Do you feel overwhelmed or confused about what you should eat, or what "diet" you should follow to feel better? I hear ya friend! It can be extremely confusing!
I mean every time you turn around there's a new fad diet to try. It's no wonder people feel confused. A lot of times marketing also makes things overwhelming.
People are trying to sell an idea or products that will give you that quick fix!
Nutrition and wellness doesn't need to be complicated! That I can promise you!
Lets look at the fundamentals and simplify things. I want to focus on the things we need to do without all the "fluff' to get feeling our best. There are a lot of things other than just nutrition that will help you achieve optimal wellness.
Hydration is on the top of the list!
Did you know that fatigue, or low energy is one of the first signs of dehydration?
If you feel sluggish and tired half way through the day, you might not be consuming enough water. The general rule of thumb is we should consume half our body weight in ounces. With an inadequate amount of water in the body, your blood volume level drops. In turn, your heart works harder to pump oxygenated blood into the bloodstream. Other organs also work less efficiently, but drinking more water can help the body function better. Instead of reaching for an afternoon snack of candy or a cup of joe, opt for lemon water.
Not only can dehydration lead to fatigue, but it also might affect your mood. Lessen mood swings by increasing your water intake. The hue of your urine is a key indicator if you are consuming enough water: the lighter the color, the better the hydration (and vice versa). If you seem irritable or annoyed, you might need to skip the soda and grab a bottle of water.
Headaches and migraines can be triggered by dehydration. Consuming plenty of water can even provide relief if you already have a headache.
When you become slightly dehydrated, your brain shrinks slightly - it's a fatty organ that needs a lot of water to function. This, in turn, can lead to a headache. Instead of popping an aspirin, try drinking a large glass of water and resting your eyes.
Are your bowel movements regular?
To prevent constipation, you can drink more water. If your body does not have enough of it, the colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration. This, in turn, makes solid waste harder to pass. Water, especially warm water, is good for digestive health. It improves the function of your gastrointestinal tract by helping break down food properly and promote regular bowel movements. When you eat large meals, your gut needs twice as much water to digest and process - so if you struggle with constipation, consider smaller meals and larger glasses of water.
Sometimes you feel hungry, but you are just thirsty. Drinking water, especially two glasses before a meal, can help curb your appetite and indirectly support healthy weight loss. Water will not only fill your stomach, but it boosts metabolism, helps break down fat cells, and raises the rate at which your body burns fat. Other beverages add to your calorie count and contribute to gaining weight. Juices, sodas, and even some teas and coffee drinks have a lot of hidden calories. Stick to water to make sure you aren't drinking your calories.
Drinking water can help detoxify your body because you get rid of waste through sweat and urine.
Sometimes we over eat because we think we are hungry but in fact we are thirsty. So drinking enough water also helps us lose weight.
Another important fundamental to reaching our optimal wellness is Intentional Movement!
Exercise can have a negative tone to some people. Some people automatically associate exercise with a gym, or team sports. Exercise is truly more than these things, and I try to avoid the stereo type.
I like to separate “required movement” from “intentional movement”. People like to count what they are required to do at work, or home as their exercise. It is true that these things are burning calories, but we need to refer to movement that is intentionally beyond your daily routine. Moving your body gets your heart beating and your blood flowing. By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body including the skin. Intentional movement also helps with your mindset and motivates you to make healthier choices when eating.
Now lets talk about sleep! I know you are likely thinking what does sleep have to do with my nutrition and what I should eat to feel better and lose unwanted weight. Let ,e explain!
Its important to get sufficient sleep every night! 7-8 hours of quality sleep is the sweet spot for most people.
The less sleep you get the more stress can affect you, and this will weaken your immune system and cause sickness.
Sleep metabolizes cortisol the stress hormone. If we don’t get enough deep sleep we tend to gain weight because our cortisol levels increase and this increases our appetite and causes us to eat more, and make choices that don't serve us well.
Increased cortisol also increases the hormone insulin which signals our body to store fat.
Not getting enough sleep increases the hormone ghrelin that tells our body to eat, and it decreases the hormone leptin that lets our body know its full.
So as you can see sleep matters significantly to our wellness!
Another fundamental that is important is our mindset. Often when a person is deciding that its time to put their health first they think of the changes they need to make as "sacrifices". What we should be doing is identifying the things that we will gain by feeling our best and making our health a priority. Making some mindset shifts will be huge in reaching your health goals. Tune in to your Why. What is your reason for wanting to make a change and find your optimal wellness. Also focus on what you want! Not on what you don't. When we focus on negative outcomes we will surely have negative outcomes. Instead shift your mindset to the positives. It takes some training to shift our focus but when we do the results are incredible. Pay attention to the thoughts you have and replace them with positive ones. For example your goal is to lose weight. Start visualizing yourself releasing the extra weight you have been carrying. Look in the mirror and focus on the muscle definition and curves that start to appear as you start working out instead go all the weight you still need to lose. These are simple mindset shifts but I promise they will have you feeling more upbeat and positive. The law of attraction is strong. By focusing on what you want to create instead of of what you need to fix or avoid you are elevating your mindset and energy in a way that magnetizes these results to you!
As you can see there is more to losing weight and feeling great than just what you eat. However food does play a big role!
Avoiding processed, sugar laden foods is key to feeling great. I do believe in balance, and moderation, but if you know that dairy, eggs or gluten bother you then I would suggest you steer clear of them.
For more information on how to simplify good health consider my Accountability Group. We have monthly lessons, and support. If you like to learn more about basics on your own my Balanced Basics program starts Feb 3rd 2020, and as always my social media is fully loaded with insight daily.