Before I get into what you should do to be healthy, I'm going to first get into what people normally choose to do to be "healthy", from what they see and what they hear. You should have a better understanding of all of this first.
Before I became part of the fitness industry, I was bombarded with various types of diets; Paleo, Keto, Atkins, Vegan, Vegetarian, juice cleanes and detoxes. Each of these diets and cleanses were branded as the healthiest, more superior, and the best way to get in shape. As I became more and more educated I realized that it was all just marketing propaganda. Media and social media trying to push their agenda on you to buy into their products and/or services. They're marketing wizards, but they are destroying peoples mental and physical health.
"Try Keto now to burn 200% more fat". This is the type of stuff you'll see all the time in magazines and on social media. To be honest, it's very disappointing.
You see, all diets work for fat loss because they restrict foods and put people into a calorie deficit. (I have more on this on my instagram page here) and for some, these diets can become a lifetstyle if they can adhere to it long-term. But, the problem is, most of these diets are not sustainable for the average person long-term. If it's not sustainable long-term there is no point in trying it because it's not healthy.
Social media influencers and celebrities are praised for these tiny or ripped physiques which in reality is not necessarily healthy. Because society as a whole gives attention and praise to these people it affects how we view our own bodies and what we consider to be healthy.
If you find yourself in a position, much like many of my clients, where you're dieting and gaining weight over and over again for years you are ultimately damaging your health. For every time you put weight back on you are creating more and more fat cells, and fat cells are very hard to lose. This, in turn, makes it much harder for you to lose weight in the future. Also, you are not maintaining a healthy body which is important.
A lot of my clients, before they came to me, used to stop going to social events. They wouldn't even meet up for brunch with friends. They just dedicated 8 weeks of their life to dieting only to find themselves back to where they started a few months later. How annoying is that? This can literally mess with people's mental health and finances due to paying for personal trainers.
Unfortunately, some people just don't have the surrounding support they need. Their friends would say things like," you don't need to lose weight you're fine", yet their family members kept commenting negatively on their weight.
So how do we be healthy? What is it that we need to do in order to be the healthiest versions of ourselves?
Well, It's not just going to the gym and consuming healthy foods, it's much broader than that.
The whole point is to maintain a healthy body. Whether you need to lose or gain weight to get there, maintaining a healthy body is crucial. We need to be consuming a diet that is rich in nutrient dense foods such as: meat, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. If you're the type of person who restricts themselves from consuming any of the above foods due to dietary preferences, you should find out what nutrients you are lacking. Then, go see your doctor, check for any deficiencies you may have, and start taking the supplements needed to help your body function. It's important to try and minimize your risk of getting diseases as much as possible by providing your body with all the nutrients and calories it needs to function and grow.
If you enjoy junk foods, sugar, alcohol and savoury foods etc., you should not be eliminating them from your diet. We should TREAT ourselves to these every now and then. Allowing ourselves to consume these foods helps us adhere to weight loss and it helps you have a better relationship with food, and allows us to maintain a healthy body. If we restrict foods, it's because we think they're unheathy, they're not.
We should never look at food as bad because there is no such thing as bad food, not even a bad meal, only a bad diet.
Working out and keeping physically active is essential. It helps us maintain a healthy body, heart and mind. We should be working out 3-5 days a week (whatever way YOU like. I prefer lifting weights) followed by at least 20 minutes of walking everyday.
Furthermore, We should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night. This will allow us to function better the following day and stop us from relying on caffeine for energy. It's not that caffeine is bad, it's just we shouldn't be consuming it every hour on the hour to give us energy.
Your mental health is very important. If we don't look after our mental health everything around us can come crashing down. Poor mental health can lead to weight gain, poor sleep, poor dietary restraint and lack of physical activity. We need to be prioritizing ourselves and doing things that make us happy every day. Reading, writing, meditating, working out, walking and getting adequate sleep.
You have to maintain your stress levels. You are the only one in control of your stress. I can't tell you what to do to minimize your stress because I have no clue who you are. All I can say is, try and find something that you enjoy doing regularly that will help you relieve some stress. I listed a few things above so hopefully that can help.
What helps me personally is this: Going for walks, working out, my job, talking to my family (especially my son), going out for dates and watching movies with my wife and playing golf. It has to be meaningful, not materialistic.
Who you surround yourself with is either who you are or who you may become. You don't need false support or people making rude comments towards you. You don't need people in your life that will talk shit about you behind your back but will praise you to your face; they are the worst. If you can surround yourself with people who are there to genuinely lift you up, be honest with you and support you in life, life get's so much sweeter. Find a community of like minded people that are on the same page as you and ready to better their lives and let you be a part of their growth.
Even with work. I understand some people have no choice when it comes to the job they have, but if your job makes you cry almost every week go get a new one. Something similar if you have to but with a better working environment.
Your surroundings matter.
With the times, due to COVID, it's much harder these days to hang around with friends and family and be social. But you can do things like: have a social distancing gathering on a field somewhere, get all your friends/family to take a COVID test and meet up with each other if you are all negative, or have a zoom party. You need your friends and family. You need to be outside your house, socializing, having fun and making memories
If you're trying to lose fat, do not stop socializing. You don't have to. You just need to plan ahead. Having the right nutrition coach, like myself, can teach you how to do that.
Being healthy means more than just going to the gym and eating the right food. You need to work on your mental and physical health. You must socialize and surround yourself with loved ones and those who pick you up and want you to succeed. You have to constantly work on yourself to evolve and become a better version of who YOU are, not who people say you should be. It's important that you are in control of your life, have minimal stress and get enough sleep every night.
Lets finish off with a big list of what's important to be healthy, but in no particular order.