Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Weight’

Foods that Fight Inflammation

August 16, 2015

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator.

Your immune system attacks anything in your body that it recognizes as foreign—such as an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical. The process is called inflammation. Intermittent bouts of inflammation directed at truly threatening invaders protect your health.

However, sometimes inflammation persists, day in and day out, even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. That’s when inflammation can become your enemy. Many major diseases that plague us—including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s—have been linked to chronic inflammation.

One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy, but from the grocery store. “Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Choose the right foods, and you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. Consistently pick the wrong ones, and you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process.

Foods that inflame

Try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:

  • refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
  • French fries and other fried foods
  • soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
  • red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
  • margarine, shortening, and lard

Inflammation-promoting foods

Not surprisingly, the same foods that contribute to inflammation are generally considered bad for our health, including sodas and refined carbohydrates, as well as red meat and processed meats.

Some of the foods that have been associated with an increased risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease are also associated with excess inflammation,” Dr. Hu says. “It’s not surprising, since inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of these diseases.”

Unhealthy foods also contribute to weight gain, which is itself a risk factor for inflammation. Yet in several studies, even after researchers took obesity into account, the link between foods and inflammation remained, which suggests weight gain isn’t the sole driver. “Some of the food components or ingredients may have independent effects on inflammation over and above increased caloric intake,” Dr. Hu says.

Foods that combat inflammation

Include plenty of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet:

  • tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
  • nuts like almonds and walnuts
  • fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
  • fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges

Anti-inflammation foods

On the flip side are foods and beverages that have been found to reduce the risk of inflammation, and with it, chronic disease, says Dr. Hu. He notes in particular fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples, and leafy greens that are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols—protective compounds found in plants.

Studies have also associated nuts with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Coffee, which contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, may protect against inflammation, as well.

Anti-inflammatory eating

To reduce levels of inflammation, aim for an overall healthy diet. If you’re looking for an eating plan that closely follows the tenets of anti-inflammatory eating, consider the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils.

In addition to lowering inflammation, a more natural, less processed diet can have noticeable effects on your physical and emotional health. “A healthy diet is beneficial not only for reducing the risk of chronic diseases, but also for improving mood and overall quality of life,” Dr. Hu says.

Foods that fight inflammation-infographArticle sourced here: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation

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Strategies for Cutting Sugar Addiction

May 24, 2015

sugar
If you can’t seem to kick the sugar habit, you might want to start. There are many strategies to cut your addiction to sugar, but these 15 tips are some of the best methods!

Refined sugar contributes to a variety of negative side effects like tooth decay, a weakened immune system, cancer, mineral deprivation, liver damage, insulin resistance, weight gain, premature aging, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, mood swings and hyperactivity (among many others).

Of course, not all sugar is created equal. When I talk about sugar, I mean highly-processed, refined sugar you buy in a grocery store. I am not talking about fruit sugar, which is processed by the body in a hugely different respect, and helps prevent all of the above mentioned rather than encourage it. Please, keep the fruit in your life! I have been raw vegan for 5 years, and much of my diet consists of fruit and leafy greens, and I feel younger and more vibrant every morning!

Here are 15 strategies to cut your addiction to sugar:
1. Cut back slowly

If you go cold turkey, you are more than likely to binge on everything sugar after a couple days. Cutting back slowly, by say, adding half a teaspoon of sugar to your tea instead of 1 or 2, is more reasonable than stopping altogether (or if you eat one bar of chocolate every day, cut back to half a bar, etc.). Eventually you will find that you don’t want as much sugar, and breaking the addiction will come naturally.

2. Don’t fall for sugar-free

Sugar-free items are often loaded with artificial sweeteners, which are cancerous, disease-causing and essentially the worst thing you could be putting in your body. In fact, artificial sweeteners increase your appetite and cravings for sugar (because your brain gets confused, it signals you are giving it “sweet” but isn’t fully satisfied, so continues craving), which in the end, will have you gaining more weight than you otherwise might not have wanted.

