We all know we need to look after our health, but what is the best way to do it? It’s confusing.
Every time we open a magazine or switch on the TV we are given a new piece of advice. Often at odds with the advice we were given yesterday. It can get so complicated that many of us just give up and head for the sofa!
But it doesn’t have to be difficult. The trick is to keep it simple and make a few small changes at a time. There is no miracle diet – just a healthy balance of real, unprocessed food. You don’t need an expensive gym membership or complicated routine – just move more whenever you can. And look after your mental wellbeing too – avoid negative stress where possible and get adequate sleep.
As a nation, we are getting heavier and heavier, despite decades of yo-yo dieting. As our weight increases, so does our risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, breathing problems, infertility and much more.
Face the facts – are you ‘tripping the light fantastic’ or ‘packing a hefty punch’? Jumping on the scales gives us an important measure of our health – but it has its limitations.
Here are some tips on how to best monitor your weight
- Get the big picture. Use your weight measurement alongside other indicators of fat-loss to provide a better overall picture. Waist measurement is a good one, as fat stored around the middle is more likely to be associated with health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. A waist to hip ratio of less than 1 for men or less than 0.85 for women is what you should be aiming for.
- Don’t obsess about the number on the scales. It is not an accurate measure of your health or even of your fat levels, so use it as a guide to your progress.
- Decide when and how often you want to weigh yourself, and stick to it. Perhaps once a week or once a month – at the same time of day and the same day of the week so you get the best and most accurate idea of which way you are heading.
- Don’t be disheartened if the scales don’t show a downward trend. Of course, a huge leap up is not great – but a stable weight is fine at the outset. If you are starting to eat more healthily and building up activity levels and muscle, it is likely that your fat levels are decreasing, which you won’t necessarily see on the scales.
- And finally, set yourself goals – alongside weight loss. After all, weight on its own means very little – it’s the improved health, self-confidence and general happiness that goes with it that we should be striving for. So, set yourself a fitness challenge, develop a new skill or volunteer to help others.
Make sure you look your best, at whatever weight you are, so you can get out there with confidence! That way the scales will have less power over you and become your ally rather than your enemy!