Unless you spend your free time listening to health podcasts and seeking out information on what it takes to be divinely healthy, chances are you are unaware that it takes more than just exercise and diet to stay healthy and keep the weight off.
Exercise and diet are very important and just figuring out which way your body needs to move and consume food can take years of trial and error, however when we look at any condition, not just specifically weight loss, the evidence shows that having good quality sleep, staying hydrated, ensuring the environment we spend most out time is healthy and doing things we love are just as important and equal part to increased wellness and feeling as good as we can!
I personally practice and ensure I am ticking the boxes in all of these areas daily and well, I have increased energy, I recover from physical stress quickly and I don’t put on weight.
Let’s cover these points and how they may relate to us holding onto those few extra kilos. I challenge you to take a moment to think about each of these aspets in your life and see how you stack up. Maybe there is something you can change TODAY that will help you improve your life.
Diet: Eating our emotions and the time we eat
We are all aware of what to and what not to eat, so i question, are you eating your emotions? Many people use food as an outlet. Stress, anger, depression and sadness are all feelings we eat! Be conscious of this and think to yourself, why am I feeling the need to eat 2 caramel slices at 11:30pm? I guarantee you it’s not because you’re 'hungry'. If you realise you are eating your emotions, feel into that emotion and work your way through it. Don’t push it down with a load of ice-cream.
Be conscious of when you eat too. Eating really late or just before you go to bed means your body is digesting whilst you are trying to go to sleep. This leads to low quality sleep and then two - three hours later we may wake feeling hungry again because our blood sugar has just crashed and our body wants it to be balanced again. In addition to eating late causing us to wake, all the calories we just ate don’t get used… do this for a couple years and guess what happens.
Try eat at least 1 hour before you sleep and give your body the time it needs to digest and assimilate the food correctly.
Eating in the morning is a paradigm we have all been lead to believe is important. Our body is detoxing in the morning, it doesn’t want to be fed. When we shove food down at 7am because we were told ‘breakfast is the most importantmeal of the day’, our body is forced out of detox mode and back into digestion. If you want to lose weight, stop eating.
Breakfast is the easiest meal to change/improve. Either start to eat breakfast later in the day or replace the tea and toast with a few bananas. Read here to learn a morning routine to help facilitate a positive change to your morning for weight loss.
We are designed to move! If we were designed to be sedentary all the time and sitting at a desk, our bodies would look very different. Just moving for 30 minutes a day and sweating during this movement will help reduce stress, reduce pain and also lose weight. Find a form of movement you can do, do it daily and then over time push yourself.
Sleep is when our body rests, repairs and has time to complete process' it can’t do whilst we’re moving/digesting/getting in the way of our beautiful body’s process’. Having deep sleep let’s us store and consolidate memory, repair broken muscle tissues and detox... to name a few process’ which are completed asleep. Depriving ourselves from sleep is just as impactful on health as not exercising or eating burgers every day. Here is a brilliant article explaining how sleep may lead to weight gain. Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep when it comes to losing weight.
How long can a human go living in a sub standard environment? A lifetime.
How long can a human go without exercise? Ask an American.
How long can a human go without food? Months (I personally have water fasted for 8 days and many people heal themselves over 40 day water fasts)
How long can a human go without water? 3 days. The only substance we require more than water is air. So why is it 80% of the Australian population is chronically dehydrated and most struggle to drink more than 500ml a day?
If nothing else at all, drink more water. Please. Our body is like the Murray river. When it rains, and the river flows, the banks are cleaned, beautiful life flourishes in and around the river and any contaminants/rubbish that has built up over time is washed away. If your body is full of shit, or your overweight, how will your body clear that out if there is no river to carry things away?
If you’re experiencing water retention, that is because your body is holding on to what is has. It can’t afford to let anymore water out of the body which would lead to even further dehydration of the body. Drink more water and give your body the river of life it needs to start to work properly and more efficiently.
Environment and passion
These two are what in many cases lead not eating well or exercising enough, sleeping poorly and not drinking enough water.
We have all worked at a workplace where we don’t feel passionately about the work or we don’t enjoy the people and workplace. When we get home, are we inspired to create a beautiful fresh salad for dinner? Or do we go for the pizza home delivery?
For many it is the environment they spend most of their time which directly influences their other choices later in the day.
Today i have spent most of the day sitting at my desk, and therefore I ensure that my desk and space is setup to keep me inspired, fresh and healthy. Some small changes you can make to your space are:
- Introducing an indoor plant
- Keeping a clean car interior
- Diffusing some essential oils
- Having a nice container of water to stay hydrated with you at all times - add lemon
- Sitting on an ergonomic chair for posture.
- Take a 5 minute, device free walk every couple hours.
Just a few little things like this make a lot of difference to a space and will keep you feeling fresh so when you get home, you snack on fruit instead of a mars bar.
All of the above factors add up. I am very passionate about a balanced lifestyle, and from my experience, just focusing on 1 or 2 doesn't not lead to a balanced lifestyle. I challenge you all to consider something you can change now. Maybe focus on getting a better sleep or increasing your water intake. It ALL helps you feel better, lose some weight and be inspired to do more.
Find out how an infrared sauna leads to weight loss here.