Disclaimer: Let me start off by saying that I’m NOT a fitness guru nor am I by any means a health expert. In fact, I struggle with my weight on a daily basis. (Click here to read Neue’s past article – “Fat-Shaming Helps People Lose Weight?”)

But I’ve come to the realisation that being healthy is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time and you need to stick with it for life.

This epiphany came crashing down on me like a huge wave after I committed myself to eating healthier lunches with Sevensporks (@sevensporks), a Brunei-based specialised meal prep business that’s headed by Syafiq Iqbal.

Click on the photo to read Neue’s past article – “9 To 5: What’s Neue With Seven Sporks”

After surprising myself that I actually enjoyed eating cauliflower rice (it was my first time eating it thanks to Sevensporks), I was convinced that eating healthy doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive or even boring!

A month or so has passed since Neue published a story about 10 foods that are “surprisingly” good for you. (Update: I now no longer walk into a grocery store without a shopping list! I now know better!)

Lim Fun (@kraykraynufitness), a nutrition coach who works closely with Sevensporks, recently sat down with Neue to share some interesting tips on becoming a healthier you. I hope they are useful to you as much as they’ve been useful to me. Enjoy!

Tip #1: Do intermittent fastingWhat is intermittent fasting, you ask? Well, it’s the practice of restricting calorie intake and promoting fat burning by skipping breakfast and having only lunch and dinner. You are also not allowed snacks in between meals.

There are a few types of intermittent fasting as it has become a trend. And as such, the methods have changed over time. The method that we’re sharing with you today is called the 16/8 method, where you basically fast for 16 hours and have 8 hours to eat proper meals.

As for food intake, it is recommended that you take foods that are rich in nutrients so that it can help you round out your diet. High-fibre foods are good to help with hunger and drink more liquids that do not promote insulin production such as unsweetened lemon water, black coffee, tea and water.

With intermittent fasting, some of the benefits are increased weight loss, improved blood sugar control and enhanced longevity.

Tip #2: Be activeSitting around all day will not help you to lose weight, so you would want to get up and start moving around. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than what you consume. Do not sit for more than an hour in your office, occasionally walk around. Not only do you get a little bit of exercise, you get to interact with your colleagues too.

Go to the gym, join a fitness group or simply just go running, that’s fine, it’s a step towards being active. Being active not only helps you with weight loss but you can also feel better about yourself and feel less stressed.

Tip #3: Eat nutrient dense foods

Nutrient density of food is defined as the ratio of beneficial ingredients to the food’s energy content for the amount that is commonly consumed. Nutrient dense foods give the most nutrients for the smallest amount of calories; this makes it healthier

Some examples of that are heavy in nutrients such as salmon (contains a great amount of omega-3s fatty acids), nuts (contains protein, fibre and healthy fats), potatoes (high in potassium, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese), egg yolks (high with vitamins and minerals) and dark chocolate (high in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese).

You should also avoid foods that are artificial and processed. These foods are generally high with unhealthy fats. Processed food are made for overconsumption and contain artificial ingredients. People are also easily addicted to junk food and this is mainly because these foods can hijack the biochemistry of the brain leading to addiction and over consumption.

Eating less fast food will also help you lose weight. Fast food is high in sodium, trans fat and cholesterol, which is something that you should not be eating all the time. Too much consumption of fast food may lead to other health issues such as high blood pressure or heart disease. Try to eat less or avoid fast food when trying to lose weight.

Tip #4: SleepSleep is also just as important as your food diet and exercise. Some people may not be getting enough sleep i.e. getting fewer than 6 hours a night. Sleeping poorly is one of the causes of weight gain and this is because they increase your appetite. So with sleep you can fight food cravings and make healthy choices.

You need to make sure that you get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Sleeping helps to manage your appetite and your immune system function. Sleep also helps your memory as you can focus more and protect and strengthen your memory. 

Avoid eating before bed. Eating before bed is a bad habit. This is because our bodies need time to digest food and this will make it hard to fall asleep.  

Try to avoid looking at your mobile phone before you sleep. Set your mobile phone to ‘night mode’ to filter out the disruptive blue rays. This is because the blue light from the screen is bad for your vision and it suppresses melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is responsible for controlling your sleep cycle which can cause insomnia.

Tip #5: WellnessInvest in self-care that can stimulate wellbeing of the mental and physical state. Well-being is another definition for happiness, health and stability. Self-care is taking the time to show yourself that you care about your wellbeing. It is important for you to set aside a time for yourself to invest in self-care for your health and happiness.

A positive mindset is a motivated mind. Do more stress reduction activities. The power of having a positive attitude is greater than you think. Your brain will start operating positively and release endorphins which makes you feel happier. 

Stress reduction activities would include meditation, going for a walk, have a picnic, listening to music, write a positive message to yourself and many more.

At the end of the day, a happier self is a healthier body.

What’s on your mind?

What do you think of the list above? Do you have any weight-loss tips of your own? We here at Neue would love to hear from you!

Drop us a line in the comments below. Oh! And while you’re here, feel free to check out some of the meal plans that available from Seven Sporks. You can also click here to send a WhatsApp message to book your next meal.

(Neue’s Nurhana Wafa also contributed to this report.)