3. Read food labels

Many processed foods (canned, boxed, bagged), are loaded with sugar – food items you would have never thought possible. Sugar manages to make its way into crackers, breads, cereals, soups, condiments and so many other store-bought manufactured products. Read your labels, and make sure sugar content is below 1-2 grams per serving.

4. Beware of sneaky sugar names

Sugar isn’t always labelled as “sugar” under ingredients. It has many other forms, like sugars ending in -ose (sucrose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, galactose, lactose, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose solids), cane juice, dextrin, maltodextrin, dextran, barley malt, beet sugar, corn syrup, caramel, buttered syrup, carob syrup, brown sugar, date sugar, malt syrup, diatase, and golden syrup.

5. Add flavour with sweet herbs

There are some pretty interesting herbs out there, like vanilla, and cinnamon that possess hints of sweetness and can satisfy strong sugar cravings. The bonus with cinnamon is that it regulates your blood sugar and controls your appetite. Experiment with cocoa, citrus zests, and other herbs to maximize flavour, while cutting back on sugar.

6. Don’t drink your sugar

Drinking your sugar is one of the easiest, and fastest ways to consume it without even thinking twice about it. Sodas, flavoured waters, and sports drinks are all loaded with massive un-necessary sugar content that you can swig back in no time. Instead of these sugary drinks, make flavoured water with different fruit and herbal infusions.

7. Dump processed bread products

Most commercial bread products contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup, which is highly responsible for the obesity epidemic today. In fact, processed bread can have sugar contents as high as 3 grams per slice! Two slices of toast for breakfast can equal the equivalent sugar content as a candy bar. Skip the bread, and instead make a fruit smoothie! It will satisfy you longer, and make you feel much more alive.

8. Keep candies and sweets out of the house

When they aren’t in your house, you won’t be as likely to eat them! Get rid of any candy or sweets in your house and replace them with fruit – your new habit will be much better for you, and you won’t be tempted to reach in your cupboard for something sweeter (medjool dates make a great “candy” substitution).

9. Stop adding sugar to your recipes

One of the easiest ways to reduce refined sugar consumption would be to stop adding sugar to your recipes! Casseroles, soups, sauces, vegetables, you name it – they often call for sugar. Instead, you can substitute applesauce, mashed bananas or pureed dry fruit in baking, or you can simply cut the sugar in half, or not even add it at all!

10. Make your own condiments or don’t use any at all

Condiments are often loaded with sugar. Take ketchup, for example. This common household condiment contains over 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon. That is a ridiculous amount of sugar for such a small serving size. Anything ranging from ketchup to relish, to barbecue sauce and salad dressings, are all loaded with sugar. Make your own, so that you know just how much sugar you are consuming.

11. Eat enough healthy fat

Eating enough healthy fats will prevent you from craving highly-processed (“empty”) nutrient-deprived carbs like rice, white bread and white pasta. If you aren’t fuelling your body properly, it will resort to the fastest calorie source, regardless of nutrient value, which means anything from pies, pastries, donuts, cookies, white bread or white pasta.

12. Exercise beats sugar cravings

Exercising regularly actually helps beat sugar cravings. Exercising vigorously for just 20 minutes a day will encourage endorphin release and dopamine production. Why is this so significant? Daily bingeing on sugar repeatedly releases dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (the reward centre of the brain), similar in the way a drug addict’s brain will release dopamine each time they partake in drug use.

So basically, exercising will excite dopamine production in the same way sugar does, so the next time you are craving some sugary goods, go exercise for awhile and you will find that your craving will disappear. And when you’re done exercising, make a healthy fruit smoothie with some added greens to fully satisfy your brain’s glucose requirement, and to replenish your muscles.

13. Drop fancy teas, coffees and hot chocolates

If you are addicted to the daily routine of latte’s and sugar-loaded teas and hot chocolate, then you may want to substitute it with something else. There are great coffee substitutions that you can easily whip up in no time, as well as the option of making your own beverages at home. This way you can track how much sugar you are putting in your drinks, and you can also opt for immune-boosting honey instead (make sure it is raw, and local), or unrefined coconut sugar.

14. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep under your belt is another crucial factor in ensuring you don’t reach for the nearest cookie jar. One of the negative side effects of sleep deprivation is that our ghrelin levels increase (hormones that make you feel hungry), while our leptin levels decrease (hormones that make you feel full), setting up a perfect scenario for over-eating when tired.

Lack of sleep is often correlated with a preference for sweeter foods, mainly because our brain is fueled by glucose, and so to keep us awake throughout the day, it desperately seeks out any source of fast, easy sugar access. So make sure you get enough sleep, and if you don’t get enough sleep, at least make sure only healthy carbohydrate-rich options are at your reach, like bananas, dates, mangoes, or any other fruit!

15. Eat leafy greens and fruit

Leafy greens, whether you eat them in salads, press them in juices or blend them in smoothies are a great way to retrain your tastebuds and detox your liver from years worth of sugar consumption. Usually when our brain is craving refined sugar, we are instinctually craving what our body needs most – FRUIT! Fruit contains beneficial sugars that our body can recognize and use in their true, raw form, as well as vitamins and minerals that we require to function at our absolute best!

Article sourced from: http://livelovefruit.com/strategies-to-cut-your-addiction-to-sugar/
Read more at http://livelovefruit.com/strategies-to-cut-your-addiction-to-sugar/#XcdbLwJezLSrfU4D.99

Coffs Coast Health Club eNews – September 2014

September 2, 2014

landscape.burst“Empowering the Coffs Coast to be the happiest & healthiest community in Australia”
#strongertogether   #fitnessnfun   #coffscoasthealthclub

Exclusive Worlds Best Health Supplements HAVE ARRIVED!

nanos overview

Our quest to find the healthiest all natural supplements on the planet took us overseas earlier this year and it may have taken us six months to organise it but finally they have arrived. We tasted and researched over 100 different products before we decided who we would align our brand with. We are now pleased to announce that we hold the exclusive license on the Coffs Coast for the Nano range of products from BioPharma Scientific.
 
Their patented SuperSorb® delivery system allows your body to absorb the maximum amount of the nutritional value for better results, guaranteed. In addition, all of their products are non-GMO, organic, and 100% plant based with absolutely zero synthetic ingredients. They are based on new, scientifically-advanced, physician grade formulas with the highest quality ingredients sourced from the cleanest parts of the world.

Let’s just say their 
shaker
products do all the talking for themselves.

BioPharmaSc’s four most popular products are NanoGreens, NanoProtein, NanoEPA Fish Oil and NanoLean. They can now be purchased through reception individually or as a four pack for 5% OFF.
 
Did you know? Each serve of NanoGreens has the equivalent of 10 serves of organic fruit and vegetables! Have a chat to your trainer about which products are most appropriate for your needs.
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member appreciation day

Member Appreciation Day Was Fantastic!

Thank you to everyone that participated last month on Member Appreciation Day. The classes, the events, the offers & the atmosphere around the club was amazing.

We still have a number of Foundation Member gifts for collection at reception,
so if you were a member on 31st October 2009 & are still a member now, please see the reception team to collect your gift.

The feedback was so positive on the day that we will be making it an annual event.
Days like this are a true testament to the quality of our Coffs Coast Health Club community.

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Last 2014 Personal Trainer Course STARTING SOON!

AIPT_Approved-Mentor_Personal-Trainer

The Australian Institute of Personal Trainers is proud to introduce their NEW Certificate IV in Fitness – Complete Personal Trainer and Diploma of Business qualifications package.
 

Fast Track Oct 2014

Start a career as a Personal Trainer and gain the necessary skills to run and manage your own successful fitness business.
 
The Certificate IV in Fitness – Complete Personal Trainer qualification will allow you to gain hands-on practical experience while being able to complete the theory component online and in your own time.
 
As part of your qualification package, you will also complete the Diploma of Business building on the units you completed within your Certificate IV in Fitness and will help you to develop your skills across a wide range of business functions including managing your own business through to being a program coordinator or business manager within a larger business.
 
The Diploma of Business is VET FEE-HELP* approved, so you can study now and pay later – with no time lost!
 
