What you eat makes up 80% to 90% of the effort toward your weight goal. The other 10% to 20% of effort comes from how you take care of the rest of your body.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, stabilize weight, or eating healthier to feel better, your lifestyle habits are an essential factor to success.
If you've followed my blog so far, you know that you can bring balance to your nutrition by incorporating healthy protein, fats, and carbs into every meal or snack. This will keep you feeling energetic and satisfied.
All of this work though can be compromised if other parts of your lifestyle are not in balance.
There are other areas beyond nutrition that you can start focusing on today, to allow your body to function as the intelligent, efficient machine it's meant to be.
Some of what goes into the 10% to 20% [of effort] includes:
Are you getting a full night's worth of sleep? How's your quality of sleep?
When you sleep is when your body detoxes, recovers, and goes into fasting mode to allow your digestive process to run and prepare for your next day.
If you feel you're not getting enough sleep, then chances are you are not giving your digestive process enough time to complete its cycle. This can lead to weight retention amongst other effects on your health.
This week, try getting a consistent number of hours of sleep every night. Ideally, try to keep your bedtime consistent too so you can get your body used to a more regular schedule for recovery.
You've been told your whole life to drink more water but you probably haven't been told why.
Water balances your blood sugar and, like a well-oiled machine, keeps your system running smoothly. Often times when we are hungry or feel a caffeine craving, we are actually just dehydrated.
Try to get in a litre or two of water a day. Or to start, try to simply increase your average daily intake of water.
The way your body functions energetically, emotionally, and physically is dependent on the state of your mind.
Do you know how people get stomach aches when they're stressed? Or when your appetite goes from extremes of non-existent to binge mode when feeling stressed? It's because your brain is connected to the rest of your body. If your mind is stressed, your body will go into survival mode, which isn't the state you want to be in when processing food for energy.
Take time out of your day to relax and breathe. Find healthy ways to take time for yourself and reset in order to relieve stress and anxiety.
For some people, decluttering their work and home spaces helps reduce stress. Decluttering parts of your life that are no longer serving you will be a needle-mover too.
For others, it's a matter of going out for a walk to get some fresh air when feeling overwhelmed.
These small habit changes to better recognize and cope with stress can go a really long way.
This week, become more aware of when you're feeling stressed and come up with your own ways to reset.
4) Movement and physical activity
Relating to #3, some people make exercise a regular habit to boost their endorphins and improve their mood. The physical benefits of working out are a close second.
You don't need to go to the gym to fulfill this requirement for physical activity. Just make sure you get moving, and that you move in a way that makes you feel good. This week, see if you can decide what type of physical activity that is for you. Keep it simple and something you would reasonably fit into your lifestyle.
5) Pursuing happiness
Doing what makes you happy is another form of taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. Take time every day to do one thing that makes you happy. Even if it's only 5 minutes out of your day, do it and indulge. If it's listening to music, playing with your dog, spending time with family, grabbing a drink at your favourite cafe, make time for these activities for you.
Going through the 5 things on this list, you can probably spot at least 2 that require little effort to begin today. Even introducing just one new habit will bring more balance into your life and wholistically impact your body and overall health.
For more tips on your health and nutrition journey, please check out the rest of my blog here.