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Healthly Living - A measured approach to weight loss

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The latest review of our nation's health has found that two out of three Australian adults are now overweight or, much worse, obese. From the Australian Bureau of Statistics Health Survey released late last month, it has become apparent that we are giving up smoking more and drinking less however the issue remains as to how much we eat. Over the last four years the number of overweight Australians rose by 2 millionóalmost 10% of our total population.

With figures such as this it comes as no surprise that weight loss is big business in Australia but do weight loss and dieting companies really have their clients long-term interests at heart? Or are they more focused on providing a quick fix to keep the companies profits rolling in?

There appears to be confusion on what exactly people should be doing to overcome their weight issues.

Not a week goes by without a new celebrity endorsed diet for us to try, more often then not contradicting what a previous one recommended. Prescribed dieting techniques that may work for some are not guaranteed to produce results for others. Low carb, low calorie, low fat diets? It is very difficult to understand the difference between each? We also now know that losing weight doesn't necessary mean you are likely to become more healthy in the process. The list of mixed messages goes on.

So how can we sift through the fact from the fiction?

It's time to get back to the basics and take a simplified approach to becoming healthier as individuals and as a nation. The emphasis should be shifted from weight loss, and focused on changing lifestyle habits. Although shock diets may seem like the quickest path to reaching weight loss goals, people often find that they begin to pile the weight back on just as quickly as they lost it as many of their unhealthy lifestyle habits remain unchanged.

To avoid this constant weight fluctuation it is important to take a long term and measured approach. The benefits of regular exercise are well documented so gradually increasing the intensity and frequency of your fitness and exercise program is important. To compliment exercise, people are now finding a simple technique to help them achieve their health goals; reducing the portion size of meals.

UK celebrity chef Nigella Lawson (Host of a new Italian-inspired BBC cooking show Nigellissima) was well known for her 'curves' until recent interviews have shown her with a slimmer new look. What's her secret? Well it's no secret; just ask one of her 245,000 plus followers on twitter.

By posting photos of her own meals (along with other culinary tips) on twitter it became very clear that the key component of Nigella's gradual weight loss journey was to limit the portion sizes of her meals. Last year Nigella stated in an interview "I love food and I love cooking so therefore I never deprive myself", and the twitter photos are further proof of this. Included in the series of photos are meals consisting of steak and chips, fried eggs and pizza, however the noticeably smaller portion sizes are evidence of a realistic and achievable weight loss strategy. Along with the reduced portion size, Nigella credits her healthy new image to a disciplined yoga and pilates program.

Like Nigella, by taking the emphasis off purely weight loss and instead challenging yourself to implement healthy lifestyle and eating habits you are giving yourself a greater chance for success. Not only will you feel better physically and enjoy increased levels of energy, you will notice the benefits both mentally and spiritually also.

In summary, don't aim for a quick fix, set yourself small achievable goals to change your habits that will benefit you and your health long term.

Our range of Tanita Body Fat and Body Composition scales provide everyone and anyone wishing to pursue a healthy lifestyles, the tools that will assist in achieving their personal fitness goals.

The Tanita UM-051 Body Fat and Hydration monitor allows the ability to monitor your body and the effects of diet and fitness routines. The monitor helps measure weight, hydration and gives an accurate measurement of body fat percentage.  It also  has a healthy range indicator which tells you your suggested healthy range based on age group and gender. The UM 051 retails for $119.00 and comes with a 5-year manufacturer's warranty.

For more information on Tanita products please visit tanitaaustralia.com.au

Follow Nigella Lawson on twitter @Nigella_Lawson

Healthy Stats

Only 25% of Australians exercise daily

Compared with other daily rituals...

- 86% who watch TV

- 82% spend time on the internet/ computer/ tablet

- 38% use their mobile

- 61% socialising with friends/family

On average only 15% of the day is spent being active.

The average exercise time of Australian's is 45 mins

Over the last 50 years there has been a 30% increase in portion size of meals.

24% of Australians think the correct serving size of carbs is about a whole handful when in fact the correct size is the palm of your hand.

61% of Australians are overweight. Half of these people don't think they are overweight.

Did you know it can take...

- 2 hours to burn off a snickers bar

- 1 hour to burn off can of coke

- 2.5 hours for 2 glasses of wine

- 2 hours for a sausage roll

- 2 hours handful of peanuts

- an apple can be burnt off almost instantly

*Statistics Courtesy of Plate of Our Nation.

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