With close to 2 billion people around the world overweight and 67% of Aussies either overweight or obese, we’re seeing the rates of this dangerous condition shooting up. A number of factors are to blame – including the fast rise of ultra-processed, sugar-laden foods. But there are a few ways we can reduce our risk for obesity in a world where sugar can feel near unavoidable.
Obesity has become a major health concern in past years, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds, all over the world. While it can be challenging to maintain a healthy weight, especially with grocery costs rising, healthcare becoming less accessible and stress running us into the ground, there are several habits you can develop to help prevent obesity and feel your best.
Engage in enjoyable physical activity
One of the best ways to combat uncontrolled weight gain or obesity is to get in that daily exercise – but when it’s something boring or stressful, we may be more likely to throw in the towel or put it off. One way to guarantee you get moving is to engage in an activity you actually enjoy – this way, you’re more likely to make that commitment. For instance, you might find yourself excited about taking up dance classes – if you’re able to, consider signing up for a class, but if money is standing in the way, have your own private dance party at home! Turn up the music and start moving. Other fun forms of exercise can include “tourism walking”, where you pretend to be a tourist in your own area and walk to fun sights, parks, reserves and beaches. You might also have an interest in taking up kickboxing, social sports like netball or soccer, or even a bit of Tai Chi in the park. Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or running on a treadmill for half an hour – redefine your idea of exercise and you’ll stand to reap enormous benefits. Here are a few more fun ideas:
- Backyard or park cricket with family and friends
- Doubles tennis
- HIIT – high intensity interval training
- Interpretive dance
- Swimming at the beach
- Walking through bush tracks
- Shopping – yep, a bit of window shopping could be your key to getting fit!
Exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy weight, stabilising blood-sugar levels and getting our blood pumping, so try to incorporate any of these activities into your daily routine. Even if you just get up from your desk every hour and do a few stretches or jump around for a bit, you’ll be doing your body a world of good.
Just eat real food (JERF)
Focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods over the ultra-processed stuff you’ll find lining the supermarket. This takes all the guess-work out of eating healthily – instead of studying food ingredient labels and still walking away confused, you’ll know exactly what you’re eating. Think fresh fruit and veg, nuts, seeds, minimally-processed fermented foods and whole grains. These foods not only leave you full and satisfied, but they also provide your body with the much-needed nutrients to keep functioning. Avoid ultra-processed foods, sugary drinks and excessive amounts of refined carbohydrates like white flour and white rice.
Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating means paying attention to your body's hunger and fullness signals rather than just eating for the sake of it or out of boredom. This means focusing completely on eating during a meal, rather than watching TV or looking through your phone. Eat slowly and try to taste every ingredient – this leads to greater satisfaction from your meals, making you less likely to seek out junk food.
Don’t do it alone
Maintaining a healthy weight can be challenging, especially if you’re dealing with a sugar addiction. It's important to seek support from friends, family, or a healthcare professional. They can provide encouragement and accountability as you work towards your goals. You might even want to join a program designed to help you quit sugar safely and easily, like the 8-Week Program. We’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
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