How to Start the Day Right- Positive ThinkingThursday, 15th January 2015
The Pursuit of Happiness- How Do I Be Happy?Friday, 6th February 2015
Top Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Weight and Size
- Know your body- How well do you know your actual bone size? What has been your consistent weight growing up and in your youth? And how much did you put on during your pregnancies for example? Knowing your body intimately is the first key to having a healthy weight and size. Once you know the map, it only make sense that you can then plan your journey, right? So start noticing this thing that has carried you, walked you and endured your burdens for you.
- Start noting down your eating patterns and food intake. How often do you feel hungry? How often do you snack? How much do you drink? Is it coffee, tea, colas, etc that you reach for? And under what circumstances? Once you know your pattern, it makes it easier to guide yourself. When you are more conscious about your food intake, it’s less likely that you will go down the route of comfort or guilt eating. Those comfort eating sessions are the ones that will make you pile on the pounds/kilos.
- Start reading the nutritional information of everything you buy. Health begins with education. And good health begins in the aisle of the supermarket. It might take longer in the beginning to do your grocery shopping but trust me, it’s all worth it later. Understand what each ‘mystery’ ingredient means. I have my phone handy to calculate the percentages of sugar/salt/fat etc and the internet is excellent to quickly look up a new mystery ingredient. Maybe there’s something in there that is making you gain weight, like excess sugar.
- Sugar is actually the biggest culprit today as the main cause of obesity. It is NOT the intake of fat (the prevailing thought in the late 80’s that continued into the Noughties) that’s making us fat, it’s what excess refined sugar does to our body. Are you drinking a lot of Coca Cola for example? One can contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Would you eat that much in one sitting raw as it is? Today, a lot os sugary snacks contain what’s called HFCS- High Fructose Corn Syrup. Here is a great link to help you understand more about sugars and what it does to your body. By the way, some scientists have likened sugar addiction to be as bad as cocaine addiction. Now, you are not a drug addict are you?
- Diet drinks are not as healthy and as innocent as most of us have been led to believe. And so are other so called ‘low fat’ option. Anything that contains Aspartame or any derivatives of ‘fake sugar’ you gotta watch out for. It has been proven to actually increase you body to store fat as it confuses your body and making it crave more carbs. One of the respected medical blogger, Dr Mercola, has written a great article on it (click link). I also read another research done in Denmark and how it’s been proven to be detrimental to our liver and general health. As I was researching for this article, I came across this article from the UK. I have to remind my readers that it’s not just fizzy soda pops that can contain artificial sweeteners. I have seen them in baby/children’s food and drinks, plain drinks like flavoured coconut water, soya milk and even ready made food. I know that it’s bad for my body because as soon as I drink artificially flavoured drink, my tongue feels numb and it kills my tastebud.
- Do watch out for MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate) or its various names like flavouring, flavour enhancer or E621. The most famous brand is from Ajinomoto (the creator of MSG). Not only has it been proven to cause migraines and bloating, it has been attributed to a whole host of other health problems. Huffington Post has a great article right here, in conjunction with Dr. Mercola. I can share with you that whenever I eat out at certain Asian restaurants where they are known to indulge in the usage of MSG as part of the every recipe or when I lived back in Asia for 2 years, I get migraine like attacks that can debilitate me for a good hour. And I am not one to suffer headaches easily. This has progressed from the ‘dry tongue’ symptom I used to get growing up when Mum used to cook with Ajinomoto.
- Wheat intolerance: Are you familiar with this new discovery? There has been various studies that actually looked at the causes of bloating in people and one of them is intolerance to wheat. As I mentioned in my video, I tried my own intolerance test. After having my normal bread/waffle/cereals as breakfast for weeks, I started to eliminate them from my diet for about 2 weeks. I did this on and off thing a few times. I noticed within days my tummy looking less bloated. I also increased my vegetable intake after indulging in wheat (like during Xmas) and it certainly helps in dispelling that ‘baby like’ bulge. Here’s another blog link from Dr Hyman on why our current wheat is causing all kinds of health issues today.
- Eat as organic food and as unprocessed as possible. There has been studies to show that the pesticides used to spray on crops and also antibiotics used on the animals can cause serious havoc on our bodies. It also can affect our reproductive system. Here’s another external link with a detailed write up about the side effects of pesticides used on our crops. I know for a fact that organic food costs more than ‘normal’ food so what’s a budget conscious mum to do in those situation? A cheaper alternative is to keep to root vegetables as organic as possible and those with skin, like apples, pears, etc : soak them in vinegared water. You can also buy special ‘wash’ to clear as much spray as possible though I find vinegar the cheapest and cleanest solution.
- Exercise: Beytween 70 – 80% of our health and a healthy weight depends a lot on our food intake. And the balance of 20 -30% depends on our active lifestyle. Today’s lifestyle is sadly so far removed from the lifestyle of our forefathers, the bodies of which we are still accustomed to. (Our body system still hasn’t really changed to accommodate the last 10,000 yrs of agricultural change and the last 20 years of internet lifestyle) Staying indoors for longer periods means our children are growing up getting ‘rickets’ (I’ve written an article on this here), an illness that was already eradicated in the last century but coming back due to the lack of Vitamin D naturally occurring when we get natural sunlight. Our bones actually need to be exercised and worked in order to get stronger and more resistance to osteoporosis and injuries.
- Try wearing body strengthening or restricting items like corsets, girdles, waist trainers etc. As it tightens up our abdominal wall and muscles, it also acts like a free gastric band surgery. It makes you less hungry so you end up eating less per sitting. Do drink lots of fluid (water, green tea, soups, etc) as you can end up sweating a little more than normal. You might see a small weight loss but this is due to the sweat coming out (water retention). Use this as a motivation to get your weight loss going.
- When you’ve tried all these tips, you’ve really done what you think is a really smashing effort and there still seems to be little effect (to you), please visit a doctor to arrange for a comprehensive blood test. So much of our health and good body size depends on how well our internal system works (or not). Maybe you have a severe lack of Vitamin D? Vitamin D is like a master vitamin to me, to get all the system going. The lack of Vitamin D has caused so much ill health, like increasing risk of diabetes, heart attacks etc. Or as I mentioned, maybe your thyroid hormone is to blame? Maybe that big lump that is yor belly is actually a tumour in the making. Be serious about looking after your body. This tip goes back to Tip No.1. When you know your body best, you can then tell if things are working out or not. Be the master to your own health and your medical professionals as your coaches to get you there.
There are NO SHORT CUTS to good health. It is a never ending journey. Make this journey your best one ever. Remember, you only get this one journey (one body) so own it and respect it and it will reward you with the most amazing experiences!
If you have any questions or would like a coaching or therapy session with me, I am always available on Skype, phone or in person (Metropolitan London and Surrey). There is a price to pay for the indulgences of the past but the price is valueless when you are looking at upcoming years of happiness and health! Much love and peace to you!