Each year, around this time, we feel compelled to evaluate and assess different areas of our life and make plans for change, improvement and progress. Health is a holistic concept, and encompasses several aspects of our life - being free from lifestyle diseases; maintaining a reasonable weight; possessing a moderate level of fitness in terms of endurance and flexibility; not suffer from constant aches, pains and injuries and having high immunity.
So, when we think about making a change towards health, we should think about lifestyle changes that will impact our health across all aspects and not just focus on short-term goals that include crash diets, starvation or avoiding entire food groups.
Start with small but important habit changes that have a significant impact in the long term! For instance, to cultivate the habit of exercising. Aim to workout, run or do yoga, at least five times each week. Over a few weeks, this will improve your metabolism, fitness, energy levels, focus and health.
An effective way to improve ones diet, is to change it one meal at a time. Lets take a look at how this can be done:
n Eat more fruits at breakfast, every day of the week. Another small but meaningful change, is to eat only nuts, seeds or fruit as a snack in between meals.
n Each of us should consider eating more plant-based whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
n Avoid processed foods that contain refined sugar, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavours and preservatives. This will boost the micronutrients in our diet and improve the bodys ability to heal itself, improve metabolism, balance hormones, increase energy and boost immunity.
When we set short-term goals like losing five kilos in three weeks and starve ourselves to attain it, we might be able to lose that weight, but harm our bodies in the process. Such a starvation, slows down our metabolism, which impacts energy and might lead to weight gain post this period. The sudden fat loss and low nutrition causes the skin to sag and lose its lustre or even dark circles under the eyes.
A lifestyle-focused approach, on the other hand, results in small but consistent and sustained improvement in weight, energy and immunity. It also prevents and reverses lifestyle conditions, slows down signs of ageing and improves skin health and cures hormonal imbalance!
(The author is health and wellness coach at Curefit)