We hear messages every day about dieting to ‘get healthy’, whether we ask for them or not. **NEWS FLASH** Dieting isn’t beneficial or necessary! If you’re looking for other ways to improve your overall health and well-being, that do not include depriving yourself of food, keep reading.
1. Move your body in a way that feels good. Physical activity not only helps improve your level of fitness, but it can also relieve stress and enhance your mood. Think back to any movement that brought a smile to your face as a kid. Was it dancing, rolling down a hill, skipping, jumping, swimming, climbing a tree, bouncing a ball, marching in place, rollerblading, skateboarding, rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, or walking?
Try it out just for a few minutes and see how you feel. Starting is often the hardest part. Recruit a friend to move with you, schedule it into your calendar, or set a fun reminder tone on your phone that makes you want to get up and move. Even if you don’t follow through, starting to think about it is a good step. We all have days that our energy level is low. There are no rules with movement other than to have fun.
2. Bring a sense of calm to your life to relieve stress. Meditation, deep breathing, taking a slow walk, immersing yourself in nature, listening to music, painting, drawing, reading, and singing. These are all potential ways to calm the psyche and bring your heart rate down. You don’t have to do it perfectly! For some people, it takes practice to slow down.
If you’re one of those brain-is-always-working-can’t-slow-down kinds of people, try a walking meditation (while walking, observe the sights and sounds; if your mind is still filled with thoughts, count to 8 over and over while walking). You can also practice 1 cycle of square breathing (breathe in for a count of 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for a count of 4 seconds) while seated in a comfortable chair at work or home. It only takes a short amount of time to feel relaxed.
3. Add, don’t take away from your diet. Whether it’s adding a few cookies to your lunch to increase satisfaction, topping waffles with strawberries or using dips like ranch, hummus, peanut butter or guacamole for veggies & chips, there is good in all food. Here at Dr. Daisy & Co you’ll hear a lot about creative ways you can add to your diet, not take away. We know the science and psychology of food and eating and will help you feel your best.
Let’s face it- diet culture surrounds us every day. If diets worked, there wouldn’t be new ones invented daily. Diets induce a sense of deprivation and don’t work for 95% of the population (long-term). Giving the body less than it needs leads to negative psychological and physiological effects. Have you ever sworn off your favorite food only to overeat or binge on it later? Our brain will think about food more when it’s off-limits. The body’s metabolic rate will also slow when dieting. This is the body’s way of preserving energy. It doesn’t know the difference between you being stranded on a deserted island and you choosing to go on a diet.
Here at Dr. Daisy & Co we know it’s hard to sort out facts from fiction in the area of nutrition. We can help! If you want to learn more about living and eating that does not include dieting, come talk to us!