arlenesway.com.au Loose weight with Arlene Normand

June 6, 2017

Questions

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 5:28 am

Question

How does diet affect blood sugar levels?

Answer

As a diabetic it is essential that you manage your blood sugars. After all, keeping your blood sugar level within your target range can help you live a long and healthy life. You are obviously not educated in what makes your blood sugar level rise and fall – food is central to this, particularly carbohydrate containing foods.

Healthy eating is a cornerstone of any diabetes management plan. But it’s not just what you eat that affects your blood sugar level. How much you eat and when you eat matters, too. Keeping to a regular schedule of eating can work to your advantage. This does not work all the time, but it is essential that it works most of the time. Your blood sugar level is highest an hour or two after you eat, and then begins to fall. But this predictable pattern can work to your advantage. You can help lessen the amount of change in your blood sugar levels if you eat at the same time every day, eat several small meals a day or eat healthy snacks at regular times between meals.

Ideally every meal should be well balanced. As much as possible, plan for every meal to have the right mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins, and fats. It’s especially important to eat about the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal and snack because they have a big effect on blood sugar levels. Talk to your doctor, nurse or dietitian about the best food choices and appropriate balance. Eat the right amount of foods, particularly carbohydrates (eg. fruit, bread, pasta, rice). Learn what portion size is appropriate for each type of food. Simplify your meal planning by writing down portions for the foods you eat often. Use measuring cups or a scale to ensure proper portion size.

You must coordinate your meals and medication. Too little food in comparison to your diabetes medications — especially insulin — may result in dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). Too much food may cause your blood sugar level to climb too high (hyperglycaemia). Talk to your diabetes health care team about how to best coordinate meal and medication schedules.

Question

How important is it to take a multi-vitamin throughout pregnancy?

Nutrition and Healthy Eating Pregnancy

I am a healthy eater but obviously I don’t have the “perfect” diet and I know I don’t eat enough vegies.

What should I do? Do I need to be on a good pregnancy vitamin??

Answer

 

Eating a healthy, varied  diet in pregnancy will satisfy most of the vitamins and minerals you need. There are some vitamins and minerals that are especially important. It is recommended  to get vitamins and minerals from the food you eat, but when you are pregnant you will need to take some supplements as well to make sure you get everything you need. It’s recommended that you take:

10 micrograms of Vitamin D each day throughout your pregnancy and if you breastfeed

400 micrograms of folic acid each day – you should take this from before you are pregnant until you are 12 weeks pregnant .Do not take vitamin A supplements, or any supplements containing vitamin A (retinol), as too much could harm your baby.

 

You can get supplements from pharmacies and supermarkets, or your GP may be able to prescribe them for you. If you want to get your folic acid or vitamin D from a multivitamin tablet, make sure that the tablet does not contain vitamin A (or retinol).

 

Folic acid is important for pregnancy as it can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. You should take a 400 microgram folic acid tablet every day while you are trying to get pregnant and until you are 12 weeks pregnant. If you didn’t take folic acid before you conceived, you should start as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.  You should also eat foods that contain folate (the natural form of folic acid), such as green leafy vegetables and brown rice. Some breakfast cereals, breads and margarines have folic acid added to them. Some women have an increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect, and are advised to take a higher dose of 5 milligrams (5mg) of folic acid each day until they are 12 weeks pregnant. Women have an increased risk if they:

or their partner have a neural tube defect

have had a previous pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect

or their partner have a family history of neural tube defects

have diabetes

In addition, women who are taking anti-epileptic medication should consult their GP for advice, as they may also need to take a higher dose of folic acid.

If any of the above applies to you, talk to your GP as they can prescribe a higher dose of folic acid. Your GP or midwife may also recommend additional screening tests during your pregnancy.

 

Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, these are needed to keep bones and teeth healthy. You need to take vitamin D during your pregnancy to provide your baby with enough vitamin D for the first few months of its life. You should take a supplement of 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day when you are pregnant and if you breastfeed.  In children, not having enough vitamin D can cause their bones to soften and can lead to rickets (a disease that affects bone development in children).  Vitamin D can be found naturally in oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel and sardines), eggs and meat. Some manufacturers add it to some breakfast cereals, soya products, some dairy products, powdered milk, and fat spreads such as margarine.  The best source of vitamin D is summer sunlight on your skin. The amount of time you need in the sun to make enough vitamin D is different for every person, and depends on things such as skin type, the time of day and the time of year. However, you don’t need to sunbathe: the amount of sun you need to make enough vitamin D is less than the amount that causes tanning or burning. If you have dark skin or always cover your skin, you may be at particular risk of vitamin D deficiency. Talk to your midwife or doctor if this applies to you.

 

If you are short of iron, you’ll probably get very tired and may suffer from anaemia. Lean meat, green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, and nuts contain iron. If you’d like to eat peanuts or foods that contain peanuts (such as peanut butter) during pregnancy, you can do so as part of a healthy balanced diet unless you’re allergic to them or your health professional advises you not to. Many breakfast cereals have iron added. If the iron level in your blood becomes low, your GP or midwife will advise you to take iron supplements.

Vitamin C protects cells and helps keep them healthy. A balanced diet containing fruit and vegetables, including broccoli, citrus fruits, tomatoes, bell peppers, and blackcurrants, can provide all the vitamin C you need.

 

Calcium is vital for making your baby’s bones and teeth. Dairy products and fish with edible bones – such as sardines – are rich in calcium. Breakfast cereals, dried fruit – such as figs and apricots – bread, almonds, tofu (a vegetable protein made from soya beans) and green leafy vegetables – such as watercress, broccoli and curly kale – are other good sources of calcium.

 

If you are Vegetarian or  Vegan , a varied and balanced vegetarian diet should give enough nutrients for you and your baby during pregnancy. However, you might find it hard to get enough iron and vitamin B12. Talk to your midwife or doctor about how to make sure you are getting enough of these important nutrients. If you are vegan (you cut out all animal products from your diet), or you follow another type of restricted diet because of food intolerance (for example, a gluten free diet for coeliac disease) or for religious reasons, talk to your midwife or GP. Ask to be referred to a dietitian for advice on how to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need for you and your baby.

A good pregnancy multi vitamin is recommended (eg. Elevit)  which you can take throughout your pregnancy. If you have a restricted food intake you should see a dietitian who will recommend certain supplements for your individual needs.

Question

Why is low fat milk higher in salt and sugar?

Nutrition and Healthy Eating

I thought low fat milk would be better as it has less saturated fat, should I stick with full fat milk?

 

Answer

From a young age we are programmed to believe that milk is healthy, but as we get older, we start questioning the differences between skim milk and whole milk. You know that skim milk is probably better for your waistline, since it contains virtually no fat, but is it really worth sacrificing the taste of whole milk and opt for the fat-free variety? Can skim milk provide the same nutrients as whole milk, and it is healthy? The answer to all these questions is simply, yes.

Skim milk is also labeled as fat free milk, and in order for milk to be considered skim, it must contain less than 0.5% milk fat. In comparison, whole milk contains 3.5% fat and over half of this fat is saturated. One cup of skim milk holds 90 calories, while whole milk delivers 145 calories a serving.

Skim milk consists of the following nutrients (approximately as may vary from product to product):

Sodium – 130 mg

Carbohydrate – 13g

Sugars – 12g

Potassium – 382mg

Protein – 9g

Cholesterol – Less than 1%

Vitamin A – 10%

Vitamin C – 4%

Calcium – 30%

Vitamin D – 25%

Skim milk has the obvious benefits  of being kind to your waistline and not filling your body with fat or cholesterol. But, what about the nutritional potency of skim milk? Since the fat is removed, does this mean that vital nutrients are as well? While the fat content of skim milk decreases, the nutritional composition does not. In fact, some nutrients are actually increased during the fat removal process, such as protein, potassium and calcium.  While skim milk delivers a lot of vitamins and minerals, some of these vitamins are fortified. Whole milk naturally contains fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, which skim milk lacks since the fat is removed. Therefore, manufacturers will add vitamin A and D, which isn’t quite as natural, but still beneficial. After the fat removal process, sodium and carbohydrates are left behind, leaving the sodium and carbohydrate content higher in skim milk than in whole milk. Another disadvantage of skim milk is that it contains 12g of sugar, as stated above. While skim milk should be included as part of a healthy weight loss routine, you must keep in mind that it does contain sugar. Therefore, limit your consumption to two servings a day.

