Healthy weight is natural. It is like breathing; we don’t think about it. Weight itself is an indicator of our overall health and the balance of our diet and physical and mental activity. Trying or struggling to lose weight rarely leads to success. The most effective and long-term way to get to your natural, healthy weight is through improving diet and lifestyle practices.
To see if you are at a healthy weight, the Waist-to-Hip ratio is a useful barometer. The Waist-to-Hip ratio is not enough however. Additionally, there are four general conditions that indicate that you have a healthy weight. The first is that you find healthy, plant-based foods delicious and satisfying. The second is that you have natural (without the use of any laxatives) bowel movements once or twice a day. The third is that you are physically and mentally (have a “can-do” attitude) strong and the fourth that you are energetic enough to live a creative, active and engaged life.
The following are some dos and don’ts for achieving a healthy weight for your unique body. When we begin to understand that health is a direction we move in that is created by our overall diet, activity, and outlook on life, we can achieve anything we set out to do.
—Try to create a regular eating and sleeping schedule. Ideally, eat two or three meals a day at regular times to regulate metabolism. Sleep before midnight and rise by 7 a.m. to activate and regulate metabolism. If this kind of schedule is not possible, eating meals at consistent times in your day and getting up by seven are the most important.
—Sit down to eat without doing other things.
—Lunch is the most important meal to keep consistent. Try to start lunch no later than 1 o’clock.
—Focus on satisfaction, not restriction.
—See food as food, not as ingredients or nutrients. A few simple ingredients that are easy to understand are the best indicators that the food has been simply or naturally processed. A variety of plant-based foods and cooking styles provides all nutrients that we need abundantly. Breaking up food into its nutritional constituent parts deters us from finding our sense of taste, natural appetite, and satisfaction.
—Focus on adding healthy foods and lifestyle practices into your life that create health-supporting habits.
—Take time to properly nourish your life. Take time for and share meals with family and friends. Incorporate breathing and meditation practices. Create a support network with others committed to their health.
—Enjoy and appreciate the value of daily activity in your life. It adds up when you think about it, and also nourishes your appetite for healthy food.
—Enjoy nature and going outside often.
—Don’t count calories
—Don’t focus on losing weight.
—Don’t focus on restriction. Restriction inevitably leads to excess.
—Don’t choose foods based on nutrient value alone.
—Don’t work out to the point where you feel you need to reward yourself.
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