Sunday, May 15, 2016
As the days get longer and the temperature rises, our thoughts invariably turn to beach holidays and the big bikini reveal. For those looking to drop a few pounds before then, experts have identified that May represents the best month of the year to start your new, healthy regime.
Our dedicated GP, Dr. Helen Webberley, explains: “May offers the perfect combination of means, motivation and opportunity for those wishing to shed a few pounds. The weather is a little warmer, so we are more inclined to venture outside and take some exercise. The rising temperature means the jumpers come off, leaving us nowhere to hide those extra pounds that might have crept on during the winter months. And, with the main summer holiday months being July and August, there are at least eight clear weeks, which means if you start now, by the time you’re ready to leave, you will be able to see a difference.
“Whatever diet regime you choose to follow, effective weight-loss is a simple balance of energy in versus energy out. If you consume more calories than you burn off, then they will be stored as fat. Patients often say they can't do any exercise due to work, family, bad knees, stress, etc. But ANY physical movement can have a positive impact in terms of burning calories.
“While there can, undoubtedly, be medical reasons for weight gain, on the whole, the medical profession doesn’t really attribute weight gain to metabolism, hormone imbalance or big bones alone – it is still dependent on calorie intake. The simple fact is that if you do have a slow metabolism, or if you are inactive due to health reasons, you need even less 'energy in'.
“It takes many years for the weight to creep on which is why losing it can also take time. Set realistic goals, a target of half a pound a week, or even one pound a month will make sure you feel slimmer for this summer, and fantastic for next summer.”
Following a healthy diet and exercise plan will deliver the best results. For those who struggle with their weight loss, and need additional help, medication may be an option. Find out more about weight loss medication here.
Here are some simple day-to-day lifestyle changes you can make which will have a positive impact on your weight loss:
1. Be calorie aware
Weight gain isn’t just about calories, but being aware of how many calories you are consuming can help you to make a healthier choice – stuck between a cup of tea or hot chocolate? Compare the calories!
2. Don’t put it in your trolley!
Replace unhealthy snacks with a healthier alternative. If it’s not in the cupboard, then you and the kids won't be able to eat it. Don't buy it and it won't be there to tempt you.
3. ANY exercise is good
Walk faster, use the stairs, park further away, raise and lower your arms ten times every hour, it all adds up.
4. Put less on your plate
Eat when you are hungry and slow down. Listen to your body and stop when you are feeling slightly full.
5. It's never too big a task
Even if you have a lot of weight to lose, losing just a few pounds can give you the essential motivation to become the new, healthier you. If you have more to lose, it comes off quicker too!