Another drawback of skim milk, and of all milk for that matter, is that many adults suffer from lactose intolerance and cannot consume skim milk without experiencing discomfort. However, some lactose intolerant individuals find they can handle skim milk with greater ease than with whole milk. If you are lactose intolerant, there are still options available that will enable you to reap all the health benefits of skim milk. You can opt for skim milk that is lactose free or indulge in light soy milk.

All drawbacks aside, skim milk is considered healthy and should be a part of your balanced diet. In comparison to whole or low-fat milk, it comes out on top and should be your milk of choice.

 

Question

Should I avoid all high GI foods?

Answer

In general, you do not have to eliminate these foods and pairing them with low GI foods (i.e. fats and proteins) will help slow their absorption in your blood stream and regulate your hunger level. For example, try eating your cereal with milk and nuts. Choose cakes that have no icing and a mixture of fruits. Also, try to choose whole wheat products over refined products, as the bran in whole wheat products helps to slow absorption to your blood stream.
Question

Is Tapioca Syrup better than Maple Syrup? and whats the difference between the two?

Answer

Maple syrup is preferable to white sugar as it is richer in antioxidants, but that’s not very difficult. It’s also been eaten for centuries as a traditional food, perhaps even longer, since the native Americans were producing maple syrup when the Europeans arrived in the Americas. A recent study identified 54 phenolic compounds in real maple syrup, including one dubbed quebecol that actually forms during the process of boiling sap down into syrup. Since honey owes its unique metabolic effects to the presence of dozens upon dozens of phenolic compounds, I would guess that maple syrup is one of the safer sweeteners. When it comes to sugar, all maple syrups, regardless of the grade, are almost entirely sucrose. Maple syrup, however, is darker, richer, more complex, and contains more minerals (and, probably just like the darker honeys, more phytochemicals). Make sure you get real maple syrup, not just “syrup”, however it is still sugar.

 

Tapioca (also known as cassava, manioc, mandioc, or yucca) is a root native to tropical areas of South America. The tapioca syrup we use is made by converting the raw root into syrup through the use of natural enzymes.  This process is known as enzymatic hydrolysis. After enzymatic hydrolysis is complete, a sweet syrup is formed. The syrup is considered to be a healthy sweetener. Typically, tapioca syrup is a light golden colour, and it contains a neutral flavour. The neutral flavour makes it an ideal candidate as a food additive. The flavour is not beany, and the texture is not grainy like some other syrups. It can be added to soy and dairy products. There are many uses for tapioca syrup. It is used as an alternative sweetener in place of corn syrup, honey, sugar or maple syrup. Compared to maple syrup, tapioca syrup is lower in carbohydrates – but this difference is negligible. I would select the syrup you prefer the taste of.

 

Question

I have been on a 1500-calorie diet for the past six months and work out hard four times a week, but still cannot seem to lose weight.  Can you give me some advice?

Answer

Are you sure you have been subsisting on a diet of broiled fish, carrot sticks and low-fat yoghurt? Did you forget to count the fistful of M&Ms you grabbed from your child’s packet or that handful of potato chips you munched on during the weekend?  Habitual dieters who claim they cannot pare off the kilos can consume as much as an additional 1000 calories without even realising it.  It is very difficult to assess calories: you can be off two to three hundred at every meal, which really adds up.  Part of the problem is underestimating portion sizes. Many people guess what a cup of pasta is without actually measuring it, so they end up eating twice as much.  Or they think they are being good by nibbling on only a handful of candy, when, in reality, they are consuming several hundred.  Instead of guessing, weigh or measure food to develop a realistic idea of portion sizes and read food labels for specific serving size information.  Keep in mind these guidelines:

  • A serving of meat, chicken or fish should be the size of a deck of cards.
  • Pasta and rice should be the size of one cupped handful (cooked).
  • Vegetables are two cupped handfuls.
  • The tip of your thumb equals one teaspoon (helpful when calculating a serving of fat.

 

 

 

February 13, 2017

Questions

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 5:26 am

Question

Should I really chew food a certain number of times, or is this just an old wive’s tale?

Answer

Counting to 100 for each mouthful might be going a little overboard – but, just as with most of Mom’s advice, it turns out that she was basically right.  Thoroughly chewing your food is the first step in good digestion, experts say, and it also helps prevent what gastroenterologists call a “café coronary” – or in Mom’s terms, choking.  Eating more slowly helps prevent belching and heartburn later on. And best of all, since it takes your stomach at least 10-20 minutes to start registering a feeling of fullness, eating your meal in slow gear is a great way to keep from cleaning your plate!

Question

I have a bad skin and wondered if any foods do affect my skin – both to improve it or which should I avoid?

Answer

It has been speculated that chocolate and greasy food promote skin problems.  No studies have ever proved this.  However, I do believe that fat should be avoided and consequently chocolate should be eaten in moderate quantities.  Certain foods might cause allergies, which result in skin reactions to them – eggs and milk are common foods to affect these breakouts.  A healthy diet of fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, nuts, chicken, eggs and whole grains will promote a healthy skin.  Ensure you eat sufficient quantities of orange/red vegetables and fruit as these provide Vitamin A, which prevents the skin from becoming dry and flaky.  Sufficient iron is necessary for a healthy skin (fortified cereal, meat, eggs). Drink water as a thirst quencher in preference to cold drinks, as this keeps the skin hydrated. 

 

Question

I just cannot lose weight; I have tried numerous diets but nothing seems to work, help! I am carrying only about 4kg above my goal and cannot lose it.

Answer

If you are not meeting your goal, you must be doing something incorrectly.  Are you nibbling?  A handful of this or that throughout the day or even just tasting while you prepare meals can add up more calories than you think.  An extra 50 calories a day (a few lollies) is all it takes to gain 2kg in a year.  Keep a diary of all the foods you are consuming.  Scan the quantities to ensure that they are not mega sizes (roll weight 60g, bagel 60g, bread 30g, etc).  Try cutting out something extra for a few weeks such as your late night snack, or alcohol, and see if you drop a kilo or two.  To rule out under exercising use a pedometer, and you should be doing at least 10000 steps a day.  Reduce your portions by removing 1/3 of what you are eating.  Review any medications you may be on, and lastly if the above steps are not effective consult your doctor to ensure your hormones are in balance (thyroid) and that you are not menopausal.

 

Question

I am pregnant and am so concerned that I will gain weight like I did with my previous pregnancy.  It was such a struggle to lose it.  Do you have any tips?

Answer

Most people assume when they are pregnant they should eat for two.  In fact you only need approximately 300 calories extra per day depending on your activity level.  These extra calories equate to half a sandwich or a glass of milk and a fruit – required mainly in the second and third trimester when the baby is growing rapidly.  You should gain 10-12 kg during the pregnancy.  1-2kg in the first trimester, and 1-2 kg every month thereafter.  Keep a food diary where you keep track of your eating, exercise and your weight.  You should continue with an exercise program throughout your pregnancy unless your doctor advises otherwise.  You should eat three small meals plus two nutritious snacks (fruit, yoghurt).  Large weight gains can lead to health complications such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.

 

Question

Every diet you read it tells you not to skip breakfast. I am really not a breakfast person; will it affect my weight loss?

