We have become a more overweight and obese nation for many reasons, here are some we can give some thought to:
- A large number of convenience foods have become the norm and are readily available
- Technology has provided us with many jobs that involve long periods of time sitting at a desk
- Technology providing us with more hobbies and time spent sitting down with electronics, even our children are doing this more
- Transit technology provides us with little need to walk
- The availability of take away.
- The normalization of a mid morning, afternoon snack
- Snacking in front of the TV.
- Watching a movie at home has become an everyday occurrence…and so has the popcorn or snacks
- Celebration has become a reason to eat, as much as to celebrate!
- Less time on our hands for cooking and preparing.
- Portion sizes have become larger
- Less time on our hands for exercising
- Dieting. We usually end up even more overweight than before
It’s true that we all have different bodies and some of us are genetically more susceptible to being overweight, however, can we really say hand on heart that we do everything we can to ensure our body is working as efficiently as possible? So, if our Mum or Dad was overweight and so was their parents, rather than just assume we have been handed down the ‘fat gene’, we should at least try to overcome our weight problem. A little like going to the doctor with depression, we would hope that the doctor would send us for counselling to try and get to the bottom of the problem before handing out meds. Likewise, before we brand ourselves with being permanently overweight, lets take a look to ensure we are doing all we can to make our body and metabolism perform well.
This is not the typical list you may find in diet rules, ie drink green tea or coffee, swallow # grams a day of some food or plant extract, etc, I’m not saying these don’t have some proof, I’m saying in order to get healthy we need to look at total health. Remember we have left dieting rules behind us.
Keep hydrated. I always used to think this was a dieting rule just to get us to believe the diet worked after losing LBS of fluid in the first weeks until finally during my training I learned there was something in this. This isn’t a dieting rule. We need water for life. As we go about our every day stuff we use a lot of water whether we exercise or not. If we don’t make it up our bodies will not function so well. Lets give it every chance possible! Make your water more interesting buy adding ice, flavours such as ginger, mint, lime, lemons. Green tea is good if you don’t like flavourless water and it’s as good as water. When you drink your water try to visualize goodness, health and total body health. It’s going to fuel your organs. It’s true that other drinks go towards your body’s requirement of fluids but water is best.
Eat well. As the saying goes, we get out what we put in. Treat your body with love. Spend some time seeking healthy foods you love (if you are a dieter take the focus off low fat, think healthy). Get some nice recipe books or use the internet for free ones, look for what you really fancy trying, take a cooking course, (get a personal chef in to cook for you if you are rich!) whatever it takes, enjoy your food and eat when you are hungry. If a whole recipe has a couple of tablespoons of fresh cream, add it (you don’t have to add the whole tub!) One of the things I found when I stopped dieting was how much I enjoyed nice recipes. This in itself gave me the motivation to try new things and make the effort to cook. I soon learned than the main reason I hated cooking and preparing meals was because I had spent so many years looking for tasty recipes without fat. The truth is we are tuned to like the taste of fat and whilst some recipes simply don’t need it, when something is in a recipe it is there because that’s what makes it nice. You don’t have to eat butter chicken, pizza or burger and chips for dinner every night, who would want to? Simply follow recipes you like and vary your food as much as possible. Many recipes books have a good balance of nutrients. Very few tell you to tip the olive oil bottle up all over the pan! A little oil goes a long way. Just be aware. By the time you have shared the recipe between the rest of the family you’ll only get a little. The most important thing is you are enjoying your food. Besides you’ll enjoy burning it off later!
Move. Move and Move. I bet you knew this was coming didn’t you? My strongest and most important message. We cannot reach our fitness goals without being active. You do not have to slog away on the treadmill at the gym or stand at the back of a class gasping for air wondering when it will be over and when it will finally get easier. There is so much information out there about different ways to get stronger, fitter and leaner. No excuses. If you want to reach your goals you have to get moving.
I LOVE moving. Moving is what makes my body and mind work and tick. It brightens my days, fills my evenings and helps me to live my life. To the full. There is nothing that pleases me more than having a strong set of lungs, filling them up with fresh (BC) air, while taking in glorious views of the country side.
I know not everyone feels this way. When I was much younger I hated being active. It all seemed like too much hard work to me. That was until I learned a little more about it and what it could do for me. I will admit that probably one of my biggest motivations in those days was my quest to get ‘skinny’. However, over the years as I got fitter I did begin to realize and understand the benefits and how it had a positive impact on my well being. The other part was that when I exercised, regardless of whether I was dieting at that time or not, I would look and feel smaller and better.
Finally, if you are having trouble finding fun exercise, then join us at one of our Body Exchange locations in BC. If you don’t live in BC, then either move or open one. Simples. For more information visit http://www.bodyexchange.ca
Seriously, it’s time to Stop Dieting and Start living.