In the recent few months, we've seen a shift in clients at Nourished with Emily. It's gone pimrarily from women wanting weight loss, to finally achieve their goals. Which is a process and goal we've become very good at. And now, we are seeing more people who come to us with a primary goal of wanting to be healthy overall, to have more energy, to sleep better and fuel themselves right without having to diet on and off.
This shift, I believe, is in step with our field and focus changing. As a populations, we are starting to value our overall health more, our longevity and vitality as we age, beyond a number on the scale, especially as social media and infludencers are becoming more body positive. On magazines and ads we are seeing more "real people" without retouching. Real people who look like the average person, not the models that are size zero.
I remember the first time I realized that thin doesn't mean healthy. I was watching Good Morning America in high school and as one of their segments, they took 2 individuals, one of a thin body type another person that was of the average american. They put them through physcial fitness tests, did labs and looked at their overall health. They were able to find, in this non-scientific study, that the person that had the more average american body type was actually considered healthier than the thin person. The average sized woman had excellent blood pressure, normal labs and lipid levels within normal limits. She was stronger than the smaller person and had more stamina.
It made a lightbulb go off in my head, that we didn't need to all look exactly the same, be very small, in order to be healthy.
That segment still stucks with me and really jumped out today writing this blog. I have put together 5 things we here at Nourished with Emily think you should start to pay attention to for overall health and vitality.
The frequency of your meals is important not only to ensure you're getting enough in throughout the day, but also to aid in digestion and keeping your metabolism running high. When we go long periods without eating, our bodies have to go into "energy-saving mode", just like you're phone. Your body is trying to use as minimal energy as possible in order to be able to carry on until you eat again. If we want to feel energized and running properly, we should be eating every 3-4 hours.
The amount and quality of sleep plays a large role in energy levels, recovery and more within the body. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but when we are constantly plugged into social media or working late, we begin to neglect that necessary time that's needed. I tell my clients that I want them to be in bed for at least 8 hours a night. Not only will it give their bodies the time to settle down and reduce blood pressure and pulse, but also give them the opportunity to sleep, too. Schedule it in!
Fiber can fix a lot of our problems. The current recommendation for men is 35g of fiber a day and women need 25g of fiber a day. Fiber is important not only for digestion, insoluble fiber acts as a sweep for our digestive tracts, but it also helps to keep you fuller for longer, reducing cravings and excessive eating. Fiber also has the capabilities to help reduce your cholesterol and triglyceride levels within the body. Soluble fiber, think chia seeds and oatmeal, act like a sponge in the body, soaking up the excess and excreting it out. It's like a natural statin!
In order to get enough fiber, we are likely eating fruits and vegetables to reach that goal. Fruits and vegetables has cell walls, which are indigestible to the body and continue the fiber we need for appetite regulations, lowering our lipids and keeping up regular. Fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, which contain antioxidants. These are things that keep us healthy, prevent chronic disease and precent cellular damage in the body.
Hydration is the last key to lasting health and vitality. Water is needed in every single reaction that happens within our bodies and 70% of our bodies are water. If we are dehydrated, you're constipated, your heart rate is off and blood isn't the right balance. Hydration status also important for our energy levels and hunger.
These are 5 of th pieces we help clients improve when joining our Signature Nutrition Program. We can do all 5, or start one at a time. But, these are the major things we should be monitoring for overall health.