Just because you have rarely or never struggled with your weight doesn’t mean you are healthy. Too often we confuse weight with health, but being thin or within your suggested weight range may be giving you a false sense of security. If you are often tired, sluggish, or have low immunity your body is trying to tell you that you are not at optimal health. Here’s how to get healthy even if your weight is spot on.
Start by heading to your doctor to get a full physical, including bloodwork, urine, and stool sample. If diabetes runs in your family, be sure to request a fasting blood sugar test. The results combined with your blood pressure, chronic health conditions, and current symptoms will highlight your greatest areas of opportunity.
You may not have any weight to lose but weight loss is far from the only reason to remain physically fit. With many of us sitting 8 or more hours a day at work, and several hours more when we get home for the day—movement is more important now than ever. Your daily workouts will help to keep your heart healthy, your muscles strong, maintain balance and range of motion, cleanse the toxins from your body, reduce stress, and more. Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio 4 days a week, and 3 days of strength training. If you sit for 8 or more hours a day, find ways to move more during the workday—such as walking during your lunch hour or 10-minute break.
Instead of using the word “diet” which is often associated with weight loss or weight maintenance, you need to focus on nutrition. This is particularly important if you are someone who can eat whatever they want without gaining weight, as you may have adopted the belief that this gives you a free pass to eat what you want. Regardless of your weight or BMI, you must approach food as fuel. The nutrients, or lack thereof, in what you eat help your body remain healthy from the inside out. This means a diet high in real and unprocessed foods, and low in sugar and processed foods. As a general rule, a minimum of 90% real food and a maximum of 10% less healthy options. Healthy whole foods can be delicious when prepared correctly, so working with a personalized nutrition coach can help.
Don’t forget the essential role of hydration in nutrition by drinking no less than 64 ounces of water and unsweetened herbal tea each day.
Last but not least, you must consider the mind, body, and spirit connection to health. If your level of stress is high, you aren’t getting enough sleep, or are in an unhealthy work environment—the changes above will help but won’t be enough for optimal health. You must also give up high-risk behaviors such as smoking, heavy drinking, and maintaining relationships with toxic people. Replace unhealthy habits with healthy alternatives, such as taking up a hobby, sport, or meditation.
If you are thin but not in optimal health Personalized Nutrition Concepts can help. Reach out today to discuss how nutrition can be used to fuel and heal your body!