Contact Tracy Welsh, your local campus manager directly on 0429 695 096 for further information.
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Short Term Workout Options for Friends & Family!

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Do you have friends or family that are in town during the school holidays? Would you like to save them some money & get them working out with you? Well due to popular demand we are now offering some short term workout options for them…
 
Single Visit – adult only $15, student or baby boomer only $10, incl access during all supervised hours
Week Pass – adult only $29, student or baby boomer only $19, incl access during all supervised hours
 
See reception or call 6658 6222 to take advantage of these offers for a limited time.
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Kids Club at FIA World Rally Championship!

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The FIA World Rally Championship is coming to Coffs Harbour and Coffs Coast Kids Club will be in the Kids Zone which is part of the FREE fanzone site at the Coffs International Stadium. 
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Among all of the awesome rally events there will also be Kids Yoga and Kids Zumba taking place, Smurfs to play with and lots of Coffs Coast Health Club balloons being given out.  
Saturday: KIDS ZUMBA at 11.30am, KIDS YOGA at 12.15pm,
KIDS ZUMBA at 1.00pm & KIDS YOGA at 1.45pm.
Sunday: KIDS ZUMBA at 11.30am & KIDS YOGA at 12.30pm.
Come along, say hi & have some fun!
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Attack that Summer swimsuit!

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Spring is the perfect time to work on your health and fitness as the warmer weather gets you motivated and inspired to get on track before summer. 
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Why not try a class that is guaranteed to get you fitter, stronger, leaner and healthier? 
 
ATTACK is the high energy sports inspired cardio class that builds strength and stamina and it is on our timetable on Wednesdays at 6.30pm, Thursdays at 9.30am, Fridays at 5.30pm and Saturdays at 8.30am. 
 
There are options to suit everyone so that you can work within your limits and succeed. Give it a try today!
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Help Simone Ride To Conquer Cancer!

simone 2Please help our very own Weight Loss Coach, Childminder & Personal Trainer Simone raise funds for her Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 200 km ride over 2 days, with funds benefiting Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Cancer Research at RPA

 
There will be a delicious 2 course lunch and a silent auction to assist with getting Simone to the start line.
This will be held on Saturday 20th 

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September from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at Surf Club Restaurant & Bar. The cost is only $35 per head and with some great lucky door prizes and raffle tickets on offer. It will be a fun event!
 
We are asking everyone to bring something “new” for the silent auction table. You can bring more than one thing if you like, but we’ll have everything set up on the deck for bidding to take place. All items will start at a reserve price of $10.  
 
If you can’t make it to the lunch, please visit her fund-raising page here & donate any amount as it all helps.

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Pilates Is Here!

Personal Training compress

Join in a 12 week Classical Pilates Group Class with a modern twist and reap the rewards.
Pilates dramatically transforms the way your body looks, feels and performs. Give Jacqui 30 minutes of your time once a week and she will
give you the tools to help you build your strength without bulk, make you more aware of your body than you have ever been, improve your posture,
your grace, your flexibility and flatten your stomach in 12 weeks.
$20 a week will be money worth spent to learn valuable mind and body skills that will last you a lifetime.
First class is FREE.

When:     Starts Wed 3rd September

Pilates (1) 2

Time:      10.00am – 10.30am

Where:    Upstairs Circuit & Boxing Studio

Cost:        $20/week

Register:  Reception on 6658 6222 or Jacqui directly on 0421 971 155 or via jacqui@coffscoasthc.com.au but be quick as there are only 7 spots available.

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12 Week Body Makeover Challenge!

12 week makeover

From just $20 a week, Healthy Inspirations are offering you the opportunity to transform yourself before Summer. Reveal the new summer you by taking part in our Body Makeover Challenge.
 
Here are the top 5 reasons to join the challenge:
1.  Lose up to 12kgs
2.  Easy No Hunger Reset Program
3.  Get Accountability with One on One or Group Body Makeover Coaching
4.  Summer is only 12 weeks away
5.  The winner receives a Total Makeover to complete the transformation
 
When:       Starts Monday 1st September
                 Ends Sunday 30th November
Register:   Call or drop in to see Simone 0402 202 864 or Leslie 0423 284 421 in the Healthy Inspirations office
 
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Kids School Holiday Massage Sessions!

