Health magazine january 18

Page 24

Slim chance

How changing the habits of a lifetime could increase your chances of long-term weight management

The average health kick lasts less than 12 days, a study has found. Despite starting with good intentions of eating healthier food, exercising more often and cutting back on alcohol and smoking, the average adult will be back to their usual ways before two weeks has passed. But people’s yoyo health pattern is repeated four times a year, with the average adult trying a new regime every three months.That amounts to the equivalent of eight years of a lifetime spent trying to stick with 252 different health kicks. Feeling tired is the most common reason for quitting a health kick, followed by a stressful day at work and chocolate is the ultimate food we all fall off the wagon for. Boredom, a night out or holiday and the lure of takeaway food are also likely to see people cave. Rob Hobson, Healthspan Head of Nutrition, which commissioned the research to mark the launch of new supplement products called YOGO, said: “It’s important that when starting a new health regime that you make sure you are getting a balanced and varied diet. “There is so much more choice these days when deciding on what route to take when improving your health that it’s no wonder Brits are jumping in between different health kicks.” The study of 2,000 adults found two thirds will often start a health kick with good intentions of eating well and exercising more but find it hard to stick with it for too long. Dr Meg Arroll, a psychologist specialising in health on behalf of Healthspan said: “People find it difficult to make change particularly when the health goals are vague and overarching – wanting to be a bit fitter or healthier is hard to achieve as it’s these things are difficult to track and measure. “But it is important to decide which aspect of health you want to change - focus on one health change then work on the goal in terms of making it SMART (specific: measurable: achievable: relevant: timely). The study, carried out on also found 87 per cent reckon they have a good idea of what they need to do and eat to be healthy, yet six in ten will often say they will do one thing and do another.

SIMPLE MISTAKES THAT COULD BE IMPACTING YOUR WEIGHT Your morning coffee Although many of us use coffee to haul us out of our sluggish morning slumber, it may be feeding our sweet tooth and tempting us into snacks we know we should avoid. New research from Cornell University has found that caffeine can temper taste buds temporarily and make food and drink taste less sweet, leading us to crave sugary treats to satisfy our cravings. So to get your morning off to a healthy start and still give you that little lift try swapping your morning coffee for Clearspring’s Matcha Shot [RRP £6.25, www.clearspring.], for example. Missing breakfast No matter how busy your morning, always make sure you make time for breakfast. Skipping this essential meal will wreak havoc with your blood sugar levels and leave you craving something sweet mid morning. Alix Woods, nutritionist at Quest Nutra Pharma (www.qnutraphrma. com), shares her favourite breakfast for balancing blood sugars, “Start the day with a great breakfast that includes whole grain cereals, nuts, seeds, and nutrient rich super fruits such as pomegranate, mango, and blueberries. For breakfast on the run choose a power shake combining fruits and cereal with added protein.” Grabbing a smoothie It may be full of fruit, but some smoothies and fruit juices can contain up to 7g of sugar per 100ml, nearly a third of your recommended daily allowance. Instead of grabbing a shop bought smoothie try making yourself a juice with a real nutritional kick by combining blueberries, cucumber, avocado, water and flax seeds for a drink that’ll set you up for the day without any hidden sugary nasties. Doing that much beloved exercise class As much as you may love that post work HIIT class, having only one exercise staple may not be doing you as much good as you think. Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at explains, “If you do the same exercise all the time your body can become used to it, and not work as hard. Adding variety also means you’re less likely get bored and in turn go more often. Try to vary between aerobic, cardio, weights and exercises that can help with relaxation such as yoga and Pilates.” Sources: /

‘To prevent your body getting used to the same workout, try to vary between aerobic, cardio, weights, yoga & Pilates’

TOP TEN THINGS MOST LIKELY TO MAKE YOU QUIT A HEALTH KICK 1. Feeling tired 2. A stressful day at work 3. Chocolate 4. Boredom 5. A trip away or a holiday 6. A night out 7. Alcohol 8. Bad or cold weather 9. Takeaway food 10. Cake


Health Magazine January 2018