New Year: Simplify health, Connect the mind and Discover you

Another new year and no sooner have you polished off that last guilt-free mince pie, Ferrero Rocher and glass of red the advertising frenzy of celebrity exercise DVDs, slimming club memberships, fitness trackers and gym club discounts begins. What’s more it seems you can’t turn a street corner without bumping into a newbie lycra-clad jogger decked out in fresh out the box trainers.

With the plethora of online health motivators at our finger-tips today, from personal trainers/nutritionists to fitness and healthy cooking Apps to smart watches to track your progress, successfully re-inventing yourself has never been so accessible. Note we didn’t say easy… there is that often elusive ingredient of good old fashioned willpower!

According to a recent poll, nine out of ten (87 percent) of the estimated 26 million Brits who have embarked on a “New Year” diet will have abandoned their healthy eating regimes before mid-January. The 2,000 adults surveyed by food manufacturer Hartley’s cited that food cravings (52 per cent), boredom (38 per cent) and stress (29 per cent) would have them caving into mainly chocolate. However, female willpower will outdo males; one in four (38 percent) of women will stick at their diet for more than three weeks, compared to just a quarter (25 percent) of men.

The figures are unsurprising; diets by their nature are notoriously prone to failure and especially restrictive ones which often result in what’s called ‘Yo-Yo dieting’. It’s what keeps diet companies in profit because the weight you lose in the short-term will likely be regained over time as its difficult to sustain this increased stress on your body.

But following a restrictive diet set by a qualified medical practitioner in order to tackle an associated health problem, such as Type 2 diabetes, is not the same as fad dieting. If you do intend to start a new diet in 2019 then it’s generally recommended you follow a non-restrictive method.

CircleSquare scoured the internet to discover the most popular weight-loss regimes in 2019. They include the 5:2, DASH, Dukan, Mediterranean and Vegan diets.

  1. 5:2 diet– requires you to eat a ‘normal’ amount of calories for five days (2500 calories for men, 2000 calories for women), coupled with two very low calorie days of 25% of these (600 calories for men and 500 calories for women). Bonus:
  2. Mediterranean diet – requires you to eat a continental themed diet of fresh fruit and veg, wholegrain pastas and breads, fish and poultry, good fats like Olive oil and opting for either low-fat dairy or non-dairy products. Bonus: A moderate amount of red wine is even permitted.
  3. DASH(Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) to stop high blood pressure. It follows a diet of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. Sugary sweets and drinks, high fat foods and full-fat dairy products should be avoided.
  4. Veganism has grown so much in popularity that the month of January is now called veganuary, after the same named vegan charity that launched the event.
  5. Dukan is a high-protein based regime. If you try this diet, you’ll have to stick to a controversial “no carbs” diet that includes low-fat protein, such as chicken, turkey, eggs, fish and fat-free dairy for the first five days. Later you gradually introduce carbs back into your diet.


KEY FACT: Low physical activity is one of the top ten causes of disease and disability in England. (Source: Public Health England)

The benefits of staying active at every age cannot be overstated and at CircleSquare, we’re as much about championing exercise and well-being as we are about healthy eating.

According to Public Health England, one in three of the working age population have at least one long-term condition, and one in seven has more than one. It advises taking part in regular physical activity can help to prevent and manage more than 20 chronic conditions and diseases, many of which are on the rise and effecting people at an earlier age; these include Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers of the colon and breast, depression, hip fractures, dementia, falls, joint and back pain.

UK data reveals that from our mid 50s into our mid 60s, mid 70s to mid 80s and beyond older adults tend to lead increasingly sedentary lives. The government believes persuading inactive people (those doing less than 30 minutes per week) to become active could prevent one-in-ten cases of stroke and heart disease in the UK, and one in six deaths from any cause. In older adults particularly, it advises 75 minutes of vigorous physical activities to 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, or a combination of both. Examples of moderate exercise might include: walking, gardening, hiking, dancing, cycling, active recreation or swimming.

As Dr. Mike Brannan, National Lead for Physical Activity, Public Health England, advises in a talk entitled ‘Physical activity in ageing and older adults – a public health perspective’: ‘Physical activity is crucial for healthy ageing and good health and wellbeing in later life,’

To help you hit your target, in the coming months we will be bringing you exciting interviews and blogs from health & nutrition, fitness and mindfulness innovators. It’s never too late to get more active and improve your health.