Answer

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You would do better to skip dinner, and eat breakfast.  Your metabolic rate slows down when you sleep, and if you do not eat when you wake up, your body goes into “hibernation” mode.  It stores fat to use later.  Skip this miracle meal, and your metabolism could stay slower longer, meaning fewer calories will be burned.  A simple, healthy breakfast (oats, fruit, yoghurt, cereal) revs up your internal engine.  If the meal is high-fibre, you will feel fuller longer.

 

Question

I am so bored with my food.  I have been doing the low carb diet for three months and been living on eggs, cottage cheese, grilled chicken and fish.  I cannot look at almost any food, so I am now in starvation mode or bingeing on carbohydrates.  Please help!

Answer

Any eating regime, which limits the food groups you consume, is not going to work in the long term. Start by eating small quantities of “different” flavoured foods.  The NW meal plan is a great place to start as it offers you variety of food, flavours, and recipes while still controlling the quantity.  Make your eating a daily adventure.  It does take effort and organization, as you have to ensure you have the correct ingredients.  Try a new food each week.  It is easy to stick to the same regime, as it is totally mindless.  Expanding the variety of foods you eat takes a little more thought when you are grocery shopping, but it is worth it.  Include different textures in your meal.  Red cabbage, nuts or carrots may be for crunchy, cottage cheese or yoghurt may be for creamy, and brown rice for chewy.  Use different flavours – mustard, Thai fish sauce, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, thyme, basil, rosemary, and my favourite coriander.  Different cooking methods bring out different flavours in food.  Stir-fry vegetables, roast vegetables, and steamed vegetables make your meal have a different slant.  Eating is for both enjoyment and nutrition, maximise on both!

 

August 14, 2016

Questions

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 12:14 am

Question

I have a problem in that I eat so much at night.  I am good all day with my diet but I eat from the minute I get home from work till I go to bed.  All my attempts at weight loss are a disaster because of this.  What can I do to stop my bingeing?

Answer

There are several areas that need to be discussed here.  Firstly, eating at night is probably a habit.  Try doing some exercise immediately after work – this will help you relax after a stressful day.  The exercise will also serve to break a pattern.  Your attitude to food will change after you have had a good workout.  Secondly, what are you eating during the day?  Are you starving yourself? Do you have balanced meals? Try eating small meals throughout the day to stave off starvation at night.  Thirdly, be prepared for your hunger when you return home in the evening.  Make a salad in the morning so you can eat this as soon as you get in the front door.  Keep a pot of soup in the fridge so you can always have some while preparing dinner.  Eating in moderation is the key!

Question

I am 52 years old, and seem to be putting on weight by the day.  I am so uncomfortable, all my clothes are tight – and my weight is actually making me terribly unhappy.  I have just gone onto hormone therapy, and am wondering if I should go off it.  My doctor says I should persevere with it as my family has a history of heart disease and I suffer from high blood pressure.  In addition, I have low bone density, so he is worried I may get osteoporosis.  What do you think I should do about my weight?

Answer

Research results support that menopause is a particularly dangerous time for women in terms of weight gain.  However, I must add, that this is not automatic.  Weight gain can be controlled by changes in lifestyle.  At this stage of life one tends to increase the amount of socialising one does (all of it generally revolves around food), decrease the activity level as ones family commitments change, and then added to this there is a natural decrease in metabolic rate with age.  I believe you would benefit in consulting a dietitian who would give you a meal plan outlining the quantities of food you should be consuming for your age and activity level – walk regularly, swim, go to the gym, discover an exercise program you enjoy! Be positive about what you can do, and you will surprise yourself by the weight loss you achieve.

Question

I am getting married in three months and need to lose weight really quickly.  Do you think I should take an appetite suppressant?  What diet do you suggest?

Answer

Stop looking for miracle cures and start making changes to your lifestyle.  You should aim to lose between half and one kilo each week.  Eating sensibly and exercising regularly you are more likely to stick with a lifetime of healthy eating.  Follow the NW Diet Club menu and your weight loss will be consistent, and you will learn good eating and exercise habits.

Question

Eight weeks pregnant and feeling rotten!  I am tired, nauseous and not enjoying being pregnant one bit.  I am supposed to be excited about the whole thing, but at the moment I just feel sorry for myself, and wonder how women can have more than one child if they suffer from morning sickness. What should I be doing food wise?  You must have some advice? I am desperate!

Answer

The women who enjoy the first three months of pregnancy are usually the ones who do not experience morning sickness.  You are not alone!  Most women, who do experience morning sickness, do so in the first trimester.  Very few women experience queasiness throughout their pregnancy.  Dry crackers (water crackers, cream crackers, dry toast) are the best way to beat morning sickness.  Chilled juice or water will prevent you getting dehydrated and will be more easily tolerated.  Iced watermelon usually helps severe morning sickness. Eat small, frequent meals, as you will be less likely to get nauseated.  Taking Vit B6 (25mg) can help some women!

Question

I enjoy Thai food, and we tend to go to Thai restaurants quite regularly.  I am trying to watch my weight and was wondering if you could give me a few tips for making good choices from the various dishes on offer at a Thai restaurant?

Answer

Stir-fries and steamed dishes are generally low in fat.  Choose a dish that has been prepared with a chilli-based sauce rather than a satay sauce.  Steer away from deep-fried and battered dishes.  Remember that coconut milk is high in fat.  Dishes that contain a large amount of vegetables such as snow peas, beans, bamboo shoots, and eggplant are preferable.  Boiled rice is a good selection as are the hot or cold salad dishes.  Fresh fruit, including mangoes, lychees, watermelon or bananas, is always a very refreshing and a healthy way to end a meal!

 

 

November 23, 2015

Questions

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 4:07 am

Question

I am 12kg overweight.  The recommended length of cardio exercise or walking used to be 30 minutes four times a week – which I do.  They have now increased this to 60 minutes for weight loss.  Do you think I need to do more?  I have such a busy schedule it is difficult to fit in.

Answer

Any exercise is better than nothing.  Recent studies indicate that with the sedentary lifestyle most of us lead, a 60-90 minute walk daily is necessary to lose weight.  I suggest you buy yourself a pedometer (www.arlenesway.com.au) and focus on achieving 10000 steps each day.   This is the minimum amount of exercise necessary to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and lose weight.  If you cannot fit in the 60 minutes of exercise increase the intensity and walk faster.  Try and do short bursts of exercise throughout the day – four 15-minute walks (before work, at lunch, after work, and after dinner).  To lose weight you also have to be aware of the selection of foods you make and the portions you are consuming.  It is a lifestyle – both exercise and eating – that need to be altered to achieve your goals.

 

Question

How often should I weigh myself, when should I weigh myself?  Morning, night, before or after breakfast?

Answer

You should weigh yourself when you get up in the morning, ideally with no clothes on.  If you are weighing yourself at the gym, ensure you weigh yourself the same time of the day and wearing similar clothing.  I tell people to weigh themselves on a Friday morning (before the weekend) and on a Monday morning (after the weekend), as it is on the weekend when we are not in a routine that most of the damage is done.  Do not weigh yourself more often than this as your weight does fluctuate through the week, which can lead to distress.  The weight on the scale is not the only indicator of weight loss.  When you are doing weights, or a lot of exercise you will build muscle.  Muscle is heavier than fat.  Consequently if you lose fat and build muscle, your weight might not fluctuate – take your measurements.  The body fat measurement techniques eg. Skin fold callipers, body-fat scale, are not very accurate.  The biomedical impedance is sensitive to level of hydration.  Clothes are a good indication of your measurements – a tight pair of pants will immediately indicate a rise in kilos!

 

Question

I do not eat much fruit or vegetables but I drink a lot of fruit juice and vegetable juices.  I am trying to lose weight and wondered how fattening the juices are?

