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Top tips to help you lose weight and enjoy the best health possible

Twelve simple tips that might help you lose some unwanted weight, have more energy, feel better and enjoy more abundant good health, now, for the rest of the year, and onwards into your future.

This week, let’s keep things super simple.

I am aware of the fact that in some of my posts we tackle some tough topics, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more.

While I am sure regular readers find all these posts interesting to one degree or another, some times I bet you just want to keep it simple, and keep it light, so this week it’s just that. I have a dozen tips for you - they may not all be right for you, but I hope you will find a few in here that will help you. There should be something for everyone.

1: To lose weight. Not everyone wants to lose weight, but most places I go, I find two thirds or more of people want to lose a few pounds, or more, and others want to ensure they don’t put any on! One way to get some quick weight loss results is to quit eating cereals, bread, pasta, rice and spaghetti. Quit all that starchy food - buns, bagels and baguettes. So often I give people this one tip and they lose 2 stone in 3 months, or 3 stone in 6 months, or something like that. If you have weight to lose, try it for 30 days and see what a difference it makes.

2: Stop eating sugary foods. Since 1977 when the government started telling us all that fat was the enemy, food manufacturers have been adding more sugar to foods to replace the fat they took out. The result is a huge increase in obesity and type-2 diabetes. Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks, cakes, and confectionery, and try to avoid adding sugar to your drinks or meals, and see if that helps you with weight loss. It should also help you to even out your energy levels throughout the day, and in time it should help you to regain your taste a little.

3: Avoid those heavily processed foods like ready meals, pizza, chocolate-chip cookies, microwave meals and so on. Food manufacturers add sugar, salt and processed oils to these foods in specific combinations to make foods so delicious that we eat far more of them than we really need. This is not just a crazy idea, this is serious science, it’s a multi-billion dollar international business, producing something called hyperpalatable foods; foods that trigger your bliss point; foods that are effectively addictive, and encourage overeating, contributing to the obesity epidemic.

4: Drink less alcohol. The government recently revised it’s guidelines on alcohol consumption - a known factor contributing to heart disease and cancer in the UK. High alcohol consumption is also implicated in many other poor health conditions, and contributes to obesity. When the government updated it’s guidelines around alcohol, at the end of 2015, it made some critical distinctions, including:

“The benefits of moderate drinking for heart health are not as strong as previously thought and apply to a smaller proportion of the population – specifically women over the age of 55. In addition there are more effective methods of increasing your heart health, such as exercise.”

“The risks of cancers associated with drinking alcohol were not fully understood in 1995. Taking these risks on board, we can no longer say that there is such a thing as a “safe” level of drinking. There is only a “low risk” level of drinking.”

5: Help boost your energy levels by getting more fresh air. Too many people spend all day sat at a desk, hunched over a keyboard, or sat in a vehicle. In this position, your lungs are rather ‘squashed up’ in your chest, and your diaphragm isn’t fully free to help you expand your chest and really use your lungs fully. Try to take frequent breaks, at least two or three times per day, to get up and walk around, ideally outside, and get some good lung fulls of fresh air. It will help keep you feeling refreshed and awake, and it offers many other more subtle benefits too.

6: Drink at least 8 large glasses of water every day, more in hot weather or if you sweat a lot exercising. I know, you have heard this before - that’s because it’s solid good advice. So just do it!

7: Eat a balanced healthy diet, include a free range eggs a few times each week, include oily fish a few times each week, include a variety of meat and poultry, and don’t be afraid of organ meats! Too many people think ‘meat’ these days means endless meals of skinless, boneless white chicken breast! Oh that gets so boring…branch out, try cooking liver and kidneys, have a joint of roast lamb or pork at the weekend, try chicken thigh instead of breast, get some variety in your diet.

Every day, eat lots of vegetables. Never mind 5-a-day, see if you can aim for 10-a-day, as some scientists believe there are cancer-fighting benefits. Personally, I eat around 17-a-day, made up of approximately 14 servings of vegetables and 3 pieces of fruit.

8: Go organic. It’s much better for animal welfare, the ‘organic’ label in UK shops means animals will have the most ‘free range’ space and the highest welfare standards available anywhere in the EU. Soil Association organic, and PFLA, the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association, are the two highest possible animal welfare labels in the UK.

And buy organic vegetables too - some say those pesticide residues are nothing to worry about, but if you start eating 10-a-day vegetables, you might be tripling your exposure, so either grow-your-own if you can, or buy organic.

9: Exercise every day. It may be as simple as going for a walk, or maybe there is a sport you enjoy; some days it might be a run or a bike ride or a swim, and some days it might mean hitting the gym, lifting some weights. Whatever you enjoy, try to establish a daily exercise habit, and try to get some variety. It will help you lose weight, help you to feel better, help you have more energy and studies prove it will help you to live longer.

10: Get some more sleep. So many folks these days are stressed all the time - stressed over their career, their finances or their relationships. While the ultimate answer is to sort out the cause of the stress, a quick fix to help you cope is to just get more sleep. Switch the TV off, leave the iPad out of the bedroom, and hit the sack for eight hours per night.

11: Get outside! Go for a walk, in a park or wood or around some trees. Studies show that time spent around trees helps relieve asthma, depression, stress and more.

12: Don’t sweat the small stuff. You know, chill out about the details. If you can get through the day eating mostly fresh whole foods, if you can nail an exercise session, get in a walk outside near some trees, drink more water and get in a good night’s sleep, then you’ve done well - you’ve nailed the big goals, now don’t worry about the details. if you had a glass of wine in there somewhere, don’t beat yourself up for it; if you had a few squares of dark chocolate…well it’s hardly the end of the world.

That’s it, simple tips for a healthier 2017. If you are a follower of my writing, you may have spotted that some of these tips seem quite familiar… ummm…funny that…

Until next time! To your good health!

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