Most of us rely on the weighing scale/smart watch to judge our health and tend to use weight loss as a parameter to know the effectiveness of a workout/lifestyle change. Little do we realise that weight is not a great indicator of health. Unless you track your fat percentage, which gives you the breakdown of your weight, whether it comes from fat/muscle/water/bone, weight is just a number.
There are other factors apart from your weight that will tell you how well your body is responding to a lifestyle modification or a workout.
- Energy level: Feeling energetic and up to a workout or cooking dinner even after coming from office? The most important sign that your lifestyle is healthy is your energy levels through the day. Fresh food and regular workout gives you a constant and steady supply of energy without having to reach for coffee or other stimulants. While good nutritious food helps you in alleviating vitamin/mineral deficiencies, regular workout helps increase your circulation; both of which are inevitable for good energy level. This means that you don’t have to snooze your alarm several times before you decide to pull yourself out of bed, don’t have to drag yourself till 6 pm in office or during meetings with a coffee/red bull every hour.
- Mood: Fresher the food you eat, better your mood. If your mood has been very calm, pleasant and your thoughts have more clarity, it’s a clear indication that your food/lifestyle change is having a positive impact on your body. Your mood is directly related to your gut health/intestinal bacteria. On the other hand, junk food and foods that harm your gut bacteria, causes anxiety, stress, depression and other diseases.
- Hunger and Satiety: Hunger and appetite are signs of vitality and good health. But not if you feel hungry all the time. Feeling hungry all the time is a sign that you are not nourishing your body with enough fresh food. When you eat fresh food that satisfies your taste buds, your gut and mind feels satisfied and body nourished and you won’t over eat. Eating highly processed food or consuming food aiming at sheer weight loss wont achieve this.
- Fitness and strength : Sometimes the scale doesn’t budge after regular workout and eating good food, but your clothes might start getting looser . You might also be able to do more reps with the current working set, or run more distance in the same time than previously. These are clear signs that your strength and fitness levels are increasing. The scale might even move up, which is a great indicator that you are getting more muscle mass and losing fat.
- Sleep quality : Feeling refreshed in the morning after a restful night’s sleep is priceless. This refreshed feeling is also one of the main indicator of a healthy lifestyle.Being sleep deprived and poor quality of sleep are some of the main factors that affect the over all health of a person. Reasons for this can be numerous, but the effect of this on the body is pretty much the same for everyone. Poor workout performance, foggy brain, low energy levels, slow metabolism , stress , increased risk of heart diseases, weight gain are the results. Eating light meals a couple of hours before bedtime and being active through the day can enhance your sleep quality which will help you recover better and improve your immunity. Watch this video on how to improve your sleep.
Like Helen Keller said, The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.
Do you rely on scale and watch to know about your body? Comment below your thoughts.
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