1) A calorie counting, cabbage eating, diet-swapping freak.
2) A burger chomping, chip munching couch potato.
3) Neither of the above.
I really hope that everybody answered "3". If not then you need to listen even more carefully. The extreme examples above are more of a light-hearted way of looking at a serious global problem. Whilst it is true that fitness and health are now far higher on the public agenda than 10 years ago, it is also true that poor diet and fitness related illnesses are higher than ever before. Obesity and heart disease statistics have seen a phenomenal growth in the last 10 years.
We have all seen some of the shock tactics used to educate people into living a healthier lifestyle, but this seems to have bought it's own problems. Fad diets are not new, but the amount of people using them and the extremes of these diets are like never before. Is there anybody left who simply enjoys life, eats healthily, and builds exercise into his or her daily routine? There is no need to buy fast food every day and there is no need to spend half your life at the gym. In fact, if you are sensible and think things through there is no need for diet and health to even be an issue!
What do I mean by this? Well, let's look at why we have these health issues today. Most of us lived fast-paced, high-stressed life-styles. We eat what's quick and convenient. We drive because our lifestyles require it. Before the age of all our wonderful technology dawned we didn't have these details getting in the way. Instead there was a massive divide between wealth and poverty but that's another story. So what's needed here is a way of looking at your lifestyle and building in a routine that will allow you to function happily whilst eating sensibly and getting some exercise. You see there are some very easy and sensible ways of doing this without going on diets or wasting your whole life at the gym.
For example, do you live within biking distant from work? Could you collect the morning paper instead of having it delivered? Do you have at least 2 types of vegetable with every meal (Chips Don't count!)? These are all general examples you can find anywhere but good ones nevertheless. But I would like to take this just one step further.
First of all, do a family activity once a week. This could be anything from a bike ride to a game of bowling, even a trip to the theme park. Even if you choice doesn't have an obvious fitness aspect you will still be getting pit and about. This will make you more inclined to do things and give you more energy. It will also help to reduce stress, which will in turn help you and your family to be happier, as well as healthier.
Second, make it your duty to try one new home-cooked meal every week. Variety in your diet is great. Too many people are set in their ways and refuse to try new things. Open your mind and your mouth and you'll be amazed at some of the fantastic foods around. By doing this you will find that food can be exciting and interesting, instead of just fast and fatty. Nations around the world have some fantastic specialties, I'm not suggesting you start eating bugs and birds nest soup. But perhaps a Thai red curry, A Moroccan wrap, or a Jamaican Jerk. Pick one recipe each week and give it a go. Sure you won't like everything, but you'll find a bunch of stuff that you love.
So that's it. No calorie control, No fitness regime, no stress. This is by no means a magic wand that will cure all problems. It is more a general guide to prevent them occurring in the first place. Good Luck and Enjoy.