Change for Life
Change4Life – Eat Well, Move More, Live Longer

Weight Loss Resources is getting it right! The ethos behind Weight Loss Resources matches the idea behind a new Government initiative – Change for Life. WLR guest writer, Cara Frost-Sharratt investigates Change for Life dot com and brings you the low-down.

Change4Life – Eat Well, Move More, Live Longer

By WLR Guest Writer, Cara Frost-Sharratt

Change4Life is the Government initiative that aims to improve diet and fitness levels amongst the UK population.

The campaign is supported by the Department of Health and intends to target the growing problem of obesity in a very hands-on, positive way, by instilling healthy eating and exercise habits into people from a young age. The idea is that good eating habits formed early on in life will be carried forwards into adulthood.

The campaign slogan is ‘Eat well, Move more, Live longer’ and the simple message has been designed to create a holistic approach to weight and health problems. It aims to encourage individuals to address all areas of their lifestyle with regards to safeguarding their future health and well being and that of their children.

 

Healthy Living for Weight Loss

This approach mirrors the attitude taken by healthy weight loss programmes, like Weight Loss Resources. By focusing on the lifestyle elements that can be directly related to long-term weight loss, the root causes of weight gain and the problems associated with obesity can be addressed in a sensible way.

The key to any successful weight loss campaign is an understanding of good eating and exercise habits.

Once people have become familiar with the basics of nutrition then they are armed with the knowledge to make positive decisions with regards to their diet.

From the shopping trolley to the dinner table, people make choices every day about the food they eat, the way it is cooked and the amount they consume. An understanding of the importance that certain foods and ingredients have for general health and well-being can have a big impact on overall health.

A few simple changes, such as swapping ready meals for healthy, homemade dinners, or snacking on fruit instead of crisps, can have an enormous impact on health and weight issues.

Positive Advice with ChangeforLife

Change4Life has come about as a direct action to tackle the alarming levels of obesity in the UK. This has largely been attributed to poor diet and insufficient exercise.

It is believed that by issuing positive advice and making this a countrywide initiative, there will be something of a chain reaction with people encouraging each other to get involved.

Change4Life will be targeting specific groups and associations in an attempt to get the message across. There is much to be said for tackling these issues in a group situation: people benefit from mutual support and encouragement and, in this instance, a positive approach to peer pressure.

Weight Loss Resources offers a similar support network in that likeminded people are coming together to achieve the same goal. Problems can be shared and discussed in a friendly environment and there is a wealth of information about health and weight loss issues that is constantly updated.

With knowledge comes power and if you arm people with the basic information about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, they will be better able to make sensible choices.

Change4Life ultimately intends to be a lifestyle initiative that will seep through into the everyday lives of people up and down the country by being incorporated into everything from schools to fitness centres.

Eat Well, Move More, Message for Parents and Children from Change4Life

Although obesity levels across the whole population are rising, it is the meteoric rise in cases amongst children that has really brought this issue to the fore. With shocking numbers of young people now being classed as clinically obese, there really is a need to address the issue.

The problem has been attributed to a number of factors including the abundance and ready availability of junk food; computer games and television taking over from physical exercise; and the absence of traditional family mealtimes in many households.

Many health workers believe that if children learn basic food and nutrition principles early on and are introduced to a healthy and balanced diet, they will continue to eat sensibly as they grow older and become more independent. When it is time for them to shop and cook for themselves, they will then be more likely to continue to eat healthy foods and make positive nutritional choices.

It is for this reason that Change4Life was primarily targeted towards parents and children in its early stages.

Young children are completely reliant on their parents or carers for their nutritional well being and it is therefore vital that they are introduced to a varied and well-balanced diet at an early age.

Bad eating habits can form very quickly and it is far more difficult to change these later on in life. A healthy and knowledgeable attitude towards food will stand children in good stead for the rest of their lives.

Children are naturally inquisitive and this provides an ideal opportunity to create an interest in ingredients and healthy eating.

There are plenty of quick and easy ways to get kids interested in food.  
 

  • Children learn by example so let them watch you prepare meals and get them involved. You don’t want their idea of home cooking to be cartons spinning around in a microwave.
  • Get them cooking – start with very simple recipes or just let them mix ingredients together.
  • Take them shopping – actually seeing different types of food in supermarkets or at food markets will make them aware of ingredients.
  • Give them their own list for the supermarket and ask them to find and choose the items themselves.
  • Take them to pick strawberries in the summer – what better way to learn about food than to see where and how it grows.
  • Teach them about new foods and what they are good for – fish will help your brain, pasta will give you energy etc.
  • Don’t just make cakes with them – get them involved in savoury dishes and family meals. The sense of pride and achievement will help to fire up their enthusiasm.
  • Get them to pick new vegetables or fruit that they would like to try and cook them together as part of a family meal.

Sensible Eating

The principles of Change4Life are relatively basic and this is to ensure that as many people as possible become involved. Poor diet and insufficient exercise can lead to a number of long term illnesses later on in life; in particular, diabetes and heart disease. It is therefore important to make changes to diet and lifestyle before these conditions have a chance to develop and that’s why the Change4Life campaign is being particularly focused on parents. It is thought that many parents simply don’t appreciate the link between weight problems in their children and the potential for related illnesses in adulthood. One major problem is our propensity to underestimate the amount we eat and this is a quick win in terms of tackling weight problems. A set of scales or measuring cups can help to determine portion sizes and many people would probably be shocked to see how much extra they are putting on their plates at mealtimes. By getting into the habit of using accurate portion sizes for meals, you will begin to adjust your food intake.

Change4Life offers a number of the same tips and positive eating messages that are found on Weight Loss Resources. Busy lifestyles mean that it’s often difficult to juggle work and home life, which is why Weight Loss Resources is a flexible and adaptable way to lose weight. All the tools you need are at your fingertips, including quick and easy recipes, ingredients information, calorie counters and weight charts. No one wants to be slaving over a hot stove after a hectic day at work but a healthy home-cooked meal can be prepared in the same time it takes to heat a ready meal in the oven. Likewise, exercise can be slotted into whatever available time you have. Being healthy needn’t be a hassle.

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