My 2020 top tips for weight control, better health and longer life.
Click the arrows or swipe to flick through all the tips.
If we all love food so much, why do we eat it so fast? Shoveling forkfuls of food into our mouth, barely giving our teeth time to chew before gulping down large pieces of food is not the way we should be enjoying our favourite foods. There are no teeth nor taste buds in our stomachs! Not chewing sufficiently reduces nutrients getting into your body. It makes your digestive system work harder sucking energy from you. It can also let food escape the gut and enter the bloodstream. The good point is that chewing properly can reduce your overall food intake, meaning quicker satiety, meaning weight-loss! Enjoy the meal that you have paid for or have taken the time to prepare. Put down your cutlery down from time to time and converse. Eat real food the real way.
2 – Drink
We are more water than anything and we can’t function without it. We can survive sometimes up to a month without food but wouldn’t last a week without water. But there are so many of us that don’t drink enough. We are all different and depending on our lifestyle, time of year and age, we may need to drink more or less than the next person. Generally, we should have around 8 glasses (2L) daily. Your digestive system uses about 9 liters of fluid to help digest food so we need to keep it lubricated. Drink a glass of water (lemon water even better!) first thing in the morning to kick start your day. Have a glass before every meal but not during as this encourages swallowing chunks of food. If you feel the need, just sip.
3 – Fast
For a quick-fix to weight loss, try fasting for 14hours. It basically involves skipping a meal. Breakfast tends to be easier as you are asleep for most of the time you’re fasting. You could start with 3-4 times a week and work up to 5 or 6 rewarding yourself with breakfast at the weekend. You’ll have extra time for yourself, you’ll lose weight, you’ll have more energy and it’ll give your body time to repair. Moreover, there is growing evidence that fasting has so many other benefits such as helping to reduce stress, it can increase longevity and help decrease the possibility of cancer and has cured people with Diabetes. Note: This is not for women who are pregnant. And people with energy issues should consult with a health specialist beforehand.
4 – Read
Find out exactly what you’re eating. If there are more than 10 ingredients on a food label, consider something else. Look for sugars and hidden names, any word that finishes with __ose is a sugar. We have become addicted to sweet things and not by accident, food companies have put it in everything they make and continue to do so to get us hooked on their products. Watch for low-fat, sugar-free and zero-calorie products, the food industry lies, look at the label and more often than not, they still contain some type of sugar. Processed foods are high in sugar and also contain additives that kill the good bacteria in your gut, which can lower your immune system causing autoimmune diseases such as diabetes or MS. In my opinion, try to reduce buying processed foods and buy real food like we used to do.
5 – Change
White bread, white rice, and white pasta contain very little if no fiber or nutrients. They are the baddie carbohydrates and white bread especially is the go-to snack for so many kids. Why? Because they are a starch that turns into sugar which means they are sweet and the majority of us have a sweet-tooth. Some bakeries add more sugar to make them even more addictive. Make the change the wholewheat (but check the labels for added sugar!), they have more or less the same amount of calories but at least they contain vital fiber and nutrients that the body needs.
6 – Avoid
In some countries, it’s part of the culture to eat late and it can be unavoidable. But if the meals are large and rich in baddie carbohydrates, it’s just not a healthy practice. Your body needs to sleep, it does not like to be digesting late at night, especially while lying down. Your body will still work to digest the food meaning possible restless nights. But studies have shown it can also lead to high insulin and cholesterol levels, stress, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.
7 – Move
We are now more sedentary than ever before and sitting has now become the new smoking.The health benefits of exercising are wide-ranging and long-lasting. Apart from keeping you fit, it gives you energy, as well as improving sleep. The hormone serotonin released during exercise reduces the stress hormone cortisol. It can prevent cancer and slow aging and is fundamental for strong bones. Our bodies were built and are designed to move, “…but if they are unused and left idle, they become liable to disease, defective in growth and age quickly.” (Hippocrates).
8 – Find your Superpower & lose the Kryptonite!
You have a gift or talent that makes you special. Maybe you’re a good listener, a great boss, a reliable friend. Don’t forget that you are somebody’s Superhero!; a work colleague, a neighbour, a family member or a fan that you haven’t yet met. Take compliments when given them, it’s your Superpower, you’ll need it!
What are the things in your life that make you feel unhappy? Maybe it’s something that you ate or drank. Does your job make you unwell? Are there toxic relationships in your life? Does watching the news get you down? Find your Kryptonite and cut it out of your life.
9 – Rest
Have proper sleep hygiene. Exercise is best done during the day time but if necessary try to finish by 8pm. Finish your last light meal at least 2 hours before you go to sleep. Get into bed-mode at least 45minutes beforehand; switch off the TV or laptop, dim or turn off lights around your home. Do you really need to have your phone in your bedroom? If possible, try to have a nap sometime during the day. Find an empty office, and close your eyes even for 10 minutes. Detox your soul with meditation and mindfulness. If you have problems sleeping, take a shower or bath or put your feet in a bucket of hot water with Epsom salts. Try magnesium citrate powder in a glass of water 30 minutes before sleeping. Try some bedtime stretching or wind-down yoga poses. Breathing exercises such as the 4-7-8 method help relax the soul. Make your room completely dark and wear an eye-mask.
10 – Connect
Humans are social creatures. It’s important we are in the company of people, children, animals. It’s a great way to destress and increases the happy hormone Oxytocin, aka, “the love drug”, or the “Cuddle Hormone” and reduce the stress hormone cortisol.
Nature has been around for longer than us, it knows how to survive. If you can’t find time to hike or trek for an afternoon, “Grounding” can be nearly as satisfying which simply involves removing your shoes and feeling the grass, the sand, the water. Take energy from the sun, look up, close your eyes, breathe in, breathe out.