Luke Coutinho’s top tips to live healthy
You need to consider the mind-body connection
“There is no magic supplement that can replace a meal,” explains Luke Coutinho, a holistic lifestyle coach (integrative medicine) and advisor for health brand Pure Nutrition. In our virtual edition of ELLE Masterclass on Instagram. Coutinho chatted about preventive healthcare and accompanying lifestyle changes. He added, “Supplements are great when they’re accompanied by lifestyle changes like good nutrition, the right kind of exercise that suits your body and getting enough sleep.” In a nutshell, that’s what preventive healthcare includes. “Making these changes costs no money but does require effort and we do it to prevent the onset of diseases in the long run,” he says. With people stocking up on supplements now more than ever, it is important to understand how you can make the most out of it in a healthy balanced way.
Here are the biggest takeaways from his conversation:
Keep it simple
Keep your health routine simple by sticking to a daily routine and steering clear of fad workouts and crash diets. “If you don’t have a disciplined routine, you’ll end up complicating your lifestyle. The first thing we do is neglect sleep and that itself makes your immune system crash by 50-60 per cent,” he explains.
Practice mindful eating
Supplements aren’t going to double up as meal replacements, but when they’re paired with a stable diet and lifestyle, they will keep deficiencies at bay. “Never starve weight off your body. This will do more damage and you will end up with acidity, weight gain and maybe even hormonal imbalances,” adds Luke.
Simple practices, like chewing your food well and eating at the right time every day can do wonders for your body and mind. He believes in giving more priority to local, seasonal foods and eating within moderation. He adds, “During the week, you put in a lot of work in keeping healthy. Don’t use weekends as an excuse to binge eat and drink. Your body will probably take double the time to recover! Enjoy a reward meal if you want, but with discipline and moderation.”
Check ingredient lists
Judge supplements by their product labels, not their packaging. “A good quality iron supplement will have some vitamin C in it because iron is better absorbed by the body when it’s taken with vitamin C,” he explains. Similarly, the absorption of curcumin in the body increases when it’s accompanied by black pepper. Look out for certifications from regulatory bodies, like the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and similar labs that have tested out the product.
Pick the right exercise programme
Working out is essential to good health and in order to be consistent, it’s imperative to enjoy the routine you’re following. “Neither should exercising be boring nor should it cause injuries. Overtraining is as bad as undertraining and you should always give your body time to recover,” says Coutinho.
Learn to de-stress
“If you are chronically stressed and anxious, supplements won’t work on you,” he explains. Stress depletes vitamins and minerals from the body and causes acne and weight fluctuation. It can also lead to high blood pressure which causes inflammation and cardiac diseases.
To combat stress, try meditating. “Think about how much you can manage, in all aspects of your life, then commit to things. Don’t try to conquer the world with an unhealthy body and mind because sickness will creep in,” he adds.