Eating less, or ‘dieting’, isn’t the only way to change how your body feels, looks and performs.
Self-care goes beyond eating right and involves taking care of your body on all levels — whether that’s mentally, physically, and spiritually.
In its article, Insider Health shared some of the best tips on how you can live your best and healthiest life, without dieting:
1. Eat with other people (not with your phone)
Steer your eyes away from screens and your body and mind will thank you in the long run.
‘Distracted eating’ or watching TV, scrolling through your smartphone and even working while eating can lead you to eat more. There are many benefits to eating with other people instead of eating alone, including teaching children social skills or decompressing after a long day.
2. Keep a food diary
The act of logging what you eat makes you more aware of what and how much food you’re eating. Pull out the pen and paper or use an app like MyFitnessPal.
For people who suffer from things like acne or digestion issues, tracking can help determine what the potential cause is. Writing it down also lets you get a big-picture view of your diet, which can allow you to fill in the gaps.
This tip isn’t about restricting your food or eating less, but being aware of what you eat and how what you eat affects your individual body.
3. Foam roll
Recovery time is just as important, if not sometimes more valuable, than a workout itself. Foam rolling isn’t a cure-all, but it has been proven to help increase your range of motion, increase flexibility and help with muscle soreness.
4. Eat slower
Slow it down, enjoy and savor all the flavors and textures of your food. This act of mindfulness will help you feel full faster and will allow your body to digest and absorb all of the nutrients.
Not sleeping enough can reduce and undo the benefits of dieting. Sleeping well can impact your ability to learn new things as well as your emotional well-being.
So cut out your pre-sleep social media scrolling and you’ll find you have more time for some shuteye.
Read also: Monitor and cut down your screen time
6. Drink more water
Hydration has earned its status with good reason. Water actually makes up 60 per cent of your body weight.
Getting your recommended amount, 13 cups for men and nine cups for women, can benefit your skin, muscles and your body’s overall equilibrium.
7. Eat more veggies
Eating your vegetables is known to reduce your risk for heart disease and protect against certain types of cancers. Not to mention the fact that vegetables have vitamins and nutrients that aren’t easily found in other more processed foods.
Think about adding to your diet instead of taking away from it: When eating, start with your veggies first before moving onto starchy carbs and lean proteins.
8. Go to therapy
Besides the obvious mental health benefits of going to therapy, there are physical ones as well.
“When people do not express feelings but swallow them and keep them buried and out of conscious awareness, one’s body often reacts,” said NYC psychologist, Marian Margulies PhD. She added that people may experience symptoms like ulcers and headaches as our body reacts to stress or mental pain.
9. Strength train, stretch or walk
Many people sit at a desk for the majority of the workday, so it’s important to move around as much as possible.
You don’t have to exercise at the gym — there are tons of other options to get your heart rate up and work your muscles. Walk outside, follow along to a YouTube workout video, or practice a few yoga poses on the grass. Some movement is better than no movement.
10. Wear sunscreen
Wearing sunscreen is a tried but true tip for your overall well-being. Make sure to apply and reapply during the summer months and don’t forget to also apply during the winter. Be sure to cover as much of your body as possible.
Skin cancer is real, protect yourself.
11. Brown bag your lunch
Making your own lunch is another great way to make sure you are eating healthily. This is a similar tip to keeping a food diary — you’re making yourself more aware of what you’re eating.
12. Stop eating when you’re full, not stuffed
Learning your hunger cues is a major step towards eating more intuitively. Reports have shown that by adulthood, we need to re-learn these hunger cues because our relationship with food has made us well-practiced at ignoring our internal cues of hunger and fullness.
Some people start eating out of boredom, reward themselves with food, or eat just to go through the motions.
13. Eat your fruits instead of drinking them
Although juice cleanses are all the rage, the practice leaves your body without the health benefits of whole vegetables and fruits.
Juicing also can lead to food waste. A basket of fruit juiced serves half the amount it would have if eaten whole. In addition to fiber, another essential nutrient lost in the juicing process is fat which the body needs in order to absorb vitamins.
Meditation has a reputation for helping people stay calm, cool and collected. It’s been proven to change our body by way of our brains, as well reduce blood pressure in addition to improving anxiety and cognitive function.
15. Go in a sauna
Treat yourself to a spa day, including a session in a sauna. Sitting in a sauna has been proven to keep the heart healthy and reduce stress. It could even provide some of the same benefits as strenuous exercise.
16. Measure your portions
Taking the time to measure your portions doesn’t necessarily mean you will be eating less — you’ll just be eating the number of servings your body needs. Certain foods are calorically dense and pack more calories than you think.
Read the original story by Insider and more here.
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