At You First Medical Aesthetics, we take a lifestyle medicine approach. This means we encourage patients to examine their lifestyle – including their diet, sources of stress, and sleep habits – as a way of working towards better health. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help you lose weight, but it can also do so much more than that. It can increase your confidence, slow the aging process, and help you avoid chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Of course, adopting a healthy lifestyle sounds well and good, but how do you get started? What changes do you make, and how do you make them? One way to get started is to focus on the Five Ms: Mindset, Meals, Metabolism, Muscle, and Meet-Ups.
The first key to adopting a healthy lifestyle is to adopt a healthier mindset. Get clear on your reasons for wanting to live a healthier life. Yes, you probably want to look more toned in a bathing suit. There’s no shame in that! But don’t you also want to stay healthy so you can play with your kids or grandkids, go on active trips with your family, and avoid complicated medical procedures later in life?
Sit down and make a list of your reasons to get and stay healthy. When you feel your resolve starting to wain, take a look at this list to put yourself back into a motivated mindset.
Eating healthy is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. If this feels overwhelming to you, take it one meal at a time.
While there are lots of healthy diet models out there, Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate is a simple one you can reference with every meal. It advises you to fill half of your place with fruits and veggies, one-quarter of your plate with whole grains, and one-quarter of your plate with high-protein foods like beans and lean meats. Just by following this basic plan, you’ll be ahead of the curve when it comes to healthy eating.
If you can keep your metabolism up as you age, you’ll have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight. Some ways to support or boost your metabolism include:
- Exercising regularly: Even a casual walk around the block counts!
- Eating regular meals
- Getting good sleep every night
- Avoiding alcohol and reducing your use of stimulants like caffeine
Many women find that their metabolism slows down after menopause. If you’re aware of this change, you can prepare for it by increasing your activity levels and beginning to eat more responsibly.
Even when you’re just sitting around, muscle tissue burns more calories than fat. So, if you can manage to build more healthy muscle, you will have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight. Strong muscles also help reduce wear and tear on your joints as you age. Plus, it is easier to exercise and be active if you have healthy muscle development to support your movement.
Weight training with light weights is an excellent way to build healthy muscle with little risk of injury. Even doing some calisthenics or a basic workout with resistance bands a couple of days per week will help you retain muscle as you age.
People are social creatures. Yes, even the introverted among us can often benefit from spending time with others who share our goals and interests. Meeting up with others who are also interested in staying fit, active, and healthy can help keep you motivated toward your own health goals.
This fifth “M” can take many different forms. Maybe you call a friend and ask them to be your gym buddy. This holds you accountable so you’re less apt to skip workouts. Or, maybe you meet with a group of friends who share your weight loss goals. You compare diets and notes, as well as giving each other positive support as the pounds fall off.
Other options include taking exercise classes at a local gym, working with a dietitian or doctor who specializes in weight loss, or making healthy lifestyle changes together with your partner. What’s most important is that you seek some sort of social support rather than treating this as a solo endeavor.
The Five M’s are an easy way to frame and focus a healthy lifestyle. If you’re struggling to make healthy lifestyle changes or meet your weight loss goals, don’t hesitate to contact You First Medical Aesthetics. Dr. Haynes is double Board Certified in Family and Obesity Medicine, and her patient-first approach has helped so many people make positive changes in their lives. We offer supervised weight loss programs, non-invasive body sculpting treatments, and so much more.