It occurs to me that Daddy Pig receives a lot of stick from the rest of the Peppa Pig family about his ‘big tummy’. It is a well- known fact that he loves cookies and doesn’t enjoy exercise.

So what is the harsh reality for Daddy Pig and do any of us relate to him as a working parent finding little time to prioritise our own food choices or exercise regularly?

Well Daddy Pig listen up!! Worryingly five million of us are predicted to develop diabetes by 2025. Pre-diabetes (also referred to as impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting intolerance) is a sign that things are starting to go wrong – it means blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than they should be, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Another major difference is pre-diabetes is curable and diabetes isn’t! So let’s act now.

My top tips for Daddy Pig:

Scale down the portions

Put less on your plate, chew your food more slowly, avoid distractions when you eat, cook less food, pack away leftovers in the fridge before your tempted by seconds… whatever the reasons are for you eating more than you need… address them and or seek professional dietetic advice!

Eat more fish

The recommendation is twice a week with one portion being an oily fish – even tinned counts e.g. mackerel, salmon (apart from tuna which still needs be fresh to get the omega 3 oils). Your work colleagues might not like the smell but the chances are you want your heart to be around a lot longer than them!

Eat more veg – yes this again but are you actually eating as much as you think?

When I ask people if they include veg with meals most people say yes but how good actually are we at achieving the right amount – especially as one portion is 1 ½ big serving spoons or the size of a small cereal bowl if it’s salad. To lose weight half of your dinner plate needs to be covered in them and your lunch too – a lettuce leaf in that take-away sandwich doesn’t count!!

Keep your finger on the pulse

Beans and lentils are all low in fat and high in soluble fibre which helps to control blood glucose and cholesterol levels. A big chilli with lean mince and loads of kidney beans and chickpeas will feed the whole family successfully for a couple of nights!

Don’t drink your fruit (or other high calorie drinks)

Sugary drinks do not cause diabetes but they are a source of very easily digested calories in a form that your body won’t get full on. Smoothies and fruit juices might be marketed as healthy and counting towards your 5 a day blah blah blah but bottom line is, so is a whole piece of fruit and it has less calories…so eat that instead.

Just stick to Peppa (and other herbs and spices!)

Don’t add salt to food at the table and reflect on how much of your food comes with a printed ‘sleeve’ giving you a load of nutritional information that it wants to you think is good whilst cleverly avoiding telling you what you actually need to know – yes processed food I’m talking to you.

And finally… buy shoes with laces

I’m not suggesting these be trainers and you take up running (although yes the benefits of exercise are well documented and the move more ethos is a good one).

What I am saying is weight creeps up on you and as the waist gets larger so do simple tasks that were previously easy to do – whether it be scrabbling around on the floor trying to put the shoes on your wriggling toddler or bending down to put your own shoes on, if its accompanied with a grunt then it may be time to do something. Act now and you won’t regret it!