This may not apply to you, but, after a little too much festive cheer, now could be time to contemplate trimming down your weight a bit: shedding a few kilos if you’re really keen. This may not be easy, and can be even more difficult as we age because of the cumulative toxins in our bodies, which age our bodies at an accelerated rate.
Researchers at the McGill University Health Centre found that ‘Overweight and obese individuals have the potential to decrease life expectancy by up to 8 years’. They also claim that people who are overweight have a higher propensity for diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease earlier in life – which can ‘rob them of nearly two decades (20 years) of healthy life’.
Help is at hand! All you have to do is engage in caloric reduction, and you can expect to gain more than shedding body mass. Caloric reduction is a recognised longevity-increaser, and is one of the few findings about which there is (almost) total agreement about living longer. Researchers have found that a reduction of 30% of food consumed, for example, can lead to an increase in longevity by 30%. (It doesn’t follow, of course, that a reduction of 100% will result in a 100% increase.)
OK, most people know what to do in order to reduce the number of calories ingested: they just have to do it. So, as a motivator, try some waist management by using a piece of string or cord to measure the size of your waist. Mark the string accordingly.
Now, do some (or all) of these things to reduce your caloric intake.
- Use the mnemonic DIET to act as a constant reminder when there’s food around – Do I Eat That?
- Engage in a diet of a set number of calories for one or more days each week – try 500-to-600, for starters.
- Serve smaller helpings. This can be made-easier by using plates and dishes that are themselves smaller.
- Never return for seconds. Going back for second helpings is a habit that’s easily ‘broken’. Say, ‘No thanks’, to seconds
- Eat in peace. Shut down all media. Focus on what you’re eating, how good it smells and tastes. Enjoy the moment.
Use your string to measure your waist each month, and keep making changes that will result in even more effective waist management. It’s that easy. But it’s likely that you already know that. All you have to do is do it.