By Mala Ashok
We have all at one time or another seen someone and said, “Wow! What does she do that I don’t? How come she looks so good at her age and I can barely get through each day?” Doctor Joey Shulman has explained just how to do this in her book, The Metabolism Boosting Diet.
If you think the title of the book suggests you may have to make drastic changes in your lifestyle, diet, or exercise in boot-camp fashion, you’re wrong. All you need to do is make minor but meaningful changes in some habits to see a noticeable difference in your looks and more importantly your health.
Follow these tips on sleep, nutrition and fitness and you’ll see how quickly you improve your health. The most important point though is to make these changes a part of your lifestyle. In other words, make them habits so that they become second nature.
Wake up early
Your day begins in the morning, so the first change also does. Most of us have busy lives and go to bed late. As a result we wake up at the latest possible time we can. In other words, we tend to feel rushed in the morning. The rest of our day tends to continue in a similar hurried and stressful fashion. In order to set the proper tone for your day and to carve out some precious ‘me’ time, try waking up a half-hour earlier than you normally do, to walk, stretch, meditate or even write in a journal.
You may surprise yourself, but by doing so you will lower your stress levels, and begin your day in a clear and calm fashion. To make life even easier, pack your bags and lunch (and the bags and lunch of your kids) the night before and lay out your clothes for the next day. In other words be totally prepared, so you aren’t harassed in the morning.
Do not eat refined carbohydrates or sugar
There is no way around it: Eating too much refined flour and sugar in the forms of cereal, white bread, cookies, and granola bars which have found their way to our shelves results in a dramatic energy plunge and food fog. To make matters worse, refined flour and sugar also tend to trigger the over-secretion of the hormone insulin, which leads to excess fat storage in the abdominal region and counter-intuitively, intense sugar cravings.
Highly healthy people treat white refined sugar as a “toxin” and save it as a very occasional treat. Instead of white sugar, opt for naturally sweet foods, such as berries, apples, and mangoes, to make morning smoothies or frozen desserts. And remember to eat whole grains rather than refined flours.
Get active three to five times per week
Healthy people keep moving. In order to keep your body mass index (BMI) in a healthy zone, i.e. 24.9 or under, your heart healthy, and your stress levels down, it is important to engage in cardiovascular and weight-bearing activities three to five times per week.
Pick something you love – or try something new! – This can be yoga or Pilates, personal training or just brisk walking.
Drink two litres of water daily
If you are feeling tired or bloated simply add more water to your daily regimen. Highly healthy people hydrate!
Whether you opt for water or green tea, it is critical that you take in two litres or more of hydrating fluids every day.
For an extra health boost, add freshly squeezed lime to your water to take advantage of their natural astringent effects.
Make time for bliss and joy
Let’s face it – life can get so busy and cluttered that we often forget to make time for play and joy. Highly healthy people understand the importance of taking a break and engaging in activities that allow them to follow their bliss. Whether that means going for a massage, spending time with friends, or attending a concert, be sure to find something that makes you lose track of time and enjoy life.
Commit to implementing these five tips for seven days straight and you’re sure to notice a huge difference in your overall sense of physical and mental wellness. The next time someone sees you, they’ll probably think “what does she do that I don’t?!”