Loose weight with Arlene Normand

November 23, 2015


Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 4:07 am


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.


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 ( 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.



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


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!



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?


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.



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.


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.



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?


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.




Filed under: Diet Menu — Arlene @ 4:06 am



Day 1

Breakfast:                    125g tinned fruit with 200g low fat yoghurt

Morning Tea:               1 peach

Lunch:                         Bagel with smoked salmon and salad

Afternoon Tea:            1 small nectarine

Dinner:                        150g grilled fish with vegies (2cups)

Supper:                        ice block / 1 cup rockmelon cubed

Day 2

Breakfast:                    1 scrambled egg and tomato

Morning Tea:               1 mango

Lunch:                         Cheese and salad wrap

Afternoon Tea:            1 nectarine

Dinner:                        120g Roast chicken breast and salad

Supper:                        Jarrah hot chocolate/ small orange

Day 3

Breakfast:                    1 grapefruit

Morning Tea:               100g fruche-lite

Lunch:                         Sandwich with Turkey, salad and cranberry jelly

Afternoon Tea:            1 corn on the cob

Dinner:                        100g Grilled steak and salad

Supper:                        Jarrah/Swiss Miss/Cadbury Lite hot/125g tinned fruit

Day 4

Breakfast:                    2/3 cup cereal

Morning Tea:               1 peach

Lunch:                         Tuna salad

Afternoon Tea:            1 slice raisin toast

Dinner:                        1 cup pasta with Napolitano sauce with salad

Supper:                        3 squares chocolate / 2 kiwi fruit


Day 5

Breakfast:                    1 banana with 5 Tblsp cottage cheese and a drizzle of honey

Morning Tea:               1 small apple

Lunch:                         miso soup, 2 sushi rolls

Afternoon Tea:            15 grapes/3 squares chocolate

Dinner:                        150g Grilled fish and salad

Supper:                        low joule jelly

Day 6

Breakfast:                    1 toast with 30g cheese and tomato

Morning Tea:               2 sweet biscuits/ 200g low fat yoghurt

Lunch:                         Chicken burger

Afternoon Tea:            5 passionfruit

Dinner:                        Stir fry chicken and vegetables

Supper:                        1 poached pear with ½ cup low fat custard



Day 7

Breakfast:                    1 cup cereal

Morning Tea:               1 orange

Lunch:                         Chicken salad

Afternoon Tea:            peach

Dinner:                        Stir fry vegetables with 100g tofu/100g beef

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


Daily:  2 cups low fat milk; 2 teaspoons fat


10 Tips to Help Your Weight Survive the Holiday Celebrations

Filed under: Article — Arlene @ 4:04 am

10 Tips to Help Your Weight Survive the Holiday Celebrations


Holidays bring family and friends together to celebrate traditions and spread good cheer. They also bring lots of opportunities for socializing, eating, and drinking. Even the most disciplined people struggle with temptation during the holiday season. This time of the year should be enjoyable. However, you need to keep physically active, maybe now more than ever. Physical activity reduces stress and gives us more energy and changes our mindset to make better food choices. Try fitting in a workout before the party because, more likely than not, you will be tired from all the celebrating afterwards.


If you have been working very hard at healthy eating, losing weight, or maintaining your weight all year, this may be a difficult time for you. The last thing you want to do is over-indulge in all the delicious food that surrounds us during the holiday season. What are some things you can do to avoid over-eating and sabotaging all your hard work?


To navigate the party landmines with your healthy diet intact, you need a strategy. Having a plan in place will help you handle night after night of eating and drinking.


Think of your appetite as an expense account, and figure out how much you want to spend on drinks, appetizers, entrees, and dessert. Give yourself permission to enjoy your favourite foods — in sensible portions.


To help you survive the seasonal parties without packing on the kilos here are 10 recommendations:


Continue reading below…

Trim back the trimmings. Go all out and deck the halls with boughs of holly, glitter, and lights, but when it comes to holiday food, accessorize with care. To shave calories, go easy when adding nuts, cheese, cream sauces, gravy, butter, and whipped cream – additions that don’t add much to the meal, but can add plenty to your waistline. Trim calories wherever you can so you leave the party feeling satisfied, but not stuffed. If you are hosting the party, you have control of the ingredients that are added to the favourite holiday recipes – but as a guest, it is not as easy. However, just because you are a guest does not mean you cannot offer to bring a healthy, low-fat dish to add to the selection. Most hosts will welcome an additional dish, and the other guests may enjoy having a healthier option to choose. Consider a simple dish like a fresh salad, or if you offer to bring dessert, consider baked apples or poached pears..

