Find your fo­cus

Element - - LIfestyle - By Lani Lopez

What a won­der­ful sum­mer we’ve had, bril­liant and bright months of well­ness boost­ing warmth and sun­shine. But sum­mer can be a sea­son of ex­cess, leav­ing us car­ry­ing some ex­cess. Here’s the easy way to lighten up. Weight isn’t the is­sue – well­be­ing is, and weight-loss is just a tool to get there. Your healthy weight and shape is unique to you and may not be the lean, mean look we of­ten fool our­selves that we need. Set goals spe­cific to your body and bi­ol­ogy. The im­por­tant mea­sures are blood pres­sure, heart rate, healthy choles­terol. Th­ese vary with age, gen­der and eth­nic­ity so you need your doc­tor or natur­opath to mea­sure and in­ter­pret yours. Then comes en­joy­ment of ex­er­cise and the abil­ity to re­cover from phys­i­cal ex­er­tion, th­ese are key to main­tain­ing healthy weight and ac­tive liv­ing. If th­ese are all in good shape then you are too. If not, it’s time to get to work.

Eat­ing too much isn’t the only cause of ex­cess weight, it can be af­fected by fac­tors like; • Ge­netic makeup — num­ber and size of fat cells in the

body that are pro­grammed into your pre­des­tined genes. • Me­tab­o­lism — the rate at which your body breaks down the nu­tri­ents in food to pro­duce en­ergy, and it varies for all of us. BMR: basal meta­bolic rate is key, it’s the amount of calo­ries your body uses to run nor­mal cel­lu­lar pro­cesses. If you’re of a slim build your BMR will be lower than if plus size. Ex­er­cise in­creases your BMR. • Low sero­tonin — the ‘happy’ brain chem­i­cal – in­flu­ences eat­ing be­hav­ior. Di­ets low in protein (amino acids) in­crease the ap­petite and crav­ing for carbs. • Nutri­tion de­fi­cien­cies — lack­ing es­sen­tial fatty acids, chromium, protein, fi­bre and io­dine can in­crease body fat and cut mus­cle. • Hor­monal im­bal­ance — steroidal, thy­roid or oe­stro­gen, pro­ges­terone im­bal­ance and in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity may in­crease weight by in­creas­ing fat or water re­ten­tion. Un­der­stand­ing what con­trols your weight helps you choose ef­fec­tive strate­gies to your ideal weight.

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