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Buff and the beautiful

Enjoy your healthy lifestyle, no matter which way you choose to live it.

By Alexis Aboagye

Published: Fri 15 Jan 2021, 4:09 PM

Have you ever seen an online personality show off their toned, muscular body and thought "wow, how do I get that?", but then see a glimpse into their real life and find that they only eat carrots and go to the gym 12 times a week?

The concept of health is different for everybody, but one thing I know for sure is that you should enjoy your healthy lifestyle, no matter which way you choose to live it. The idea of enjoying healthy living seems far-fetched for some, but as a health coach, I can tell you from personal experience and feedback that it's 100 per cent possible.

My method for healthy eating is focusing on as much plant-based whole foods as possible because this is what our bodies were designed to thrive off. It doesn't mean just living off salad and fruit, and it doesn't, necessarily, mean cutting out all animal products either. It's about finding a balance that works for you.

A plant-based diet focuses on eating whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains. However, some people choose to focus on a plant-based diet while still incorporating some animal products. Countless scientific studies have shown that this diet is tremendously beneficial to our bodies and let me tell you, the results experienced are incredible.

As you can see, there's no doubt how amazing a plant-based diet can be for you, but how do you transition? Many people complain that they can't go vegan because it's too expensive. This is absolutely false. Once you remove meat and many of the processed foods from your diet, and focus the majority of your shopping time around the produce, fridge and canned goods section, you'll hear your wallet thank you.

The key to transitioning is not forcing it. Take your time. If you transition cold-turkey to a plant-based diet, you may find that you don't know what to eat, so you quit. Plus, drastically changing your diet overnight can be difficult for the body to manage. This is why, I recommend transitioning category by category to make it sustainable.

In your first week, you may focus on just adding more fruit and vegetables to your meals, this way you get used to eating more fibre. Then, swap out your dairy products for non-dairy. Then remove meat and eggs from your diet and swap it for beans and legumes. Next, fish and other seafood, and then processed foods and so on.

This entire process could take you three weeks or three months, but this way, you know how to sustainably live the lifestyle without feeling like you are missing out on anything and your body will thank you, too.

Following a plant-based diet has been scientifically proven to:

  • Improve gut health as you are better able to absorb nutrients from food due to the high levels of fibre in plant-based foods
  • Improve immune system and reduce inflammation in the body
  • Lower cholesterol levels and stabilise blood sugar (making it the perfect diet for those that want to reverse pre-diabetes or manage type 2 diabetes)
  • Rapid and sustainable weight loss
  • Control, reduce and even reverse chronic and cardiovascular diseases
  • Increase energy levels, decrease acne and reduce bloating over time
  • A lighter environmental footprint

Alexis Aboagye is a Certified Health Coach (@thealexisapproach)



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