Like so many people, I have a long list of new year's resolutions and desperately hope that I might be able to do better than the year before! One of the most common things is to get healthier and lose those extra Xmas pounds. But with all the confusing, free 'advice' in the media, who can you really listen to?
Remember: not everyone NEEDS to lose weight and if you are unsure you can always speak to your doctor to get the best advice. If you are looking to trim up a little, here's 5 simple, sensible tips on how to get in shape the healthy way…
1. Watch the calories - there is no complicated science to weight loss. It's all about balancing calorie intake and usage. If your output is more than your input then you will lose weight. As a general rule, if you reduce your daily intake by around 500 calories you should lose about a pound a week.
2. Balance your meals - ensure you eat a good healthy combination of the different food groups (carbs, protein, fats). There is some evidence that diets rich in protein may help you lose weight quicker but make sure you don't overdo it and don't neglect foods containing important vitamins and minerals! Also, try not to restrict yourself too much as everything in sensible moderation is perfectly OK.
3. Eat smaller portions more often - this will help to keep your metabolism going and avoid that 'starvation slump' between meals. Also, make sure you have breaksfast!
4. Exercise regularly - at least 30 minutes 3 times-a-week is good for your heart and your waistline. You don't have to slog it at the gym to do this - a good brisk walk burns more calories than you think! Try to make activity a normal part of your daily routine and it won't feel like exercise.
5. Keep it safe, sensible and sustainable - whilst rapid results may be desirable you have to be able to keep it up. Losing a safe 1-2 pounds per week through small, sustainable changes is more likely to help you keep it off.
It's tempting to take a multivitamin or supplements to try to 'optimise' your health. The truth is that most of these don't do a great deal and seldom live up to their claims. Don't fall for the advertising - just make sure your diet contains a good balance of stuff and you will be fine. And don't even get me started on 'detoxing' - it's complete and utter nonsense and infuriates me that people make money from this quackery! Your liver is your body's own natural detoxer and is perfectly capable of doing the job (as long as you look after it!).
Above all, work with what you have - there is NO perfect weight or size or shape. Everyone is different! Your 2012 resolution should be to be healthy and feel good about yourself!