Aug 30, 2017

Is Buy-One-Get-One-Free all it’s cracked up to be?

Walk down the high-street of any town or village in the UK and you’re bombarded by temptations and guilty pleasures a plenty.

Whether it’s all-you-can-eat for £7.99, the free coffee with any muffin, buy-one-get-one-free bottles of Coke or nearly a kilogram Dairy Milk for a fiver, we can’t help but feel great when we bag ourselves a bargain on the treats we love to enjoy.

And that’s where the challenge begins…

Treats are meant to mark special occasions or celebrations; a little something out of the ordinary that’s done infrequently as a reward or indulgence.  Unfortunately, with easier access, these treats have become the norm.

Back in 1957, three years after rationing was lifted, fewer than one in eleven 10 year olds were overweight; around 9 per cent.

Fast forward to 2017 and more than three quarters of 10 year olds are classified as overweight or obese.

It’s a serious problem and why we have reached “epidemic” proportions.

However, food should not be the only scape goat in this growing problem; we also have to acknowledge our decrease in activity thanks to the rise in the number of desk jobs. Not only that, but technology and improved transport links mean that we also move less than we ever have before.

You only need to open a newspaper to be told of the pressures the country’s expanding waistlines are putting on the likes of the NHS. The cost of the heavier nation is estimated to be costing approx. £5.1 billion a year.

This is because obesity is responsible for the nation’s increase in Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer diagnosis, it is responsible for around one in every ten deaths in Britain.

The reality is that this is not a problem that will go away or solve itself unless we start to make changes.

Retailers need to “sell more stuff’ and will use the offers that best allow them to do so. Technology will continue to evolve which will see a continued decline in activity levels. Governments may introduce new taxes and offer more incentives, but the power to change sits with us.

Ultimately it comes down to willpower and a decision to change.

However, for anyone that’s ever tried to change a habit will tell you; having the desire to change and the ability to keep going in the face of temptation and adversity are two completely different things.

One of the first mistakes people make is trying to change too much too quickly. Whilst it seems easy at the beginning, over time, as your willpower is called into question, you’ll find it hard to stick to just one new regime, let alone many more.  

The secret is in making smaller incremental changes and not trying to go cold turkey.

So, if you’re used to eating 6 biscuits with your 11am cup of tea, cut down to 4 for a couple of weeks, then move down to 2. If you usually buy a large sized meal or coffee, downsize to medium.  You’re more likely to achieve success if you make the changes over time and not subject yourself to cold turkey punishment.

But as we’ve already said, the rise in weight and obesity issues is not down to food alone. We need to be looking at our activity levels as well.

Again, look for the small changes you can make. You don’t need to hit the gym 3 times a week. To start with you needn’t undertake a strenuous regime at all.

If you usually use the escalator or elevator, take the stairs. Walk to the next tube stop before starting your journey, take the dog for a slightly longer walk, make sure you stretch your legs at lunchtime… even for just a 10 minute stroll. The more active you are, the more you will feel like doing; which puts you in a much better position to achieve success!

Life change doesn’t have to be revolutionary. In fact, it is less likely to succeed. Rather, set your eyes on the longer-term proposition. Look for ways to succeed and not set yourself up to fail. 

If you’re looking for ways to help make life changes to get fitter and healthier, why not register an account at ?

Packed full of delicious recipes, meal planners, exercise guidance, and professional advice from nutritionists and medical experts, it’s an ideal community for anyone looking to make a life change now.

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