Hey, How You Doing?

You may be fed up with your New Year’s resolution around about now and feeling highly tempted to start smoking, put your trainers in storage until next January or smash the glass to your emergency chocolate bar, this is why I don’t believe in New Years resolutions…..Everywhere I look I can see wrists boasting their new snazzy Fitbits and people frantically trying to reach their allotted steps before they get a zap from their watch and tell them to get up and move. The cynical me wonders how long will it be before the said watch is used just to tell the time and read texts and emails and catch up with facebook???

I don’t mean to be pessimistic but I have seen this all before; every year people spend a fortune on gadgets and fitness gear, diet foods and supplements only to have given up by mid-march. Every other TV programme at the moment is preaching the best way to lose weight, Fitness Guru’s are raking in a fortune with their ‘guaranteed’ weight loss DVD’s and books and social media is flooded with the latest super food which will melt away access fat without even lifting your Fitbit- amazing!

Putting it bluntly, there is money to be made from quick fix weight loss and they are targeting you. One diet which is very popular with the celebs at the moment is drinking a special tea which contains Senna. Senna is a laxative and although you will lose weight it won’t be very comfortable, pleasant or sociable! You could try the juice diet, again guaranteed weight loss but how long can you just drink juice for before you want to hurl your Nutrabullet at the wall?

What concerns me is that all these quick fixes set people up to fail and usually to put more weight on than before they started. If you are on a restricted diet I bet my David Bowie music collection that  you are feeling tired, miserable, fed up and bored. I even bet that once you’ve eaten your allotted amount of nothing you are going to bed at 8.00pm to keep out of the way of food. Am I right??

These quick fixes don’t work; if you restrict calories you will lose weight but it will be a short term solution. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat healthy, balanced nutritious food and to be physically active. Think of each meal as a way to nourish your body, not deprive it of vitamins and minerals. If I say to people that they should avoid processed food and get into the habit of cooking from scratch they look at me as if I’ve grown two heads. This isn’t possible, they are too busy; it’s time consuming, it’s expensive, they can’t cook, they have other excuses too long to list here,  but if they  do make the effort to change their food choices and learn basic cooking skills if they  can’t cook already this will lead to the weight staying off long term. Good food doesn’t have to be expensive; include lots of veg, fruit, lean meat, fish, dairy but leave out the foods high in sugar and trans fats. There is loads more information in my earlier blogs…

Or, perhaps you have managed to keep on track and you’re on your way to reaching your goals?

Here at the Healthy Hub Stevenage we are seeing some great results; a very happy man left the tobacco control clinic kicking his heels because he had his last cigarette on 31st December, the lady who self- referred to our Health and wellbeing Consultant for advice on physical activity and weight management who has lost four kilos and is loving the studio sessions, the man who was referred to our Exercise Referral scheme because he has recently had a stroke and has been able to walk for 25 minutes on the anti-gravity treadmill  and cycle on the FES bike for 12 minutes and feels great!

If you haven’t smoked since the first January and you were spending  £8.00  a day on buying a pack of 20 you have already saved £240, if you keep this going for the whole year you will save £2,912!! What a great incentive, not to mention the health benefits.

My message here to you is please don’t go on fad diets every January, then again in May to get in shape for the summer and another bash at it in October to look good for Christmas. Stopping and starting shows that the method you have chosen isn’t working for you. Do you need support? Are you setting your goals too high?  Are you being too restrictive and making it impossible to stick to? When you take out that gym membership at the beginning of the year use it for more than one month! Be physically active and you won’t go be on the perpetual treadmill of losing and gaining weight  you’ll be on one that will get you fit and to the weight you want to be! The amount of people who sign up to memberships and never walk into the gym is amazing!

You can do whatever you want to; if you’re not losing weight  as quickly as you would like be patient, the extra kilos took time to get there, that’s the easy bit; losing it is going to take much longer but it will happen. Make it your way of life, not something you have a go at every few months.

In the words of the late, great David Bowie it’s all about Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes…

Posted in Exercise, Food, Health, weight loss, wellbeing