Obesity is officially a bigger world problem than hunger, with 1.9 billion people overweight - and Australians are weighing down the statistics. Last week it was revealed that Australia sits behind the US, New Zealand, and a few island nations as the fattest in the world.
I'm angry. I'm confused. And we should all be embarrassed. Therefore, I'm dedicating a month to coaching readers to drop five kilograms.
Here's how to get it done:
Shift your calories
There's an old saying - eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper. Unfortunately, statistics show people are going to bed in a food coma after stuffing themselves with double the calories at dinner than at breakfast, then adding more unhealthy calories with late night snacks and booze.
Start the day with a hearty, protein-rich breakfast. Enjoy a moderate lunch, and then tone it way down for dinner. Cut the snacking, too. The mind and body prefer energy throughout the day – not a volcano of consumption before lying on the couch at night.
Shift processed junk
Processed junk at the supermarkets and fast food joints are killers for our weight and many other risk factors – like cancer. A late 2015 study found quantitative evidence that environment and behaviour are the cause of 70-90 per cent of cancers. We don't have the cure for cancer, but we might have the prevention, and it's what you put in your mouth.
Shift your body
You must exercise, because exercise burns calories. It builds strength. Exercise tones, and exercise feels great. Exercise increases energy. I don't care if you use the Seven-Minute-Workout (like in the video above), Couch to Five, move 10,000 steps per day, or head into a Zumba class or a CrossFit WOD. Move to lose weight and feel better. A client of mine who has lost more than 55kg started by simply taking the 37 stairs up her local train station rather than elevator.
Shift the shortcuts
Medicine can keep us alive longer, but what's the point when we're fatter than ever? The point is so they can sell us more drugs for more ailments.
Last week, my brother sent me a photo of a surgical advertisement on a bus in the US. The tagline? "Diets don't work. Get a lap band." That line of thinking is getting more popular in Australia, and I know we can do better. The answer needs no more medical research. It's about you moving more, drinking water, lacing up the runners, and eating salmon on top of veggies - sans doctors.
Shift toxic behaviour
Children and adults live with FOMO (fear of missing out), FOBO (fear of being offline), and NOMO (no mobile). WTF?
Technology is grand, but when Netflix binges, Facebook perving, tech gadgets, and Instagram likes rule your existence, it tells me you're not exercising. You're not breathing outdoors and getting some Vitamin D. You're not living life.
Remove toxic behaviours and insert some health and wellness. Walk the dog, go for a hike, read a book, or take a cooking class.
Last week, I was bouncing with energy and took a jog. Sydney Harbour. Joggers smiling, waving hello. And then I turned the corner and was hit by that view. Sydney Harbour Bridge, the iron fence, the sunrise, Sydney Opera House. I felt serious energy with no hangover, my heart racing. I continued on.
The view quickly changed in 30 seconds. A monstrosity. A spaceship. A floating shopping mall known as a cruise ship. And as I got closer, it got ugly:
a) A mid-40s individual on a motorised scooter, too big to walk;
b) Children with bellies and lower back curvature that will affect them for life; and
c) Families winded from rolling their suitcases on wheels.
People blame the food industry. Some blame governments. Others blame advertisers. I'm blaming the individual. I'm blaming people that sit all day at work, go home to lay down, and then 'float' on vacation while running laps around a buffet five times a day. Australia can and must do better. I want to be your coach.
When stats on your favourite sporting club continue to decline year after year, your coach has to do something about it. I want you to lose five kilograms this month and same the next. And then? It's up to you.
The goal is not perfection. Ignore bronzed #fitspiration, abs, and thigh gaps. The goal is a healthier you. I want you looking better. Feeling better. Travelling better. With fewer doctor's visits – that's perfection.
If you're interested in The Aussie Shift, email me at email@example.com. There's two things I can provide: a one-month plan and a swift kick in the arse. I'll be harsh, but always with a hug.
How are your health and fitness goals faring? Could you stand to lose 5kg this month? Let me know in the comment section.
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.