BALANCE IS KEY

As the New Year unfolds most of us are filled with aspiration of a fresh start, reflection on the previous year and a feeling of excitement for what the New Year may hold. As the fireworks light up the sky and the clock strikes 12, many of us will take a moment to set resolutions for the New Year, in hope of living as a better version of ourselves.

Alas, based on my own experience with resolutions from previous years, my expectations are often too high, and I find myself falling short of reaching them. Sometimes, the resolution itself is unsustainable, so I tend to give up altogether after a few months.

Does this sound like a pattern that you may be all too familiar with?

Well, I have some great news for you. This blog is designed to help debunk some of the most common resolutions we tend to set for ourselves, revamping them with some assistance from STMNA, and turning your resolutions around to become more sustainable and achievable.

I firmly believe that a sense of achievement does wonders for your mind, body and soul.

Let’s dive straight in with the most popular resolution set out by thousands of people year after year – crash dieting! I want to emphasise that you are not alone in setting out the ‘I will go on a diet’ resolution. So many of us want to look and feel our best.  

What better way than a fresh new year and a trendy new fad diet? Marketers from various weight loss companies know that the start of the year is the most vulnerable times for us consumers to get enticed by wonderful slogans such as ‘new year, new you’, ‘say goodbye to the year and the extra kilos’ or ‘start the year feeling great and lose weight’. This is when they swoop in and bombard you with ads on the tv, your inboxes, on your social media feeds, and even in your mail, featuring beautiful advertisements of slim, smiling people and words that appeal to your current frame of mind. Of course, you would want what they have, and if the solution is as simple as following ‘that’ plan, taking ‘this’ supplement, or drinking ‘that’ drink, why not just do it? The savings that often come with this diet are just making the deal even sweeter!

But what are these short-term, 8 weeks to a few months’ diets doing to our body?

The weight has come off, now what? 

When it comes to crash diets, many of those ‘quick fix’ solutions never disclose what happens after the diet or program has ended. When someone comes off a crash diet we start to indulge, revert to our ‘normal’ routine, and before we know it, the weight has come back on, and we are back at square one, but why?

The main reason for this is that these diets are only ever temporary, unsustainable long-term, and harmful to your body.

They are designed to shock the system and put your body it into a suspended fight or flight mode. As your body is unable to choose the flight option it is forced to switch to survival mode. Crash diets cause nutrient deficiencies as they don’t provide a balanced array of food to fuel your system. They force your body to start using your muscle and fat reserves just to function and survive, tricking the body to believe that you are starving and slowing the metabolism down altogether. These diets cause internal imbalances that lead to irritability and lack of focus, as well as making you susceptible to common colds because you simply don’t have enough of the good stuff in your system to help your body fight it off. The damage inflicted by crash diets is extensive, rendering them an unsuitable strategy for long-term health goals.

Short-term pain doesn’t equal to long-term gain in this instance. If you want further information have a chat with a health care professional.

So, what should I do instead of a crash diet if I have set out ‘diet’ as my New Year’s resolution? 

Unfortunately, I cannot give you a quick fix solution, but I can provide you with several alternatives that could help you along your healthy eating journey.

In my experience, and I know others will agree, that balance and sustainability are key to losing and keeping weight off. Instead of succumbing to the allure of crash diets or completely changing the way you eat, start looking at alternative solutions that can be implemented to your everyday diet – small, consistent changes can make a substantial impact.  

Add more colour to your plate, incorporating an extra glass of water into your daily routine, swap white foods for whole grains, slightly reduce your portion size or go to sleep a little earlier to reduce the risk of late-night snacking.

Moreover, allow for occasional indulgences from time to time– if your body is craving something why not listen to it and give it what it needs, satisfy the craving in a small amount will prevent a downward spiral of inability to stop eating a certain food if the craving is unmet.

Balance is key.

These small sustainable changes will contribute to your overall health and your goal without the drastic measures associated with crash diets. For those seeking inspiration, education, or motivation on their health journey, a myriad of resources is readily available. These resources can guide you towards sustainable practices and help you navigate the complexities of making healthier choices in your daily life.

Finally, to further enhance your health journey, consider integrating STMNA’s Healthspan capsules into your morning routine. This power-packed daily capsule will only enhance your overall health and support you through this health journey.

The daily capsules will take care of your gut flora which helps with healthy weight loss. They’re full of antioxidants and other powerful plant compounds, which will support your mood, and energy levels and help with sleep. Designed for daily use that will easily fit into your routines already set.

In summary, this blog advocates for realistic resolutions and sustainable practices, steering clear of the pitfalls associated with crash diets. By embracing small, consistent changes, utilising valuable resources, and incorporating the support of STMNA Bioactives, you can pave the way for a healthier, more balanced, and ultimately more achievable new year.

TO JUICE OR NOT TO JUICE DETOX?

