What's the secret to wellness? (Part 2)

The first part of the secret is movement...

Two weeks ago, I told you the first secret to wellness was movement. Just as a reminder, movement is essential for keeping the machine that is the human body in proper, functioning order. Movement helps blood pump, the lymphatic system drain, and it even helps circulate the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, (the brain's version of blood that supplies it with nutrients and removes waste). If this was the only secret to being young and fit, well, half of America would still be suffering from chronic diseases and weight problems. Why? Because movement is only part of the secret to wellness.

What's the rest of the secret to wellness?

The rest of the secret is good nutrition! This is something that I help patients with regularly. While nutrition is not the sole focus of my practice, it is an important part of what I advise my patients on here in the clinic. In fact, I offer nutritional counseling to my patients along with an adjustment. Each counseling session always begins the same way. I like to talk about what the patient is eating regularly and what are the patient's goals? Is it just to lose weight? Is it to gain muscle? What are the goals? I am going to offer the simplest possible advice that when paired with some self-discovery on the internet, can help almost anyone come up with an excellent diet plan.

Rule 1: Track your food

Keep a food journal. This is critically important. If you're an over-eater, this will be helpful in realizing where and when you're over-eating and can help you find ways to combat those impulses. If you're not necessarily over-eating but you're making habitually poor choices, seeing everything written down can help you face those choices.

Rule 2: Track how you're feeling

While you're jotting down what you ate, track how you're feeling too. This may not seem to go hand in hand, but it can be great if you're trying to track down why you've been feeling off. It may help you detect or determine foods that you may have sensitivities too. Believe it or not, all food is not great for all people. Tracking how you feel as well as what you eat will help shine a lot of light onto your general health.

Rule 3: Stop the drive-thrus

I know in our fast-paced lives, drive-thru windows are a common occurence. However, fast food is notoriously unhealthy for you. One "meal" is often packed with enough calories to last several days. The food is also engineered by food scientist to taste so good that it's practically addicting. There are a lot of other problems with fast food, but for now I'm going to leave it here.

Rule 4: Shop around the edge of the grocery store

This one sounds funny, but in most grocery stores, the edges of the store house all of the fresh produce and meat. If you're going to commit to a healthier diet, you need to start committing to healthier food. That means eliminating processed foods, (and fast food, see Rule 3), from your diet wherever possible. Whole food is almost always the best option for both health and nutrition. 

Rule 5: Don't waste time on fad diets

Any diet that promises you'll lose ten pounds in two weeks or your money back isn't worth the postage to send off to get your money back. There are no magic bullets for weight loss. In order to lose weight, you need to limit caloric consumption, choose nutritious food, and boost your physical activity. 

Between movement and good nutrition, you'll be your road to excellent wellness before you know it! 

Yours in health,

Dr. William