Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

healthy being

In a recent poll, 35% of people indicated mental wellbeing had the greatest influence on their ability to adopt healthier eating habits. This factor outweighed physical activity (22% of voters), their environment (21%), social support and spirituality (both 11%). The results of this poll highlight how many of us recognize the importance a positive mindset has on the achievement of healthy eating habits. Read on for my top five tips for building and maintaining a healthy mindset…

Positive thinking and optimism have been linked with better health and health outcomes, improving mental wellbeing, decreasing stress levels and increasing happiness. On the other hand, stress and depression may play a role in the development of serious health conditions such as disordered eating and obesity, diabetes and heart disease and infertility among women.

My experience with clients shows that achieving health and wellbeing goals has more to do with the right attitude and being ready to make changes than it does with the changes themselves.

Whether you’re working on losing or maintaining weight, choosing the right foods to manage diabetes or food intolerances, or implementing a suitable eating plan for optimal sports performance, you’ll need the right attitude to stay happy and healthy this Christmas break. Here are 5 pointers to get you on your way:

  1. Practice positive thinking: Before you go to bed each night ask yourself ‘what are 3 good things that happened to me today and what part did I play in them?’ You’ll have better dreams and wake up in a better mood. Do this for 3 weeks in a row, then 6 months down the track you’ll find your satisfaction with life increases.
  2. Set goals and visualize the end result: People who see their desired outcomes as attainable usually have more persistence and success in reaching them. Make sure your goals are SMARTER – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound, evaluated and most importantly, rewarded!
  3. Identify roadblocks: Write a list of things standing in the way of you achieving your health goal, then brainstorm possible solutions that work for you – so the next time you feel like grabbing takeaway for dinner or skipping your walk at lunchtime, you will be able to confront and solve the problem!
  4. Get moving: Exercise can help turn negative thoughts around and can help reduce anxiety, improve self-esteem and lift your mood instantly. And there’s no better time of year than now to get outdoors and take in the Summer sun and fresh air.
  5. Choose fresh, healthy foods: Recent studies show eating more processed foods could lead to a greater likelihood of developing depression in later life. With an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables in season all throughout Summer, healthier eating can be easy and enjoyable. Plan your meals and snacks so you’re organized for the week ahead.

Tips for weight maintenance include:

  • Eating breakfast everyday
  • Exercising regularly to keep your metabolism up
  • Monitoring your progress as you go
  • Have a small amount of protein with each meal
  • Including small amounts of your favourite foods – don’t deprive or binge
  • Reminding yourself regularly of your great achievement!

Take-home message: It is important to consider weight loss as your initial goal, then aim to maintain your new lower weight on an ongoing basis. Regular monitoring and support will help you not only achieve your goal, but stay there. If you know what you should be eating ( and sometimes it may be a case of what you don’t know about eating well) but have difficulty staying on track with your health programs contact me and I can help you to overcome hurdles to get your health on the right track

About the Author Michael

Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen

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