When you first discover a new diet, fitness trend or lifestyle activity that amps you up and gets you great results, why wouldn’t you want to share that with the world? You’re excited that’s a great place to be, but there are some common mistakes discovered made when people feel like they’ve found their own personal fountain of youth. Below, I’m going to share 10 rules to live by that will lead to more compassion for yourself along your own journey, and stronger relationships within your community.
10 Rules for the Newbie Health Nut to Live By
1. Take it slow: When first getting into the world of health and wellness, it can be very tempting to completely overhaul your diet and or your lifestyle overnight. This works for some people, but for long-term success, gradual change usually works best for most. There is no need to change everything you are doing all at once. Going slow, listening to your body, finding what does and does not work for you will yield better, more sustainable results overall.
2. Listen to those who are getting the results you desire: You would not go to an auto mechanic who is not actually good at fixing cars to fix your broken motor. In the same way you are going to want to look to people who are demonstrating the results you desire within themselves, or are helping their clients get the results you want. Many people have theories, but theory and practical application are not always one and the same. Results speak louder than words.
3. More is not always better: This is especially true when it comes to supplementation. It can be super tempting to want to take a tonne of turmeric or several bottles of kombucha a day when you learn about the health benefits of these items, but remember that the body needs moderation.
There is absolutely too much of a good thing! For example, taking too much turmeric can cause loose stools, and too much kombucha can cause lots of bloating and gas. Do play with health foods, but remember that the liver does have to process everything you ingest, so be mindful of keeping your intake of these special foods and supplements to a moderate level.
4. Don’t believe everything you read: There are lots of people out there selling lots of things. Books, supplements, ideas, programs, you name it, someone is selling it. This does not mean that everyone who is selling something is scamming you. There are lots of really awesome products out there that really do work. It’s always good to do your research and look for second opinions when you are reading health claims. Doing some digging before you purchase a product is always a good idea. At the end of the day, you can find a book to support almost any nutritional theory there ever was, it’s what resonates with you that’s important along with doing your own research.
5. There’s no such thing as one size fits all in nutrition: There are certainly general recommendations that work for everyone – like everyone does need to drink water, everyone does need to eat fruits and vegetables and everyone does need some movement in their life, but there is no one dietary or lifestyle approach that works for every single person alive.
There are so many factors to consider including age, level of health, fitness level, activity level and so on that saying everyone should eat the way you do is a little like saying everyone should wear the same outfit. Be sure to make room for yourself to need different things than others, and others to need different things than you.
6. Your body knows best: The body never lies. You can always count on your body to let you know when something is right for you and when something is not so ideal. The key is to learn to properly read your body signals. When you first start eating healthy, you may actually feel worse for a period of time rather than feeling better. This is your body cleaning house! Just keep in mind that your body does know best. There may be programs that make others feel amazing that make you feel terrible. Make lots of space for your body to communicate with you.
7. Get comfortable with experimentation: It’s rare for anyone to find the perfect diet and lifestyle that leads to optimal health the first time they start to pursue health, and even when you do find what works for you, things can change. Be open to change along the way!
8. Share, but don’t evangelize: It is natural to want to share your new-found health routine with those you love. After all, it has made you feel awesome and you want others to feel awesome too! Just remember that food and lifestyle can be a very emotional and touchy subject for people. Most people have a complicated relationship with food and diet, so approaching your loved ones and telling them all the things you feel they should change about their diets may come across as critical and attacking. It’s also important to acknowledge that each body is different and what works for you may be different from what works for another.
One of the best ways to get your message across is not to say anything, but to be a living, breathing example of awesome health. The more you walk your walk, the more others are going to become curious about what you are doing. When they approach you for advice it is most often so much better received than when unsolicited suggestions are made. Focus on becoming the healthiest version of you that you can be, and allow others to come to you when they are ready.
9. Health Is about your lifestyle overall: There is no diet that can eliminate the effects of lack of physical activity. There is no exercise routine that can compensate for lack of proper sleep. There is no amount of outdoor time that will correct the problems caused by too little water. Remember that health is a combination of all the things that you do. Sleep, stress management, physical activity, time spent outdoors, diet, hydration and mental attitude all play a role in your health. Try not to get caught up in one area of health to the detriment of the others.
10. Focus on the big picture: There is really no need to obsess over every morsel of food that goes into your mouth, or the occasional late night where you sacrifice your beauty sleep. It is awesome to want to do right by your body, and to create a life that is centred around your health. But keep in mind that the body is awesome at adaptation. Try not to stress out over changes in routine.
There are going to be times when you can’t control the food you are presented with, or when life throws you a curve ball that knocks you off course for a little while. Just remember that it is what you do most of the time that matters, not what you do some of the time. Allow for life’s little fluctuations, you will be much healthier and happier for it!
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