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  • Writer's pictureHungry 2Move

How to have a 'Healthy Lifestyle'...

Updated: Jun 18

‘It’s not a diet, it’s a healthy lifestyle’ 
  • Do you regularly think about your next ‘treat’?

  • Do you feel guilty if you don’t follow your plan?

  • Do you regularly miss events because they don’t fit with your eating/ training plan?

  • Do you have such a focus on eating ‘whole foods’ that you never allow yourself to eat just for enjoyment or out of convenience?

  • Have you noticed lower energy levels, being cold, tired or moody more often than normal?

  • Do you wish you could have just one day off from your ‘healthy lifestyle’?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions it might be worth checking just how healthy your lifestyle is.  We live in a world where health is idealised. We look at influencers with their toned bodies, bronzed skin, protein shakes, colorful salad bowls and gym selfies and think that’s what health looks like. Now I’m not saying health cannot look like that;  eating a variety of colorful foods is great,  ensuring we get enough protein is really important, as is moving our bodies regularly. But maybe we need to address the other areas of our life that contribute to our health as well. 

Health isn’t just about what we eat and how much we move. These are really important factors in our overall health, but so are; how much we sleep, how we feel, how much we socialize with others, how much fulfillment we get out of our work, how we look after our spiritual health and how much time we give ourselves to reset and rest. As well as factors completely outside our control like genetics and the economy.

When we start to focus too much on what we’re eating and how much we’re exercising, we can lose sight of the other aspects of our health. 

If we become obsessed with following a set meal plan or exercise routine with no flexibility, we can isolate ourselves and send ourselves down a path of poor overall health & wellbeing. I am not against following plans of any sort, as long as they don’t start to take over our lives.

Following a meal plan might be really good for someone who wants to build their strength and has no idea how much protein they should be consuming to do this, or if someone is recovering from an eating disorder and needs to increase their volume of food, or for someone training for an event who needs to ensure they are eating adequate amounts. Again, following a training plan can be great for someone who is trying to get back into a routine with exercise, for someone looking to increase their strength or for someone trying to achieve a goal such as lifting a certain weight or running a certain distance. However, I think if we are following plans of any sort we need to regularly check in with ourselves to check our intention behind the plan, check in with how we’re doing and notice if we’re neglecting any other aspects of our health. 

Even on a plan we should be able to miss a workout if our body is telling us it needs rest.

We should be able to adapt our food plan on occasion if it's going to cause us a lot more stress to follow it; maybe work has run over and in order to cook the food on the plan we would be up until 12am and suffer the next day, maybe in that case it would be healthier to have an alternative and get to bed earlier.

We need to make sure we are still doing the things we enjoy and spending time with people, not isolating ourselves and constantly missing events because we have to work out or can’t alter our food plan.

Finally, I think it’s important to assess the intention behind our healthy lifestyle. If it is guilt and self hate that is making us follow a certain plan, then maybe we need to focus on learning how to like ourselves a bit more and seeing our bodies as something we need to look after, not change or punish. Maybe a healthy lifestyle isn’t one filled with food or exercise guilt, but actually one where we look after our physical, mental, social, spiritual and emotional health equally. 

If you are struggling with eating or over exercising there is so much support and information available at BEAT and Mind.


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