Massage Therapy

Book your kids into our School Holiday Massage Sessions, so they can learn the basics of massage while you have your workout. Research shows that children that practice massage become calmer, more concentrated and less 

kids massage

aggressive – what more could you ask for during the holidays?
 
When:       Monday 22nd September 5.30-6.30pm and/or
                 Thursday 25th September 9.30-10.30am
Cost:         $10 per child plus $5 if accompanied by a parent
Age:          6-12 years
Register:   Call reception on 6658 6222 or drop in to see Angela 0417 675 319 in the Upstairs Massage Room.
 
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Personal Trainer Traineeship NOW AVAILABLE!

emily

Yes its that time already… Our wonderful Director of First Impressions
Emily Hodgens will be leaving our frontline soon to continue her study at University. 
 
This means that we will be once again giving one lucky person the opportunity to become a Personal Trainer and gain twelve months work experience in
the regions most awarded health club.
 
We accept applications from anyone of any age with any background, as long as they have a wonderful work ethic and a desire to service our magnificent members. 
 
If you or anyone you know is interested in this exciting career opportunity,
please forward this email to them, get them to complete the application form here & drop
it in to reception before Sunday 7th September.
 
 
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SAVE THIS DATE! Friday 28th November – Members & Guest Christmas Party!

imagesClick here for more information on membership, personal training, weight loss, massage therapy, rehabilitation, group exercise, childminding, privileges card & fitness careers or call us on 6658 6222 for more help.

Invite your friends for a FREE TRIAL & grab yourself a new training buddy!

 

Sincerely,

Your CCHC Team

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Start Shaping Up

August 19, 2014

IT’S TIME TO SHAPE UPshapeup

As a nation, our waistlines are growing. Today, over 63% of Australian adults and one in four children are overweight or obese.

Unhealthy eating and not enough physical activity can lead to overweight and obesity, and an increased risk of developing a chronic disease such as some cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Shape Up Australia is an initiative to help Australians reduce their waist measurements and improve their overall health and wellbeing. There are many everyday changes you can make to help you Shape Up and get on your way to a healthier lifestyle.


GETTING ACTIVE

Life can be busy, and it’s easy to think that there just isn’t enough time to be physically active.  But being physically active doesn’t mean you have to spend hours exercising each day or that you have to push yourself to the point of feeling exhausted.

There are great benefits to getting even a small amount of physical activity each day, both mentally and physically.  Being active gives you more energy, helps you sleep better, reduces the risk of depression and can help to prevent a range of chronic diseases.

You can start with small changes, like increasing the distance you walk by getting off the bus earlier or parking your car further away from the shops.  Gradually increase the amount of physical activity you do – it all adds up.  Aim for 30 minutes (or more) of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week.

If you’re worried you don’t have the time, keep in mind that you don’t have to do your 30 minutes (or more) all at once – combine a few shorter sessions of 10 to 15 minutes each throughout the day.  Those short bursts are just as effective as longer exercise sessions.

To get started, check out these physical activity tips or find activities in your local area using the activity finder.

GETTING PHYSICAL TIPS

Tips for being more physically active every day

  • The saying “no pain, no gain” is a myth.  Some activity is better than none, and more is better than a little.  But you don’t have to exercise to the point of collapse to get a health benefit.  Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.
  • Set a date for when you will start. Write the date down and stick to it.
  • Make time to be physically active and schedule it as you would an appointment.  The Shape Up activity planner can help you plan and track your activity.
  • Set short-term and long-term goals.  Make your goals specific, measurable and achievable.  Rather than a vague goal like “I will get fit”, try “I will walk every day for 10 minutes after meals” or “I will get off the bus/train two stops earlier than my usual stop”.
  • Build up gradually.  If you are starting a new activity or have been inactive for some time, start at a level that you can manage easily and gradually build up.
  • Choose activities that are right for you.  Do something that you enjoy or go for something different you’ve always wanted to try, such as walking, jogging, joining a team sport, taking a group fitness class, dancing, cycling or swimming.
  • Mix it up.  Consider changing your activities every so often to avoid becoming bored.
  • Plan physical activity with others.  This can help you stick to your plan and achieve your goals.
  • Do not give up before you start to see the benefits.  Be patient and keep at it.
  • HAVE FUN! Physical activity can make you feel good about yourself and it’s a great opportunity to have fun with other people or enjoy some time to yourself.

