Loose weight with Arlene Normand

April 5, 2014

Message to Inspire

Filed under: Messages — Arlene @ 8:56 pm

When you eat better, you feel better.  When you gorge you feel bloated and awful.  When you drink too much alcohol you feel hung over and spoil the following day.  Don’t waste a minute of happiness and well being!


When you exercise regularly, your mood improves, which helps you stay on track with your healthier lifestyle.


Whenever you have thoughts that starts with “I have to….I ought to…I need to…I should…I’d better”, change it to “I want to” or “I choose to”.  Altering to a healthy lifestyle in a place full of negative temptations involves discipline and hard work.  Set goals, make plans and look for the opportunities that can help you get the results you want in life.


Great weather gives you the inspiration to feel fit and strong.  Make your daily life healthy, happy and balanced.


Menu To Lose Weight

Filed under: Diet Menu — Arlene @ 8:55 pm




Day 1

Breakfast:                    1 slice wholegrain toast, 1 scrambled egg, grilled tomato and mushroom

Morning Tea:               small green pear

Lunch:                         Toasted cheese and tomato sandwich on two slices bread

Afternoon Tea:            1 small apple

Dinner:                        150g grilled tuna and 2 cups steamed veges

Supper:                        ice block / 1 cup rockmelon

Day 2

Breakfast:                    2 Tbslp cottage cheese on slice of  toast with drizzle honey

Morning Tea:               1 small mandarin

Lunch:                         Turkey, cranberry sauce, salad, 2 pieces grain bread

Afternoon Tea:            1 small plum

Dinner:                        120g skinless chicken breast fillets and 2 cups salad/veges

Supper:                        Jarrah hot chocolate/ 125g tinned fruit

Day 3

Breakfast:                    2/3 cup cereal with 1 cup berries

Morning Tea:               1 kiwi fruit

Lunch:                         1 cup pea/tomato/minestrone soup with small bread roll (60g)

Afternoon Tea:            3 vitawheat with tomato and black pepper/ 2 cups popcorn

Dinner:                        Spaghetti bolognaise – ½ cup bolognaise; 2/3 cup pasta cooked

Supper:                        Low joule jelly

Day 4

Breakfast:                    100g baked beans on 1 slice toast

Morning Tea:               200g low gat yoghurt

Lunch:                         Salad nicoise

Afternoon Tea:            1 corn on the cob

Dinner:                        Stir fry chicken and veges                 

Supper:                        1 small orange


Day 5

Breakfast:                    1 grapefruit

Morning Tea:               1 slice raisin toast/cinnamon toast

Lunch:                         miso soup, 2 sushi rolls

Afternoon Tea:            1 apple/3 squares chocolate

Dinner:                        150g Grilled fish and salad

Supper:                        1 cup rhubarb with ½ cup low fat custard

Day 6

Breakfast:                    2 egg omelette and grilled tomato and mushrooms

Morning Tea:               1 cup berries

Lunch:                         Chicken burger

Afternoon Tea:            ice block/1 cup pineapple cubed

Dinner:                        Curry chicken with ½ cup cooked rice

Supper:                        100g fruche-lite


Day 7

Breakfast:                    1 slice sour dough toast with slice tasty cheese and tomato

Morning Tea:               1 orange

Lunch:                         Tuna salad

Afternoon Tea:            1 small pear

Dinner:                        2 cups soup

Supper:                        jarrah hot chocolate/swiss miss/ lite ovaltine and low joule jelly


Daily:  2 cups low fat milk; 2 teaspoons fat



Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 8:53 pm


I get cracks on the corners of my mouth all the time. Could this be related to diet?


This could be related to an inadequate intake of riboflavin (vitamin B2), other B vitamins or iron, although if that is the case, you are likely to have other symptoms surfacing as well. Red meat is a great source of iron, so try including meals containing lean beef or lamb in your diet a few times a week. Having 2-3 meals based on fresh or canned fish or shellfish may also keep your cracks at bay, so add them into your weekly diet plan. You can load up on B vitamins with a vitamin B fortified cereal, sandwiches on grainy bread or eggs on toast for lunch, and eating nuts and seeds as healthy snacks throughout the day. A good scrape of vegemite will give your B-vitamins a boost.



