- Re-adjust Your Goals
It’s believed that two thirds of us in the UK will be overweight by 2025, so we need to get serious about shedding excess weight. But if you focus on looking slim – rather than being healthy – it might actually work against you.1,2 Losing weight to look good, rather than optimising health, just doesn’t seem to be as effective long-term.3 This is borne out by what we know about parents unwittingly putting their child at an increased risk for eating disorders later in life by focusing on their child’s weight, rather than giving positive messages about healthy eating in general. Might this also explain why some adults have struggled with weight issues since adolescence?4 The self-determination theory suggests that having full autonomy in the choices we make, rather than feeling controlled, can make all the difference when it comes to weight loss. 5,6,7 This means that wanting to lose weight because of how you think others perceive you is less effective than deciding to lose weight because you yourself want to be healthy. So, although it sounds counter intuitive, lightening up about your size, and genuinely embracing improved health might be the first step you need to take.
- Forget Fad Diets
Fad diets abound. A library’s worth of new dieting books will be hitting the bookshelves for 2016! The titles are designed to entice all types of dieters – promising the world, but for most, failing to deliver in the long term. In fact this kind of approach often leading to increased weight gain. 8,9,10 So save your money, forget the “miracle diet” and spend your time doing something more fun, interesting and worthwhile….
- …Create, don’t Vegetate
“Veggin’ out” in front of a screen encourages increased food intake, poorer food choices and increased weight. 11-16 Regular junk food / TV binges can become a bad habit, eating up hours, adding pounds to the waistline and increasing your chances of chronic disease, binge eating and depression.17-22 Action TV in particular is associated with a greater intake of poor quality food, 23 a fact that will come as no surprise to the “popcorn inhalers” at the movies. The average Brit spends 3 hours and 40mins per day watching TV, and it’s thought that longer viewing binges (back-to-back Nordic Noir box sets, anyone?) may be taking its toll on the nation’s cognitive health.24 Maybe you are just chilling for a few hours, in which case, enjoy! But if you find yourself habitually using screen time to distract yourself from stress or problems – tuning in, to tune out – you might be creating more problems in the long run. On the flip side, being creative can improve brain function and quality of life as we age. 25-29 Start swapping screen time for something new a few hours a week, it could be the start of better health, and a more interesting, creative and happier life.
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(7) Theory of Motivation Guides Our Approach To Helping People. University of Rochester Medical Centre https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/community-health/programs-services/healthy-living-center/self-determination-theory.aspx
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