There were four great ‘takeouts’ from the BBC’s recent “The Truth About Obesity” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0b0y2cz/the-truth-about-16-obesity) and they’re definitely worth taking on board.
Being overweight or obese is a complex business and there are a multitude of different contributing factors but these are the important points we picked up on:
Do you need to lose weight at all? Just take this really simple test to find out –
Get a piece of string and measure yourself from head to toe, then cut it accordingly.
Fold the string in two, so you have a length that’s half your body height.
Wrap the string around your waist (a snug fit) so that it’s above your hips – pretty much level with your belly button.
If the two ends of the string touch or overlap, then you’re OK.
If the string doesn’t go round your waist, then you probably need to lose some weight.
Why is this important?
This simple test gives an indication of your levels of visceral fat – the fat that builds up around your internal organs – and that’s the stuff your body doesn’t really need!
Eat more fibre
We’ve all heard this before but Prof Tim Spector at Imperial College, says that the trillions of microbes in our guts play a huge role in how efficiently we burn energy – and eating the wrong food puts a huge spanner in the works. The good news is that you can quickly and easily increase the numbers of good microbes by eating more fibre – and that could have a dramatic difference on our weight.
So, eat more bananas and berries, beans and root vegetables, wholegrain cereals and oats, nuts and seeds.
Try and eat your main meal earlier
Dr James Brown cites a huge study in the US which showed that people who eat earlier in the day generally have a lower body mass index – they’re thinner than people who don’t.
That’s because our bodies burn off calories more efficiently during the day than in the evening and night.
So, whilst it’s difficult for most people to have their main meal in the day, always try and have your last meal before 7pm.
Read more about this here – Prof Bruce Griffin: It’s not what you eat, but when you do and don’t eat that matters
Making small changes to your everyday routines to get more active can be better than going down to the gym
We all know how much hard exercise we have to do to burn off food (pepperoni pizza – 4 hours; double hamburger and chips – 3 hours) but changing daily routines can do the job as efficiently – so walk more, always take the stairs and try and do more active things around the house.
Read more about this here – Do you WANT to be more active but just don’t have the time?
With over 50% of the adult population now classed as overweight or obese, it’s clear we have to do something for ourselves – and not rely on the NHS to pick up the pieces. By changing your daily habits and routines surrounding eating and exercise – you can do most of the work yourself – and never have to worry about your weight or fitness again!
The New In 90 Team