If you could feel more energised, sleep better and love yourself a little more would that be more important than losing an inch on your waist or a few pounds from the scales?

So often, we set our fitness goals on size and weight when what we are really striving for is simply feeling great. Modern society has left us associating this with size, and whilst I am a complete advocate of all the health benefits of correct posture, a balanced diet and regular exercise, these can all be achieved without the added stress of what size label is in your jeans. In fact, when you find the balance of eating well, taking enough rest, exercising sensibly and standing tall, the rest often follows naturally.

There are so many reasons you may not be achieving your goals; these can be hormonal, dietary, posture and exercise-related. We need to listen to our bodies, be detectives about their individual needs, and make adjustments accordingly.

One of the main culprits is sugar. It directly affects your moods, cravings, weight control, sleep patterns and energy levels. We are able to get more than enough natural sugars through a balanced diet; in fact, we do not need any refined sugars at all. So, before you pop the next chocolate or biscuit in, or you pour a large glass of wine, here is some information on why you are sweet enough.

Sugar is one of the most ageing substances you can consume, causing glycation where sugar and protein molecules combine to form a tangled mess of tissue, leading to premature ageing of the skin. With sixteen calories in every teaspoon, it is directly related to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and chronic fatigue and, if you are menopausal, it is a disaster area when it comes to hot flushes.

Of course, sugar is also addictive, so you need to train your palate to accept less sugary foods and look for the hidden sugars in things such as drinks (including wine) and pre-packaged foods. Try to avoid replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners. Although they are low in calories, they have chemicals in that have an adverse effect on your health. Filling up on high protein, low fat foods such as fish, chicken and pulses with lots of colourful vegetables will help to stabilise your cravings and manage your energy levels and sleep patterns. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water every day too!

The meaning of renew is “to return to former self” and our objective is to help you find that centre, whether it is from an exercise class, a gym session, a treatment or our member education. February is “Valentine’s month” and is associated with thinking of those you love. Here at Renu, we truly believe you are sweet enough just the way you are. Our salon and fitness centre is a place where you can relax the mind, tone your body and lift your spirits, and our philosophy is to help you feel more energised and healthy. It really doesn’t matter if that is through a treatment or a workout. You choose. Happy Valentine’s month!