I know what you’re thinking. Clickbait. Before you write this off as common knowledge, I think you would be surprised to know that alot of the best athletes don’t actually rely on purely diet and excercise to get their results. Check out these 5 ways you can stop training so hard, stop fretting over every calorie, and plan the seeds of a happier, healthier lifestyle. 1. Drink 4 quarts of water each day. Yes your body can operate in mild dehydration without actually breaking down. However, signs of mild dehydration may not occur until your body is past the point of requiring water. When you are dehydrated your body is in a constant state of duress and may actually hoard water when you finally drink it. This fluid tends to accumulate around the midsection. A simple cure is to get through a litre of water every 3 hours. Activity level, environment, and body size can bring this number up or down but on averge 3-4 quarts of water per day should do the trick. 2. Work to heal our emotional wounds. Ever notice how when you are experiencing emotional pain you are more likely to hit the drive through? Emotional distress puts the body in a vibrational state that is a match to certain foods that are also of that vibrational state. Feeling terrible? You’re much more likely to eat a bucket of Ben and Jerry’s. Feeling fantastic? Connected with your body and the world around you? Notice how you unconsciously crave fresh and wholesome foods. You might notice that people who have made a committment to working on their spirit, naturally eat healthier foods. If we begin healing your emotional wounds food that is unhealthy (and weightgaining) will no longer be a match to our bodies. We may not even be able to digest the junk foods we used to. Our bodies will shift accordingly. 3. Be inclusive with our nutrition, not exclusive. We tend to think of healthy eating as “dieting.” We associate dieting with exclusion. We focus on all the things we cannot have, and begin to associate healthy eating with deprivation. Unfortunately we need to reverse this psychology if we want to break our belief systems around eating. There are thousands of food choices in today’s world. We are no longer bound to the foods grown locally. If you are willing to explore the multitude of plant options and the unique recipes to prepare them, your approach will shift. Try adding new things, and make goals to eat an extensive variety of food. Focusing on what you are gaining rather than what you are cutting out makes eating more fun, and takes the stigma of lack out of our food. 4. Meditate. There is no doubt that the daily grind is stressful. Telling ourselves “I’m fine” seems futile when we’re working overtime at the office or stuck in hours of traffic every day. In this state, the body produces steroids and stress hormones that attract us to low quality foods. Cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone only works against you, meddling with digestion and promoting fat storage. The solution? Try meditation once or twice a day. As little as 20 minutes of focused breathing and relaxation can lower stress hormones, and positively impact anxiety, allergies, binge eating, depression, fatigue, heart disease, high blood pressure and so on. Whether you know how to do it should not be a barrier to actually doing it. As long as you are controlling your breathing it’s working. Your body will produce an increased level of nitric oxide, a compound responsible for dilating blood vessels and thereby reduce your blood pressure. 5. Move. Our ancestors moved around alot more than we do. We drive everywhere, and many of our jobs require less physical labour. While this isn’t really a bad thing (todays jobs are generally less dangerous), we need to set up daily situations that require us to move our bodies. We are essentially giant pumps, designed for entropy. That means energy needs to flow through you on a daily basis. So it is imperative that we get a sense of how it feels to be active. That means walking, getting out into the yard, exploring our surroundings. Take the train downtown and walk around. Find out what’s at the end of your street. The idea is to move energy through your body and pay attention to how you feel. You will naturally gravitate to foods that nourish rather than deplete, with the added benefit of keeping your energy systems functioning the way they were designed to. It’s time we stopped thinking within the box. Dieting and excercising are a great way to feel amazing, and the effects will no doubt show. But if we are to make lasting changes to our lives, we need to manage ourselves holistically. Get in touch with these 5 aspects and see if you can start working with the roots of your being. Go ahead and heal the inner you, and see if the outer you follows suit. We believe it will.