Many people understand that proper nutrition and physical activity are essential for weight loss and overall health. Nevertheless, there is a general disconnect with ‘what people know they should do’ and ‘what they choose to do’.
One aspect of this is that in today’s society many people would rather search for a ‘quick fix’ approach rather than put in the work and effort needed to produce the long-term results and success they desire.
In recent years more and more people are beginning to take their first steps towards a healthier lifestyle. They may be well-intentioned, but most are not focused on the long term ‘health’ benefits of a proper diet and a physically active lifestyle. They instead focus on ‘losing weight quickly’ and the aesthetic appeal, rather than on the importance and benefits of long-term optimal health.
Unfortunately, the quick fixes in the health and fitness world often lead to even more negative results. For example restrictive & ’fad’ diets tend to be unsustainable and can lead to poor relationships with food, weight regain, body dysmorphia and the dreaded seemingly never ending cycle of yo-yo dieting!
Nutrition is the basis of living a healthy lifestyle. What some people fail to realise (or they choose not to?) is that there are many additional risks of combining bad food choices with physical inactivity other than simply gaining weight. Little to no physical activity (being sedentary) and poor nutrition are considered major risk factors for several illnesses and medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and obesity to name a few.
In general, poor nutrition falls into one or more of the following categories:
Excess processed foods, which can be high in sodium, sugar, empty calories, and saturated/trans fats.These include: Convenience foods such a crisps, Deli & fast food options such as jambon/sausage rolls and McDonald's, etc.
Deep fried foods
Many packaged/processed foods (reading labels is important)
Excessive consumption of foods with added sugar such as: Sugar sweetened drinks like coke and fruit juices, milk chocolate and candy.
Commercially baked products, such as cakes and cookies
Excess total calories in general
The human race are moving less and less and are consuming roughly 400-500 calories more than we were 30-50 years ago! This is a major contributing factor to increased rates of weight gain and obesity.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that physical inactivity is a ‘Global Public Health Problem’ and reports that about 3 million people worldwide die from conditions related to physical inactivity. People of all ages, from children to the elderly, can suffer adverse consequences if they live a sedentary lifestyle and are physically inactive. (1)