As the first few months of the year come to a close, many of you have probably struggled to adhere to your new year’s resolutions. The countless excuses and lack of motivation to shed the unwanted kilos may lead at least 80% of people to fail their new year’s resolution by February. The truth is, majority set the wrong goals when it comes to their health. They look for quick fixes to a thinner and leaner body, without really looking at the long term advantages of having a healthier lifestyle.
This has been evident in Australia’s population. Chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer, have become all too common with over one-third of the population (35% or 7 million) inflicted with at least one. Although there are many risk factors contributing to the development of these diseases, many of them are usually modifiable. Poor nutrition, physical inactivity, alcohol abuse, and smoking have become the common contributors to these debilitating disease — all of which can just be easily changed through good lifestyle habits.
Ultimately, the number one preventive measure you can do to better your health is to practice good nutrition and an active lifestyle. How can you do this? First, face the fact that you’re better off without those fad diets and detoxes. Be realistic and set attainable goals. For example, instead of aiming for a certain number of kilos to lose, commit to keeping a simple healthy habit — like eating more greens or adding more fibre to your meals.
Knowing what to eat may also pose as another challenge. Rather than going for very restrictive diets, take simple measures to improve what you eat. The Australian Dietary Guidelines can already give you a good start on what you can do to better your diet:
- To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs.
- Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from vegetables, fruits, grains and cereals, lean meats, and dairy. Make sure to drink plenty of water.
- Limit intake of food containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol.
As Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”. Be in charge of your body by building good health and eating habits to prevent the onset of these common chronic diseases.
Blog by Sav Manolis from Optimise Nutrition -visiting Dietician at Seven Hills Family Doctors