we may blow out on our birthday cake. Genes play a part in overall health, and of course there are health issues that a nutrient-dense diet may not conquer. Scads of serious diseases also run in families because bad eating habits can run in families. Healthy food! Healthy life!
Tricks of the trade for a healthier you
~ Buddy system ~
Two people sharing a common goal is a game changer. Challenges are expected, making trouble-shooting as
a team helpful. Choose a diet buddy who is positive
– a personal cheerleader you are comfortable sharing your journey with. Talk daily; support is strength. Share strategies to stay on track. Remind each other to hydrate, prep meals and move after sitting for extended periods. Tracking measurements, pictures and even keeping the number on the scale quiet until reaching an agreed landmark date is buddy support. Do not forget
to celebrate the small victories. Being part of a dieting duo is key when the chips are down. Some days will be a struggle. It’s not easy to say no to a little nibble, snack or sip with temptation lurking at every corner.
Swapping recipes, books and adorable motivating memes help inspire to thrive holistically.
~ Green thumb ~
Greenspace is beneficial to the earth and your health inside and out. Whether you have a balcony, planting pot, window box, greenhouse or a designated dreamy dirt plot, playing in the mud is fun at any age. From seed to sprout, growing your own food helps connect the human spirit to nature on the most fundamental level. Fast food is exactly that. In a rushed world, we dine and dash, losing sight of the farm to table aspect. Bringing back a touch of green to your life raises health benefits. Herbal happiness is possible even with the smallest space, but provides a daily dose of chlorophyll, the reason behind the vibrant green glow of little lush leaves. Adding cilantro, heavy metal detox delight or blood boosting parsley, plus heaps of other herbs to salads, juices and culinary creations ups the health value. A garden of goodness is not just a backyard plot of dirt, today’s versions are bougie pots, crates, shelves, recycled pallets and raised garden boxes. Even the busiest bees can stop roadside, choosing to support health through the goodness of local farmer’s markets. Winter will soon be on the way. Sprouting and hydroponics are indoor green goodness, the perfect reminder of summer all year long.
~ Awesome Apps ~
A huge obstacle in the world of losing unwanted pounds is understanding portions. Restaurants compete for your money and use serving sizes to tempt your taste buds and wallet. Most people overestimate their level of activity and underestimate their daily caloric intake. This creates a huge problem when trying to lose or maintain a healthy body weight. Picking, nibbling or a spoonful while cooking is often forgotten, but apart of your daily total. Alcohol is another add-on that is chocked full of calories. Tracking the consumption of food and drinks can certainly help people understand their eating patterns. Charting food also highlights caloric intake at different meals, showing when you consume the most calories. Using a diet-tracking app is helpful for self-monitoring and goal setting. It also makes counting carbs, fat and protein a snap whether it’s homemade or from a well-known restaurant chain or brand. Tons of apps also tout extra funky features. Many support barcode scanners and even sync with other health apps or devices. There are also apps for specific support. It can be tricky to navigate a keto, vegan, paleo, low sugar, carbohydrate or sodium diet. Apps also chart your progress, presenting changes on an easy-to-read graph. Apps store information, making it a fabulous tool to look back months and understand success and failures along the way. One app takes it a step further by allowing you to track your food intake and portion sizes by simply snapping and submitting a picture. Another available app helps people with diabetes keep track of their symptoms, medication and blood glucose in addition to the standard diet and exercise expectations. Apps offer community, tips and tools to increase motivation with fewer dieting downfalls. A couple of minutes a day and seeing your personal numbers and compiled data may put you on the path to wellness. A weekly double, shot no-sugar caramel latte costs more than a typical app, so please, save the excuses.
~ Food prep ~
Planning healthy meals and stocking the fridge and freezer helps prevent temptation. Prepping equals accountability, preventing a diet disaster and avoiding drive-thru drama. Planning meals equals instant portion control and tailormade carbohydrate, protein and fat grams. Sugar and sodium are easy to manage. It’s simple to get stuck in a rut, eating the same meals over and over. Prep prevents boredom, saves money and eliminates food waste. Menu planning has you in complete caloric control, helping you achieve your long-term health and weight-loss goals. Meal planning can also be left to the experts. Fabulous fare can be delivered directly to your door. Choose the type of box by making it goal and allergy specific. Experts deliver fresh ingredients, recipe cards and just like that, you are an overnight culinary superstar. If cooking is not for you, there is always top-notch take out and companies who deliverindividual fresh or frozen portions. Vegan and organic home-based businesses are booming during Covid. Take it one step further and decorate your eating space. Eating off a lovely plate, special bento box or cute cutlery, anything that makes you want to sit and eat slowly. Pass on multi- tasking. Mindful eating is a must.
~ Try something new! ~
Losing weight is not hard for most people. Most plans
are low calorie, lack flavor, flair and fun, but the number
on the scales goes down quickly. Unfortunately its water weight. They are often favoured by the famous or a friend with an upcoming event. Whether it is a water fast, cookie, grapefruit or rice diet, these simply restrict calories. Trendy diets are not the answer. Quick fixes are not sustainable.
Long-term lifestyle changes translate to a slow and steady loss, and the only sure way to lose fat while maintaining muscle mass.
Keeping a food dairy for a few days highlights the times you eat, foods favored, water, and alcohol intake. Make a note of hours slept and log exercise. After a few days, read your journal. Notice the times you nosh and the foods you repeatedly eat. Are you a carboholic? Do you eat enoughprotein? Are you a carnivore or plant lover? Are you a sugar fiend late at night? Do you skip breakfast? Do you graze on little meals all day or eat one huge meal late in the day? Are you a liquid lover? All these answers are clues leading you to potentially a long-term lifestyle that works like a charm. Allergies and food intolerances are a fast track to determining which diet may work best. Is dairy an issue?
This may make going plant-based an easy transition. Eat once a day? Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle where you
eat in a specific window. Most people drink water or black herbal tea and coffee outside the four- to six-hour dining window. Some choose to fast one day a week for 24 hours and others 18 to 20 hours everyday. Eating a plant-based meal plan with a focus on raw is healthy, full of fibre and easy to stick to anywhere anytime.
Wintertime welcomes warming up the inside with the addition of steaming produce or adding hearty soups. Kicking white sugar, rice or flour, all processed foods, sugary drinks and alcohol is the fastest and easiest way to begin.
Do not forget plant-based can be unhealthy, too.
There are overweight vegans.
Quinoa crusted desserts, processed frozen foods, chickpea brownies and coconut-based ice creams are all processed. Going fresh offers an immediate jump-start at weight-loss, while promoting on-the-spot health benefits.
Everyday is a new start and every small change can bring big changes to overall health. Switching from pop to water aids digestion, hydrates skin and joints, plus promotes fullness, supporting weightloss. Cutting down on sugar helps offset the rollercoaster of mood swings, likelihood of diabetes, fatty liver and cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and inflammation throughout the body. Adding a rainbow of fresh produce is an easy way to naturally boost cells with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Losing weight adds energy, aids balance, increases mobility, and takes pressure off joints. Extra weight is not unattractive, it’s unhealthy and the number one reason to drop the extra pounds once and for all.