Being able to reach and easily maintain a healthy weight is a goal for many of us. But at what cost do we try to achieve our goal? Being “well” means different things to different people but generally we consider ourselves to be well when we are balanced:
• energy during the day is balanced by restorative sleep at night
• enthusiasm and motivation is balanced by resistance to stress
• busyness is balanced by stillness
• noise and stimulation are balanced by peace and quiet
• delicious treats are balanced by nutritive foods
• anger and sadness are balanced by gratitude and happiness
• activity is balanced by rest
When did you last feel really well?
It’s a simple word with a big meaning. Feeling well means that your body is operating at its peak and it’s only then that you can achieve optimum health and permanent weight loss.
Wellness comes before weight loss
There are 6 scientifically proven principles that are essential for feeling well. These principles create the foundation on which optimum health, weight and wellbeing can be achieved. If you are falling short on one of these principles and haven’t laid the foundation for change, improvements in your health or permanent weight loss will always feel like a struggle.
The 6 Principles of Wellbeing
1) Real Food
Making the change to a more natural, whole food diet with the elimination of sugar and refined grains, and instead eating more vegetables, good fats and proteins, forms the basis of good health. Remember “junk in equals junk out”.
Movement is as important as structured exercise. A sedentary lifestyle is known to be harmful to health and lead to long term weight problems even if you exercise regularly. There is a phenomenon known as the “active couch potato” which refers to people who might have an hours burst of vigorous exercise but are then sedentary or asleep for the remaining 23 hours a day. Let go of the idea that exercise is only useful for burning calories and understand that every time your muscles are active, you are improving your body at a hormonal level.
Stress is the underlying cause for most chronic health problems and many people’s poor food choices. Even if you can’t control the cause of the stress you can learn to control your response to it. Your brain changes according to the information that you give it, so if you see the world as stressful, that’s what your brain will create. Or as well-known author Stephen R. Covey puts it:
“We see the world, not as it is, but as we are”
Sunlight has an influence on every part of us from our mood to our digestive system so knowing when and how to safely get enough is essential. Sunlight enters through your eyes and sets off a hormonal chain reaction from within your brain. Your body has adapted to use sunlight in much the same way that it uses air or food.
It’s impossible to be in an optimum state of health without good sleep. Your food choices often change for the worse when you’re tired and your body is much more likely store calories as fat than burn them. Sleep deprivation alone can make your response to food the same as a diabetics!
Social and physical connection is critical for our health and happiness. Smiling, talking, hugging and gratitude keep us connected with other people and the planet. Social isolation is as big a risk to long term health as obesity or smoking.
It’s easy and very common to only concentrate on the “big two” factors of food and exercise when focusing on your health but these are only a part of the puzzle. In fact, by starting with the other principles, you might find eating well and exercise are much easier to integrate into your life.
A seasoned professional in the health and wellness space, Kate Troup has over 20 years of naturopathic and product experience gained in Australia, the US, UK and India. Kate’s background includes running a busy clinic in London, training Doctors in Mumbai and developing nutritional supplements in the USA, Kate has combined knowledge gathered from around the world to help people change their lifestyle, lose weight and get healthy. Frustrated with the knowledge that most diets and weight loss programs don’t work and are failing people, Naturopath Kate Troup launched W8less in January 2014 as a way of creating a holistic and ‘back to basics’ approach to long-term health.