Holistic Approach to Weight Loss: How Diet & Lifestyle impacts our health
Health is the most important thing in our lives. It allows us to be the best versions of ourselves in every aspect of living. When we feel physically and mentally robust, we feel like we can tackle anything, and we have the energy to live our best lives.
On the other hand, when we are sick, run down and chronically ill with health issues, our quality of life is significantly impaired. Chronic diseases that are severely impacting our quality of life are steadily on the rise. Research is starting to show that the underlying causes and exacerbating factors behind these chronic diseases are inconsistencies around our diet and lifestyle habits, which are all within our control. Poor diet and lifestyle habits that drive disease in our body include things like poor dietary choices (i.e. lack of wholefoods and increased processed foods), lack of sleep, lack of exercise and being overly sedentary, stress, increased alcohol intake, smoking and drug use.
Diet and lifestyle play such a huge role in the development and exacerbation of chronic disease and chronic health issues because poor diet and lifestyle habits increase inflammation in the body and most chronic diseases are driven by some form of inflammation.
Our diet and lifestyle play a really important role in regulating the inflammatory status of the body. Good diet and lifestyle habits decrease inflammation, therefore preventing disease and slowing its progression, whereas poor diet and lifestyle habits, on the other hand, increase inflammation in the body, therefore causing and exacerbating chronic diseases.
Genes also play a role in the development of disease and health issues. A person’s genetic predispositions (e.g. family history of health issues), will ultimately determine how their diet and lifestyle habits will manifest in the body. There is a famous saying that goes ‘our genes load the gun, but our environment pulls the trigger.’ Which means that if we have a poor diet and lifestyle, that is pro-inflammatory, this will increase the risk of disease-causing genes to manifest. Good diet and lifestyle habits, that are anti-inflammatory, decrease the risk of genetic predispositions manifesting. Genes make up less than 10% of our chronic disease risk. The other 90% is due to our environmental exposures, such as diet and lifestyle habits.
Based on this, finding ways to implement consistent good habits around our diet and lifestyle are vital to treating, preventing and slowing the progression of chronic diseases and health issues. It is important to work on your diet and lifestyle habits all together as they all affect one another. This is because inconsistency in one of them can have flow-on effects to causing disruptions in the others.
For example, if we don’t sleep well, we know this can affect our diet, stress levels and exercise habits. When we are run down and fatigued, we are less likely to have the motivation to cook healthy meals and go to the gym. We are also more likely to crave sugary food for an energy hit and as we all know, stress is more likely to affect our emotional wellbeing.
In conclusion, gaining consistency over our diet and lifestyle habits decreases inflammation in the body improves our health and wellbeing so that we can live our best lives. When looking to change your diet and lifestyle, there is no point in making changes you can’t sustain. Therefore, working with a practitioner for weight loss can really help coach you to make achievable, gradual and sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle that ultimately empowers you to take control of your own health.