This week is zero waste week and the theme is "one more thing" - what one more thing could YOU do? Admirable actions like refusing plastic bags, not binning leftovers, and using real nappies instead of disposables on your baby are to be applauded.
But is there a more personal way you can reduce your waste or should I say your waist? Are you overweight? Then you are creating excess waste, in more ways than one. The more you weigh, the higher your metabolism and the more food you need to eat just to stay the same weight. With your additional weight comes the extra drink cans, convenience food packaging, cardboard coffee cups and plastic lids as well as energy used to grow food and cook it.
On a more mundane level, when you eat more you inevitably excrete more waste. Unless you own a composting toilet, this has to be dealt with by the already overloaded sewage system.
So make your contribution to zero waste week a double whammy. Eat real, fresh foods and cut out highly packaged junk foods, takeaways and soft drinks. It's a win/win situation, you lose inches from your waist and you cut down on waste.
The secret to permanent weight loss is adopting a diet that you can maintain for the rest of your life. This can only happen if you succeed in changing your eating habits and eating more nutritious foods. It is thought that eating a poor diet predisposes to weight gain because your body tells you to eat more in order to get the vital nutrients you require for optimal health.
No need to give up carbs or dairy products, or starve two days a week. These are fads and fads are made to be broken. You soon get bored and go back to your old eating habits. Before long you gain back all the weight you lost plus a bit more for luck.
Just eat three meals a day of real food low in added sugar and fat, and do not eat between meals. That means no snacks or soft drinks including fruit juice. Limiting alcohol to one drink a day also helps, as alcohol is the enemy of will power. This way of eating creates a calorie deficit, primarily because you are consuming less energy, and also because you are eating foods which are harder for your body to digest making them less fattening.
Start your day with breakfast as it gets you into an eating routine and gives you an energy boost in the morning. You won't be so tempted by that mid morning doughnut in the office. Have a serving of satisfying protein like cheese, meat, fish, eggs, pulses or yoghurt and a small helping of energy rich wholegrain carbs. Repeat the process at lunch and dinner. Simple, but it works and it stops you from obsessing about your weight and becoming a diet bore.
You can learn how to release yourself from the burden of yo-yo dieting, how to achieve a stable healthy weight and find extensive meal plans and recipes in my lifestyle diet book Can I Have Chips? fill up, lose weight, feel great.
There is nothing magical about the latest trendy diet. All diets work by creating an energy deficit however they are packaged. What matters is changing your eating habits for life. So say goodbye to overfill and do your bit to reduce landfill.