Three tips to help find your balance

The key is to find a balance that makes sense for you.

Hilary Powlesland is a Senior Dietitian at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital

Living with limitations during the pandemic has seen a lot of our usual health and wellbeing strategies put on hold. Now easing back into ‘business as usual’ we may feel pressure to develop a diet and exercise régime to counteract previous restrictions, ‘be productive’ or create a general sense of purpose and success.

It’s important to acknowledge that we are and have been living in times of uncertainty. Incorporating exercise and healthy eating into your lifestyle is always a fantastic way to improve your wellbeing. However, placing extra pressure or strict measures on yourself and your body may cause unnecessary stress.

The key is to find a balance that makes sense for you.

Here are my three top tips to finding your balance and being kind to your body and mind:

Use the 80/20 rule

Moderation is key! Eat well most of the time for good health (80%) and enjoy ‘fun foods’ in moderation (20%). I live by the 80/20 principle; because it’s not realistic to never eat chocolate ever again! Fuel your mind and body with a good mix of wholegrains, legumes, veggies, lean protein and healthy fats during the week! And when the weekend rolls around, enjoy that glass of red wine or indulge in your favourite treat, guilt-free!

The key to developing a positive relationship with food and your body, is eating nutritious foods for good health, while never depriving yourself of the foods you love!

Make exercise fun

Exercise doesn’t have to just be running or going to the gym, and you shouldn’t feel like you need to do intense exercise every day. Pick an activity that’s fun, and you genuinely enjoy! A brisk walk, dance class on YouTube or listening to your favourite album when working out are some great ways to make exercise an enjoyable and positive part of your day. Reset your mind, and instead of exercising for weight-loss, think about exercise as a stress outlet, social catch up (for two) or time just for you!

When you find an activity, you love and do it for the wellbeing of your mind and body, it will never feel like a chore!

Step off the scales

Weight is only a number and isn’t a true reflection of your health. Your weight will fluctuate depending on what you eat, drink and even when you last went to the bathroom. These things cause differences in body weight that have nothing to do with fat/muscle composition (the stuff that matters!).

So, step off the scales and focus on achieving good health through healthy lifestyle habits and a positive mindset, instead of allowing a number on a scale to define how you should feel about yourself today – or any day for that matter.