Why being healthy is more important than being slim
How do you want to feel this summer? Energised? In shape? Ready to flaunt your new bikini? It’s easy to believe weight loss is the key to wellness. But slim does not mean happy - healthy does.
For many, the goal of any exercise is to reduce body fat, torch calories and lose weight. While these are all desirable factors, the benefits of working out are so much more. Physical activity can also boost your mood, strengthen your heart, reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes, ward off viruses, improve memory and detoxify your body.
When it comes to nutrition, it’s all about nourishing your body with the foods you eat - rather than depriving it. If your focus is on slimness, you may not be doing what’s best for your body. Here are five ways to supercharge your diet and lifestyle and start working toward the right goals.
- Listen to your body
The key to a happy, healthy body is to eat fresh, seasonal food as often as possible. If you feel hungry, with cravings for substantial food, your body is telling you you need to eat. But if you fill your diet with whole foods, you shouldn’t feel these pangs - if you do, eat more. Going hungry may help you lose weight, but it’s not sustainable for a healthy lifestyle that lasts.
- Choose an exercise you love
There’s no sense in doing an exercise you don’t enjoy. You may lose weight, but you won’t stick at it - and why make yourself miserable? Whether it’s bouncing on a trampoline, diving into the deep end with a pool workout or dancing your way towards your fitness goals, everyone can find at least one activity they enjoy. Holmes Place offer the world’s most popular exercise classes, but if you don’t feel like leaving the house - you can even do a workout from your sofa. Fitness that fits your lifestyle is more likely to turn into a regular habit, keeping you healthy and happy in the long run.
- Skip the diet foods
‘Sugar-free’, ‘fat-free’ and ‘zero-calorie’ foods are not necessarily good for you. In fact, most of these diet foods will be packed with chemicals, artificial sweeteners, and hydrogenated oils to make up for the loss in taste. They don’t taste as good as real food and certainly don’t pack the nutritional punch you need to stay healthy, fit and hunger-free. For an extra dose of nutrients, try bringing superfoods such as quinoa, sweet potatoes and blueberries into your diet. You’ll never want to reach for those ‘diet’ microwave meals again.
- Don’t make anything off-limits
Moderation, not deprivation. This is the key to finding a happy, healthy lifestyle - and that means, sometimes, you can have your cake and eat it. The moment you tell yourself you can’t have a cookie, that cookie will be all you can fixate on. You’ll dream about the cookie until you finally give in and eat too much of it. What happens next? You’ll feel defeated and start thinking being healthy is too hard. Instead of cutting out all treats or junk food, eat whole foods 80% of the time, then have a much-deserved ‘cheat night’ now and again. Ultimately, the best way to enjoy the sweet treats you love and lose weight is to make healthy alternatives - such as switching sugar for honey, or chocolate for cacao.