How to stay slim 

by Tony on Mar 8, 2016


As we roll towards the close of another holiday season, many people are likely wishing they could reconsider their meal choices of the last few days. For most of us, Christmas and New Years represent a time for celebration, a time to reflect on the joys of holidays past and those to come. It's also a time for eating; something we do with passion. Most people eat well more than the established healthy eating limits. In fact, according to a study published last week in The Economist, North Americans consume 40% more per capita than all other demographics on the planet.

Another interesting statistic speaks to the relative inability of humans to maintain good habits, especially after the holidays. It's a common practice leading up to December 31st for people all over to consider their excesses of late and focus their energies on progressive change. In other words, making News Year's resolutions. 

Based on an article in The Observer, the top five resolutions people make, in order of least to most common, are related to charity, work, family, money, and health. Being healthier is the #1 most common resolution. Good right? Well.. A volunteer survey of over 2000 respondents in Great Britain showed that less than a third of those who set clear resolutions for themselves followed through and maintained focus. In fact, more than 61% of people who made a decision in previous year were still committed after only two months. We spoke last week with Dr. Henry Anderson, a nutritionist and co-founder of the Healthy Living Gym in South Manhattan. According to Dr. Anderson, sticking to our wishes for healthy change is tough. “For many, the single most difficult thing people try to do is lose weight and they do so with considerable angst around New Years. In fact, it's been our experience here at HLG that memberships skyrocket at the start of the new year, and yet, gym attendance falls to normal after only two weeks. People want to change, but they can't do it on their own - they need help.” So what should you do to stay in shape? Well, the most obvious choice is to watch what you eat. The typical human adult requires between 2200 and 2500 calories a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

If you stay in that range, you'll never gain weight. On the other hand, eating just 200 calories more than necessary can lead to a five-pound weight gain over the course of a year. That may not sound like a lot but when you consider the long run, 50 pounds in one decade is excessive. And most people don't limit themselves to 200 calories over; in fact, according to the DeMoines Institute, a national association focused on staying fit, most North Americans eat up to a thousand calories more than normal each day. At Christmas, that number skyrockets to 5000.

To stay healthy over the holidays, Dr. Anderson recommends moderation. “Don't worry about only eating vegetables, but at the same time, don't gorge out on the chocolates and pies. If you only eat when you're hungry, and you make an effort to limit fatty foods and sugar, your body should have no problem coping with the caloric intake. And after dinner, go for a walk around the neighborhood. It'll do you good, and it'll also give you a chance to see the Christmas lights.”





Image (c) Md saad andalib Flickr

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