Is your diet hurting your mental health? Experts discuss the link between diet and mental fitness

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SHAH ALAM – Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for both mental and physical well-being as highlighted by fitness coach Kevin Zahri and clinical psychologist Yasmin Khan during She Leads 3’s event at Sinar Daily in Karangkraf Group Complex here yesterday.

Kevin Zahri, a strong advocate for physical fitness, also stressed the importance of mental fitness.

“If you are slightly overweight but happy with how you look in the mirror, that is enough. However, if you are not satisfied, then it won’t work,” he said.

He stressed that people should not aim for an ideal weight but rather for happiness and what makes them feel good.

“Life does not have to be perfect; striving for perfection can make things difficult,” he added.
Kevin also noted that social media is often used for dietary advice, such as keto, Atkins, and non-sugar diets.

He highlighted the importance of consistency in whatever diet one chooses.

“Social media can be both great and terrible because it offers so much information.

“What’s important is to maintain the diet you choose from social media consistently. If you can’t follow your own advice, what’s the point?” he said.

He further emphasised the need for self-education to control diet and nutritional intake and warned against taking things too seriously.

“Moderation is boring, but it’s important not to seek fast results through shortcuts like skin pills,” he added.

Kevin highlighted the importance of recognizing that everyone has unique nutritional needs.

“Better nutrition and a better diet are different for each person and should align with personal goals,” he told the audience.

He also stressed the significance of making one’s journey a personal battle rather than comparing oneself to others.

Yasmin addressed the universality of mental health issues and the difficulty of finding one-size-fits-all advice regarding diet and mental health.

“Even with a balanced diet, people can still face issues like body dysmorphia,” she said, noting that mental illnesses can persist despite healthy eating habits.

She advised that while diet can affect mood, it’s important not to overly restrict oneself.

“Dieting is a personal journey, and whether a diet is good for someone mentally depends on the individual,” she said.

Yesterday’s event, “Elevating the Fitness of Your Body and Mind,” was part of Sinar Daily’s She Leads series held at Karangkraf Group Complex.

It covered topics related to diet’s connection with mental and physical health, managing premenstrual syndrome (PMS), handling work-life stressors, and coping with grief from losing loved ones, among other sub-topics.