Hard truths about health

It’s fascinating how much information is out there about health. Diets, programmes, superfoods, vitamins, minerals, cleanses are a dime a dozen today and it’s easy to fall prey to the ones that offer the best promise. Irrespective of what you do to improve your health, let these truths stay with you through life.

1. Weight loss is a side effect of good health
When you make positive changes to your lifestyle, a lot of changes happen in your body. Your blood sugar levels drop, lipid profile becomes more favourable, energy levels rise, you sleep better, your digestion improves, you lose some excess body weight and more. Sadly, we are worried about only what the weighing scale says, and hence don’t look much past that number to appreciate all the positive changes that are happening in the body. But the truth is that improving your health results in a whole host of positive changes in your body, and weight loss is just one of them.

2. Food is fuel
The primary function of food is to serve as fuel. Yes, food is about taste and celebration and family and many other things. But at the very basis, food is simply fuel, like it is for every other animal roaming the face of the earth. So, unless this fuel provides the machine (your body) with everything it needs to function well, food is not good for anything. Every time you sit down to eat, ask yourself if that plate of food in front of you is fuelling you right. Does it contain the building blocks necessary to build, well, you? Is every bite nourishing you? Or is it just filling a hole (which can never truly be filled)?

3. You can’t escape exercise
Exercise is not the thing that makes you look hot. It is actually the thing that keeps you alive. The human body is one that is designed to move. Like a car, if it isn’t used for long periods of time, it will slowly break down. It is important to keep using it at an optimal rate and, like you maintain your car with services, take care of it constantly. So, movement is not a choice but a necessity for health and life. Considering that movement is simply not a part of daily life today, it’s even more important to make exercise a regular part of the day.

4. Without sleep, nothing makes sense
Literally and theoretically, nothing makes sense without sleep. A lack of sleep can cause anything from murkiness and a mild increase in chronic stress, to a major drop in energy and immunity levels, leading to sickness. This happens because sleep is when all the maintenance, repair and development happens. Without this phase, the body struggles to keep up with all the stimuli that it is constantly bombarded with, and eventually breaks down. Make sure that you get 50 hours of sleep every week. And no, late-night shows and work are not more important than sleep.

5. Looking great and feeling great are not always the same
Looking well used to be a sign of being well, but that’s no more the case. There many actions, foods and products that can help one look better without improving health, or worse, while letting health go south. Your primary focus needs to be on health and not on aesthetics. In other words, if you are doing something that is helping you look great but is causing fatigue or aches or bloating or any discomfort whatsoever, you shouldn’t be doing that. Looking great needs to be a side effect of feeling great.

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