A 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks won't solve the obesity problem. Government and corporate campaigns might make a dent, but the truest answer to weight loss is staring at you in the mirror.
Can you change your lifestyle overnight? Not when you're snoozing. But you can adopt 24 lifestyle and fitness habits in a 24-hour period. Gut be gone when you:
6am. Wake with water, then go green
Hydrate yourself first thing in the morning. From waking to nightfall, consume two litres of water – you'll obtain more through food.
Veggies aren't just for dinner. Put some eggs on a heap of spinach, or a mixture of finely chopped cauliflower-broccoli (rice). Chopped broccoli in oats? Odd but one of my favourites.
7am. Exercise in the morning, and perform planks
Research shows a morning session enhances metabolism, improves sleep, and is a boost to mental energy from morning to night.
Your core is used in most movements, so core strength is a must. From standard to side to reverse, there are a host of exercises that develop core fitness.
8am. Perform squats, and re-think your drink
Bodyweight or weighted, squats are a functional move every man and woman should be proficient in performing.
Sports and energy drinks, along with fizzy drinks - whether with sugar or sugar free - are doing your health a disservice. Ditch 'em forever.
9am. Absorb some sun, and boost the incidental exercise
One third of Australians are deficient in Vitamin D. Exercise outdoors, and the sun will provide health benefits along with a summer glow.
Take the stairs. Walk at lunch. Pace while on phone calls. Walk to the supermarkets. Boost your posture (core) at your desk. Change TV channels manually. Incidental exercise – it all adds up.
10am. Perform 100 push ups per day
Perform all in the morning or break it up throughout the day. Build chest, core, and arm strength while push ups tone your body from shoulders to toes.
11am. Plan for a healthy week
On Sunday, plan your food week and cut veggies while having gym clothes washed, folded, and ready for a morning session.
Noon. Eat leftovers
Unhealthy food courts be gone when you bring in healthy leftovers. They're cheaper, time efficient, and guarantee portion control.
Take 30 seconds every 15 minutes and rise from your desk to breathe, relax, stretch, and stand with proper posture. It's a small step in avoiding the hunchback posture of an eSports champion.
2pm. Skip Rope
A cheap skipping rope is all that's required for an amazing, high intensity movement that can be performed in minimal space. Skip rope, and watch your fitness increase by the day.
3pm. Become a runner
Running promotes weight loss, heart health, joint stability, and endorphin release. Every human should be able to run.
4pm. Swear off the bickie bucket at work
Come on kids. Get your hand out of the cookie jar, would ya? Grab an apple.
5pm. Make an appointment with your body
Treat your body like a business, and make an appointment outdoors (or in the gym) with it at least three times during the week. On the weekends? Keep physically active while having some fun.
6pm. Up the fruit and veg count and the intensity
Four out of five Australians don't get enough fruit and vegetables. Change that today.
Run some stairs, walk harder up the hills, get into plyometric sessions, perform Tabata and HIIT. Don't just hit the cross trainer for a lazy 30 minutes. Exercise with intensity.
7pm. Have a 'go to' workout
And reduce portions by a third
In the living room, business hotel, or on holidays, perform three, four or five rounds of 150 skips, 15 push ups, sit ups, squats, and five burpees.
Aussie portion control is out of control. Eat a third less, and you'll be full and healthier.
8pm. Put down the booze
A celebratory drink or two on the weekend is always a treat. But if you're sipping a half bottle of wine or (equivalent) more every night, it's a habit that's affecting your morning energy and weight that must be curtailed.
9pm. Be patient
You can make a lifestyle change in a 'snap', but that change will, over time, result in weight loss. Patience and commitment is how the needle on the scale nudges left.
10pm. Sleep for eight hours
Rest and repair is just as important as exercise and green veggies.
Via telephone, I coach a 30something lad in Adelaide through my weight loss month in October – Droptober. His blokey habits had his health traveling south, and in one day, he committed to traveling north. These healthy habits didn't appear in his lifestyle with the change of the clock but rather a mental 'switch' – he's loving his new look, weight, and lifestyle – he's down 6.5 kilograms this month.
You value your groovy mobile, job, and relationship. The 24th habit is to value your health. Or prepare to add to the heart disease and diabetes statistics. I'm optimistic that every Australian has that 'switch'. It's time to find the on button.
Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his "Cut The BS" diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.