Health strategies that may be sabotaging you part 1
Inadequate nutrition and lack of important vitamins and mineral can negatively affect our body’s health and performance.
As many of us know, healthy eating is essential for overall good health and wellbeing and for optimum exercise and fitness. Similarly, many of us have come across conflicting messages about healthy eating and lifestyle strategies. Some of these could be detrimental to health in the long run and so I am here to shed some clarity on some of the common myths to healthy eating and lifestyle you may have heard or may be practising yourself.
1. Drastically cutting down calories
It is important that you do not under nourish your body. Some people believe that skipping meals will aid towards weight loss, however, it could have the opposite effect. To maintain body weight the average calorie recommendation for men is 2500 calories and 2000 calories for women. However, for weight loss, it is 1800 calories for men and 1500 calories for women. This varies however with age, height, weight and other factors for more precise recommendations. It is important that even when trying to lose weight or staying a healthy weight, you give your body enough calories as well as nutrition to function at its best. For those wanting to lose weight, the healthy recommended amount of weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week (0.5-1.0kg).
2. Exercising on an empty stomach.
Listen to your body's signs for telling you when it needs fuel (food), some examples include; a grumbling stomach, light-headedness, a hollow feeling in the stomach and more – people experience different signs of hunger, learn to identify yours.
It is important that you fuel your body prior to exercise, without doing this, it is like driving a car on an empty or near empty tank which can have some negative effects. If you are not hungry but need to exercise, eat a light healthy snack like a piece of fruit. Without fueling your body appropriately, your energy levels can be affected meaning you may not get the most out of your workout. You may also end up feeling drained and depleted after your workout and this can lead to overeating later in the day.
3. Skipping breakfast.
As the meal-time name suggests, 'breakfast' is like breaking a fast. Often the time from when we slept to the time we wake up is the longest period of time our body tends to go without eating; in other words without fuel. If we skip breakfast we are extending that time even longer. This means when it is time for your next meal, you are likely to be hungrier and therefore more at risk of selecting high-calorie foods as well as more likely to eat larger portions. Going without food for a long period of time can also affect energy levels and concentration. Research suggests that breakfast eaters are healthier weights than breakfast skippers, due to tending to eat less as well as less high calories foods throughout the day. If you are not a fan of eating breakfast, try gradually develop this practice by eating something light like fruit or a yoghurt; something to kick start your day and give you that much-needed fuel and nourishment.
Look out for part two for more health strategies that maybe sabotaging you.
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About Fungai Amanda Nyeke
Nutritionist (BSc Human Nutrition, MSc Public Health Nutrition) registered with the Association for Nutrition. My passion is good health, nutrition, well-being and helping people attain it. Here to support you improve your health & nutrition through empowerment, motivation & knowledge delivered through effective techniques, support & no judgement.