How to survive the Christmas Season

With the 'silly' season nearly here - oh it's already here - eeeeek, there's the issue of all the tempting foods and treats that come with it inviting us to overindulge.

Just some simple planning and limiting portion servings can be all that is required.

There are researchers who devote their careers to studying what makes us eat more and what helps us push away from the buffet.

Food-psychology laboratories produce information to the food industry, about how to get us to eat more of their foods. But there's no reason why we can't use this information to help us figure out how we tend to respond to different eating situations so we can better manage portions - and weight.

So here's what the RESEARCH say

* Out of sight, out of mind: The more visible food is (like the sweet dish on your co-worker's desk), the more likely we are to eat it. No problem if it's food you don't like, but if you love chocolate and have to stare at a bowl full of Christmas chocolates, you'll probably surrender. 

The secret is to make tempting goodies less visible. Using covered, opaque dishes for sweets, and open dishes to display fresh fruit, which will encourage the healthier choice. Also, try keeping nutritious foods at the front of the fridge or cupboard and put the ones you want to control in the back.

Same thing applies when catering for the family Xmas at home - add large platters of fresh fruit and raw nuts everywhere - with the odd dark chocolate thrown in for good measure.

* Size matters: The bigger the package, container or plate you're eating from, the more will eat. The brain seems to be looking for signals to mark the end of eating. Something about seeing an empty plate, bowl or bag helps us feel satisfied whether the container is large or small. That's why using smaller plates is so effective. So, when going to that big holiday buffet, serve your food on the small plate.

*Step Away from the Food Table: During parties, whenever possible, serve yourself small portions and then step far away from the rest of the food. The less you look at food, the more likely you will be to feel satisfied with what you served yourself. 

* Slow down: It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to receive all the physiological signals that you've eaten enough. So the faster you eat, the more you'll eat. What's the hurry anyway?  The more you let your body get the full enjoyment out of what you're eating, the sooner it will say: "Okay, that was good, but I'm done." :-). Focus on eating and your brain will then realise you have actially eaten.

* Plan Ahead
Have a Formula 1 shake for brekafst on Xmas Day and Boxing Day if you are planning family meals later in the day - that way you'll be less likley to crave sweets and you'll be less starving when you arrive.

Posted by Vicki Kenny on Thursday 13 December 2012
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What to eat – do you know how to lose weight?

I am always surprised how many of my clients are not aware of what they need to do, or what they need to change, to lose weight and keep it off for good.
There are some lifestyle changes you need to make. You can’t go on a diet and then look forward to going off it again once you’ve lost some weight. This will only lead to gaining on all the weight you lost, and possibly more. I know if you are reading this you will have been through that already in your life – probably many times! I did too – for 15 years till I discovered that it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet.
If you spend your entire time on your Eating Plan wishing you could have cake or fries or that hot apple pie – then you’ll be counting down till you can finish the eating plan you’ve worked so hard at – so that you can eat what you want to. This will lead to failure.
A diet or eating plan that lets you eat what ever you like, but limits the points or calories, is not educating you to eat well  – a balanced sensible diet where you’ll lose weight and then keep it off. Not only will you lose weight but you’ll feel more energised and be healthier too.

So often on a diet you abandon it altogether because you have a small waiver, but you can learn from your mistakes, be a little easier on yourself, and carry on. I used to think that if I had one thing that I shouldn’t have – then I had already ruined the entire day – so I may as well keep eating badly for the rest of the day and start fresh the next. You can imagine how far that got me. If you have a slip up – forgive yourself – move on and forget about it – but be aware of what made you slip up (temptation/craving/situation) and think of a way to combat the urge next time it appears. Say to yourself – oh thanks for that learning exercise – I have now figured out how I will approach that differently next time!

One little slip up probably wont’ ruin your weightloss for the week – so don’t turn it into a big slip up for the entire day – because that will have a detrimental effect on this weeks goal.

If you start on a crash diet you’ll lose muscle and water, not fat, you’ll end up hungry and fail. You need a balanced healthy eating plan and I’m going to map one out for you – but I want to first explain the food types and why they are important.

If you just change your eating and your family still keeps eating crisps, fried chicken, white bread and biscuits – then you’ll not succeed either. If that’s what your family are eating you need to educate them on healthy food and a healthy lifestyle too. It will be better for their waistline and their health – and for your success.

You need to know what to eat, what not to eat, how to overcome cravings. How to survive the week without feeling deprived, and how to lose weight without feeling hungry and it must be able to fit into your life easily. Right?

It needs to be easy to follow, and you need to remain healthy and enjoy it!
Posted by Vicki Kenny on Thursday 13 December 2012
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Cost of Gaining Weight

Sometimes I get clients asking me how much it costs to lose weight. Sometimes they say they can’t spare the extra money to lose weight.

