If you want to be at your best weight and enjoy good health, then your brain must work with your body to give you these results.
This works two ways. Your brain can help your body function better and your body can help your brain function better.
We hear from many of our clients when they first start with us that they have low self-esteem, fatigue, brain fog, doubt, bloating, no energy – the list goes on. In many cases by changing the foods and drinks consumed it often helps with many of these problems.
However, at some stage you need to get your head in the game to back up your eating program and ensure that new healthy habits support your eating program now and well into the future.
Let’s look at some habits that contribute to good brain health and work together with your body for lasting success.
Feed your brain with nutritious food
When you feed your brain with nutritious food (no sugar), it helps to boost your memory and increase your focus. Think of nutritious food as the fuel to your mind and body. It should keep you satiated (no hunger) and eliminate any food cravings to keep you motivated to stay on track to achieve your weight loss goals.
Prioritise adequate protein in all meals and snacks, add some healthy fat, and load up with colourful non-starchy vegetables.
The best sources of protein are animal proteins, grass-fed if possible, eggs, full-fat dairy (if you can tolerate), seafood, organ meats, haloumi cheese and tofu or tempeh.
Don’t let your mind consume junk
In this busy always-on society putting some rules in place for some digital detox time each day will allow some relaxation for your nervous system. Look for any clutter in your life (personal and work) and prune it ruthlessly.
Apply a “no phone rule” for the first hour on waking and the last hour before bed. Many find that if they avoid any screen (TV or smart device) before sleep, they enjoy better sleep and wake up more restored.
Think about this: silence helps lower your blood pressure, calms down your nervous system, boosts your concentration and stimulates brain growth.
Be selective with what you read, watch, scroll through and listen to as many of these external thoughts don’t deserve access to your subconscious.
Food for your mind: meditation or yoga
Are you a multi-tasker and wear this as a badge of honour? Does this mean constantly dealing with many tasks and having feelings of never getting anything done? How does this make you feel? Are you more likely to make a mistake? Do you suffer from decision fatigue?
If this is you, I’m sure you often feel exhausted. Getting some mental balance would be helpful to allow a more peaceful, healthy, and positive mindset.
Meditation can be practiced from as little as 10 minutes a day. Make it non-negotiable and within weeks you will start to feel results. Mental clarity and a soothing relationship between body and mind give you more focus and often puts life into perspective. You may find that things that used to worry you, no longer do.
Did you know that stress, worry and anxiety create a build up of cortisol (the stress hormone). Excess cortisol can drive up your blood pressure and be catabolic so you lose lean muscle mass and strength.
Walk it out – get moving
Endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals are released by the brain when you exercise, and this helps with your mood and feelings of positivity.
Exercise is beneficial for regulating blood flow, increasing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, elimination of toxins from the body and keeping organs active and rejuvenated. If your body is healthy it naturally helps restore concentration, wellbeing and it helps you avoid mental fatigue.
Healthy fat for a healthy brain, body and skin
The days of demonising healthy fats are gone – thank goodness. Omega-3 fatty acids help your brain function more efficiently. The best sources are found in fatty fish, like salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines. Other sources include avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, coconut oil along with grass fed beef and free-range chickens and eggs. They boost cerebral cortex function and give you the energy for the day.
Avoid highly processed fats like seed and vegetable oils. Do not eat oil-fried foods. They are a major contributor to the risk of diabetes and obesity and have been found to contribute to stroke and dementia.
Chronic stress makes it impossible to lose weight healthily
Stress is part of our daily lives so having strategies to manage stress will help with weight loss and weight maintenance. However chronic stress makes people ill. Chronic stress accelerates fat formation, reduces immunity, increases risk of diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels, heart problems and blood clotting.
Strategies for stress management include exercise – be it at the gym, nature walks, physical games or activities, bike riding, beach walks, dancing to name a few. Find something that brings you joy, puts a smile on your face and takes you out of your head and simply enjoy the time that your body and mind are in-sink.
Surround yourself with kindness and laughter
Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members. Don’t allow others to be judgmental of what you are trying to achieve. Negative self-talk can not only make you negative and unhappy but halt any chance of reaching your goals.
Never walk away from a negative person. Run as fast as you can.
You get to make your choices so choose kindness, fun, laughter and happiness. Become a magnet for like-minded people who want the same things you do. Remain positive and be kind to others. Be grateful. Give a compliment a day. Every now and then do something nice for someone who can do nothing in return.
And finally, don’t expect somebody else to make you happy. Stand up and take responsibility for your life. The most gratifying project you will ever work on is you.
Start and end your day well
Starting your day on the right mental track will help you own your best version of yourself.
Having a routine that works for you could include some of the following:
Exercise, breathing, yoga, meditation, drinking water, walk in the morning sunshine, nature walk, gratitude journaling, catching up with a friend for a walk ‘n talk, coffee or breakfast date, cold shower, boxing, listening to music – you choose what works for you. Mixing it up works for some. Having a clear focus for the day sets you up for success.
An evening routine may include some of the following:
Digital detox one hour before bed, reading rather than watching TV or scrolling social media, journaling, yoga or breath work, hot bath, hot tea drink, new pillow and bedsheets, dark room, candles instead of lights are just a few suggestions.
It’s a good idea to use a diary or a to-do list that your brain trusts. Get these things out of your head and you’ll find sleeping and relaxing easier.
Having a calming routine can slow down racing thoughts, boost immunity, decrease cortisol levels to help with weight loss, lower blood pressure, and give you good-quality restful sleep.
Your habits shape your identity, and your identity shapes your habits
— James Clear
If you see the world through a lens of gratitude and positive expectations, then the chances that you have an incredibly happy and content life full of adventure are high.
The Keto Fitness 8 week online eating program puts in place many of these habits to help you achieve success. Click on the Lose Weight Now button at the top of the page to get started.