 Wear snug clothes and keep one hand busy. When you wear snug-fitting attire, chances are you’ll be too busy holding in your stomach to overeat. While you stand around looking posh in your holiday finery, hold a drink in your dominant hand so it won’t be so easy to grab food.


Chew gum. When you don’t want to eat, pop a piece of sugarless gum into your mouth. This works well when you’re cooking or when you’re trying not to dive into the buffet.


Be a food snob. If you don’t love it, don’t eat it.  Scan the buffet for foods you truly treasure and skip the everyday dishes that are available all year long. And don’t think it’s your responsibility to sample everything on the buffet. Go ahead and indulge in your personal holiday favourites, keep portions small, then find a seat and, slowly and mindfully, savour every mouthful. Be Mindful! You should remember what the celebration is about. Your mind should be focused on enjoying the time with your family and friends.


No skipping meals. Always eat normally on the day of a party. People who skip meals to save up calories tend to overeat everything in sight once they get there. Eating sensibly throughout the day will take the edge off the appetite and empower a bit of restraint. Start with a nourishing breakfast, have a light lunch. Prepare Yourself Before the Party! One of the biggest mistakes you can make before heading to a party is to skip a meal or arrive hungry. By eating a light, healthy snack before leaving your own house, you can set yourself up to make better choices. Try a low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, or a small bowl of whole-grain cereal with skim milk.


Check it out. First things first. When you arrive at the party, grab a sparkling water with a twist, and wait at least 30 minutes before eating. This will give you time to relax, get comfortable in your surroundings, and survey your food choices on the buffet before diving in. A buffet is an invitation to eat all you can, and unless you carefully scrutinize it and make wise choices, you’re likely to overeat.


 Add fun and games. Take the focus off food and get family and friends more active during holiday parties. Think ball games, swimming, skipping or going for a walk.  Indoors, try a spirited game of charades, or rent an instructional dance video followed by a dance-off. The best parties include dancing, so why not make dancing after eating a new holiday tradition for a great form of fun and recreation.


Alternate alcohol with nonalcoholic beverages. Alcohol adds extra unwanted calories and, if too much is consumed, it lowers inhibitions, which can lead to overeating. Try consuming water with a lemon or lime, skim milk, or diet / sugar-free beverages. Cut your alcohol calories in half by alternating water or seltzer between alcoholic beverages.


Skip the appetizers. Eschew the appetizers rather than chewing on them. If you need a little nibble before the meal, go for the veggies, fruit, salsa, or a small handful of nuts.


Limit the variety. Variety stimulates appetite, and if you limit your choices to just a few items and stick with these, it will be easier to control than eating a little bit of 20 different dishes.


Holiday parties are much more than food and drinks. They are a time to delight in the traditions of the season, and enjoy the company of family and friends. If you keep the focus on the spirit of the season — and heed this advice — you’ll most likely get through the holidays without gaining a kilo. If you do splurge, don’t beat yourself up. Just get right back to normal eating and exercising, and try to do a better job at the next party.
Remember: If you must splurge one, two, or even three days during the holiday season, then that really is not going to ruin all of your hard work. It takes an extra 500 calories each day, or 3,500 calories a week, to gain ½ kilo.  A few very careful days will negate the splurges so you will end the holiday season feeling fit, healthy and relaxed!!!

Make Every Day Special

Filed under: Messages — Arlene @ 3:54 am

Wake up every day and feel great – naturally!


“I can resist everything except temptation – Oscar Wilde”


You have to show discipline for 10 seconds before choosing what you are going to eat, and how much – and you will be surprised how much better you eat and feel!


One of the most common reasons people struggle with their weight is because they simply eat too much food without doing sufficient exercise to compensate for the extra kilojoules.  They eat too much food because they eat when they are not actually hungry.  You should enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods, including plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruit and cereals.  Healthy eating also includes lean meats, fish, poultry, and dairy or calcium fortified products.  Choose reduced fat options where possible, and limit salt, sugar, alcohol and saturated fat.  Drink plenty of water instead of soft drinks or juices.


Don’t deny yourself anything or you will feel deprived – just keep the servings petite – taste and enjoy everything.


Keep your portions small and enjoy at least an hour of exercise each day.


Have a good week

Best Wishes





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