FINDING TIME TO GET ACTIVE

It can seem hard to find time for physical activity.  One solution is to look for opportunities to build as much physical activity into everyday activities as you can.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Rather than spend five minutes circling a car park looking for that “perfect space” right near the entrance, park five minutes away and spend that time walking instead.
  • If you arrive at a bus or tram stop early, why not make use of the time to walk to the next stop?
  • Walk rather than rest on escalators… it’s quicker so you’ll actually save time! (Or better still, use the stairs).
  • Work in the garden – get into some energetic gardening activities like digging, shifting soil and mowing the lawn to raise your heart-rate.
  • Clean the house! Activities like vacuuming, cleaning windows and scrubbing floors that raise your heart rate are all good examples of moderate intensity physical activity.
  • Park further away from work (or get off public transport a few stops early).  If you walk for 10 minutes to and from work, you’ll have done 20 minutes without even noticing.  Add a 10 minute brisk walk (or more!) at lunch time and you’ve met the guidelines for the day.

ACTIVITY INTENSITY

What is moderate intensity activity?

Moderate-intensity activity will cause a slight but noticeable increase in your breathing and heart rate.  A good example of moderate-intensity activity is brisk walking; that is, at a pace where you are able to talk comfortably, but not sing.  Moderate-intensity activity should be carried out for at least 10 minutes at a time.

What is vigorous activity?

Vigorous activity is where you “huff and puff”; where talking in full sentences between breaths is difficult.  Vigorous activity can come from such sports as football, squash, netball, basketball and activities such as aerobics, speed walking, jogging and fast cycling.

Note: If you are pregnant, have been previously inactive, or suffer from any medical conditions, it is recommended that you seek medical advice before commencing vigorous physical activity.

WHAT SHOULD I BE EATING

Eating a diet that includes a variety of nutritious foods every day helps us maintain a healthy weight, feel good and fight off chronic disease.

Best of all, healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard if you follow these seven golden rules:

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Eat more vegetables and fruit
  3. Watch how much you eat – even foods that are good for us, when eaten in large portions, can lead to weight gain
  4. Eat less processed food
  5. Eat regular meals – don’t skip meals – and always start the day with a healthy breakfast (e.g. a bowl of hi fibre cereal with sliced banana and low fat milk)
  6. Restrict your alcohol intake
  7. Remember that some foods are high in added fat, salt and sugar and so are best eaten only sometimes or in small amounts.  Examples include lollies, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, pastries, soft drinks, chips, pies, sausage rolls and other takeaways.

To help you eat well every day, check out these healthy recipes and snack suggestions, tips for staying on track when eating out, our guide to healthy eating on a budget, and tips for drinking to health.

Snack suggestions

  • Add fruit and yoghurt to low fat milk and blend them together to make a great tasting smoothie.
  • A slice of wholegrain bread or raisin toast with a healthy spread such as avocado or low-fat cream cheese, makes a filling, healthy snack.
  • A piece of fruit – like a banana or apple – can make a great “on the run” snack.
  • Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar or packet of chips, try vegetable sticks with low-fat hummus.
  • An occasional handful of unsalted nuts or dried fruit makes a nutritious snack.
  • Grab a tub of natural low-fat yoghurt and add your own fruit.
  • Air-popped popcorn with a sprinkling of salt makes a great afternoon snack.
  • When the weather is hot, fruits such as oranges and grapes make delicious frozen snacks.

Other useful links:

Australian Dietary Guidelines www.eatforhealth.gov.au

Stay On Track When Eating Out Fact Sheet

Your Guide To Buying Fruit And Veg In Season Fact Sheet

Information sourced from this Government Website: http://www.shapeup.gov.au/start-shaping-up

How much weight do you really need to lose?

