Do you feel like you have stalled in meeting your health and wellness goals? It?s super easy in the culture we live in to think you have to become more extreme or restrictive with food. Some people immediately cut back on calories or increase exercise while others may start eliminating foods, food groups or food ingredients.
Instead, I encourage you to continue to eat regular, balanced and adequate meals and snacks and look at a few other things:
- Are you eating the majority of your food at night? I would recommend distributing your meals and snacks more evenly throughout the day, maybe even emphasizing breakfast and lunch.
- How are you sleeping? Poor sleep is associated with many adverse health conditions. You may be putting undue stress on your body by burning the midnight oil. Aim to set more consistent sleep patterns, trying for at least 7 hours a night.
- Are you stressed out? Maybe a yoga class to relax will be a better choice than an intense class at the gym. Yoga may not be your thing; the point being to find some way to manage stress. Setting clear work/life boundaries is also encouraged, while putting time into meaningful outside hobbies, interests and relationships.
- Maybe you aren?t exercising? Before you become more restrictive with food, maybe try finding 15-20 minutes a day (doesn?t even have to be all at once!) to move. It could be just setting a timer for every hour as a reminder to take a walk/stretch break. In an 8 hour period, that will be 40 minutes of movement!
- Last but not least, maybe you need to quit caring so much. Sometimes relaxing a bit around these issues invites less stress, more flexibility and a more effective flow conducive to your body naturally finding it?s healthy place.
Emily Fonnesbeck RD, CD