Answer

Eating the fruit and vegetables is advisable if you want to lose weight.  The whole fruit or vegetable contains at least 70% water and fibre, which is filling with few calories.  In addition, chewing takes time whereas drinking is very quick so consequently it is less satisfying.  A glass of fruit juice is high in calories as it is more concentrated in sugars.  It is necessary to squeeze at least three oranges to fill a glass with juice, whereas you wouldn’t eat more than one orange.  Vegetable juices are better choices than fruit juices if you want to lose weight, as they are lower in sugar.  However, it is preferable for you to eat the vegetables and benefit from the fibre.

 

Question

How can I include a glass of wine in the evening on your diet? I like to have it at about 6pm it just helps me relax.

Answer

You are entitled to relax with a glass of wine each evening.  Replace your “supper” with 150ml wine or a tot of spirits.  Keep your intake to one glass, as the calorie intake of alcohol is high.  One gram of alcohol is 7 calories whereas one gram of protein or carbohydrates is only 4 calories.  If you do have spirits always use a low joule mixer.  You can stretch out the enjoyment of your wine by filling the glass up with sparkling mineral water and having a spritzer.

 

Question

I put on so much weight when I was pregnant. My baby is five months old and I am still breast-feeding, but am putting on more weight.  Can I follow your diet or should I make some alterations?  Can I start exercising?

Answer

Breast-feeding does not alter your ability to lead a normal life.  Provided you have had the OK (your postnatal check-up) from your doctor you should definitely start exercising.  Wear a good supporting brassiere and start walking.  You should put the baby in the pram and do a daily hour walk – it is good to get out of the house, you will benefit both physically and emotionally.  Another option is to do an exercise video at home, or join a gym where there are childcare facilities.    The eating plan I have prescribed is acceptable provided you have three serves of dairy products a day to satisfy your RDI for calcium.  I have made provision for two cups of milk each day, so add in a yoghurt, 30g cheese or another cup of milk.  Basically I have prescribed a balanced diet of three meals and snacks.

 

 

September 23, 2015

Questions

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 6:11 am

Question

My best friend recently gained a lot of weight and I am worried about her health.  How do I talk to her about it?

Answer

Begin by picking an appropriate time and place – over coffee, say, rather than at a party.  Use your own experiences as an icebreaker.  For example, if you have ever lost weight or struggled with your body image, mention it.  Chances are your friend will then bring up her weight gain.  When she does, tactfully acknowledge it (“I noticed you weren’t wearing your favourite jeans anymore”) and offer to help in whatever way she wishes, whether it is recommending a dietitian, joining a gym together or going for a walk.

 

Question

Is it true that eating beetroot and carrots will make me gain weight?

Answer

No.  Some people claim that high sugar vegetables like carrots and beetroot will raise insulin levels and encourage fat storage, but dietitians scoff at the idea.  Extra calories make you gain weight. Thirty baby carrots – that is four handfuls – contain only 116 calories, while a half a cup of beetroot supplies 37.  It is highly unlikely you will gain weight by eating them.  Eliminating these foods from your diet will only short-change you nutritionally.  They are both great sources of cancer-fighting fibre!

 

Question

What do you think of high protein diets?  Do they have any side effects?

Answer

High protein diets are among the most popular weight-loss plans in the country, but they cause an unpleasant side effect that few will talk about openly: constipation.  High protein diets do not provide enough fibre to promote regularity, plus they dehydrate you, which make the situation worse.  Severe constipation is not just uncomfortable, it can also cause serious complications – haemorrhoids, etc.  Protect yourself by following a balanced eating plan that provides at least 25 grams of fibre a day.  High protein diets can lead to bad breath, and lack of energy.

 

Question

Because of my work schedule and my children’s school schedule, the only time I am able to jog on my treadmill is at night.  However, I have heard that it is more productive to exercise in the morning because you tap into “store” fat instead of using the calories and fat you ate throughout the day.  Which is better:  exercising in the morning or at night?

Answer

There is an advantage in exercising in the morning however scheduling it into your day is more important than the slight variation it makes.  It is the total kilojoule balance over 24 hours that is more critical.  In other words, if you burn more calories than you consume – whether you are jogging in front of the Today show or the Tonight show – you will lose weight.  Conversely if you eat more calories than your body burns, you will gain weight.

 

Question

I am 30 years old and my family has a history of osteoporosis and I have never enjoyed lifting weights, but I do love to jog and power walk on the treadmill.  Is this good enough to reduce my risk for osteoporosis, or do I need to lift weights too?

Answer

The bad news is that you should be lifting weights as well!  Walking or jogging will help maintain bone density in your hips and spine, two common fracture sites, but neither will work for your wrists, another site of frequent fractures.  So you also need to load the joints in your upper body.   Women begin to lose bone mineral density in their early 30’s.  It is a good idea to start lifting weights now; these exercise habits will help maintain the bone density you will need later.  In addition you have to consume sufficient calcium – approximately 800-1000mg per day.  If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, parathyroid hormone secretion will increase which will lead to weakening of the bones.

 

June 16, 2015

Questions and Answers

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 5:20 am

Question
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Answer
Type 2 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. Although there is a strong family link (you are more likely to get type 2 diabetes if a close family member has it), the chance of getting type 2 diabetes is greater if you:
• are overweight
• have high blood pressure
• do little physical activity
• have a high fat, high sugar diet.
Type 2 diabetes progresses slowly and you can have it for many years without knowing it. It differs from Type 1 diabetes, which is thought to occur because the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is not caused by the body’s immune system.
Other causes of diabetes
Gestational diabetes
During pregnancy, a woman’s body needs two to three times more insulin than usual to keep her blood glucose levels normal. Gestational diabetes develops if your pancreas is unable to produce the extra insulin needed, causing higher than normal blood sugar (glucose) levels. Gestational diabetes can often be controlled with diet and exercise, and will usually improve or disappear after your baby is born, but your doctor may test you for diabetes 3 months after your baby is born, and every 1 or 2 years after that.
Pancreas disease or damage
Pancreatic disease (chronic pancreatitis), or damage to the pancreas, in particular to the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, can also cause diabetes. This means that the pancreas makes less insulin, resulting in higher than normal blood glucose levels.
Medication-induced diabetes
Some medicines such as corticosteroids (e.g. prednisolone or dexamethasone) can cause weight gain, and increase the amount of glucose and lipids (cholesterol and fats) in the blood. This increases the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Other medicines for serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (e.g. olanzapine and clozapine) can also cause weight gain and increase blood glucose levels, causing type 2 diabetes.
If you have gestational diabetes, medication-induced diabetes, or diabetes due to pancreatic disease or damage, you will be monitored, managed and treated as if you have type 2 diabetes. This will involve making diet and lifestyle changes and may mean that you have to take diabetes medicines to control your blood glucose levels.
If you have medication-induced diabetes, you will need ongoing blood glucose monitoring after you have stopped taking your medicines, as you will still be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes (due to insulin resistance) and the complications of diabetes, including heart and circulation (cardiovascular) problems, in the future.

Question
What is pre-diabetes?
Answer
If you have pre-diabetes, you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also are at increased risk of developing heart disease. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes. Those with pre-diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within a decade unless they adopt a healthier lifestyle that includes weight loss and more physical activity.

First, let’s define what “pre-diabetes” is and is not. Diabetes is defined as having a fasting plasma blood glucose level of 7mmol/L or greater on two separate occasions. If diabetes symptoms exist and you have a casual blood glucose taken at any time that is equal to or greater than 11.1 mmol/L and a second test shows the same high blood glucose level, then you have diabetes.

In general, people who have a fasting plasma blood glucose in the 5.6-6.9mmol/L range are defined as having impaired fasting glucose. If your doctor gives you an oral glucose tolerance test, and at two-hours your blood glucose is 8-11mmol/L you have “impaired glucose tolerance”. Either of these is medical terminology for what your doctor is probably referring to when he says you have “pre-diabetes.” Be sure to ask your doctor what your exact blood sugar test results are when he tells you that you have “pre-diabetes.” Some physicians are not as familiar as they should be with the new national guidelines for diagnosing diabetes. They may be telling you that you have pre-diabetes, when in fact you have actual diabetes.

