New Year New You: Guide To Looking and Feeling Healthier and Younger
Factoid: ageing is reversible. If you keep up with good habits for three years, the effect on your body is as if you’ve done it your entire life! Even better, within three months of changing behaviour, you can start to measure a difference in life expectancy.
We guarantee that the following easy-to-follow tips will change your life for good:
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Dehydration is a major factor for ageing and overeating. Water maintains skin elasticity, is a great appetite suppressant, and often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually thirsty.
How much water does one need?
Experts say at least eight full glasses. However, if the weather’s hot and dry and you sweat a lot, you need more water than the average person.
When is the best time to drink water?
Just after you wake up, it stimulates digestion and boosts blood circulation.
Over 92% of Pakistani women eat wrong. The best kind of diet to follow is one that has a good mixture of fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrain, legumes, good fats and lean protein like chicken, seafood and tofu. Try eating foods that are nutritionally dense rather than calorie-dense (time to put down those fries and deep fried samosas!). All fitness experts recommend that you break your meals up into five portions a day. Always start your day with a large healthy breakfast, add a mid-morning snack, followed by lunch, mid-afternoon snack and a non-carb dinner, no later than nine pm. Invited to a dinner party? Learn to exercise self-control, a muscle that always comes in handy once the dessert is served. Always have a cheat day. I believe in healthy foods, but also in happy foods! Researchers have found that calorie restriction helps activate the sirtuin gene (a protein that facilitates young cell generation) – restricting your caloric consumption by just 100 calories will make you look and feel younger. So, switch from full-fat to skimmed milk, from white rice or chapatti to brown bread and brown rice, from regular oil to olive oil, from frying to baking in the oven.
Factoid: Beware of the supermodel diet of protein and diet coke. Acids from both of these leech calcium out of your bones, accelerating bone loss and dehydrating your skin.
GET QUALITY SLEEP
Most of us don’t get enough sleep and that plays an important role in our well-being. Lack of sleep is associated with mental decline and overeating. Your body needs down time to repair and refresh itself. It is very important to create the perfect sleep environment: stop eating at least three hours before sleeping: This helps you avoid any reflux issues that can disrupt sleep. Same rule goes for caffeinated beverages, so no tea or coffee at least three hours before you sleep. Dim the lights several hours before you go to bed to avoid stimulation caused by bright lights. When it is dark, your body produces more melatonin (the
sleep hormone). No television, no laptop and no sound system: You need to send your body the right signal, that it’s time to
sleep. People who watch television before sleeping have an irregular sleep pattern and have a harder time sleeping. So, switch these external stimuli off several hours before bed. Establish a standard wake up time: This is essential for quality sleep. This
trains you to stay on schedule and maintain a healthy cycle.
It’s the miracle cure. Exercise is a life-changing treatment that maintains weight loss, boosts energy, increases lifespan and enhances heath. You only have to walk 30 minutes a day to start feeling its benefits. Exercise destresses you and stimulates the production of serotonin (happy hormone) in the body. Always remember to add resistance training to your daily routine. It is important to stimulate your bones by putting stress on them in the form of weights or resistance training. Weight lifting turns on a gene that makes a protein that eventually turns on osteoblasts (cells responsible for bone formation).
Factoid: As we age, our bones lose their mass. Loss of oestrogen adds to loss of bone mass in women. Bone loss is related to muscle loss, muscles also play an important part in keeping your bones strong. Key is loading up on calcium and vitamin D (increases the absorption of calcium) and adding and maintaining lean muscle.
ADD SUPER FOODS TO YOUR DIET
Superfood is the new buzz-word. This is a special category of foods found in nature: calorie-sparse and nutrient dense. They are an intelligent choice of superior foods packed with the most amounts essential nutrients.
Raw Goji Berries: The most nutritionally rich food in this planet. They are packed with antioxidants and known for their longevity and strength building qualities. Example: then famed Li Qing Yuen, who lived to the age of 152 and consumed Goji berries daily.
Coconut Water: Known for its antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, this nutrient-rich drink has been used to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, and it has been found to boost energy levels and
increase metabolism in the human body.
Fish Oil: Omega 3, 6 & 9, found in fish oils alter the expression of certain genes, shifting your body to burn fat rather than store it. It improves mental health as well as skin elasticity and helps combat depression.
Chia Seeds: Like fish oils, chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They are a dieter’s dream come true. The tiny, healthy seeds can be made to taste like whatever you want, and their unique gelling action keeps you feeling full for hours. They help balance blood sugar, increase energy and longevity and cut down food cravings
Quinoa: it’s a powerful vegetable seed with large amount of health benefits. This power food is a high quality protein that instantly boosts energy. Add it to your salad or substitute it for rice.
And lastly, be happy!