Finding the Holes in Your Wellness Plan
By Debi Silber
Why is it that you may eat well, exercise and still struggle with your weight and health?
For many, making healthier food choices is a way of life. You read labels, you’re mindful of your portions, limit the amount of junk and processed foods you eat, limit alcohol intake and you make a concerted effort to eat well.
Many also commit to a consistent fitness schedule. You dedicate the time and effort necessary to create a lean, toned and fit body.
So with this kind of effort, why aren’t many of us looking, feeling and living our best?
While eating and exercise are important steps in the right direction, they’re only a piece of the wellness puzzle. The rest has to do with your lifestyle, your mindset and so much more. Here are a few areas to consider.
If your choices are healthy for the most part, it’s worth taking a look at the “why” of your eating. Are you eating when your body is hungry or do you eat based on the time, the size of the plate or the environment you’re in? There’s a big difference between hunger and appetite and while the body thrives when eating due to hunger, the body can only store fat when eating in response to appetite.
Emotional eating may also be a factor where you eat to soothe, calm, numb and relax from your problems or your pain. It’s a way to self-medicate, using food as the drug of choice. This behavior not only cause weight gain, but also create a dysfunctional relationship with food.
Just as you can get bored with a fitness routine, if your body isn’t challenged it gets bored too. To prevent this, create some “muscle confusion.” That could mean varying your pace or adding in some intervals or bursts of intense plyometric movements to dramatically increase the intensity for a short period of time. It can also mean using weights, resistance bands, machines, trying an organized sport, a new fitness class, DVD or different route to run.
With fitness, look at the rest of your day as well. Sure you may be getting in that workout but are you sitting behind a desk for the rest of the day? While the workout may be great, it can’t combat a sedentary lifestyle.
Another piece of the wellness puzzle can be found with the amount of sleep you’re getting each night. With adequate sleep you have more clarity, a greater ability to focus, and you have more energy to power you through your day. Without adequate sleep, you’ll look for energy through sugar and caffeine; the perfect recipe for weight gain and illness. The empty calories coming from sugar gives a temporary energy surge and inevitable crash, which leaves you craving more sugar to pick you up again. This short-lived fuel doesn’t sustain you yet does promote weight gain and inflammation; a precursor to many chronic illnesses. Also, without enough sleep, hormones and chemicals don’t have an opportunity to rebalance and replenish themselves. These chemicals also promote fat storage, increased appetite, fatigue, hormonal issues and more.
If you’re living with chronic, unmanaged stress, you’re suppressing your immune system as well as causing physical, mental and emotional wear and tear. When under stress, you’re not as able to fight off bacterial and viral invasion so you’re more susceptible to illness. Under stress, you’re also keeping your body tight which leads to muscle aches, pulls, tears, headaches and more.
Chronic stress also affects your digestive, nervous and even reproductive system. Digestive disturbances such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, Chrohn’s disease and acid reflux to name a few can all be tied to stress.
Relationships are either good or bad for your health. Supportive, loving and positive relationships improve the immune system. Negative, critical, judgmental and pessimistic people suppress the immune system; decreasing resistance to illness and disease.
Mindset is also a critical piece to the wellness puzzle. A lack of confidence, low self esteem, poor self image and other actions stemming from limiting beliefs prevent you from living the life you want…regardless of how well you eat and how much you exercise.
True health isn’t just a healthy body; it’s a healthy body thriving because of a healthy mindset and a healthy lifestyle.
Debi Silber transforms the lives of elite professionals through strategies to create soaring confidence, endless energy, radiant health, and financial abundance. Debi regularly appears on FOX, the Dr. Oz Show, CBS, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, WebMD and TEDx. Debi@DebiSilber.com 631 499-4999 www.DebiSilber.com