You and Your Body – Till Death Do You Part
Body weight seems to be an issue which transcends the ages. It seems that people are always “struggling” with their weight and size.
My first issue here is who exactly determines the size and weight an average person should be? Moreover, is there such a thing as an “average” person? Of course, I will look at the media and blame the unrealistic models and photo shop. Then I will go to blame the peer pressure people are put under by the people who believe the media and the photo shop. Then there are the more complex emotional issues. Then we have the medical conditions some people have which affect their weight.
I truly believe that there is no “one size fits all approach”. I believe that every person is meant to be the size THEY are meant to be. I also believe that a person is meant to be different sizes through the different stages in their life. Or not. It’s all individual.
Let me illustrate this point.
I had twin boys. Now, you would think that two babies who shared a womb and a mother, two babies who were fed exactly the same quantities of milk and food would therefore be a very similar size. Well no. My babies are not. Yes, their feet are the same length but not width. Yes, they are both the same height but not girth. They are individuals; their bodies were made to be different shapes and size. This has really brought home to me that grown-ups are all also MEANT to be different. Why would a size 14 person try to be a size 8 when they are MEANT to be a size 14? Why the diets and the tears and the heart break? Let’s blame the media here as well.
Point is, if you are eating a healthy diet and you are healthy and active and fit and your body functions how it is supposed to, then embrace that beautiful body and say “thank you very much”.
Personally, I have been every size from 16 to 8; and personally, I am not a dietitian or a nutritionist or anything like that. But I have done some study and research and I have lived through it, so let me give you my FOUR TIPS on how to ensure your body and your food can have a love affair that never ends.
- Do NOT eat before sunrise or after sunset
Sun time is eat time. Think back to caveman days (yes, I know we have evolved since; back then you couldn’t do anything but sleep when the sun did. The sunlight time was the active time, the eating time, the do stuff time). No sun, meant rest time.
Your body needs to rest and process all the stuff you do to it during the day, including the food you feed it. If you overload your poor liver, for example, it will not let your body absorb all the good stuff out of the food you are eating. Your liver is like a big filter or a processing center. If you go easy on it, it will process the fuel well; taking the nutrients and discarding the bad stuff. If you put it into overdrive by constantly consuming fuel, it will be so busy it will just not have the time to do it’s job properly.
Love your liver so it can show you how much it loves you back.
- Never mix protein and starchy/sugary foods in the same meal
Our body processes these types of foods differently, so what happens when you have them together is that stomach acid that is secreted to digest protein then suppresses starch digestion by ptyalin. And because the sugar is not digested in the stomach, it just sits there and ferments while it is waiting for the starch and protein to digest.
Some examples of foods to avoid eating together include: meat with potatoes or rice, fish and chips, hamburger, nuts and bread, bread with jam or honey, cakes and biscuits (flour and sugar are incompatible).
- Main meal in the middle of the day
I think large breakfasts and large dinners came about with the 9 to 5 work day. Because having a large meal in the middle of the day just wasn’t practical. But your body might just feel differently. In places like Europe, it is still common practice to have your main meal in the middle of the day.
Your body is designed to digest your food most optimally between the hours of 10am and 2pm.
- STOP eating when full
Key is to always listen to your body. Your body tells you what it needs. So you listen when it tells you it’s hungry and you feed it. In the same way, you need to listen when it tells you it’s full. It doesn’t matter if half of your food is still on your plate. It will make no difference to the starving children in the world if you finish your meal or not (contrary to what your parents might have told you) but it WILL make a difference to your body and your health.
For me, the way I am super sure I am full is when I am eating and my body communicates by sending me a burp. Sure, it’s not polite in social occasions, so you kind of suppress it but it is a sure sign that you need to stop eating.
These are my MAIN four tips which I believe make a huge difference.
But WAIT! There’s more….I have another four 🙂
- Never drink liquid half an hour before a meal and two hours after a meal (this is to give your body a chance to digest the food correctly)
- In today’s world, unfortunately, soil has been depleted of nutrients that it once contained (this is not the case everywhere in the world but the majority of first world countries) therefore it is an excellent idea to take a nutritional supplement (NOT your general variety from the supermarket, get a good one, you are worth it)
- The “cleaner” the food is the better for you it is. Avoid processed foods as much as you can. What are processed foods? The ones that come in a packet and have a list of ingredients. An apple is not a processed food because it is an apple. Apple juice in a bottle at the supermarket is a processed food because while it may indeed contain apples it also contains other things.
- Drink water. Try to drink water which is free of “things” like the trace chlorine, fluorine and aluminium. Unfortunately you will often find these things in tap water in your kitchen sink. Of course, the best thing would be to get a water purifier or buy purified water but sometimes this is not an affordable option. Have a look at filters which are available on the market or the like. Anything is better than nothing.
While it would be great to be able to utilize these tips all the time, I am going to be realistic here and say that we are all human and sometimes life gets in the way of our best laid plans. I am also a great believer in the 80/20 principle in all areas and I think that if you can make changes 80% of the time, it is perfectly okay if for the remaining 20% you do not. Life is meant to be enjoyed not restricted by rules all the time. So live, and be happy and healthy whilst doing so. Cheers 🙂