Welcome back to part two of our four-part series on debunking New Year’s resolutions. If you missed part one where we addressed the potential negative effects of what crash diets can do to our bodies. For the full article, you can catch up on by clicking this link https://www.stmna.com.au/balance-is-key/

Now let’s dive into, in my opinion, is one of the most controversial resolutions: juice detoxing to start the year.

Firstly, I want to acknowledge a big kudos to you, for wanting to improve your health and take action. Acknowledging the need for change and committing to it is a commendable first step on your journey to a healthier you.

Many of us seek quick-fix solutions due to our busy lives or the allure of instant results. Finding something that is simple and will fit right into our daily routine would just be perfect!

Juice detoxes seem very appealing with their promise of healthy, rapid transformations. I, too, have been tempted by the idea of a juice cleanse, enticed by the fact they are nutrient dense and have quick results – because how could a freshly squeezed juice from fruit and vegetables NOT be packed with all the good stuff? it all sounds wonderful, right? 

Juice detox under the microscope.
You know several people who have completed the detox and have told you that they felt fantastic on it and can recommend multiple companies that will tell you that a juice cleanse/detox is good for you. Or you, yourself have tried the infamous juice detox and it works, the promised weight came off, and you felt great. It’s very likely you may be reading this and thinking to yourself, what could possibly be bad?
Let’s break it down.

Here’s the catch:  the initial weight loss is due to a drastic reduction in calorie intake. If you deplete your body from any form of sufficient calorie intake after several days, of course, you will lose weight. However, this type of weight loss is not sustainable long-term. Your body needs a balanced diet to function optimally, and solely relying on liquids deprives it of essential nutrients.

So, what else can a drastic reduction in calorie intake do to your body? More likely than not, it leaves you feeling weak, fatigued and irritable. Let’s face it, when someone is so hungry, they can also become ‘hangry’, I know I do if I don’t eat enough.

Another side effect that I would like to point out is that juice cleanses can cause dehydration and disrupt electrolyte balance within your body. A well-balanced diet provides fibre, electrolytes, protein and sugar which work together to give our bodies the perfect balance of nutrients. But when we don’t have this combination in our diet, it causes our internal systems to become all out of sync.

The most worrying factor for this drastic weight loss alternative is the potential for blood sugar spikes from the high sugar content in juices. Despite being natural sugars, they can still lead to blood sugar fluctuations, which might be a risk factor for those with diabetes or insulin resistance.

Juice cleanse adverts will claim to be nutrient rich, but there are healthier alternatives to obtain essential nutrients.

In conclusion, as we scrutinize the concept of juice detoxing, it becomes apparent that the promises of quick fixes and instant results may not align with the sustainable, long-term well-being we all aspire to achieve. If you’ve been swayed by the allure of juice cleanses, it’s crucial to recognize that the initial weight loss is a result of drastic calorie reduction, leading to unsustainable outcomes and potential health risks.

So what can we do instead of juice detoxing?
Let’s delve into a healthier alternative with the help of STMNA.

Here is what we suggest instead.

  1. Smoothie alternative
  2. Stay hydrated
  3. Add more colour to your plate
  4. Consider supplements
  1. If you really want to spice up your routine, why not alter for a smoothie instead of a juice. For me, it makes no sense to eliminate all the good fibres and nutrients that are found throughout the entire food when it comes to juices. Therefore, by blending up a balanced smoothie will not only keep you fuller by allow you to benefit from all the good stuff you put in it. Balanced and nutritional packed smoothies are also seen to relate to sustainable weight loss. To add an extra layer when it comes to smoothies, try opting for water as the liquid in the smoothie, not only will it keep your calories controlled but it’s also hydrating.
  2. Speaking of hydration, try to reach for an extra glass of water or if you are super busy and may forget from time to time, I know sometimes my days escape me, grab a motivating water bottle and place it in front of you will encourage you to drink a little more. 
  3. Like our last blog my recommendation of adding more colour to your plate is a great go to. This will only ever benefit you when it comes to becoming a healthier and more sustainable version of yourself. With the warmer months in Australia why not utilise all the colourful fruits and vegetables that are currently on offer to add an extra salad to your weekly diet. I can’t accentuate enough that the word salad doesn’t have to be boring, bland and basic anymore.  With so much inspiration everywhere, look up delicious salad ideas and you will be surprised with how many alternative salads there are to replace, and even satisfy some junk food cravings.
  4. Consider supplements like STMNA HEALTHSPAN to support your daily nutritional needs. Designed to enhance liver function, metabolism, energy levels, and sleep quality, it offers a convenient way to nourish your body. 

In conclusion, achieving your health goals requires balance, consistency, and sustainability, rather than quick fixes or extreme detoxes.  By making small, manageable changes to your lifestyle and nourishing your body with wholesome foods and supplements, you can embark on a journey to a healthier and happier you.

