1. Check what you are drinking
Many people know they need to watch what they eat, but what about what you are drinking? There may be loads of hidden sugar in lots of drinks that you are not aware of.
For instance a 250ml glass of wine has about half a teaspoon of sugar; a glass of OJ or cordial contains about 6 teaspoons of sugar; and a can of coke contains around 9 teaspoons of sugar.
One way to reduce the amount of sugar and energy you are consuming during the day is by reducing these sweet drinks, and reaching for our water bottles.
2. Increase your NEAT exercise
NEAT stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Basically this is the energy that we burn when we are undertaking any activity that is not considered to be exercise.
So .... taking the stairs rather than the lift, parking the car further away, walking to work, etc are all increasing our NEAT.
This is a really neat way to increase the amount of energy we burn throughout the day without actually undertaking any planned activities.
However, planned activities are also essential for our health and well-bing.
3. Check your portions
Maintaining a healthy weight is not just about what you eat, but how much you eat; and too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing!
Meat is one area, that particularly men, tend to overeat.
It is recommended that men between the age of 51 and 70 limit themselves to 2.5 serves of lean meat each day. A serving size of cooked lean meat for a male aged 51-70 is 65g, that’s no more than the size of your palm. If you are eating poultry it is 80 grams and 100g for seafood. Many men eat double this at dinner, let alone adding in what they also have for lunch, and other protein sources such as eggs and nuts.
4. Take a walk after dinner
Our blood glucose levels generally peak about 2 to 3 hours after we eat. For those people who have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, exercise helps to use the glucose in our blood without the use of the hormone insulin. And this is a great thing for our bodies because exercise can help to reduce our blood glucose levels post meal, therefore decreasing the demand on pancreas to do the job all by itself.
The effects that exercise has on improving this process, lasts up to 72 hours post exercise session. A great reason to exercise at any time, but it is also really useful after a big meal.
5. Get a good night’s sleep
Sleep may be just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Studies show that poor sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity, as it’s linked to an 89% increased risk of obesity in children and 55% in adults.
However the good news is that there does appear to be a positive influence of exercise on sleep disorders. Quality of life and/or severity of sleep disorders appear to be positively impacted by regular exercise. Adopting a physically active lifestyle may be a key intervention for the treatment of sleep disturbance and obesity, and may be a long-term solution to improved quality of life and decreased risk for the chronic conditions associated with these Sleep disorders.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist & Credentialed Diabetes Educator