Well now the Christmas season is over for another year, many of are left with the results of overindulgence. Weight! The “w” word raises its ugly head time and time again as we become more health and fashion conscious about those excess pounds. Many of us have no doubt at one time or another tried to lose weight. Many of us have succeeded too, only to put on what we have lost a little later. It is a fact that most people that lose weight will regain what they have lost within four years.
So how do we keep off the spare tyres and stay more or less in shape? Dieting or exercise is in effect, a short term solution. A lifestyle change is the only way to keep your weight within a healthy range.
Before we go any further, lets look at the principles of weight loss. The whole idea is to burn more calories than we consume. There are only two ways to do this, the first is exercise, the second, is diet. If we consume more calories than we can burn off, then the pounds pile on.
But as we have seen this only works if the diet or exercise program is maintained. So the trick, is to build it into your life.
Diet can be changed by reducing sugary or fatty foods, especially the ones eaten in-between meals. In fact, if you do eat in-between meals, stopping this will result in weight loss. If you can reduce the portions of what you eat if they are excessive will also be a positive step. Ideally, you should be eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, so if you grab a mars bar at three pm, swapping it for a banana is a winner.
Of course, what do you do if fruit and veg is not something you like? Well a glass of fruit juice counts as a portion, so a couple of glasses a day will make a difference. The same applies to vegetable juice.
The secret here though, is to realise that you are only human, and ok you may not be eating four portions of vegetables a day, so what! Life’s too short, just try not to eat food that is calorie loaded. Remember, any positive step is a good one.
The second, is exercise. Many of us simply do not have the time to spend three hours in a gym a day, even a week, so what can we do? Well, walking is always good, and let’s face it petrol is expensive these days. So leaving the car at home where you can is always good and cheaper. Cycling is always good too. The other option is to do a few press-ups or sit-ups a day.
You will be impressed how quickly you will build up muscles and the difference it makes to your weight. The beauty here is you can fit them in where you have a window, and again will not cost anything. If you can why not watch TV from a exercise bike or running machine? Just make sure you do not spill your coffee!
With obesity causing 9000 premature deaths a year and it’s relation to heart disease, type two diabetes, and breast, prostrate and colon cancers, there is a plethora of reasons to make the lifestyle change. If you manage it, you could live an extra nine years. Pass me a carrot!