EXTREME REGIME

Welcome back to my little blog, where we aim to make big impacts on your overall health! In our last post, we delved into the controversial New Year’s resolution of juice detoxing. If you’re just joining us, be sure to catch up on our previous blogs by following this link https://www.stmna.com.au/blog/

I’m thrilled to tackle today’s resolution, which happens to be a personal favourite of mine to debunk. Why, you ask? Well, I’ve been a victim of this resolution multiple times. Before finding success on my health journey, I implemented a few crucial steps that I’ll be sharing with you, so you can choose the ones that resonate with you and navigate your path effectively.

Without further ado, the resolution that I am writing about is:
Extreme exercise regime to kickstart your year. 

Before I face scrutiny from those dedicated to the intense exercise lifestyle, let me clarify that this blog isn’t aimed at you. I wholeheartedly admire your dedication, discipline, and focus on health goals. This discussion is for those new to exercise, those who’ve started and stopped countless times, and those prone to going from zero to a hundred overnight.

Let’s break down why extreme exercise regimes might do more harm than good and how to escape the short-term burnout.

New Year, New You!

As the new year rolls in, optimism runs high, and we’re determined to kickstart our health goals. Many turn to gyms, group fitness, or home workouts, aspiring to become leaner, fitter, and healthier. However, diving into a 4-5 day workout routine without prior gym experience poses risks of physical and mental fatigue. I’m not talking about the natural post-workout fatigue; I mean unsustainable exhaustion that leads to brain fog and insomnia. Productivity and motivation are quick to decline in this process and you will soon notice that getting up in the mornings for your work out or training after work becomes unmanageable.

This too covers the workout challenges that are currently “trending” on social media that entice you to partake in a high intensity, high impact workout routine with the promise of quick fixes to weight loss solutions. For example: get abs in 3-weeks or the “75 hard” challenge. These challenges however, come with surprisingly inherent risks if you have not endured high intensity work outs prior. Daily, high intensity workouts leave you vulnerable to injury and insufficient recovery time for the body. Seeing as these challenges are so public, it often leads to comparison and shame if you don’t follow through, or if you don’t have the “abs” they talk about. It’s important to approach such workouts with caution and moderation and don’t be so hard on yourself if you fall off the wagon, as they start off being unsustainable.

Another risk is the likelihood of sustaining physical injuries. Proper training techniques take time to develop, especially in strength training. Rushing into complex exercises without proper education may result in tears, twists, and strains. Daily intense workouts also deny your body the necessary recovery time, increasing the chances of harm.

Over doing physical activity can also leave you susceptible to becoming sick. I know from personal experience, that when going from zero to a hundred in a very short amount of time, my body and nervous system were sent into shock and overdrive leaving my immune system weekend and exposed. This caused me to get the common cold more times than I could count.
Studies also indicate that overdoing exercise without adequate recovery can suppress immune responses, raising cortisol levels and decreasing white blood cell count.

Not to mention that extreme exercise regimes can leave you feeling anxious and stressed. It is said that exercise is meant to be great for the mind, but when putting an immense amount of pressure on yourself to stick to a demanding routine, you are causing yourself additional stress. Pressure to attain such a big goal, resentment when you can’t reach the goal, and anxiety about going to the gym every day.

So, what’s the solution?

Avoiding extremes is key! Here at STMNA we advocate for balance and health! We want to support you along your health journey and give you a few tools for your tool kit, so you can access them whenever you need.

For those of you who have not stepped foot into a gym, fitness club or done any other form of exercise for a while – I want to encourage you that slow and steady will win the race.

Setting a daunting task in front of yourself such as signing up to a gym and just going can be scary. So, start off your health journey with achievable steps to work towards going to the gym. Slowly begin your fitness routine by doing a walk several times a week, or an extension of the walk you already do. Your confidence and fitness levels will grow as well as a routine that you can eventually tweak in intensity. Once you have consistently achieved the smaller goals, work towards a membership and go once or twice a week. In the course of time the gym or fitness group will replace what used to be a walk.

A gym is not the necessarily the answer for everyone! Everybody is different and certain limitations exist for us all, so looking at alternative methods to physical exercise is highly encouraged. There are so many wonderful classes that one can join that are lower impact like swimming classes, Pilates, dance classes and yoga are all wonderful alternatives to get the body moving and feeling great! The world is your oyster for choice.

If all those things are still not quite right for you, again seek alternatives and get creative! Adding a little weight to make your walk a little more challenging, do 1000 steps instead of just a walk or even opting to walk on the beach as it naturally increases resistance. Do exercise classes with a friend or even join team sports to hold you more accountable than solo exercise.

Before diving into strength training, seek professional advice on technique and form. Consider lighter weights in the correct form for gradual strength building.

Again, slow and steady increments is the key to becoming stronger and healthier.

Finally, listen to your body and give it what it needs. When it comes to physical activity, we are losing water, nutrients and energy during exercise. So, it is critical to replenish and support your body. STMNA HEALTHSPAN capsules contain plant-based extracts that help with inflammation, joint pain and muscle recovery. The daily capsules will support your mood, boost energy, provide mental clarity and aid sleep.

Remember, the key is gradual progress and giving your body the care, it needs. Here’s to a more balanced and healthier you!