Have you ever thought about how much it cost to become overweight?
The additional food (portion sizes), the bags of crisps, the snacks from the bakery, the eat out meals like mcDonalds and Fish & Chips. The peanuts, the chocolate, the fizzy drinks, the energy drinks, the pies and sausage rolls. Add to that the processed food, the pre-prepared meals that are so convenient.
Not only are the processed pre-packaged, pre-prepared meals quick and easy – they are expensive. The cost of these really adds up if you compared it to making the dish yourself. To make things worse though – these meals are high in sugar, salt and fat.

A McDonalds Quarter Pounder and large fries will most likely only set you back $6 but add to that a fizzy drink and you’ve got nearly 1000 calories and 50g fat. Do you feel really satisfied after that meal or do you feel hungry an hour later?
1000 calories and 50g fat – may not mean anything to you but if you are female and weigh less than 100kg then 1200 calories a day is all you should be eating to lose weight, and you should eat no more than 30g fat per day. So you’ve just blown your fat ration for the day and you have 200 calories left for the rest of the day. I’m not even going to mention how much cholesterol that meal contains.

The long term costs are even higher than the day to day costs of being overweight. Carrying excess weight in directly connected to over 20 diseases and conditions.

  • Excess facial hair – in an interview with a qualified Beauty Therapist, she reported that 90% of the clients she treated for laser facial hair removal were overweight by 20 or more kilos. They presented with areas of hair on their face and under the chin.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which can cause heavy or irregular periods is more common in women who are overweight. Losing even 5-10% of your body weight can help.
  • Cancer has many different forms and types and many of them could be prevented with more attention to eating healthy and avoiding obesity.
  • Enlarged Heart is a heart condition where the muscle of the heart becomes larger from being overworked which naturally happens if you are overweight.
  • Pulmonary Embolism is a sometimes fatal blockage of an artery. Being overweight causes most people to reduce activity, and extended lack of very little activity can result in an embolism.
  • Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease or commonly known as Indegestion is when the stomach acid and juices flow from the stomach back up into the esophagus. As you know – its not nice! It is common in overweight people.
  • Fatty Liver Disease is a reversible condition where large pockets of fat accumulate in liver cells. Fatty liver can be considered a single disease that occurs worldwide in those with excessive alcohol intake and those who are obese.
  • Hernia is caused when the hole in the diaphragm weakens and enlarges. Being overweight puts extra pressure on all of your body organs, joints and systems.
  • Erectile Dysfunction – no need to explain what this means! But did you know it can be caused by a medical problem due to obesity.
  • Urinary Incontinence is the inability to control when you urinate and is frequently associated with obesity, weak bladder and pelvic floor muscles
  • Chronic Renal Failure is when your kidneys fail and it is a much greater risk to those that are overweight or obese.
  • Lymph edema is a condition that occurs from a damaged or dysfunctional lymphatic system sometimes caused by people who are overweight when the body fat actually crushes the lymphatics.
  • Cellulitis is clinically a spreading infection involving both the dermis and subcutaneous tissues due poor lymph flow caused by obesity.
  • Pickwickian Syndrome is caused by sleep apnea due to excess weight placing an excessive load on the pulmonary system.
  • Depression is greatly enhanced for someone that has a weight problem. Self esteem is lower, even if they say they are happy being overweight – deep down they would offer to be slimmer and more self confident.
  • Osteoarthritis is a clinical syndrome in which low-grade inflammation results in pain in the joints, caused by abnormal wearing of the cartilage due to obesity.
  • Gout occurs when uric acid accumulates in the blood. Nerve endings then become irritated causing extreme pain made worse by the body carrying extra weight.
  • Gallbladder Disease commonly affects overweight people as a result of high blood cholesterol levels and causes gall stones.
Phew – a bit scary isn’t it?
The medication required, the doctors bills, the hospital treatments or operations will cost way more than the what it will cost you to lose that weight.
The costs of being overweight (not counting the cost of becoming overweight) are huge – but the cost on your health and comfort on a day to day basis is far higher. You want to be around for a lot longer – without any of the illnesses and diseases above – so invest in your health and lose that weight.
I know you can. I know you care enough about yourself to put your health and self confidence first.
I can help you if you need help

The cost of a Formula 1 Shake Meal mixed with low fat milk into a smoothie – with a banana costs $3.50 and is 280 calories. And it’s high in fibre, low in fat. Two of those a day and you’ll be shopping for smaller clothes, feeling healthier than you have for a long time. And you’ll be saving money.

Posted by Vicki Kenny on Thursday 13 December 2012
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