Eating Well and More Activity in Our Daily Lives
The secret is out! The latest research regarding weight problems tells us that controlling weight is not as difficult as we think.
The key is to watch what you put in your mouth – simple as that!
Actually, it is no secret – sounds exciting but, something we have really known all along. The challenge is to encourage parents (who have the power of the purse) to change their children’s eating habits and their own behaviour, while at the same time increasing their physical activity. Far less glucose (sugar) – it is everywhere!
I suggest encouraging your children and teens to develop a personal health plan. Make the words ‘going on a diet’ taboo when talking or thinking about weight loss with your family or students. Instead, use: ‘change our eating habits so we can live longer’.
With the money saved during the year by purchasing less of the so-called ‘healthy snacks’ for lunch boxes, or stopping for after-school ‘treats’ on the way home, the family may go on holiday or at least a weekend away.
My doctor clarified a few facts for me last week regarding the intake of sugar. Her warning was to look at the sugar content of the foods you eat and feed your family – including the sugar in fruit juice – keep everything in moderation. But definitely develop a plan to (i) seriously reduce the intake of those well-advertised favourites which tempt us with their artificial flavours, salt and sugar and the kilojoule rich foods such as cheese, chocolate, bread etc. and, (ii) add more activity to your daily routine.
Grown-ups you can be productive, save on gym fees and lose weight (approximately 1 kg a month I read) by doing 1 hour of housework 5 days a week and 1 hour of gardening for 2 days a week. Apparently, scientific studies show that exercise decreases appetite, contrary to the popular assumption that activity makes you hungry. So, I am off to dead-head some flowers and clean some windows in order to forget about that tea and biscuit or two that I was planning to have and, while doing that, I will be planning my ‘grow your own salad in a planter/pot’.
Jan Couper M.Ed.; M.Env.