With the 'annus horribilis' of 2020 now firmly behind us, we thought we'd revisit this topic since staying fitter and healthier in 2021 is perhaps more important than any other year in recent history. If you're the type of person who makes New Year Resolutions - especially diet or fitness-related ones, then this post may be worth your while reading.
Have you ever noticed how the TV ads encourage us to scoff our faces leading up to Christmas, only to scold us shortly afterwards by suggesting it's time to go on a New Year's Resolution inspired diet? One minute, there are images of cream being poured over chocolate cake and only a few days later after Christmas, it's images of smiley slim people on treadmills eating low-fat yoghurt.
It can be hard not to be sucked in by the hype of the unavoidable post-Christmas diet industry propaganda we have to endure, but in any case, does going on a diet because of a New Year Resolution even work?
The short answer is, in most cases, a resounding no.
If you ever had it drummed into you as a child that eating a big breakfast was necessary to set you up for the day ahead, then this post is for you. The so-called "breakfast of champions" idea certainly isn't a new one and there are various claims surrounding it. Some of the more popular notions are that, if you consume the majority of your daily calories early, you'll stabilise your metabolism, have more energy, and, as an added bonus, will lose weight.
Let's explore the maths...
If you're a fan of TEDx talks, are fond of mathematics and are looking to lose weight, then the video below could be just what you're looking for. In the video, Ruben Meerman (aka 'the surfing scientist') explores the myths and maths behind weight loss and asks the question:
"When somebody loses weight, where does it go [what does it become, how does it get out of your body]?"
Christmas - Yes, It's that time of year again where you're more likely to hear the age-old cliché that we're all "piling on the pounds" - but, exactly how many pounds are we actually talking about in real life?
Whilst it's easy to forgive yourself for having the occasional blowout if you overeat at Christmas (especially with all those delectable festive goodies around!), what about the other eleven months of the year?
Letting your hair down once in a while is fine but in order to maintain a healthy weight, it's important to be mindful of what you eat and how often you eat it.
It goes without saying that a lack of self-control, however it manifests itself, is one of those things we're all susceptible to at one time or another. Whether it's alcohol-related, playing computer games excessively or even watching too much TV, our self-control often goes out the window. This is especially true when it comes to food, and it can be a tough nut to crack. Aside from an increased risk of developing diabetes and/or heart disease, overeating can sometimes lead to bouts of depression coupled with a lack of self-worth.
With this in mind, we've put together a few useful tips to help you break the habit of overeating once and for all.
It's no secret that exercise is good for you. Whilst many of us shrink away from the idea of going out for a 5-mile power-run each day, we can still make significant improvements to our overall physical and mental health simply by being slightly more active throughout our normal, day-to-day activities.
One of the main contributors to our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is the relentless, progressive march of technology. Compared to previous generations, we're far less active than we used to be; many of us now have automatic washing machines, dishwashers and cars so there's little incentive to do these tasks by hand any more. If we don't have a car, we often rely on public transport to get us around and when do eventually get back home, we slink into the sofa to watch TV or play computer games.
There's no denying that technology has made our lives easier but our bodies are paying the price as a result. We're even less active in the workplace these days too with many of us sitting in a chair all day staring at a computer screen or answering customer enquiries. In fact, the Department of Health and Social Care even refers to our lack of activity in the workplace as the "silent killer". As well as being bad for our health, it's bad for business too, with poor employee health costing UK businesses more than £100 billion a year.
Whilst the lighthearted notion of "reaching for the nearest bar of chocolate" when we're upset or stressed is something of a cliche, the sad reality is that comfort eating can have negative, long-lasting psychological consequences.
Although it's often seen as a source of amusement when we joke about comfort eating with friends or family, emotional overeating is a very real and tangible condition that glosses over the deeper problem of an ineffective coping strategy when we're faced with problems in our lives.
Most people consider exercise an important part of losing weight but might they be expecting too much?
There is now mounting evidence that slimmers won't necessarily derive much benefit from pounding the treadmill and a compilation of over 60 studies confirms this view.
The main shortcomings of exercising for weight loss are:
- Starting from scratch it will take a long while, months or even years, to build up to a meaningful contribution.
- Exercise is often followed up by a recovery period and resting obviously negates some or all of that extra energy expenditure. Can you be sure that more calories have been used up going to the gym, compared to a normal busy day?
- Burning more calories : consuming less calories, are just opposite sides of the same coin. Both involve going hungry and succumbing to a single snack bar after a workout may be all it takes to nullify all of the previous hour's efforts.
It's been a difficult year for most of us so we're looking forward to taking a breather and putting our feet up over the festive season. We'd like to thank all of our clients who've helped support our small business during 2020 and sincerely hope that 2021 holds brighter things in store for us all.
Our last clinic will be on Friday 18th December 2020 (10am until 3pm) and we'll be re-opening on Wednesday 6th January 2021 (3pm until 8pm).
If you've either heard through the grapevine or have come across the term "intermittent fasting" online or in a newspaper, you may be tempted to see if it can help you lose weight. Firstly, intermittent fasting isn't a "diet" in the traditional sense. Whereas dieting implies restricting the types of food and amount of calories you eat, intermittent fasting is more of a timed approach to eating whatever you want but restricting when you can eat it.
There's no doubt that during the difficult and challenging time we're all facing, our stress levels will most likely be far higher than usual. As a result of the Government's strict Coronavirus self-isolation directive, many of us will have to rapidly adapt to the dramatic changes in our usual routine. Since a large percentage of the UK population is now required to stay indoors for several weeks, finding constructive ways to motivate ourselves while keeping our bodies (and minds!) healthy and active is crucial.
In case the title of this post sounds like gobbledygook to you, let's clear up what both of these acronyms mean. If you struggle with your weight, you may well have already heard of BMI but you probably haven't heard of ABOI.
We're all aware that shedding those excess pounds is beneficial for our overall health and wellbeing, but did you know that even losing a small amount can usher in significant health benefits.
For those that are already overweight, it can be disheartening to assume that they must lose large amounts of weight to enjoy any health benefits at all. Fortunately, this simply isn't the case. According to a 2016 study, even shedding just 5% of your overall body weight can bring big gains for your body.
With the festive season rapidly approaching, we thought we'd take a preemptive swipe at the bathroom scales in case they try and tell us things we don't want to hear come the New Year.
We all know that Christmas time is the Season of Goodwill and usually good eating and drinking too. The shops are packed to the rafters with a bewildering array of tasty festive treats that quite frankly, are hard to resist. It's that time when we love to stock up with all those naughty things that we may not normally buy during the other 11 months of the year.
It's a commonplace reason given for weight gain and a subsequent inability to lose it. As a consequence there are queues at the doctor's to check for an under active thyroid!
But there are a number of rational reasons why this weight gain theory is clearly an obesity red herring.
There's still time to catch up and see 'The Truth About Slim People', Channel 4, 8th November. A programme about weight loss that's a bit more science based for a change!
Two slim individuals were followed around to see how they did it and for those who don't have time to see for themselves the highlights were.....
The participants had a low alcohol intake (an obvious one).
They didn't eat late in the day.
Their diet was auto-balancing. In other words, times of excess were instinctively followed by corresponding periods of deprivation. Eating was primarily a response to stomach, not mouth hunger.