Among those who should be screened for pre-diabetes include overweight adults age 45 and older and those under age 45 who are overweight and who have one or more of the following risk factors:
are habitually physically inactive
have previously been identified as having IFG (impaired fasting glucose) or IGT (impaired glucose tolerance)
have a family history of diabetes
are members of certain ethnic groups have had gestational diabetes or have given birth to a child weighing more than 4 kg
have elevated blood pressure
have an high cholesterol or high triglycerides
have polycystic ovary syndrome
have a history of vascular disease

That all said, if you have pre-diabetes diabetes, what should you do? If you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, you can reduce your risk by 58% through sustained modest weight loss and increased moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking 60 minutes a day.

What Should You Eat?
It’s not so much “what” you should eat, but how much. If you are overweight, your first and foremost goal should be to lose weight. This means working with an Accredited Practising Dietitian to determine the quantity and type of food you should eat at each meal. One of the key issues in losing weight is controlling portion size. Your dietitian will also direct you how to make food choices that cut down on the amount of fat you eat because each gram of fat has significantly more calories in it than a gram of carbohydrate or protein. This means:
eating more foods that are broiled and fewer foods that are fried.
cutting back on the amount of butter you use in cooking.
eating fish and chicken more, and only lean cuts of beef.
eating meals so that your dinner plate has more vegetables, , salads, lean protein, fruit and wholegrains
Your dietitian will show you how you can continue to eat all the foods you love — just probably not in the same proportions as you have in the past. Having diabetes or having “pre-diabetes” does not mean that you can’t eat certain foods. The solution isn’t “avoid foods with sugar in them.” Rather, you need to lose weight if you are overweight, cut back on portion sizes, and plan for those occasions when you eat a small piece of cake or chocolate.

Physical Activity
Along with weight loss, your goal will be to begin program of physical activity, if you aren’t getting regular exercise now. Why? Because physical activity will help you use the insulin you produce to convert the food you eat into energy. This will help keep your blood glucose lower. If you have a small piece of cake with a meal, follow it up with a brisk walk.

Question
I have been on a ‘weight loss plan’ for 7 weeks and can’t loose weight .
My mum and I have completely changed our lifestyle over the past 7 weeks. We exercise every day and have been eating very “clean” foods. Every night we do a minimum of 1 hour workout but this is mostly cardio, and I have been reading that strength training is very important for weight loss, however my mum is 54 and finds weights etc very difficult, I am 17 and I will endeavour to incorporate this into my workouts if that’s what I should be doing. It’s very disheartening for the both of us to not loose a huge amount of weight when we are both working so hard. Is there anything that we can change to help us loose weight? Note: my mums BMI is 26.5 (the majority of her weight is around the abdominal area which we believe is from menopause) and my BMI 28 so we both don’t have a huge amount of weight to loose we would like 5-10 kgs each. Please help! 🙂

Answer
You should be so proud that you and your mom have made such positive changes to both your diet and exercise. It appears that your exercise regime is very good. Including weights would definitely be beneficial. If your mom cannot do weights she can do pilates which is also strengthening. Post menopausal weight always sits abdominally but she will lose it in that area when her weight drops.

I think you need to look at the portions of food you and your mom are consuming. Consider what is on your plate; not just the type of food, but also the quantity of it. You might be surprised to learn how much you are eating in a ‘normal’ meal – it could be a great deal more than you realise. Overweight people consistently underestimate how much they eat at a sitting, while underweight people overestimate the amount. The bottom line is portions. If you are not sure of the quantities you should be eating you should consult an Accredited practising Dietitian. In Australia portions tend to be large, and getting larger, which is why portion control is so crucial to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. We have been brought up to ‘finish what is on our plate’ which unfortunately destroys the natural instinct of the body indicating how much we should eat and when we are comfortably full. Only eat when you are physically hungry and stop when you are comfortable – never full! Enjoy your food and eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for the message to get from your stomach to your heat that you have had something to eat. Everything you eat goes on a plate and you are sitting down to eat it – this does away with picking and snacking!

You have done so well – you just have to put in an extra effort to achieve your goal.

Question
Why do I need a low fat diet before my gall bladder is taken out? Do I need a low fat diet afterwards too?
Answer
The story of gallbladder removal (or cholecystectomy) is just one example of how adaptable bodies can be. The gallbladder, an organ near your liver, acts like a reservoir for bile to be stored and used to digest fats later when you need it. But, even once it’s removed, your body can still produce the bile just like before. In fact, your body can even adjust to store bile in the duct between the liver and small intestine, creating a kind of makeshift gallbladder for itself. Pretty impressive, eh? And, more to your line of questioning, some people may notice changes in digestion and need to alter their diets after a cholecystectomy either temporarily or permanently (no two patients are the same!). However, most people are able to return to business as usual with their diet within a few days or weeks. Even though fats sometimes get a bad rap, they are a key part of your body’s dietary needs, and fortunately, the gallbladder-less can still reap the benefits.
There are no universally recommended diets for those who’ve recently parted with their gallbladder. However, there are some general suggestions that dieticians have thought up to help get your digestive tract running as smoothly as possible after surgery:
• Eat smaller, frequent meals, so that your digestive tract can work with smaller amounts of food at a time without its reservoir of bile.
• Avoid high-fat foods right after surgery, to give your body has time to compensate and adjust to the decreased amount of bile.
• Slowly increase fiber intake, which can help with diarrhoea.
• Avoid caffeinated beverages, spicy foods, and dairy right after surgery, which might upset or irritate your digestive tract until it has a chance to bounce back.
The newly gallbladder-less might also want to consider how other side effects from surgery can impact their lives. About 90 percent of gallbladder removals are done as laparoscopic surgeries, which involve a few small incisions to insert a small camera and instruments and remove it as noninvasively as possible. This is the “gold standard”: the risk of complications, such as infection, are low and pain usually decreases significantly after three days. For patients with abdominal scarring or other conditions, an open surgery might be done instead. This carries a slightly higher risk of complications (infection, bruising at the site, or urine retention), but is also a low-risk procedure. Gallbladder removals are very safe, but it’s probably good to be prepared for some pain and discomfort in the days following either type of surgery.
Gallbladder removal may leave you an organ lighter, but chances are you’ll hardly miss it. Maintaining a balanced diet with lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, listening to your body’s signals, and keeping in touch with your health care provider about any concerns can help you carry on just as you did before, fats and all!

Question
Will I lose weight after puberty?
Answer
You’ll probably gain weight in puberty — most girls do. You may notice more body fat along the upper arms, thighs, and upper back. Your hips will grow rounder and wider; your waist will become narrower.
Your doctor will check your height and weight each year to make sure you are growing properly. If you are gaining weight too fast, you may need to increase your exercise and substitute fruits and vegetables for junk foods. You should have a regular exercise regime and be aware of the portions you are eating.
Puberty typically begins between ages eight and 13, and lasts about two to four years. During this time, the amount of fat, muscle and bone changes quickly as girls make the transition into womanhood. Failure to gain weight during adolescence is actually unhealthy (gaining too much can also be unhealthy).
Major bodily changes take place in girls during puberty; the final major growth spurt in life occurs during this period. Puberty actually begins when the brain instructs the ovaries to make the female hormone oestrogen. This hormone and others cause a girl’s body to grow in size and change in shape as it prepares for procreation — or having a baby. Gaining 7kg. or more during puberty is considered normal and necessary for proper growth and development. As a girl develops, her body will make more fat to allow for fuller thighs, stomach and breasts, and wider hips. Lean body mass in girls diminishes from approximately 80 percent to 75 percent by the end of puberty, while the amount of body fat increases. In comparison, the percentage of lean muscle mass in boys increases from about 80 percent to 90 percent by the time they reach adulthood.
To reduce your percentage body fat increase your exercise both aerobic and weights.
If you are unhappy with your weight I suggest you consult an accredited dietitian to advise you on healthy eating lifestyle.

