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Living Well: Health, Nutrition, and Weight Loss

What Does It Mean to Live a “Healthy” Life?

What does an emotionally and physically healthy life look like?

Everyone will answer the specifics of that question a bit differently, but there are several foundational pillars that interconnect to influence your overall well-being: health, nutrition, and sometimes even weight loss. Simply put, our ability to live a healthy lifestyle depends on being healthy, eating right, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Today I'd like to take a look at each of these three healthy living pillars. As you read, think about the role each plays in your own life. Do you need to make small changes, continue on the same path, or maybe even shake things up entirely? Let's find out!

What does it mean to be healthy?

Being healthy isn't just about the size of your body or how many times you exercise each week. We often focus on the physical components of health, which are important, but the mental aspects of health are easy to overlook.

When you're healthy, you don't just look good on the outside. You also feel good. If you're stumped about how to improve your mental health, read through these articles:

Choose one thing to focus on at the beginning, like journaling, and see how it makes you feel.

How much does my diet influence my health?

Nutrition is an extremely important part of living a healthy life. Eating a nutritionally balanced diet doesn't just help you feel better physically, it even has an impact on how well our brains function . There's even a relatively new field of mental health being studied that looks at how food impacts our brains — nutritional psychology.

Diet and depression

It might sound far fetched, but what you eat can absolutely have an impact on symptoms of depression and mental illness. According to one analysis :

“A dietary pattern characterized by a high intake of fruit, vegetables, whole grain, fish, olive oil, low-fat dairy and antioxidants and low intakes of animal foods was apparently associated with a decreased risk of depression. A dietary pattern characterized by a high consumption of red and/or processed meat, refined grains, sweets, high-fat dairy products, butter, potatoes and high-fat gravy, and low intakes of fruits and vegetables is associated with an increased risk of depression.”

When choosing which foods to eat every day, focus on whole foods that have been minimally processed. Once you start fueling your body with high-quality nutrition, you'll be amazed by how much better your body and brain feel.

Do I need to lose weight?

If you're concerned about your weight, this question is worth discussing with your doctor. They can help determine your ideal weight, and they'll also point out any health concerns you should know about.

Maintaining a healthy weight is a big part of healthy living, but it can also be a struggle. You don't have to do it all alone, though. Research has shown that having support is one of the main components for predicting success in combating obesity, improving weight, and managing health. You could join a support group, ask a friend to be your accountability buddy, or even try weight loss counseling , which looks at the whole picture of who you are to help develop a lifestyle that works with the way you live.