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by Guest Author,


A middle-aged man with an athletic build and a middle-aged woman in a larger body prepare food in a home kitchen. The woman washes a zucchini in the sink while appearing to laugh heartily. The man is chopping a lettuce with a knife and has a smile on his face. In the foreground are various ingredients including a pepper mill, sauce bottles, baby carrots and a capsicum.

Georgia Chevin, student dietitian Curtin University

We live in a world with endless quick fix diets telling us to cut carbs, turn our back on cooked foods or live off nothing but juice. Don’t get me wrong, it’s true what they say - quick fix diets can help you drop the kilos, but more often than not those kilos come springing back once we return to normal eating, and you can end up above the weight you were before the diet! These diets can also leave us feeling miserable and deprived of our favourite foods, leading us to binge further down the track and then...BOOM!... back to square one and time to try out a new diet.

It’s time to ditch the diets and release ourselves from this dieting mentality.

Not sure how to start?

Let’s break it down and start with some small, achievable goals. Here are my top 5 tips for developing healthy habits that are NOT weight focused and will last a lifetime.

1. Practice being mindful

Making time for mindful breathing can help you relax. Sit or lay down in a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus your attention on your breathing, the inhale and exhale. Try to set aside at least 5 minutes per day to practice this. It may also be useful to take a moment to focus on your breath when you are in a stressful or overwhelming situation. Many people turn towards comfort food to help them manage during times of stress. Mindful breathing will help you to regulate your emotions, and stay in the present.

2. Move your body in a way that you enjoy

There are plenty of ways to move your body, why not find something you’ll actually enjoy rather than forcing yourself to exercise to ‘burn off kilojoules’? Not everyone enjoys a diehard training regime, find a way to move your body that works for you. Whether it be going for a walk with a friend, taking a group fitness class, joining a social sporting team, going dancing, bowling, kayaking, horse riding, anything to release those endorphins. Appreciate the activity for what it is and remind yourself that moving your body can be fun! 

3. Eat the rainbow

Eating a range of colourful fruits and vegetables provides our bodies with the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that we need to be healthy. Stock up your kitchen with a variety of fresh produce, experiment with plant based recipes and fall in love again with preparing vibrant, colourful meals at home.

4. Make time for friends and loved ones

Staying connected with friends and family can help reduce stress, boost happiness and create happy memories. Make an effort to catch up with friends and surround yourself with people that make you feel good about yourself. Reach out to one person each week to schedule in a fun activity with them.

5. Improve sleep quality

Getting enough sleep helps our brain to work properly and can improve energy levels for the day ahead. Sleep is just as essential as eating well and exercising regularly. Somewhere between 7 hours and 9 hours is the sweet spot that most of us need to feel and perform at our best.

LiveLighter supports future health professionals through engagement with Australian Universities. This student blog was created for LiveLighter as part of Advanced Public Health Nutrition Practice coursework (Master of Dietetics at Curtin University, Western Australia).

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