March 8, 2015

Questions

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 4:02 am

Question

How can I help manage my child’s weight?  Our son is only 10 years old but is already overweight. I worry that he will only continue to gain weight and it will be much more difficult to lose weight an older age. How can I help manage his weight?

Answer

 

I can understand why you are concerned about your son as obesity is an enormous worry.  Ideally you should seek the advice of your local Accredited Practising Dietitian.

 

Try limiting ‘treat’ foods but continue to offer him healthy foods. A healthy eating plan limits foods that lead to weight gain. Foods that should be limited include these:

fats that are solid at room temperature (like butter and lard)

foods that are high in calories, sugar, and salt like sugary drinks, chips, cookies, fries, and candy

refined grains (white flour, rice, and pasta)

 

Just like adults, children should replace unhealthy foods with a variety of healthy foods, including these:

Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and whole grains like brown rice

Fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products or substitutes, like soy beverages that have added calcium and vitamin D

Lean meats, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, soy products, and eggs

 

The following changes may help your child eat healthier at home:

Buy and serve more fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, canned, or dried). Let your child choose them at the store. Use a new fruit to make smoothies.

Buy fewer high-calorie foods like sugary drinks, chips, cookies, fries, and candy.

Offer your child water or low-fat milk instead of fruit juice.

Other ways to support healthy eating habits include these:

Make healthy choices easy. Put nutritious foods where they are easy to see and keep any high-calorie foods out of sight.

Eat fast food less often. When you do visit a fast food restaurant, encourage your family to choose the healthier options, such as salads with low-fat dressing.

Plan healthy meals and eat together as a family so you can explore a variety of foods together.

To help your child develop a healthy attitude toward food, try these ideas:

Don’t use food as a reward when encouraging kids to eat. Promising dessert to a child for eating vegetables, for example, sends the message that vegetables are less valuable than dessert.

Explain the reasons for eating whatever it is you are serving. Don’t make your child clean his or her plate.

Limit eating to specific meal and snack times. At other times, the kitchen is “closed.”

Avoid large portions. Start with small servings and let your child ask for more if he or she is still hungry.

 

Kids need about 60 minutes of physical activity a day, but this doesn’t have to happen all at once. Several short 10- or even 5-minute periods of activity throughout the day are just as good. If your children are not used to being active, encourage them to start with what they can do and build up to 60 minutes a day.

Here are some ways to help your child move every day:

Set a good example. Show your child that you are physically active and that you have fun doing it.

Encourage your child to join a sports team or class, such as basketball, dance, or soccer at school or at your local community or recreation centre.

If your child feels uncomfortable participating in activities like sports, help him or her find physical activities that are fun and not competitive, such as dancing to music, playing tag, jumping rope, or riding a bike.

Be active together as a family. Assign active chores such as making the beds, sweeping/raking, or vacuuming. Plan active outings such as a walk through a local park.

Kids spend a lot of time sitting down watching TV, playing video games, or using the computer or hand-held devices like cell phones. The following tips may help cut back on some of this inactive time:

Limit screen time to no more than 2 hours per day.

Help your child find fun things to do like acting out favorite books or stories, or doing a family art project.

Encourage your child to get up and move during TV commercials and discourage snacking when sitting in front of a screen.

 

Question

Can you please suggest sources of protein for Vegans as my daughter has just become one and I am finding it so difficult.

Answer

Vegans often struggle with getting enough protein into their diet. Try these three protein-packed options to boost your intake:

  1. Soy beans and soy bean products (soy milk, tempeh, tofu)
  2. Lentils and beans (kidney beans, baked beans, chickpeas)
  3. Nuts (including peanut better) 

    Question

    Can you suggest foods to fight aging?

    Answer

    You can fight aging from the inside. I will suggest seven proven foods to help keep the years at bay. Incorporating them into your diet can strengthen your body and mind, and minimise your risk of developing some of the common health problems associated with aging – like osteoporosis, heart disease, fading eyesight and even wrinkles.

  1. Antioxidants. Our bodies are contantly subjected to free radicals produced in the body by our metabolism or by environmental factors (such as UV rays) which damage our cells. Antioxidants mop up these free radicals and neutralise them, thus reducing the amount of damage they can cause. Common antioxidants include Vitamins A, C and E; selenium, flavonoids, polyphenols and other phytochemicals. Eating 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of veges will boost your antioxidant intake and help slow the aging process.
  2. Omega-3. As we age our arteries can start to narrow and harden due to build-up of plaque – meaning the heart has to work harder to pump blood, which can lead to a heart attack. Omega-3 help your heat beat more regularly, helps prevent plaque-build up in the arteries and reduces inflammation – which lowers the risk of a clot forming. Salmon is the best source of omega-3. Oily fish 2-3 times a week.
  3. Protein. Over the age of 60 the body is less able to prevent muscle breakdown and build new muscles, which means one can lose up to 40% of your muscle mass. Muscle is not only important for strength and mobility, but also for basic movement, such as getting from a chair or cleaning you teeth. Lean red meat, is packed with quality protein to help maintain muscle mass, a good source of zinc, which helps wound healing and immunity. Is also rich with vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6, folate and iron – which many older people don’t get enough of.
  4. Fibre. Age is one of the few known risks of bowel cancer. Insoluble fibre like that found in wheat bran isn’t digested until it reaches the bowel, where healthy bacteria convert it into compounds that help prevent the development of cancerous cells in the bowel.
  5. Calcium. Calcium is not only necessary to build and maintain strong bones and teeth, it is also needed to keep your heart, muscles and nerves healthy. If you are not getting enough calcium the body takes it from your bones which can lead to osteoporosis. Have at least 3-4 serves of dairy products daily.
  6. Beta Glucan. The beta glucan fibre in oats helps keep blood glucose levels lower for a longer time during the day. If you have pre-diabetes or are overweight, managing your blood glucose levels may reduce your chance of developing the disease. Oats also contains soluble fibre, which helps lower LDL (or ‘bad’) cholesterol and blood pressure, and slows digestion, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer to help maintain a healthy weight. It also helps maintain bowel regularity, which reduces your risk of bowel cancer.
  7. Tomatoes. The risk of prostate cancer – which is more likely to occur in older rather than younger men – may decrease with an increased intake of the carotenoid lycopene (most commonly found in tomatoes). Research has found that eating tomatoes is associated with a reduced risk of developing prostate, as well and lung and stomach cancer. Research also suggests that both men and women who eat tomato-based foods are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure and stroke. 

    Question

    I was surprised to find out that I am deficient in Vitamin D.  How can I prevent this?

    Answer

    Even though there are some dietary sources of vitamin D available there is not enough in an average diet to account for more than 5-10% of what you need. In other words focus on getting sun exposure – which will vary depending on the time of the year. You need sun exposure on 20% of your body surface (i.e. face, arms and hands) on most days. In winter go outside for about 20 minutes. Walk briskly and roll up your sleeves so you can get more skin exposure, and do it most days. If you have a darker skin, you will need 3-6 times longer in the sum. Your doctor may also recommend vitamin D supplementation especially as you get older.

    Question

    What is the difference between Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes?

    Answer

    Diabetes occurs when the amount of sugar in your blood is too high because the hormone insulin is not present, or doesn’t work as well as it should. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas is attacked by the body and cannot produce enough insulin to control the blood sugar levels. It usually develops in childhood and accounts for about 10-15% of diabetics. Symptoms appear suddenly and include excessive thirst, urination, weight loss, fatigue, weakness, muscle cramps, blurred vision, and slow healing of cuts. Type 1 diabetes requires lifelong daily insulin injections, and there is presently no cure or prevention.

    Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the insulin made by your pancreas doesn’t work well as it should, resulting in more sugar (glucose) in the blood than normal. In the majority of cases, type 2 diabetes can be prevented, delayed, improved and even put into remission with a healthy diet, active lifestyle, weight loss and careful management.

