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Changing our Lives

Change is something that is often needed, but not always welcomed because of many things, fear of the unknown, doubting yourself, isolating yourself and agonizing over decisions. Maybe forgetting that you always have options, and focusing too much on the external world, and handcuffing yourself to possessions, and statuses.  In life many never see the necessity to change things that maybe unhealthy, however when focusing on physical symptoms that is your body telling you that something isn’t right.  

In today’s society we tend to have a do all, eat, drink, and abuse our body and then when we become ill and need to seek help from professionals.

Everyone I speak to asks WHY has this happened, or WHAT is it?  As humans we always find comfort in knowing what is wrong with us and what can be done to fix it.  In recent times Diabetes has been highlighted in the news and we have seen the proof or answer to that. YES, EATING HEALTHILY can reverse it!  Well, well, well, so prevention is better than cure we could say.  Here are a few tips that we can all introduce on our road to living a healthy and happy life.


Eat for Health

Eat three balanced, regular meals per day (or multiple smaller ones) rich in fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Include a lean protein source with each meal, and foods high in calcium. Eating healthy snacks when  needed.

Don’t skip meals, because it leads to extreme hunger and bingeing.

Pay attention to hunger and fullness signals.

Watch portion sizes. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers. It’s okay to leave some food on your plate once you’re full!

Eat slowly, taking small bites. Meals should take at least 20 minutes, so they can be savoured, and to give the brain time to process how much is consumed.


Don’t use the word Diet- All it is, is a new healthy way of eating.

I try to plan ahead make a list of what you are having for the week then shop once a week with a list in hand (but not when you’re hungry!). Stock up on fruits and vegetables, as they are the packed with natural enzymes and fibre.

Plan your meal around a fruit or vegetable, rather than putting meat at the center of the meal.

Cooking is a ‘you either hate it or love it’.  Either way with slow cookers and modern appliances quick easy things can be prepared with little or no hassle at all.

Portion size is really important as we Brits really love our huge Sunday Dinner. Don’t forget if you eat less your stomach shrinks and will adapt to eating less so you won’t really feel hungry if you pack your meals with healthy vegetables.

Make gradual, realistic changes. Lifestyle changes take time! If you never cook, try once or twice a week at first. Try adding extra fruit a few times a week, and then add more once you’ve adjusted.

Try new things! Focus on what kinds of foods you should be having more of, rather than those that need to be cut back.


Have a little of what you enjoy

Deprivation leads to bingeing for many people. So just have a little of the things you know are treats, like a chocolate bar, special cake or a couple of biscuits. BUT ONLY as a treat


Learn to say “no thank you.”
When you aren’t hungry, don’t eat food just to appease others. I’ve just eaten thank you is a good one.  

 Enjoying Activities that don’t evolve around food or eating

Evaluate how you use food in your life. Every time you do something fun and social, do you have to include food? Disassociate food from some of your activities, and learn to enjoy them independently.

For instance

If you aren’t hungry, enjoy a film without popcorn or sweets.

Take a walk with your friends, instead of always meeting to eat.


Keep well hydrated.

Don’t confuse the sluggishness of dehydration with hunger. When we get busy, it’s easy to ignore thirst and forget to drink enough fluids. Basic water requirements vary, however, depending on body size. In addition, the amount of fluids we need changes on a daily basis depending on the weather, our activity level and even the types of foods we eat (which contain differing amounts of water). So, stay tuned to your body’s fluid needs each day.

Keep in mind, however, that calories from beverages don’t seem to register as filling to our bodies. If you are drinking lots of sweetened beverages or even fruit juices, you can unintentionally consume more calories than needed. Plain water is one of the best ways to quench thirst between meals.


Exercise.

Find an activity that you can truly enjoy, and make it a part of your lifestyle. Set realistic goals so that you won’t get discouraged. If you can work it in, resistance or strength training exercises help boost metabolism by increasing lean muscle tissue in the body.  If you are not mobile or housebound then stretching everyday is a must.


Sleep

Don’t confuse the low energy associated with fatigue as a signal to eat more than you need. If you’re sleep-deprived, your body is probably saying “rest”–not “eat.” In addition, there is mounting evidence that sleep deprivation impacts the lives of many causing hormonal changes in the body that increase appetite and cravings, especially for high carbohydrate foods. It may even lead to a slower metabolism, furthering the likelihood of unhealthy weight gain. So if you aren’t getting a good eight hours of shut-eye a night, evaluate your busy schedule and look for ways to slow down.


Deal with your emotions in a healthy way.

If you are an emotional eater, identify your triggers for overeating. For coping, substitute appropriate alternatives to food…

Need to calm down? Take a warm bath, read, and listen to soothing music.

Need to vent anger or frustration? Dance, Cross Trainer, take a walk, skipping.

Need to be uplifted? Call a friend, say a prayer, do something nice for someone else, pamper yourself.

Of course, these are all temporary fixes. Long-term health means looking below the surface and dealing with the causes of your emotions. This could include learning to discuss problems, resolve issues, forgive and be forgiven. Emotions are complex responses to our thoughts and beliefs. If you are chronically experiencing anger, depression, or feelings of worthlessness, it’s time to seek professional counselling.


Find support.

Join a group or find an accountability partner, who will help you to set and reach your goals for healthy living.


Have faith.

Numerous scientific studies have found that people who live a faith-filled life are healthier, experience greater contentment, and live longer. Research has shown that people involved in religion or religious activity fare better physically, emotionally and socially. We need to nourish our souls, as well as our bodies!