How can you have a positive body image and stay healthy?

Body image can be defined as how you picture yourself in your mind and how you feel about the way you look. It also includes your beliefs and perceptions of your own body and your actions in relation to the way you look.

I am a big advocate of body positivity and believe that everyone should feel comfortable in their own skin and be confident about the way they look and feel about themselves.

It is important that one makes conscious efforts to boost their body image. You can do that by:

  • surrounding yourselves with positive people, who make you feel good, happy and confident
  • reprogramming your mind to remove your self-limiting beliefs through meditation
  • being mindful of the ways you speak about your body
  • focusing more on the functionality of your body and being grateful for having a healthy body that can do so much for you. This will help you develop a very different relationship with your body
  • engaging in enjoyable activities that makes you feel good about yourselves
  • being involved in activities to bring happiness and joy to others, which will make you feel good and confident about yourself
  • focusing enough on what makes you unique and beautiful inside and out rather than thinking about the lack thereof

I am also an advocate of a healthy body!

The other end of the spectrum is to keep yourself healthy and active. One must take measures to protect their immediate health and their long-term wellbeing. It is important to feel positive about your body but at the same time feel confident that you are taking best care of yourself by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

You can truly appreciate your body and also strive to achieve a healthy life. Body positivity does not need to clash with one’s goals to live a healthy lifestyle.

Ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle;

  1. Follow a healthy eating plan | Think Healthy Eating Not Weight Loss

Its important to focus on healthy eating rather than thinking about losing weight. Be aware that it’s just as important to enjoy your food and feel good about your change of eating habits.

  • Eat regular healthy balanced meals. Getting the right balance of nutrients can help with improving your health and mood.
  • Eat a rainbow diet. Add colour to your diet with a large variety of colorful fruit and vegetables. A minimum of 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables should be consumed per day, with an emphasis on non-starchy vegetables.
  • Eat lean protein with every meal. Eating protein from a variety of sources is an important part of a balanced diet. Variety is especially important for vegans and vegetarians, because plant proteins don’t contain all of the essential amino acids needed by the body. Good sources of protein include nuts, seeds, eggs, legumes, lentils and oily fish.
  • Opt for good quality fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil and decrease the intake of saturated fats and trans fats (typically found in processed foods) as this can help reduce your risk of many health conditions.
  • Focus on whole foods which are plant-based foods and an important source of fiber and phytonutrients. Whole foods include whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
  • Getting back to the basics is important. Instead of snacking constantly during the day, do your best to eat three regular meals. Cook or have your food cooked using wholesome, natural ingredients and then eat with others in a relaxed manner. It is not only a question of what you eat, but how you eat that counts.
  1. Stay physically active

Engaging in physical activity regularly is an important pillar of healthy living. Exercise releases hormones such as dopamine, which helps alleviate stress and makes you feel better. Exercise has many health benefits such as improving cardiovascular health, managing stress, lowering blood pressure, maintaining bone health and reducing the risk of many diseases such as type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis.

Make exercise a part of your daily routine and enjoy its benefits. Focus on activities you enjoy such as walking, running, dancing, yoga, gardening or playing with your kids.

  1. Manage Stress

Finding ways to reduce stress is another strategy that can help you stay healthy, given the connection between stress and a variety of disorders. There are many ways to bust stress. Try, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, playing on weekends, and taking vacations.

Conclusion: You can feel confident about your body and also strive to stay healthy and active. Nurturing your body and mind is the key to your health, wellness and happiness!

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