By Dr Isabelle Yeoh
- Make being healthy a priority – focus on increasing your energy levels, mood and self-esteem, instead of focusing on the weight. You will find it easier to choose fresh, nutritious foods over processed foods and sugar this way.
- Follow the 80/20 rule – eat healthy foods 80% of the time (e.g. Sunday – Friday), and treat yourself to some of your favourite but less healthy foods in the remaining 20% (e.g. Saturday). This keeps you healthy, yet gives you the freedom to indulge without paying the price.
- Plan and organize your meals for the week ahead, once a week. Do your grocery shopping on the same day. Stock up your kitchen and fridge with lean protein, fruits, vegetables, healthy carbs and nutritious snacks. This small time investment in planning ahead helps you to stay consistent and achieve your goals.
- Sleep early, and sleep longer. The optimal sleep time is 10pm, for 8 hours. We get the most beneficial hormonal secretions and recovery when we are asleep during the hours of 10pm to 2am. Sleeping too late or too little, adversely affects hormones (leptin, ghrelin, adinopectin, insulin, cortisol, glucagon and growth hormone) so that we end up not just tired, but going into fat storing (rather than fat burning) mode.
- Spend 20 minutes every morning stretching your body. Stretching is a simple and effective way to energise the body. On alternate days, spend 20 minutes on strengthening your core. A strong core not only improves our posture & confidence, but also prevents back pain and joint aches, and adds to our quality of life. Dr Chung and I refer to online fitness trainer Cassey Ho, whose workouts are short, impactful, convenient and easy to work into a busy day.
(It helps to remember that our body shape is determined 80% by how we eat and 20% by genetics and physical activity.)