1. You Are What You Eat:
Not only are high-calorie foods like baked goods, fast food, soda, sweets and crisps bad for your health, but they can also make one feel sluggish after the sugar rush. Instead of big meals that send you into a deep food coma, try switching to five or six mini-meals or snacks per day. Be sure to eat breakfast to get your metabolism going for the day. Snacking on nuts such as almonds, walnuts, Brazilian nuts, and sunflower seeds can reduce cravings and keep your body trim. When children raid the kitchen for a snack, and see crisps and sweets they will most likely choose those options. Currently, children aged two to six are consuming an extra 181 snack calories each day compared to 20 years ago. Try to stock the kitchen with pre-sliced fruits and veggies, peanut butter, string cheese or low-fat yogurt. It might be a difficult transition at first, so ease into it, and remember they will go for the healthy options rather than no snack at all. Aim to end the day with lean protein and veggies.
2. Get Moving:
Since the appeal of web surfing, television shows, video games, mobile phones, and tablets usage are on the rise, the general UK is living more of a sedentary lifestyle than in years past. Adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week, and children need at least 60 minutes per day. This includes anything from a brisk walk, to bike riding, hiking, swimming, yoga, dance or playing sports. Join up with a friend or make a group to plan weekly activities; there is power in numbers!
3. Monkey See, Monkey Do
The American Obesity Association states parents and guardians influence positive and negative heath habits. Children are 80 per cent more likely to be overweight or obese if their parents or guardians are overweight or obese. Children look for guidance and structure; if a child sees his or her parents eat healthy foods, and live an active lifestyle he or she will most likely adopt those trends to form life-long habits. Be a positive role model, and set the tone for your loved ones.
4. Hydration is Key
The European Food Safety Authority states the ideal amount of water intake for women should be about 1.6 litres and 2.0 litres for men per day. Drinking water keeps the body hydrated, a system clean, helps the heart pump blood, lowers stress levels and even hydrates skin. Try to drink an icy cold glass of water before meals to help you feel full, as well as boosting your metabolism (your body works harder to warm the water, burning a few bonus calories). If eight to ten glasses seems a bit much, start by adding an extra glass or two every other day.
5. Dear Diary
Studies show those who record what they eat tend to lose more weight. Although it may seem tedious at first to track each meal and snack, after a while it becomes almost rewarding to be able to report how well you’ve done each day. You can also log any physical activity from vigorous cleaning to sports, to daily walks; any movement is better than none. Try one of the following logs:
If these tips and information seem somewhat foreign to you, start slow and ease into them. Setting a good example for your family, staying active, eating healthy, drinking water and keeping a food and activity diary can help prevent you and your family from becoming another overweight statistic.