Have you stuck to your New Year's resolutions?

Finding out the truth
Finding out the truth
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Have you ditched your New Year's resolutions to lose weight and get more active?

If you have, then the Public Health Agency (PHA) is on hand with tips and advice. They say the key to success is to be realistic and make small manageable changes that work for you.

Caroline Bloomfield, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Senior Manager at the PHA, said: “Setting targets is important, however it is also important to be realistic. A sure-fire way to fail is to make your goal unattainable.

“Making small, positive, healthy choices throughout the day, each day, can over time make a difference to our waistlines.

“It’s difficult after indulging over Christmas, but a good starting point is to cut out the snacks.

“Research has shown that eating as little as 100 Calories more than the body needs each day could add up to 10lbs of weight gain in a year.

“We probably don’t even realise the extras that we eat and how easy it is to eat too much. 100 Calories can be as little as an extra three sweets, or an extra forkful of spaghetti or an extra slice of bread. Snacks, nibbles and second helpings are things we tuck into without even thinking, but every extra bit that goes in, ends up going on.

“By cutting out the extras we can help reduce the risk of putting on the pounds.”

The most recent Health Survey for Northern Ireland shows that 64% of adults here are overweight or obese.

Caroline continued: “As well as making healthy food choices, getting more active is a great way to manage our weight. A simple way to get started is to walk.

“By fitting more steps in to our everyday routine, we can start to feel the benefits. This could mean getting off the bus one stop earlier and walking the rest of the way, or taking the stairs at work rather than the lift.

“By taking simple steps to move more, we can help manage our weight as well as boosting our mental health and reducing stress and anxiety. A great way to track progress is with a pedometer or smartphone app. Measuring our steps and setting a goal is a great way to stay motivated.

“Many of us probably made New Year’s resolutions to eat better and be more active, so these tips are a great way to get started on the path to living healthier lives.”

For more information on choosing healthier food options, cooking healthy recipes and getting more active, visit www.choosetolivebetter.com

The most recent Health Survey for Northern Ireland shows that 64% of adults here are overweight or obese (36% overweight and 27% obese).

Having a waistline of 37 inches or more for a man and 32 inches or more for a woman can put you at a greater risk of developing heart disease, some cancers and Type 2 diabetes.

The Health Survey can be found at www.health-ni.gov.uk/publications/health-survey-northern-ireland-first-results-201617