A modern day epidemic?
Posted at 10:45:00 by Jacky Leonard
Just read an article on www.publicservice.co.uk providing startling statistics. Obesity in children under 11 has increased 40% over the last decade. At the current rates, without effective intervention, more than two thirds of Britain’s population will be overweight or obese by 2050.
This ‘epidemic’ has significant financial and health costs; with over £5 billion a year being spent on the problem and a loss of 9 years life expectancy, and the scariest part of all is that no one is immune! Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, family history, you can all fall prey to making poor lifestyle choices which ultimately not only affect how many years you add to your life but also with how much enthusiasm, energy and passion you live it!
Surely, maintaining a healthy weight is a simple equation of eating less and moving more…right? Unfortunately, although it may be simple it is far from easy. There’s a minefield of options on the market to help you obtain the ‘perfect body.’ Few seem to provide a sustainable answer to the question, “how can I achieve and maintain healthy weight?” The result for many is a roller coaster of weight loss followed by the seemingly inevitable weight gain. Unfortunately, modern day eating habits often involve over indulging in high fat, high sugar options because they are usually more readily available and in many cases, cheaper than following a healthy diet.
So how do you get off the Roller Coaster? Well…you are what you habitually do, therefore the choices you make each day regarding your activity levels, and dietary intake will have a significant impact on the quality of your life. Even if you decide to “stop the ride, I want to get off” and make more conscious choices about your behaviour around food and exercise it can still be difficult. Identifying exactly what you want to achieve and the reasons why you want to make these changes are positive first steps and here are some others.
Studies of 5000 people who lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off long term showed these results:
- 78% eat breakfast
- 75% weigh themselves at least once a week
- 62% watch less than 10 hours TV a week
- 90% exercise for about an hour a day
- 80% used a healthy diet and exercise to lose weight
Interestingly, only 10% used just diet and 1% just exercise.
Remember; when you embark on your journey towards a healthier weight there are 3 distinct stages…
- stop the weight gain
- achieve the weight loss you want
- maintain your new healthier weight
Each stage may present different challenges, so be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Consider the reasons for your past successes and failures so you can build in your own personal strategies and find a support network to help deal with those difficulties when they arise. Oh and one last thing; identify ways you can reward yourself (other than food) and celebrate your successes.