New year, new you… we all have good intentions to make this year the one where we get our health and waistlines under control, but life often gets in the way. Luckily, we have just the plan to give us a helping hand.
Start as you mean to continue
January is the perfect time to set the tone for your best self. You can correct the holiday overindulgence and, since you’ve had a good rest (we hope), you have the energy to make good choices rather than reaching for those not-so-good comforters that derail your plans to get and stay healthy.
Not simply the number on the scale
It’s important to understand that healthy weight loss is not just about losing weight. It’s about making sustainable lifestyle changes that keep it off.
Yes, overeating and poor food choices are major contributors to excess weight, however, modern lifestyle factors such as high stress levels, little exercise and a lack of sleep have a big role to play in piling on the kilos.
Unpacking the four pillars of health:
Years of research and experience by the Renewal Institute have culminated in a company philosophy that incorporates four pillars of health gut health, exercise, nutrition, stress management, which are all underpinned by good quality sleep. These pillars are a fundamental part of everything we do, and a core component of The Renewal Institute Diet (RID), our sustainable weight loss program.
The statement ‘you are what you eat’ should actually encompass ‘you are what you digest, absorb, assimilate and eliminate properly’.
A well-functioning digestive system is the foundation of a healthy body, and health sciences are continually discovering how much of a role a healthy gut plays in our general health.
It makes sense that if the basic building blocks of a healthy system aren’t in place, the body won’t be able to function optimally. Unfortunately, due to our modern lifestyle, very few people have healthy guts, so the Renewal Institute addresses this first.
For many of us, sitting is our daily default position: we sit behind a steering wheel, a computer screen, and then relax after a long, hard day in front of some kind of screen.
The problem is that our bodies are designed to move. Exercise is about more than just being fit and building strong muscles. The movement gets the blood flowing through our system, supplying the brain and body with oxygen, helps us build healthy bones and releases feel-good endorphins, and releases stress. Bottom line: it helps the entire body to function better.
In our rushed lives or because we’re too tired to plan and cook a healthy meal, we often grab processed convenience food that is high in sugar and salt. And because we’re tired and want an energy boost, we eat larger portions than needed. This all helps to inflame the gut.
Sticking to a diet consisting of fresh food in its rawest form is advisable, and to ensure that your body gets all the nutrients required to function optimally, supplementing with the correct nutrients is essential.
Another side effect of stress is the release of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol magnifies the satisfaction of pleasurable activities, such as eating sugar for example, which stimulates our craving for more. It also increases the amount of unhealthy fat deposited around the abdominal area, which is commonly seen among women with an adrenal imbalance.
This makes it essential to take time out to reconnect with yourself and stabilize your adrenal system. Manage your stress levels through exercise, good sleep and meditation, and your body will thank you time and time again.
People often overeat when they’re tired, hoping to gain energy from different sources. This means that a lack of good quality sleep has a direct impact on eating patterns.
As the body goes through the different sleep cycles, it balances itself, and if it doesn’t get to all the different phases of sleep, hormone levels such as cortisol, ghrelin, leptin, insulin and thyroid become unstable. Yes, you guessed it this is linked to weight management.
Now that the impact of lifestyle factors is clear, how can we go about improving it:
Start with healthy, quality nutrition and manage what you eat, when you eat it and how much you eat.Manage stress levels, to ensure that cortisol levels are balanced.Get enough good quality sleep, to ensure that the system is balanced every night.Get into a moderate exercise routine.
What about insulin?
Insulin resistance is a vicious cycle, starting with an inability to regulate sugar levels. This can result in increased levels of dangerous inflammation in the body which, in turn, worsen resistance and increase fat deposits.
How do we manage this vicious cycle?
A good start is to reduce the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates.
As insulin is released every time we eat or snack, regulating food intake to three meals a day, with no snacking in between has a huge impact. 12 to 16 hours of intermittent overnight fasting has a significant impact on reducing insulin resistance.
Next time, we focus on our medically proven Renewal Institute Diet (RID) and healthy weight loss program. Before you start, our doctors and nurses assess all the lifestyle factors at play and help to get these in balance, for better and prolonged results.