How to get your health back on track

Tuesday 4 February, 2020

Struggling to maintain the healthy lifestyle commitments you set in the New Year? You’re not alone and we’re here to help!

Despite our best intentions it’s easy to find ourselves gaining a few extra kilos over summer. Christmas weight gain is more common than you think with new LiveLighter® data revealing that 40% of Australians reported putting on weight over this period.

The 2019 Shape of Australia survey involved more than 2,000 people and found that they gained an average of 2.7kg over this period.

As social events keep us busy throughout summer months many of us can find ourselves consuming more alcohol and unhealthy foods.

LiveLighter’s Campaign Manager and Dietitian Alison McAleese warned that these extra kilos many people put on over Christmas have a habit of staying on, impacting Australians’ health in the long run.

As unwanted weight gain can lead to obesity, increasing the risk of 13 types of cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, it’s important we break unhealthy habits as soon as possible.

New research from an international study may provide even more motivation to live a healthy lifestyle.

The study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that sustained weight loss, even small amounts, can lower women’s breast cancer risk.

The results showed women with sustained weight loss had a lower risk of breast cancer than women whose weight remained stable, and the larger the amount of sustained weight loss, the lower the risk of breast cancer.

Cancer Council Victoria’s Head of Prevention Craig Sinclair said this research was incredibly important information for Victorians.

“Today two-thirds of Victorian adults are overweight or obese and therefore this research serves as a timely reminder for Victorians to maintain a healthy weight throughout adulthood,” said Mr Sinclair.

Top tips for a healthier lifestyle

For many, the thought of creating sustainable healthy changes can be daunting.

The most important thing is to choose ones that are achievable and consistent with your lifestyle – this will help you stick to them in the long term. Here are some tips to help refresh your thinking and have you feeling great in 2020.

1. Give up the sweet stuff

Cutting back on sugary drinks is a great way to reduce your sugar intake, but we know it’s not always easy. Check out our drink ideas and ways to avoid sugary drinks here.

2. Add colour to your plate

Summer vegetables are packed with flavour and can add colour, flavour and vitamins to your meals. LiveLighter’s delicious recipes make the most of what’s in season and will help you hit the daily recommended serves of two fruits and five vegetables. If you’re unsure of how to prep or serve a particular fruit or veg, LiveLighter’s great guide to various fruits and vegetables has your back.

3. Consider portion sizes

When dining out, try ordering an entree size or splitting a main meal with a friend.

You may think an entree won’t be enough to fill you, but standard take-away and restaurant meals have been getting bigger and now come in very large servings – much larger than what you might serve yourself at home.

When eating at home, try using a smaller plate when serving your food. You could also drink a glass of water before your meal as this helps control hunger.

4. Get active and sit less

Sure, fitting physical activity in to your day takes a little forward planning, but it is a simple healthy change requires little cost and minimal time. Remember, when it comes to physical activity something is better than nothing and more is better than less! Here are some simple tips to get you started:

  • Go for a quick walk as soon as you get home from work instead of switching on the TV
  • Become an active commuter – take public transport instead of driving to work.
  • Aim to get a brisk 30-45 minute walk in on most days of the week. This definitely counts as exercise, or you can break it into a few 10 or 15 minute sessions to make it easier to achieve.

More tools to help your health goals

The LiveLighter® website has a range of free resources for you to start using today! Here’s just a few for you to check out:

Don’t know where to start with your fitness?

Use the beginner home strength workout and the ‘couch to 3km walk’ plan – no expensive gym membership or equipment necessary!

Simply select the ‘exercise guides’ in the resources area.

Check out the exercise guides

Need some recipe inspiration?

Check out the LiveLighter® Summer Recipes booklet for plenty of healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes.

LiveLighter® Summer Recipes

Looking for a meal planner to help take the guesswork out of healthy eating?

 LiveLighter® have designed a meal plan that balances the food groups, it’s called the 3-2-1 plan.

Find out more