Before you label someone as unhealthy based on just the fact that they are overweight, think again. The number on the scale is simply one factor of your health. There are many other factors that decide whether a person is healthy, including their blood pressure, cholesterol level, and blood glucose level. What this means is that you could be carrying some extra weight and still be “metabolically healthy”. This also means that if you happen to be skinny, it doesn’t automatically mean that you are healthy as well.
To assess your real level of health, you need much more than a weighing scale. You will need blood tests, clinical tests, and a medical degree to assess them. These signs of health can indicate where you stand in terms of health, at least at a preliminary level.
1. You Listen To Your Body
The habit of eating only when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full may not necessarily result in weight loss, but it will make you feel healthier. When you notice changes in your body while you eat, half an hour after you eat, and two hours after you eat, you will start to realize that different foods have different effects on you. Certain foods will fill you up while giving you sustainable energy. Certain other foods will make you feel sluggish or bloated. Noticing these differences will make your food something that has a function and is a source of pleasure. In effect, you will reduce your consumption of food that does you no good and will also start to eat in quantities that your body actually requires.
2. Your Diet Focuses On Whole Foods
Most people think that healthy eating can only be achieved by extreme dieting (salad-only). This is not the truth. You can make your diet much better by simply having less processed food and having more whole foods. For example, instead of the processed deli meat go for chicken breasts which is a lean protein. Pick quinoa and brown rice which are whole grains instead of chips and bread. And make sure that you get plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet as well. These simple changes can mean drastic effect on your overall health.
3. You Exercise A Little
You may not hit the gym hard for an hour daily, but just taking the stairs to work instead of the elevator helps. Any action is better than no action. As long as you get at least a little activity throughout the day, it will do wonders for your physical and mental health.
4. You Can Control Your Stress
If you manage to keep your head above water when faced with life’s challenges without breaking down each time, give yourself a high five because it is a great sign of being healthy. No, not the physiology, but your mental health. This also means that you can handle the stress that would eventually lead to chronic diseases.
5. You Don’t Have Trouble Getting Things Done Physically
If something is important to you, your physical health should not stop you from doing it. This can be something as simple playing with your child without being exhausted or even completing a half marathon. Be realistic; if you think you can get to where you want to be with a little training, chances are that you are in good health. In other words, if you are in good health, you should be able to do what you want to do.
6. You Get Enough Sleep To Function Normally
Your sleep requirements may be different from someone else’s. We all know that 8 hours of sleep is ideal, but even if that isn’t possible, you should be getting enough snooze time to function well. You shouldn’t be tired and craving sleep all day. You should also not be risking your life by being sleep deprived when you are behind the wheel. Your body’s hunger signals also go haywire when you are sleep deprived, which makes you unable to figure out when you are hungry and when you are not.
7. You Don’t Worry Yourself Sick When You Indulge
Since you don’t always eat unhealthily, the few occasions that you do indulge with some junk food, you don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead of counting the calories, you enjoy the treat. You prefer watching what you eat because it makes you feel better when you eat more wholesome foods.
Carrying a little extra weight is usually a sign of unhealthy habits, which could lead to complications in the future. But the bathroom scale does not have the final word about your health. It is possible to be simultaneously “normal” weight and unhealthy, or overweight and healthy. What you eat, how you move, and how you feel are also important factors which decide your health.