     

     

January 20, 2015

Questions and Answers

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 3:16 am

Question

I have been experiencing constipation for several weeks. My diet has not changed and I am not taking any medication. I am way about taking laxatives, so how can I correct this?

Answer

As you already know, a change in diet and some medications can cause constipation. A change in routine, not enough water or fibre in your diet, pregnancy, lack of regular exercise, advancing age and even putting off going to the toilet can all cause constipation. While laxatives have their place in relieving acute constipation, I can understand your desire to find the cause, rather than use a quick fix. I suggest drinking more water, increasing your daily exercise and ensuring you are getting enough cereal fibre into your diet. As the constipation has been a problem for several weeks, I suggest you see your doctor or dietitian to work out the cause of the problem, which can be different for everyone.

Question

I have tried to reduce the amount of salt in my diet, but now I read that I am not getting enough iodine. How can I get more iodine without adding salt to my food?

Answer

Iodine is an essential nutrient used to produce thyroid hormones, to regulate metabolism and for normal growth and development. Iodine deficiency in Australia has been rising for a number of reasons including the reduced use of iodised salt in food. But it is easy to get the recommended daily intake of iodine (150 micrograms for men and women). These days all bread is required to be iodine fortified. You can also get iodine from oysters, tinned salmon, sushi (seaweed), a variety of dairy products and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Question

I struggle to put on weight (and keep it on). Can you advise me on how to gain weight in a healthy way?

Answer

When trying to put on weight, eating larger serves can be difficult which may be why you battle with your weight in the first place.  Deep-fried fast food, chips, chocolates and cakes may contain extra kilojoules, but consuming these foods in excess is not only unhealthy, but may upset your stomach. The key to healthy weight gain is making every bite count and increasing the kilojoule, protein or healthy fat content of each mouthful. For example:

  • Add extra layers to sandwiches using an olive oil spread + avocado + cheese
  • Add olive oil to cooked pasta, rice and vegetables before serving
  • Add a tablespoon of chopped nuts or almond meal to cereal
  • Enhance milk drinks by adding protein or skim milk powders
  • Snack on nuts, seeds, and dried fruit or crackers with avocado, cream cheese or hummous
  • Smoothies, Up & Go, or Sustagen poppers make a great snack.Question

    Can you give me some advice on introducing solids to my daughter who is now 3 months old and is my first child.

    Answer

    Babies are generally ready to commence eating solid foods between 4-6 months of age, which may be before their first tooth emerges. It is important to wait until four months of age to introduce solids, as prior to that babies are more susceptible to food-borne illnesses and diarrhoea. There may also be an increased risk of allergies and eczema if solids are commenced before 17 weeks. After six months, breast milk alone can no longer provide all the nutrients a baby needs for normal development and growth. Delaying solids beyond six months may also increase the risk of allergies and could potentially delay jaw, muscle and speech development, as well as the progress of developing motor skills. There are no hard and fast rules as to which foods to introduce or in which order. The most important thing is to make the experience safe and enjoyable for your baby, progressing her through many different foods and textures as possible.

     

    Question

    Is soy bad for you?

    Answer

    Soy is a staple in many meat-free diets, but there are many myths surrounding this plant based protein. Soy bean are complete plant protein – meaning they contain all the essential amino acids that our body can’t make. Soy is also high in soluble fibre, low in fat and is low GI. So with al these benefits why hasn’t soy been embraced by all? Some people believe soy reduces nutrient absorption because it contains phytates, which can interfere with the absorption of some vitamins and minerals. However, phytates naturally occur in many common foods such as seeds, nuts, and grains (including wheat and oats). Given that amount of phytates in soy is much lower than in oats or wheat, it is unlikely soy will have a significant impact on reducing the absorption of nutrients.  Soy contains isoflavins, a type of phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens are plant oestrogens with a structure similar to the female sex hormone oestrogen, but with a much weaker effect. A recent study assessing soy impact on male fertility found no effect on semen volume or sperm concentration, count, morphology or motility when men consumed test drinks containing either high or low levels of soy isoflavins.

November 30, 2014

Questions

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 5:58 am

Question

What can I do about my reduced weight loss? I am 49 years old and over 100 kg and are being told by personal trainers – there have been 3…. that I need to reduce my exercise as I am not losing weight.

I am on a weight management programme, including curves training 3-4 times a week and I walk on average 10,000 steps per day.

When I am on 1200 calories I lose the weight but once I increase calories to 1500 my weight continues to rise. Your thoughts!

Answer

Losing weight and getting into good habits is hard work. You are doing extremely well. Unfortunately when your weight is very high you tend to move slower and fidget less. Often there has been a history of  yoyo dieting which affects your metabolic rate. It is called the Thrifty Gene Syndrome. Your body is so accustomed to starving that when you give it more to eat it stores the food – this was a survival mechanism when food was not so readily available.

 

You have been very logical in finding the calorie count your body works best at – so you should maintain your exercise routine and keep your food intake to 1200 calories. This works for you so why try and change it. Keep your portions small and take your mind off food by getting involved in other activities.

 

If you need to be monitored you should consult an Accredited practising dietitian who would also individualise your diet to suit your lifestyle.

 

Question

What is the difference between the different olive oils? – virgin, extra virgin, and light olive oil.

Answer

Extra virgin olive oil is the king of oils. It is the first pressing of the olives and delivers the best flavour, the most antioxidants, along with inferior flavour and slightly higher acidity.

Pure olive oil is a more refined oil. After the first pressing, manufacturers use heat, additives and chemicals to extract the last drops. But refining the oil destroys most of its antioxidants.

Light olive oil is light only in colour and aroma thanks to its high level of refined oil. Remember: This oil isn’t low in fat or light in kilojoules compared with regular oils.

 

Question

When I feel hunger pangs, does this mean that I have burned off all the calories from the last meal? Should I wait until my stomach grumbles before I eat again?

Answer

Hunger pangs are like the light on your car’s fuel gauge. When that light comes on, it doesn’t mean you have burned up all your fuel, it just means you are going to need to find some soon. That light headed feeling and those grumbling noises are signals from your brain, lever, kidneys, stomach and other organs that together control your physiological drive to eat. For most people, the signal to refuel comes every three to four hours. At this point, even the thought of food can get the stomach revved up for digestion by stimulating acid release – hence the gurgling. Pay attention to these signals, so that you eat because you are genuinely hungry. However, don’t wait so long that you become weak or cranky or that your stomach sounds like a bubbling cauldron.

 

Question

I have gained 5 kg in the two years since I started taking birth control pills. I exercise, but it seems like my appetite has skyrocketed. Is the pill to blame, or is that a myth?

Answer

Although weight gain is a complaint among some women taking the pill, studies have not shown a link. You might find a study that shows a ½ kilo weight gain, but the literature as a whole does not indicate that the pill causes a significant increase in weight or body fat. Nor is there any evidence that the pill stimulates appetite. However, individual responses to medications are different and some women do note weight gain. It could be true for you, and it is a discussion to have with your clinician. Different formulations of the pill are available, and your doctor may recommend trying a different one. Keep in mind that Australian/American women – whether they are on the pill or not – tend to gain about a ½ kilo a year.

 

Question

I eat a protein bat most afternoons as they keep me full until dinner time, but I am worried that I might be over-eating them. Is it possible to eat too much protein and is eating it in this form unhealthy?

Answer

While the Recommended daily Intake (RDI) for protein is 46g for women and 55g for men, most Australian and American diets contain much more- approximately 90% exceed this amount. It is possible to have too much protein, but the amount you are getting from your protein bar is not harmful. The source of protein is not unhealthy however I would suggest swapping it for healthier high protein snacks, such as low fat yoghurt, high protein breakfast cereals and milk, low fat cheese and crackers, flavoured skim milk or a small hanful of unsalted nuts. This will also help increase the variety in your diet.

