Many people believe that improved health and weight loss is somehow linked. But maybe the relationship between the two is not as clear-cut as we thought. Being a single mum is challenging enough – maybe it is time to stop pressuring ourselves to attain a certain weight all within the illusion of staying healthy.
Perhaps we should start pursuing other more effective health-related habits. If you need some help with coping as a mom while also looking after your health, read more at Mommy Authority.
Weight vs. Health
Research has shown that intentional weight-loss efforts are ineffective in the long term and it does not necessarily lead to improved health. If we use weight as the only indicator of health, it might actually distract us from improving our health.
Why A Weight-Focused Approach Can Be Damaging
Not only is the relationship between health and weight not as simple as many of us may think, but the pursuit of reaching an ideal weight may actually be bad for our health. The over-emphasis on weight loss or weight control may lead to low self-esteem, poor body image, disordered eating and even weight gain. If we use weight as an indicator of health, we might even stop pursuing other health-promoting behaviors such as including more weight training into our exercise schedule, just because the number on the scale doesn’t seem to be going down.
Insulin sensitivity, blood lipids and blood pressure can be improved by making positive lifestyle changes and this can be done regardless of whether weight loss is observed or not.
So if we are not supposed to weigh ourselves, how are we supposed to keep track of whether or not we are on the right track when it comes to healthy living? If you are convinced that you want nothing to do with the scale but are still looking for ways to improve your health, why not try the following:
Try To Move More
Find an activity or sport that you really enjoy doing or increase the distance of walking you do every day. Do something that is really fun instead of feeling forced to hit the gym for several hours each day. Any type of activity has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
- Try to squeeze a brisk walk into your lunch break. The movement and fresh air will probably help to improve your concentration too.
- Join a hiking or running club or even a group exercise class. Remember that movement should be fun – so even dancing in your room or chasing the kids around in the backyard counts.
Park as far away from the grocery store as possible to include a few extra steps into your day.
Eat More Fruit And Veg
Fruits and vegetables can protect you against developing a disease as they contain a lot of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber. By adding more servings into your diet you can possibly improve your ability to recover from injury, improve immunity and also improve energy levels and digestion.
- Add some veggies, such as romaine lettuce, baby spinach or beetroot to your fruit smoothies. These veggies work very well as they don’t have very strong flavors.
- Make sure to keep ready-to-eat veggies in the fridge, such as cherry tomatoes, baby cucumbers and carrots for quick snacks.
- Include more lentils and canned beans into your diet as they are inexpensive and a great source of insoluble and soluble fiber.
Make Sleep A Priority
Getting enough good quality sleep will not only increase your energy but it will also decrease your risk of developing a disease as sleep is essential for memory, health and stress management.
- Start unwinding at least one hour before you plan on going to bed. Meditate, read, shower, take a relaxing bath or do whatever it takes to let your body know that it should slow down and start to relax.
- Try to avoid any stimulants or caffeine a few hours before bedtime. Switch to caffeine-free alternatives or decaf in the afternoon.
Put down those electronic devices at least for two hours before bed as the blue light can mess with your body’s natural wake and sleep rhythms.