It is all too common for people to be interested in the “best” diet or exercise programs for weight loss and other health goals, however we lose sight of one simple fact all too easily – we are all unique and hence a one size fits all approach isn’t the solution!
An important thing to remember is that we each know more about our bodies than any health professional. What this means is that we need to learn how to tune into our bodies to start to understand what suits our individual needs.
The easiest way to start to do this is to keep a comprehensive diary. Keeping track of what we are eating and how we feel after eating can shed light on any potential intolerances or foods that don’t necessarily agree with our bodies needs. Signs of this include things such as bloating, bowel changes such as constipation or loose stools, and reductions in energy levels.
It is important to track these changes over a period of time as a one off reaction to a particular food may not necessarily reflect an intolerance or problem. In addition we often mix up foods in different combinations hence figuring out which part of the meal is the culprit requires a few repeat exposures to the component of the meal in isolation.
The same can be said with exercise. Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Keeping a diary to track how you feel after different types of exercise can help to determine what is best suited. Signs of problems can include sharp pain, excessive amounts of fatigue and increasing stiffness.
Exercise diaries can be complicated by the fact that it is normal to experience some mild discomfort in the muscles (more of a dull ache) for 1-2 days after exercising. In addition exercise may make you feel slightly tired just after, however in general should improve your overall energy levels.
It is important to note that while you understand best how your body is feeling, the experience and education of qualified healthcare professionals is required to make informed decisions about the best course of action. Taking care to look at these important pieces of insight into your body and its tolerances can assist your healthcare professionals substantially in determining what is right for YOU.