Some Thoughts About Healthy Living

Healthy Diet for Weight Loss

I always tell my clients that “Making small incremental changes every day has a big impact”. When we get busy in life or when something important or life-changing happens for the better or for the worse, healthy eating habits and exercise are usually the top two habits that are dropped off the list. This is the reason why one must develop good lifestyle habits as early on in life as possible.

Finding a Habit You Can Follow

It is important to find a habit that you can easily stick to and amalgamate into your day to day life as opposed to finding a habit that makes you cringe everytime you think about it or one that you have to travel a long distance for. Jogging or walking is one such habit that is easy for most folks whatever your age or gender. Read an earlier article of mine about this subject here – The Benefits of Walking. It is easy to walk for a few kms early in the morning or late in the evening. You could find a park close to your home or your office, put on your headphones and walk your blues away. There is simply no excuse for not incorporating even a walking activity into your daily life! Whether you have school going kids or whether you have a high-stress job, you can always incorporate a walking or a 30 – 45 min jogging routine into your life. You can make this period your “me-time” and over a period of time you may even find yourself getting addicted to the routine so much so that no event however big or small in your life can shake you off your daily walks! By rejecting the “I don’t have the time” excuse you will realise that you are a lot more tired on the days that you sleep in late rather than on the days when you get up at the crack of dawn to exercise.

Health Care Reform

Two thirds of the total diseases in India fall into the chronic lifestyle diseases categories like Obesity or Tobacco. And to think that these diseases which take thousands of lives every year are easily preventable. It is not easy to make lifestyle changes if your habits are well-entrenched. But remember getting healthy is a choice you make not only for yourself but also for your family. If you love your spouse or your children you want to be there for them as long as possible and not leave them to fend for themselves by only thinking of your own self and your own pleasures. Make a start by eating more fruits and vegetables. If you cannot run walk. If you cannot walk, take a skipping rope and jump!

Understand your Body

Most people are not even aware of their own bodies. The will have a ten minute conversation with their GP who might say that “You need to lose some weight”. And that’s about it. Ideally you should ask your doctor what your health file contains – right from your last blood test results to your family history risks, This way you will be more aware of your own body and you will be able to make informed and intelligent decisions when it comes to the issues that are plaguing your health.

Sleep More

If you want to lose weight remember that most people need about seven to nine hours of sleep every night in order to lose weight and keep the weight off. Sleep is a dynamic process. It is not just a time when your system shuts down and nothing else occurs. In fact there is a lot of things happening when you sleep. The body reboots your metabolic functions when you sleep. Your brain produces messenger molecules or neuropeptides that play a crucial role in weight regulation. If you are not able to finish your quota of seven to nine hours of sleep on a regular basis then there will be a cumulative effect and the neuropeptides will not be able to do their jobs.

When you do not get enough sleep, your ghrelin levels go up. Ghrelin is the hormone that triggers your appetite. During this time your levels of leptin also goes down. Leptin is the hormone which aids in controlling your appetite and helps in metabolising your carbs. When the levels of leptin goes down, you tend to crave for food particularly those of the fatty and high-carb variety.

So remember that even if your diet and exercise routines are in place, lack of sleep can negate all your efforts at weight loss. A good night’s sleep is an absolute must when you are trying to lose weight and become healthier. When you sleep well you will crave for less carbs and exercise will feel less strenuous. Your mood will improve and your skin, eyes and hair will be at their glowing best.

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