Weighing yourself is definitely the easiest way of judging how healthy you are, but it certainly isn't the most accurate.
Linking our wellbeing to a "healthy weight range" might be a starting point for measuring health, but it doesn't tell the full story. Good health comes in many forms – mental, physical and emotional.
Last week we discussed some of the hidden signs that you may be unhealthy. Now though, let's focus on something more positive – indicators of good wellbeing that have nothing to do with weight.
1. You avoid processed food where possible
When it comes to healthy eating, many people take the extreme all-or-nothing approach. But if your general rule is to choose fresh, wholesome food that isn't processed or pre-packaged, you're definitely on the right track. Choose whole grains and pulses over chips and crisps, for example, or buy meat from the butcher instead of processed, sliced and vacuum-packed meat. Your body works best when it's given the right fuel.
2. Your eating habits aren't tied to your emotions (usually)
We're all guilty of reaching for that family size bag of Doritos after a stressful day, but for the most part it pays to be aware of your eating habits and to dine only when you're hungry. Another key sign that you're in touch with your eating is that you stop when you're full – you know that food is enjoyable but that moderation is key.
3. You incorporate exercise into your day
Yes, it's great to get to the gym or to that evening boot camp, but a true sign of health is that you keep yourself moving whenever possible throughout the day. Whether that means taking the stairs instead of the lift, cycling to work or getting off the bus a few stops early, you should enjoy using your body to its full potential.
4. You get enough sleep
We've said it before but it's the truth – getting enough sleep is key to maintaining good physical and mental health. So if you miss out on shut-eye, be sure to make up for it when you can, either with a nap or an early night the following evening. Your body will thank you! Stable sleep patterns also keep your body's hunger signals ticking over normally – so you can recognise when you're hungry, when you're just bored and when you're really, really starving!
5. You can cope with life's day-to-day challenges
You're not afraid to talk things out with someone when you're feeling frustrated or down, and you can handle what life throws at you every day – from work stress to missing the bus to running out of coffee in the office kitchen. If you're finding it harder to cope than usual, don't be afraid to take some time out or to speak to a friend or a professional.
6. You take time to appreciate the little things
Ok, you have to work late tonight, but think how much more you'll appreciate your free time tomorrow evening. There is a silver lining to every cloud – start looking for it and you'll soon see things aren't always so bad.