A healthy lifestyle is not ‘one size fits all’, what works for your best friend, sister, mother or boyfriend, may not work for your body and what you need. When making the choice to live a healthier, more balanced life, there are a number of routes you can take to reach your destination. We spoke with Mackenzie Fong, Dietician at the Boden Institute, Sydney University to better understand what is essential to good health and where we can make those changes in our day to day routines to see results.
When trying to improve our health is a big diet overhaul best or is it more beneficial to make small, healthy swaps gradually?
“Both methods offer their advantages and disadvantages. It comes down to individual choice and depends on how likely you are to sustain the changes. A big diet overhaul may result in faster, more noticeable changes which can be motivating. On the other hand, an overhaul may be difficult to sustain and can lead to feelings of deprivation.
The small, healthy swaps approach may offer more flexibility and is more likely to be sustainable. However, if the changes are too gradual, a lack of noticeable progress may be desponding.
On the extreme end of the scale, crash dieting where minimum nutrient requirements are not met, long periods of fasting, ‘detoxing’ or excessive exercise can damage your metabolism and may lead to weight regain further down the track”
What are some simple healthy swaps you can recommend?
For those of us always on the go, are there quick breakfast ideas you tend to stick to?
Yes! There are plenty of good options for a quick breakfast. Ideally, try to have a source of carbohydrates and protein:
Alternatively, invest a little time the night before prepping breakfast i.e. pre boil eggs, make up a batch of homemade muesli or bake some healthy breakfast muffins.
What role should exercise play in maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. Every day you should aim to do at least 30 minutes of exercise, even if it’s just going for a walk. The benefits of exercise are endless but to name a few, exercise can:
This last one is important as low fitness is the strongest predictor of mortality (even higher than obesity and smoking!)