People tell me I look anorexic, but I am not.  My doctor says I just have a high metabolism.  How can I get everyone off my back?


Try thinking of some good comeback lines and categorising them to suit the occasion.  For example, if someone says kindly, “I am worried about you because you’re so thin”, you could say politely, “Actually, I just saw my doctor and she says I am fine, but I appreciate your concern”. If someone starts nagging, you might say, “I know you care about me but I am healthy.  My doctor and I have talked about my weight, and this is how my body works.  I’d rather you not concern yourself”.  If a stranger blurts out, “Gosh, you are skin and bones! Why don’t you eat?” just ask, “Excuse me, but what makes my weight your business?” Then walk away.



I really want to lose weight, but how can I boost my will power?


Don’t feel too bad if you quit your workout early or have a second slice of cake – your resolve is bound to run out sometimes.  The good news is it is easy to replenish.  People tend to view will power as a mental muscle, and failing to use it can make you feel like a wimp.  New research shows that will power is an energy source, like fuel; when your supply hits bottom, you are more vulnerable to impulsive behaviour.  In one of several experiments, psychologists from Florida State University showed people a disturbing video and asked some of them to control their emotional response to it by stifling or amplifying their reactions.  They then gauged the participants’ physical stamina by testing how long they could squeeze a handgrip.  The subjects who reined in their emotions during the video gave up on the squeeze test faster than those who didn’t.  Study author Roy Baumeister, Ph.D., believes they were worn out from exercising self-control.  The best way to recharge? Sleep. Baumeister says, “When you are well rested, you can resist temptation more easily.”




I am considering trying the South Beach diet to lose weight, is this a safe option?


The hottest fad on the market, it is sold out in many bookstores.  As with all diets, I am against dieting.  When you go on a diet, you go off a diet – it has to be a way of life!

What’s good A la Atkins, dieters get permission to indulge their meat, cheese, and bacon-and-eggs cravings.

What’s bad In the first phase, you must eliminate bread, potatoes, pasta, baked goods, lollies biscuits, ice cream, sugar and alcohol.  Most dieters don’t succeed by going cold turkey on their favourite every day foods.

Bottom line The South Beach Diet claims you will drop 4-6 kg in the first two-week phase.  Sound great, but as with the Atkins Diet, you are losing water, not actual fat.  Think about 3500 calories equals ½ kg.  To lose 6 kg, you have to expend 45500 more calories than you consume.  That would require burning 3250 calories a day – the equivalent of running a marathon – for two weeks straight.




I am 24 years old and 10 kilos overweight.  I have been following the diet plan on your web site for 5 days and have already shed 1 kilo.  Will I be able to achieve my goal of losing the further 9 kilos by following the diet plan long term and continuing to exercise?


You are doing extremely well.  You will definitely lose the surplus 9 kilos, however the weight loss will slow down to 2-2 ½ kilos per month.  Your weight loss will be incidental to you eating properly.  The major purpose of the diet plan is to teach you to eat correctly and incorporate exercise in your lifestyle.



I suffer from PMT and a friend told me to take Vitamin B6 – is this good for me?


Serotonin is a substance in the body which has a calming effect on one’s moods.  Vitamin B6 is needed for the conversion of tryptophan to niacin, and tryptophan helps produce serotonin.  Therefore vitamin B6 plays a major role in controlling stress. Sources of this vitamin are bananas, fish, poultry, pork and meat.



All I hear about is low fat, reduced fat, cut out fat.  I really am muddled.  Could you tell me what is a healthy diet?