 

 

 

Question

I am not a fan of drinking water and drink two litres of soda water each day instead. I was recently told the gas in the soda water (or other soft drinks) causes bloating and other unhealthy side effects. Is this true?

Answer

Soda water is plain water with carbon dioxide gas dissolved in it, which is why it is called ‘carbonated’.  A small amount of the gas may combine with the water to form a very weak acid. This acid could cause tooth decay if you are drinking two litres every day. As with sugary fizzy drinks, dentists recommend you use a straw and drink most of the water with meals. As for bloating it is a very individual reaction – and some people will fee bloated after drinking large amounts of fizzy drinks. If you are feeling bloated, try switching to still water for a few days and see if you notice the difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 6, 2014

Questions

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 5:47 am

Question

What is the most important thing to look for on food labels? My kids are both slightly overweight and so i am trying to become more aware of the processed food i give them. My husband and i could also do with losing a bit of our excess weight. How do i read food labels and what should i be looking out for? Its all so confusing.

Answer

 

Many food products are promoted as healthy choices and are often advertised as ‘low fat’, ‘sugar free’ or ‘high in fibre’ to quote just a few.  Unfortunately, just because a product makes one food claim, doesn’t mean it is the best or the healthiest choice or the most slimming choice. A product labelled as ‘low fat’ for example may still contain a huge amount of calories from sugar.  Similarly a product that is claimed to be ‘cholesterol free’ may still be high in fat.   Fortunately, it is mandatory for food manufacturers to put a nutrition information label on all their products, a development that has made it easier for shoppers to make informed choices about what they are really eating, and to choose the healthiest options for general well-being as well as weight loss.

Even with mandatory nutrition labels, there are still tricks used by food companies to make a product seem healthier than it really is.  One such example is individual tubs of yogurt, which list nutritional information for a 100g serve of the product, when in fact a tub is 200g.  It is unlikely that many consumers leave half the small container, so the majority of people are consuming twice as many calories, fat and sugar than the label states.  For this reason it is important to know how to read a food label correctly.  It is also important to know what to aim for when choosing a product.  How much fat is too much fat?  How much fibre is in ‘high fibre’ product?  How many calories are in the serve size?  Knowing the answers to these questions can make it easier to choose the healthier options when faced with the multitude of products available to us today. If you are wanting to lose weight the primary item to look at is the number of kilojoules/calories. Compare the different products and select the one that is lowest in calories.

When dieting it may be useful to measure out portions with a scale or cup, at least the first time, so that you know exactly what you are eating and what a serve size looks like in your bowl.  This is particularly important for foods such as breakfast cereals, when serve sizes can be a lot smaller than what the average person is used to consuming.

When comparing the nutrition values of two foods, it is essential to make sure the serve sizes are the same so that you are comparing like with like.  Some foods may also have nutrition content per 100g column which makes this job easier.

This lists the energy or calorie content of a serve of the product, and how much of this is derived from fat.  In this way we can tell if a product is high or low in fat.  It is important to remember that not all fats are created equal however, and a high fat product may in fact have a large amount of beneficial unsaturated fats.  To determine the type of fat in a product we must check the nutrient values further down on the label.  If an item has a low amount of calories from fat, but appears to have a high number of calories, check the sugar content.

When you want to lose weight you must exercise daily. You need to burn more calories than you are consuming. The less processed foods your family consumes the better, but keep portions small.

 

Question

Do I have an eating disorder? I binge eat with periods of starving myself due to the guilt of eating too much. Then I go back to binging because I’m so hungry.

I use laxatives but don’t purge. I have spoken to my GP about my eating but he hasn’t offered support, such as referring me to an eating disorders clinic.

Answer

An eating disorder is illustrated when you do not have a good relationship with food.  You should be eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are comfortable. Binge eating illustrates an inability to control the amount of food you are consuming – this may be due to a number of reason, perhaps emotional, stress, fatigue, compulsion, anxiety. The starving yourself and the feeling of guilt are negative responses to the binge. Eating should not create these feelings. The use of laxatives is common amongst people with eating disorders as they do not want to gain weight or feel bloated when they binge. If you feel you do not have the power over the food you consume you should be seeing an eating disorder specialist to determine what is causing these uncontrolled binges. It is important that your eating habits are normalised for you to lead a more balanced life as the binges and starvation periods can affect you emotionally, your self image and self confidence. Triggers must be identified for you to overcome these problems. I suggest you see your General Practitioner or a Dietitian who can refer you to the appropriate specialist.

 

Question

Are all foods with a low glycaemic index (GI) healthy choices? I have heard that chocolate has a low GI is that true?

Answer

Not all low GI foods re healthy, everyday foods. Many factors affect a food’s GI value, from its fat content and acidity to its types of sugar and starch, and its physical state (how it has been processed). Yes, it is true that chocolate has a low GI of around 45. This is because of its high fat content which slows down not only the rate at which the stomach releases sugars into the intestine, but also the speed at which the blood subsequently absorbs these sugars. However, chocolate is energy dense, so even a little piece gives you a large number of kilojoules. It is best to enjoy chocolate as an occasional treat, and to keep your portion sizes small. Also, choose a quality brand – preferably of dark chocolate, which has beneficial antioxidant properties.

 

To find out whether a packaged food is a healthy GI choice, scan store shelves for products that display the Low GI Symbol. The Low GI symbol Program requires these foods to meet very strict nutritional criteria, such as specific limits for kilojoules, carbohydrates, saturated fat, total fat, sodium and, if appropriate, fibre and calcium. These are exacting standards that make these foods healthy choices in their individual categories.

 

Question

I often hear people raving about gourmet salts, such as pink salt and rock salt. Are these better for you than regular salt?

 

Answer

Food companies do a good job of marketing gourmet salts as something special, but no matter how pretty the packet, salt is salt. Fancy varieties, which include rock salt, sea salt and pink salt, contain the same amount of sodium as basic table salt. – and as we know, eating too much salt has a detrimental effect on our blood pressure and cardiovascular health. People often say that gourmet salts’ strong taste enables them to use only a sprinkling. In fact the opposite may be true. Gourmet salt’s crystals are usually bigger than table salt grains, so you can easily end up using even more.

The labels on gourmet salts often sport the word ‘natural’ in an attempt to convince us they are good for our health. This is totally misleading because, technically all salt is natural. Table salt is just a more refined version of sea salt or rock salt. And although pink salt owes its colour to trace minerals such as potassium, it does not have enough to provide any significant benefit to your health. In short, gourmet or not, all salts affect our health in the same negative way – and the average person is already shaking up to nine times the recommended amount into his or her diet.

 

Question

I am very overweight, my liver is fatty, and I have insulin resistance. Should I consider eliminating processed foods from my diet? Or should I reduce carbohydrates and increase protein?

Answer

Having a fatty liver and insulin resistance are common consequences of carrying extra weight, leading a sedentary lifestyle and eating a diet that is high in fat or excess kilojoules. Excess liver fat can cause both reversible and irreversible damage, depending on the severity of the organ’s condition. Fortunately, exercising regularly and improving your diet – and losing weight as a result – can help ease both conditions. In fact, exercise is one of the most important things you can do to prevent the development of diabetes. In addition, eat at least 2serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables ever day. Reduce you sonsumption of saturated fat and lower you daily kilojoule intake. High protein diets help you lose weight but they tend to be unsuccessful at helping you maintain longterm weight loss. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat a sustainable, balanced diet. Studies show that if your liver is particularly fatty, a very low energy diet (VLED) meal replacement regimen can reduce liver fat within just 2 weeks. Following this program for eight weeks maximises this liver fat loss; however, if you return to your usual way of eating after being on the VLED, the fat will also return.

To minimise fat in the liver and keep insulin resistance in check, you need to make practical, permanent changes to your lifestyle. If you decide to do this, discuss your individual approach with an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

 

 

 

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