New year, new habits: The key to healthy lifestyle in 2023

In 2023, explore movements that suit you best instead of opting for mainstream routines that  might not be sustainable and practical in the long run

Published: 12th January 2023 08:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2023 08:00 AM   |  A+A-


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Express News Service

We have entered the New Year and I hope most have taken up the basic resolution of a healthy lifestyle this year. But, along with new resolutions, it is also important to analyse what worked best for you in 2022 and keep following those habits regularly. We need to understand that everyone is different and unique, and identify the right foods, the right kind of exercise, the right tools to control stress, etc., that suits us, we need to identity the right food that makes us feel energetic, that boosts our immune system, helps us maintain healthy weight, or lose weight in case one is overweight.

Knowing the right amount and quality of sleep that we need allows us to wake up fresh and feel completely rested with no dependency on too much caffeine, sugar, and carbs throughout the year. Ask yourself: What is the right amount of exercise that suits me, not what the whole world is doing. Is it walking, Yoga, weight training, dancing—find what suits you without causing injury and keep following what you enjoy doing.

As mentioned, it is not just food or exercise; we also need to identify the following—What stress impacts our health? Is your anxiety prolonged? Do your stress levels go up and down? Look at releasing excess emotional baggage and what can we let go off with or without assistance, try seeking help and counselling  wherever needed.

We need to determine what is best for us when it comes to our choices and lifestyle. We shouldn’t be copying others and feel empty, disheartened, or upset if those things do not work for us. We need to define our lifestyle with the end product being our happiness. 

Last year, intermittent fasting and circadian rhythm fasting worked well for most of us, and that one lifestyle change can be followed by everyone who can do at least 14 hours of fasting—to give rest to the digestive system—and improve overall healing of the body. In 2022, everyone was busy with festivities and celebrations; this meant constantly snacking and eating too much—too much cake, sweets, savouries, non-veg, fried, junk, etc. All of this overeating has led to digestion issues, particularly acidity and bloating, and that is why fasting is essential for us because that way, we give rest to our digestive system, which enhances healing and controls acidity.

When you plan to fast, try to start with fixed timings, follow your biological clock. Eat an early dinner and maintain your sleep-wake cycle, your eat and digest cycle properly. Have meals before sunset or as early as possible because our pancreas is not designed to break down food after sunset. Late-night meals make you feel heavy and wake up with acidity, indigestion, puffy eyes, bloating, constipation, IBS, etc. People eating early in the evening usually get rid of all these problems by testing the digestive tract as well as getting a better quality of sleep.

Our body works based on its natural clock and if your body isn’t able to follow the clock, there will be chaos at the cellular level—interrupting and disrupting digestion, weight, hormones, cell communication, motions, detoxification—and everything else. We need to align on the basis of the circadian rhythm and for that—have dinner during sunset preferably at 6pm or 7pm; gradually shift to late dinner time as it will take time to break year-long habits. Have a well-balanced dinner and after that, fast for 12-14 hours with only plain water (your sleep time as well will be counted in fast). Upon waking, keep sipping on plain water and break your fast with lemon water when you feel hungry in the morning. Follow this up with fruits and nuts to add a more alkaline dose and digestive enzymes to the body. Set eat times and sleep-wake cycles for five or six days a week and enjoy yourself mindfully  over the weekend.

Listen to your body, and break your fast when the body is ready. Let’s start 2023 in a healthy way with fasting and making simple but effective changes to our lifestyles.

Deepika Rathod
Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems. 
The writer is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.


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