You might think it rather strange for someone who makes cakes every week to be writing this article but this subject is quite close to my heart and I am genuinely interested in the reasons why we, as a nation are gaining weight.
Before I go any further I must own up and say that I am in no way immune to the daily stuggle of maintaining a healthy weight and I have full sympathy with those who, like me, find it difficult to resist the temptation of a sweet treat from time to time.
Our battle with obesity is back in the news again today (when is it ever out of the news?!) and in one of the articles I was reading, a leading paediatrician warned that children must undergo weight loss surgery on an unprecedented scale to prevent an "obesity apocalypse". He estimates that there are 90,000 children between the ages of 13 and 17 who would be eligible for weight-loss surgery and that one in three children is overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, along with three in four adults. That is a third of children and three quarters of all adults!! To say that I find these numbers shocking would be a gross understatement and it got me thinking about the reasons why we, as a nation, are all getting fatter.
In my mind, there is no one factor that we can pinpoint and say "that is the reason why", but rather a combination of things that are all contributing to our expanding waistlines. In days gone by our ancestors had occupations that were much more physical than those we have today and although their portion sizes may have been the same, our sedentary lifestyles mean that we are not burning up the same number of calories so, inevitably, the extra energy we are consuming will be stored as fat. We are also faced with an ever increasing array of fast foods and convenience meals which are often fully loaded with fat or sugar (or both!). Our ancestors didn't have such luxuries and had to prepare their food from scratch with the ingredients that were available to them at the time. With less choice available to them, snacking between meals would naturally be restricted and, therefore, calorie intake reduced. Children would play happily outside instead of being glued to a screen (laptop/tablet/phone) and the fresh air and exercise would go a long way to controlling weight gain. Children tend to put on weight slowly so by the time it is noticed there is already a problem and a few extra calories a day, combined with lack of exercise is only storing up trouble for the future. How can we not expect our children to put on weight when they sit around all day and fill up on junk food?
I guess what it comes down to in the end is that we all need to eat less of the preservative and fat-laden foods and start enjoying a nutritious healthy diet. This doesn't need to exclude cake and treats as a celebration cake is a rare treat that is not consumed on a daily basis. Everyday cakes, on the other hand, tend to be smaller and shared with family and friends so, again, the opportunities to over-consume are limited but if you are desperately battling the bulge there's good news! Here at Julia's Cake & Eat It! we have a range of waistline-friendly cakes to help you in your struggle. If you are following the Slimming World plan the approximate syn values are quoted for most of them so now there really is no need to deprive yourself! The Slimming World weight loss programme is not a diet, per se, but a healthy eating plan where no food is banned. Instead, the programme teaches how to manage those times when you need a quick sweet fix and opens up a new mindset to get you out of those bad habits. If you would like to join Slimming world contact Ushma on 07932 82270 or private message her Facebook page. Ushma is an amazing Slimming World consultant who is always on hand to help and if you can't make it to one of her groups she will be happy to tell you how you can find the nearest group to you.
You really CAN have your cake & eat it!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Join the conversation and leave me a comment below.
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Related: How to Choose the Right Sized Cake
Slimming World syn values given for waistline-friendly cakes are for guidance only. This website is in no way associated with Slimming World and you should always check with Slimming World or your trained consultant for the most up to date syn values.