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4 Ways To Keep Healthy In 2016

30.12.2015

With the New Year upon us, many of us have good intentions of a fresh start, a fitter and healthier lifestyle. So here are 4 tips to get that good intention on a roll:

Approximately 7,000,000 people will make a New Year’s resolution to improve a certain aspect of their health. The Christmas period is full of indulgence, with New Year being seen as the ideal opportunity for self-improvement. However, this New Year’s resolution can be made hastily and as a direct reflection of guilt over spoiling yourself through December. Once your usual routine begins again come January, this good intention can become near impossible to achieve. Professor Richard Wiseman of Hertfordshire University has the following tips for boosting willpower in order to stay motivated:

  • Make just the one resolution. Focussing on a single aspect of your health will make your goal more achievable and you will be more likely to succeed.
  • Plan your resolution in advance. This will enable you to plan your approach in order to reach your goal.
  • Don’t make the same resolution year after year. Or if you do, choose an entirely different technique to achieve it.
  • Write down your resolution, keeping it simple and to the point.
  • Reward yourself once you have reached your target – this will enable you to focus on something positive.

 

1. Avoid Faddy Diets

The trouble with faddy diets is that they are often a short-term solution. You may find that you lose weight quickly, but pile it back on at exactly the same rate. As well as eating healthily, it is important to be active as this burns calories and can help you lose weight.

Common problems with many faddy diets:

  • Crash diets involve dramatically reducing the number of calories you consume. Because of this, it is likely you will lose weight quickly but you risk losing muscle rather than fat. Dietitian Ursula Arens explains, “Because they are nutritionally unbalanced, crash diets can lead to long-term poor health, including eating disorders.”
  • Some faddy diets require you to ditch certain foods such as, meat, fish, wheat, or dairy products. Cutting out certain foods altogether could prevent you from consuming important nutrients and vitamins, meaning that your body will be unable to function properly.
  • A number of faddy diets are low in carbohydrates (for example, pasta, bread and rice). However, these are essential sources of energy. While you may lose weight by not consuming these items, these diets are commonly high in fat and protein, which can make you ill. Many low-carbohydrate diets allow you to eat foods that are high in saturated fat, such as butter, meat and cheese. Too much saturated fat can lead to high cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Detox diets are based on the idea that toxins are built up within the body and can be removed by both eating, and not eating certain food items. However, there is no evidence that toxins build up in our bodies, and if they did, we would feel extremely ill. Detox diets do not work. They are, in effect, a form of modified fasting.
  • Some faddy diets are based on a single meal or food item, such as cabbage soup or a grapefruit. Many of these diets claim sweeping statements in favour of health, but they are often entirely unfounded. If diets such as these are followed over an extended period of time, this could have an extremely detrimental effect on your health, and once your eating returns to normal, your weight will increase by the same amount that it has decreased upon starting the diet.

 

2. The Healthy Way To Lose Weight

The only way to successfully lose weight and maintain that weight loss is to make permanent changes to the way you eat and exercise. These changes don’t have to be big, small and simple alterations to your diet can help you achieve a healthy weight, and there are plenty of avenues to go down when it comes to incorporating exercise into your current lifestyle.

5 starting points for you healthy weight loss plan:

  • Reduce the amount of fat you are consuming. This can be done by, trimming the fat off meat, drinking skimmed or semi-skimmed milk instead of full fat, choose a reduced or low fat spread and replace cream with low fat natural yoghurt.
  • Eat wholegrain foods such as whole meal bread, brown rice and pasta. The wholegrain varieties are digested more slowly and will therefore leave you feeling fuller for longer.
  • Always eat breakfast. Having a healthy and balanced breakfast will give your day the kick-start it needs. Plus there is also evidence that those who eat breakfast regularly are less likely to be overweight.
  • If you are feeling peckish, before reaching for a snack, have a glass of water first, and see if that does the trick. Often when we feel hungry, we are actually just thirsty.
  • Aim to eat at LEAST five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

 

3. Fitness Tips To Boost Healthy Weight Loss

Regular exercise will not only help you lose weight, but could also reduce your risk of developing serious illnesses. Adults should do at least 30 minutes of activity five times a week for general health benefits. The key to sticking to an exercise resolution is to set yourself simple and achievable goals.  Plus, whatever you choose to do, make sure it is something you will enjoy!

How to make exercise part of your lifestyle in 2016:

  • Aim for 30 x 5. One of the best ways to maintain an active lifestyle is to incorporate it into your daily routine. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. Being physically active includes anything from gardening to walking the dog – remember, it doesn’t always have to be cooped up in a gym.
  • Ride a bike. Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine as it is also a form of transport. If you are able to cycle to work or incorporate it into your errands, this means that you will save money, get fit and contribute to a cleaner environment. Cycling is also a low-impact sport, so a great choice if you struggle with painful joints.
  • Reach 10,000 steps. Walking is a very simple and affordable way to improve fitness. It’s great for the heart, lungs and bones whilst being easy on the joints. The average person will walk between 3000 and 4000 steps a day but increasing that to 10,000 steps can make a huge difference.
  • Get the kids involved. Try to find time each weekend to take on a different activity with the children. This can be things such as cycling, country walks, swimming or football, just as a few examples. Not only will you and your kids reap the health benefits, you will also be spending quality time together.

 

4. Organisation Is Key

  • If your resolution is to lose weight, then know your starting point and your end goal. Set a boundary time around this weight loss and start achieving.
  • Keep a food diary – take note of everything you eat and drink, plus any exercise you undertake. Food and exercise diary can be found by clicking here.
  • Get a good weight loss/diet improvement programme to ensure you reach your target weight in a healthy way. A programme that re-educates about food habits and eating habits ensuring that you keep your weight off for good, eat good quality healthy food, improve your energy levels on a day-to-day basis. We can help you with this in a number of different ways from workshops to one to one programmes, please contact us for details.
  • Buy the foods you need, with easy to follow recipes in mind. Plan your food on a daily basis, learn new habits around food and keep it up until they become natural to you. Have a look at our recipe database and find a few that will become firm family favourites. 
  • When it comes to exercise, find things you enjoy, and vary it often in order to maintain an interest.

 

For more about healthy eating please click on the boxes below. 

Are you thinking about adding something to your health and wellbeing programme? Call Anna on 07778 218009 to discuss how our Power Up & Motivate With Positive Nutrition Workplace Wellbeing Series may be of use to you. Alternatively email anna@thehealthyemployee.co.uk.



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