November 9, 2012

Ideal Weight or Happy Weight?

By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
Maybe you’ve been struggling — without success — to get down to the size you were in high school or on your wedding day. But do you really need to go that low? The truth, experts say, is that you can weigh more than your ideal weight and still be healthy (not to mention happy).

If you’re overweight, losing just 10% of your body weight is associated with a myriad of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar, and reducing your risk for heart disease. Not only that, experts say, but this kind of weight loss is easier to attain and maintain, setting you up for success in the long run.

woman on scale

Your Weight “Set Point”

Just as your body temperature is programmed to stay around 98.6 degrees, your body weight is naturally regulated to stay within a range of 10%-20%, says Thomas Wadden, PhD, director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at University of Pennsylvania Medical School. This weight range is known as the “set point.”

A complex set of hormones, chemicals, and hunger signals help your body naturally maintain your weight within this range, says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD.

It is not just a matter of genetics, though. Your eating and exercise habits can also help to determine your set point.

“Overeating swamps the internal regulatory system, and, as a result, the set point increases — which is much easier to do than it is to lower it,” says Wadden. The body adjusts to the higher weight and “resets” the set point to defend the new weight.

It is difficult, but not impossible, to set your range lower. “With changes in healthy eating and exercise behavior, you can lower your set point,” says Blatner.

The 10% Solution to Weight Loss

A recent book, Break Through Your Set Point: How to Finally Lose the Weight You Want and Keep It Off, by George Blackburn, MD, suggests that maintaining a 10% loss for six months to a year helps your body adjust to the lower weight and thus reset the set point.

Wadden explains that when you lose large amounts of weight at once, you set up an internal struggle and hormones like ghrelin spike to make you hungrier as your body tries to defend its comfortable range.

Instead, experts recommend that you try losing 10% the old-fashioned way — by slowly changing eating and exercise behaviors — then maintain this new weight for a few months before trying to lose more.  Not only will your body get the signal to lower its “set point,” but you’ll give yourself a chance to get used to new food choices, smaller portions, and regular exercise.

“When patients lose 10% it may not be the pant size they want, but they start to realize how a little weight loss impacts their health in very positive ways,” says Blatner. “They feel better, sleep better, have more energy or less joint pain, and some people are able to reduce medications.”

How Much Should I Weigh?

Most people overestimate how much weight they can realistically lose, which leads to frustration, says Blatner. To find your happy or healthy weight, Blatner suggests looking back on your weight history as an adult and identify a weight you were able to maintain naturally and fairly easily.

And if you’ve gained more than a few pounds since your wedding day, forget trying to fit into that bridal gown. “As you gain weight, you experience an increase in fat cell size and number, which will probably prevent you from getting back to your married weight,” says Wadden.

Instead of focusing on the numbers on the scale, Blatner suggests setting behavioral goals: “Eat breakfast every day, go for daily walks, eat more fruits and vegetables — when you set behavior goals, they are easier to accomplish and they make you feel good.”  Stick with these behaviors for 3-6 months and they will become part of your life.

Based on your current weight, eat about 10 calories per pound of nutritious food (low in fat, rich in lean protein, high in fiber), get regular exercise, and assess your weight after a month or so.

“Your weight will settle out and typically you will lose 10%, then hit a plateau, which is a good time to maintain the weight loss,” says Wadden.

As you get to a healthy weight, you can go up to 12 calories per pound.

Tips for Weight Loss Success

Here are some tips from Blatner for weight loss success:

  1. Eat regular meals.  People who eat regular meals consume fewer calories than those who eat irregular meals.
  2. Use a plate, sit down, and enjoy your meals. Folks who do this eat 43% smaller portions than those who eat out of containers or on the run, according to Blatner.
  3. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity each day.
  4. How much and what you eat makes a big difference.  Enjoy normal portions of foods that are high in fiber (fruits, veggies, whole grains) and rich in lean or low fat protein is the secret to feeling full.
  5. Think positive: Focus on the benefits of a healthier lifestyle rather than the scale.

Information sourced from: http://www.webmd.com

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