I don’t believe in following rigid rules when it comes to health – I don’t follow a non-dairy/non-carb/non-fat diet, I’m not a vegan or even a vegetarian and I don’t stick to a regimented exercise schedule. Instead, try to eat and live in a way that keeps me feeling healthy, energised and happy.
Here are a few of the beliefs that shape my ‘health philosophy’:
Listen to your body Trust your body to tell you what it needs. If your stomachs rumbling and you’re feeling hungry, then its time to eat, whether you last ate 5 minutes ago or 5 hours ago. On the other hand, if your just feeling bored or tired, think twice before you open the packet of biscuits.
Keep a balance One piece of cake or portion of chips isn’t going to make you fat, as long as your diet is healthy overall. So if you want a slice of cake, have one and enjoy it (just don’t eat the whole cake in one sitting).
Make nutritionally-informed choices If you make an effort to learn about nutrition and learn about your body’s needs, you’ll be able to make better food choices that will keep you feeling energised and healthy. Knowledge is power people!
Exercise – From releasing endorphines to protecting against osteoperosis, exercise has too many benefits to list!
Healthy Mind, Healthy Body – we all know that a healthy body can make you sharper, more alert and happier, but I think it works the other way round too. There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that people who are happy and positive live longer and have better immune systems. I firmly believe that nurturing your inner-self is vital for true health.
Here are a few of things I reject in my ‘health philosophy’:
Calorie Counting – it’s boring and it doesn’t take into account the nutritional value of what you’re eating. Obviously, if you have an urgent, medical need to lose weight calorie counting can be a useful short-term too, but otherwise, I’d avoid it.
Rigid, Restrictive Diets – They sap the spontaneity out of life. In my book, any diet which causes you to turn down dinner invitations with friends, is a bad idea, so if you’re looking for tips on following Weight Watchers or want a review of the latest Zone book, then you’ve come to the wrong place.
Cutting out whole food groups – sorry Dr Atkins, but I some days I just need pasta.
Size 0 – if you’re body isn’t meant to be a size 0 (and most bodies aren’t) then you shouldn’t starve yourself to achieve it.
Obsessing About Health – being too rigid and too obsessed will prevent you from enjoying life and can even lead to orthorexia…..It also won’t win you many friends.
If I had to summarise my philosophy in one sentence it would be…..
Make Health and Happiness Your First Priority!