It is extremely difficult to define a healthy diet.  In simplified terms, it is one, which includes a high intake of fruit, vegetables, low fat dairy products, legumes and whole grains.  It should also include fish, nuts, and a moderate intake of meat and chicken.  The diet must not include excess calories, which would result in weight gain. The fat used should be predominantly mono- or poly- unsaturated fat.



I think I have a balanced diet.  Should I be taking vitamins as well?  Will it help my fitness?


There is no valid evidence to show that supplementation helps fitness.  Large doses of vitamins or minerals can be toxic.  Unless you have been medically diagnosed as vitamin or mineral deficient, if you do take a supplement, make sure it is a low dose of multivitamins with minerals.


Can you Cheat on Your Diet and Still Lose Weight

Filed under: Messages — Arlene @ 8:51 pm

Can You ‘Cheat’ on Your Diet and Still Lose Weight?

How Cheat Meals and Cheat Days Affect Your Weight Loss

“Cheating” is the act of deceiving others or being dishonest. The word conjures up images of copying someone else’s answers during an exam, fudging your taxes, or counting cards.  Needless to say, these are not positive activities.  But does the same negative connotation apply to a cheat meal (or day) for a person on a diet?  Can “cheating” on one’s diet be beneficial—even fun—or is it just setting the stage for dieting disaster? I really would like you to stop dieting and recognise what I have given you is a way of life.As a registered dietitian, I am often asked about cheat meals and cheat days.  Usually the dieter seems to be asking the question out of desperation. He or she often mentions feeling obsessed and exhausted of counting calories. “I want to have a cheat day once a week where I can eat whatever I want without worrying about my calories,” they often say.  “But will this cheat day hurt my weight loss?” In other cases, people eat so “clean” (i.e. perfect) on their diets that they simply can’t keep up with it day in and day out. They feel that they “need” a cheat meal or day to look forward to and keep them accountable to their strict diet all the other days.

I think everyone would agree that even though it has been documented to help people lose weight, daily calorie counting is a big pain in the butt.  You have to read labels, measure portions and keep track of so many details. Food selection is constantly on your mind.  Focusing so much on calories makes it easy to get into the trap of trying to eat a strict diet of “good” foods, then falling off the wagon and overeating the “bad” foods you tried to avoid.  Your vocabulary and thoughts are consumed with extremes: good foods vs. bad foods, cheating vs. being good, restricting vs. overindulging. It is easy to see why you’d want to “cheat” on a system like this. But is cheating on your diet really the answer?

Scientifically speaking, “cheating” has not been studied enough for me to give you a clear-cut answer on whether or not it works in the short-term or the long-term.  However, the science of caloric intake, as well as the psychological implications of cutting and counting calories, has been extensively researched.  So let’s explore what we do know and apply it to the idea of cheat days.

“Calories in vs. calories out” is the golden rule for effective weight loss. To lose weight, a person must eat fewer calories than he or she burns.  Let’s assume you are cutting a total of 3,500 over the course of a week to lose ½ kilo.  In this example, your daily calorie intake is about 1,200-1,500 calories. Say you choose to eat right in the middle of your recommended range: 1,350 calories per day. How would an innocent “cheat” day affect your progress?

Scenario #1:  On your cheat day, you indulge in a few extra sweets or treats and take in 2,500 calories total.  This brings your daily average to 1,514, which is still within your weight-loss calorie range.  Therefore, you should still lose weight for the week.
Scenario #2:  On your cheat day you eat anything and everything you’ve been craving: a fast food value meal, potato chips, a milkshake and some buttery popcorn. You take in 4,000 calories.  This brings your daily average to 1,729, which is over your weight-loss calorie range.  Therefore, you will probably maintain your current weight for the week.
This simple example illustrates how a cheat day can easily derail your weight loss efforts.  If you eat with reckless abandon and no real plan (or calorie counting), as in scenario #2, you’ll stall your weight loss. But scenario #1 shows how the occasional higher calorie day can still fit into a weight-loss plan when it’s properly planned and somewhat controlled.  Planning for that little indulgence on occasion is easier than you may think and uses the weight loss technique that I call “calorie banking.”


