Healthy employees equal a healthy business. Diets may not be part of the answer.
Why you should give diets a second thought
While being in a business environment can have a lot of pressure and cause you to miss meals and generally eat poor quality junk food, a diet is not the answer. For someone who is trying to lose some weight or just get in better shape, it can be hard to know what really is healthy and how to safely achieve nutritional goals for maximum performance.
There are a lot of diet trends that promise to slim you down, give you energy, and positively change your life forever. Unfortunately, that’s usually just not the case. Whether it’s juicing or eliminating carbohydrates, a diet simply will not yield long-term, healthy results. They are unsuccessful for many reasons, and they’re not beneficial for someone who is looking to lead a healthy lifestyle, particularly if you have other health issues. It is always best to consult your doctor or a dietician.
Dieting is another craze that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. In fact, more and more fad diets and weight-loss supplements pop up all the time.
Diets are stressful, for both the body and mind
Many different diets recommend eating as little as 1,000 – 1,200 calories per day. While this will lead to initial weight loss, it’s not healthy weight loss, and it won’t last.
Abruptly cutting back a significant amount of calories will leave you with an energy deficit, which causes your body to release stress hormones to cope with the energy shortage. Not to mention, diets can also wreak havoc on your metabolism.
Dieting not only induces biological stress on your body but psychological stress as well. Dieting can lead to obsessive behaviours and feelings of guilt if you ‘cheat’ on the rules of your diet.
Diets can also cause you to lose self-confidence if you feel as though you’re not strong enough to follow through with the diet plan. Keeping strict tabs on what you’re eating and what you can’t eat all day long can cause you to feel anxious and mentally drain you.
“A healthy outside starts from the inside”. Robert Urich
Diets don’t create lasting habits
There’s really no diet trend that you can stick with for the rest of your life without any health consequences. Diets don’t create healthy habits. Instead, they create a short-term fix to drop weight that usually comes back after the diet has ended.
This creates a vicious cycle of dieting, sliding back into old, unhealthy eating habits, and then trying a new diet. These diets don’t teach you how to form healthy eating habits that are practical in the long-term.
Diets deprive you
An important factor to a nutritious, balanced diet is moderation. Completely depriving yourself of your favourite foods can lead to binge eating, stress, strong cravings, and irritability. Variety and portion sizes are very important.
It can actually be beneficial to treat yourself to your favourite foods in healthy moderation. While this doesn’t mean you should be treating yourself to a doughnut every day for breakfast. It means that eating a doughnut on a special occasion is perfectly fine and will help you feel satisfied, rather than deprived.
Diets only focus on weight-loss
Your health is more than a number on the scale. When it comes getting healthier, nutrition is a more important factor than how quickly you can shed some pounds. There are many crash diets out there that are terrible for your nutrition and overall wellness.
Some restrict solid foods, while others cut out healthy fats and calories that your body needs to function properly. When your diet is severely restrictive, you may lose weight from the calorie deprivation, but you’ll be dealing with many unpleasant side effects from not providing your body with the nourishment it needs.
What should you be doing instead?
Eat a nutritious, balanced diet, and learn to eat mindfully. Forming healthy eating habits will create lasting change on how and what you eat.
Concentrate on protein, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits and veggies. When you focus on making healthy choices throughout the day and maintaining a balanced diet, you will discover that you don’t need to let a trendy diet tell you what you can and cannot eat.
While I am not grossly overweight, I am mostly overweight, but I always felt well and have plenty of energy. I love cooking, particularly Chinese and Italian food, so I am well placed to make good food choices and understand the implications. This is the simple approach I have been following for many years:
- Eat quality food – follow the food pyramid and be selective.
- Settle on the right portion sizes and a variety.
- Eat regularly and chew the food well.
- Don’t miss meals.
- Alcohol in moderation.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Check your blood pressure.
- Check your glucose levels.
- Regular checkups with my doctor.
Discuss the food pyramid with your doctor or dietician.
Instead of letting a crash diet ruin how you feel about yourself and eating, focus on creating a positive relationship with food. Do some research and educate yourself on what your body actually needs to maintain a healthy weight and feel good – physically and mentally.
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Without proper nourishment, your time management will be less than you would like or expect. Your body, just like your business needs nutrients to function well all day every day.
There are countless time management tools available, but most of them are like diets, they don’t form good habits. I have found the best time management technique is to boost my energy levels. This means eating well, having regular exercise and making sure I have plenty of sleep. I find nothing works well if I don’t get enough sleep.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic health condition that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin and/or the insulin does not work effectively to meet your body’s needs. It is a condition I have had to live with for nearly 30 years. However, if you have it you have it and good control is easy to maintain with a little discipline.
Most diabetes-related complications can be prevented. By aiming to keep your blood glucose, and blood pressure at recommended levels, not smoking, being physically active, eating healthily, losing weight if you need to. A business can play a role in helping employees to recognise the condition and help them with discipline.
By taking the advice of your health professional and a diabetes educator, you can significantly reduce your risk of complications, which can be serious if you ignore the condition.