In a world that glamourizes weight loss and puts slim bodies as the ideal body type, it can be very easy to think that weight loss should be THE priority. If your Instagram feed is full of influencers that stress the same message, it’s only natural that you’d feel that way. However, I’m here to share some other important aspects that promote health and is actually far more important than weight loss for your body!
1) Having regular hunger cues and a good appetite
I’ve seen multiple diets but one of the most infuriating ones for me has to be the 1200 calorie diet. To put this in perspective, the average calories an adult should consume is 2000 calories. When you severely reduce the intake, your body goes VERY hungry and your hunger pangs become more intense. If you keep avoiding them, your appetite eventually gets disrupted leading to prolonged lower food intake and NO weight loss anyway! This is because the system is compensating for the reduced energy intake and wants to still keep your body functioning as it was with more food. Hence, if you do have a regular appetite, it’s a good thing! Having regular hunger cues and a good appetite is also a huge win if you’ve been struggling with disordered eating and eating disorders because you’re on the road to recovery.
2) Improved stamina and increased muscle
A common physiological change that can cause no change in weight loss is the gain of muscle mass. If you diligently spend time doing a workout regime or actively participate in physical activities such as martial arts and sports, your muscles are being toned and conditioned to support your increased motor functioning. As a result, even though you exercise more hoping to lose weight, the formation of muscle negates weight loss but instead reduces your body fat. Honestly, this is MORE important for your overall health than solely concentrating on weight loss.
3) Regular menses (periods)
Most women have regular menses unless you have any reproductive related conditions such as endometriosis or PCOS. Click here and here to find out more on PCOS and endometriosis. If you have recent irregularities in menses such as not having them for months or getting frequent delays, your nutrition could be a contributing factor. Undereating could elevate the stress levels in your body as it is preparing for survival with lower energy intake. Hence, lesser urgent functions such as reproductive functions (regular menses) may be disrupted. This should not be taken lightly and any indication of irregular menses for a prolonged time should be discussed with your doctor.
4) Regular bowel movement
Most people don’t even consider bowel movement for the most part until constipation kicks in. The connection between diet and gut is important and commonly discussed. Plant components such as fibre and fermented foods make your gut happy. Most fibre components cannot be digested by our enzymes but stay in the large intestine and draw water into faeces. This allows the defecation process to be smoother. Also, fermented foods feed the gut bacteria which protects the gut from harmful bacteria and improves its capacity to function.
If you’re wondering on how to eat better for your gut, I’ve got some tips for you right here!
5) Improved mental and emotional health
Most of the time, we associate food habits to physical health alone. However, nutrition is much more complex and is often connected to our mental and emotional health as well. The stigma around food carries a wide range of emotions such as fear and guilt. The biggest win that you could achieve would be to mend your relationship with food. No longer anxious or embarrassed to eat with others? Great! Don’t feel obliged to track your calories and burn them out with a workout right after? Amazing! Being able to enjoy food without excessive restriction while keeping your mind, body and heart healthy and happy will make you feel WAYYYY better than losing weight.
The Bottom line: There are many healthy wins for your body that do not involve weight loss. There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight but pursuing intentional weight loss at the expense of all the above-mentioned aspects will cause more damage to your wellbeing and health. Want to learn more? Click here to book a FREE call with me.