Your Calorie Bank
The banking of calories works in a similar fashion as your checking account or debit card.  For example, if you invite your main squeeze to dinner and a movie on Friday, you have to make sure you have the funds to cover your outing. So you save a few extra dollars Monday through Friday, therefore providing sufficient money in your account to spend on the evening out.  Now, apply the same principle with the calorie banking.  By eating at the lower end of your recommended calorie range Monday through Friday, you can accumulate a few more calories to spend on your Saturday splurge day, while still remaining within your weekly budget when you take the average for the seven day period.  While this gives you more calories to spend on your special day, it still requires planning. This works because a single day of calories (whether low or high) won’t make or break your weight loss. It’s the overall trend—or weekly average—of calories that affects changes in your body.

Better than Cheating: How to Remain Faithful to an Eating Plan You Love
If you feel the desire to cheat on your diet, it may not be your fault. Your diet—or your view of how you “should” or “need to” eat to lose weight or be healthier—is the real culprit. If your diet is so restrictive, plain, boring, tedious, or “perfect” that you can’t stick with it forever, then try these smart strategies to bring your eating habits back to normal.

Start embracing all foods.  Remember that no single food causes weight gain.  Weight management is based on total calorie intake—not the restriction of certain foods, ingredients or food groups. All foods can fit into a healthy eating plan. Instead of thinking about foods as being “good” or “bad,” change your food language.

Instead of saying “This is a bad food,” say “This food has a lot of calories; if I really want it, I will have it in moderation.”
Instead of saying “I cheated,” say “I ate more than I wanted to, but that happens to everyone once in awhile. It is normal and I won’t beat myself up over it.”
Instead of saying “I was bad,” say “I ate more calories than I intended, but I am in control now.”
Start to enjoy those “off limits” foods in smaller portions. Slowly incorporate food you once considered “bad” into your eating plan.  Don’t be discouraged if you occasionally eat too much of a food that you once considered “off limits.”  If you are used to eating large quantities of a food, it may take practice to moderate your portions. To help, savour every bite and take your time eating.  Make snacks last at least 15 minutes and stretch out your meals to last at least 30 minutes.  Do not eat out of packages.  Make food special by putting it on a real plate or bowl and using silverware.  Limit distractions and enjoy your food without watching television or using the computer.
Socialize and enjoy. Enjoy once “off-limit” foods in the company of others. This may help you avoid over-indulging, which is easier to do when you are alone.  When you are in a restaurant with companions, order what you want, not what you “should” eat.  Savour every bite and enjoy it slowly.  Stop eating when you feel the first signs of fullness.  Don’t feel that you must clean your plate.  If you have difficulty eating certain foods in small amounts when home alone, practice eating safe portions in safe places where you are less likely to overeat.
Overcoming the Desire to Cheat
I have a friend named Matthew who had smoked for more than 30 years and finally decided to quit. The next time I saw Matthew, I said, “I hear you’ve quit smoking.  How’s it going?”

Matthew sternly looked me straight in the eye and said, I did not quit smoking, for I am not a quitter!  I chose to not smoke!”

What a powerful statement that you can apply it to your weight-loss journey as well.  You are not a quitter! You are not a cheater! If you feel the need or desire to “cheat” on your diet, it may be worth examining your relationship with food and whether you’re actually taking steps to leave dieting behind in favour of adopting a healthy eating plan that you can live with for life. The idea of “cheating” tends to reinforce the concept that certain foods are “good” in your mind while others are “bad.” This idea is hard to break if you’ve been on and off diets throughout your life, but it’s not impossible. The healthiest eating plan—and mental outlook—is to embrace all types of foods and never to feel guilt, remorse, embarrassment or discouragement about the foods you eat. Taking proactive steps to ditch the “diet” mentality  can reduce your anxiety and obsession with food and help you avoid out-of-control binges that derail your weight-loss efforts.

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