The-Diet-Coach

06 July, 2006

Time to lose weight?

Are your clothes feeling tighter?
Does it feel like everything needs a bit more effort?
Do you lack energy?
Getting out of breath from just running a few seconds?
Generally feeling down about how you look?

1. Make sure you eat 3 regular meals a day - breakfast/lunch/dinner.
You should be aiming to eat every 4-5 hours or so, and leave 2 hours free of eating before you go to bed. Regular meals help to increase your meabolism, and burn fat.

2. Try not to snack between meals if you can.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help prevent hunger pangs between meals. But if you do decide to have a snack, try to have healthier options such as oatcakes, rice cakes, fresh fruit, a fruit bun or low fat/diet yoghurt. It is useful to have a light snack if you know it is going to be a long while until you get to have your next meal.

3. Keep a food diary.
This may seem time consuming, but it is a really good way of keeping yourself on track, and allows you to see what changes you should be trying to make. Invest in a small notebook and make 3 columns on each page. One labelled TIME, another FOOD & DRINK and finally AMOUNT. Also, put the date on the top of the page. You must be honest with yourself and write down exactly what you had and be accurate about the portion size - eg. one packet (25g) crips, 2 x Weetabix, one banana etc. You can also add another column for the Emotion, ie. how you were feeling when you ate the food - sad, happy, bored, stressed etc.

4.Limit your intake of high fat and sugary foods/drinks:
You know exactly what I mean! They may give you pleasure, but it is only for a brief moment. They are all high in calories and don't really fill you up either, which is why it is easy to overeat with these foods. So limit them to occasional treats in small quantities. Maybe no more than 2-3 times a week (but ideally only once a week).

5. Get support.
It is a good idea to get your family and friends to help you. Maybe you know someone else who wants to achieve the same thing, so get together. Help your family understand how important it is to you to slim down and get healthy, so that they can help you by not offering you tempting foods, not keeping them in the house, going out for walks etc.

6. Check your weight.
It is good to check your weight, but make sure you do not get obsessive about every 1lb you gain or lose, as weight tends to fluctuate during the day anyway. Therefore, to get more accurate results use the same scales on a hard surface, at the same time of day, wearing the same clothes or nothing, and on the same day of the week. The most you should ever weigh yourself is once a week-no more.

7. Keep Active!
I cannot stress how important a reagular exercise regime is, in conjunction with healthy eating. You need to be burning more calories that what you are eating in order to lose weight. You should be aiming for 45-60 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, plus 2 sessions of light weight training to help tone your muscles. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism. Even little things like walking instead of taking the car, using the stairs and not the lift etc., help to increase the amount of calories you are burning. So start today. Build it up slowly if you haven't done exercise for a long time.

You know have the bascis of a healthy lifestyle, so just get on with it!

TOP TIP:

Always try to plan ahead - be sure to have all the correct items in your store cupboard and fridge. Try not to keep "junk food" in the house. This helps reduce temptation. Plan your meals in advance so that you be confident that you are eating properly.



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04 July, 2006

Why should we be careful with what we eat?



Hi There!

You may be wondering who I am.

Well, I am a fully qualified nutritionist and dietitian. I currently work in Primary Care in London, and have had a lot of experience in the dietary field.

I felt that I wanted to share my knowledge and experiences with you about aspects of health and diet, and hope to help people along the way. Hence, I am writing my blog on the subject.

I am sure that you all have come across the reasons as to why we need to be more careful with what we are eating, but do you actually know why?

Well, there are numerous reasons which include:

1. To help prevent diabetes/keep in in comtrol
2. Help reduce the risk of Coronary Heart Disease
3. To keep your hormones in check
4. Reduce the risks of cancers
5. Keep your skin looking good
6. Keep your energy levels up

and the list goes on and on and on................

The aim of this blog is to give you up to date information on many aspects of health and to also give basic advice on how to achieve your dietary goals.

TOP TIP FOR TODAY:

The first aspect of healthy eating is to make sure you eat 3 (small to medium) regular meals a day. This is important to help control your sugar levels, insulin production and your weight.