All you need to know to keep up to date with nutrition

Portion Control Guide

When it comes to losing weight and then keeping it off long term, it all comes down to portion sizes. It sounds so simple: don’t eat or drink too much, but it’s so easy to drink more than you planned to, without a doubt, most people struggle with this concept but today I will give you some tips to make life a little bit easier 🙂

 

Tips to control your portions:

At home

  • Buy yourself a set of measuring cups and have them handy.
  • Always measure breakfast cereal and rice/pasta servings using a measuring cup.
  • Keep kitchen scales handy to check portions and serving sizes.
  • Avoid eating in front of the TV, it is easy to overeat when you distracted.
  • Use grated cheese or invest in a cheese slice to control portions.
  • Only carry portion controlled snacks of nuts and crackers.
  • Cook at home more frequently!

At restaurants

  • Ask for half or smaller portions.
  • Eyeball your appropriate portion, set the rest aside, and ask for a doggie bag right away.

At the grocery store

  • Beware of mini-sized snacks – small crackers, cookies, and pretzels. Most people end up eating more than they realize, and the calories add up.
  • Choose foods packaged in individual serving sizes.

 

Now…when you don’t have measuring cups or a scale available, you can use your hands to figure out reasonable portion sizes…handguide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And if you still find this difficult to put into action…

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That Sugar Film

I have just seen the Ozzie documentary called “That Sugar Film”. It’s excellent. It follows a 30-something guy who changes his diet to reflect that of the average Australian, who generally eats 44 teaspoons of sugar a day! Shocking! The scariest part is that this isn’t in the form of actual table sugar, it’s HIDDEN sugar. YES, that means that in many people’s daily diet lurks 44 teaspoons of refined, toxic sugar.

 

The physiology is really well depicted. It explains how sucrose is broken down into glucose and fructose. So when we flood our systems with sucrose from commercial products like fizzy drinks, sweetened dairy, cakes etc, our bodies metabolize the fructose in the liver where it gets stored as triglycerides. This is very harmful and is associated with an increased risk for heart and metabolic disease such as obesity, diabetes and even cancers.

 

It highlights the obvious changes (like dental cavities, weight gain and increased body fat) which become symptomatic after just 3 weeks! However the real value of this film is the way it shows the internal changes. This includes the increased triglyceride level, visceral fat (around the central organs), insulin and dopamine response triggering an addiction and psychological effects such depression. This film’s shock factor is huge!! But so is the effect of sugar 😉 it makes you think about every drop that you put into your mouth.

 

Remember: your body is your temple… You only have one chance at keeping it safe and healthy.

 

Sugar Addiction

Let’s talk about sugar and find out what you can do to kick your sugar habit and get your life back on track. Sugar is a carbohydrate found naturally in many foods from lactose in milk to the fructose in fruit and honey. In fact, we need some sugar in our diets to supply energy to fuel our muscles and keep our brains active.

The problem comes in where children and adults are consuming TOO MUCH sugar. Many processed foods have added sugar which supplies energy in the form of calories and very little else.  A high intake of sugar causes our blood sugar levels to shoot up, giving us that feel-good ‘high’ followed by a crashing which leaves us tired, irritable and craving more sugary foods. It’s a vicious cycle that may be contributing to our weight problems as well as health concerns like diabetes and heart disease.

 

Foods high in added sugar: cakes, biscuits, sweets, frozen desserts, fruit drinks, fizzy drinks, alcoholic drinks, chocolates, savoury foods.

sugar cycle

Making a few adjustments to your diet can help you cut down on unnecessary sugar consumption:

  • Reduce the sugar you add to hot drinks. Do this gradually to give your taste buds time to adjust. Try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to cappuccino or hot chocolate, cinnamon adds flavour without the sweetness.
  • Be wary of ‘sugar-free’ foods. These often contain synthetic sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin and aspartame. Although these taste sweet, they don’t help curb a sweet tooth so they tend to send confusing messages to the brain, which can lead to over-eating.
  • Balance your carb intake with lean protein like fish and chicken- protein foods slow stomach emptying, which helps manage cravings.
  • Swap white bread, rice and pasta for wholegrain versions like oats, whole-wheat breads, brown rice, quinoa and pasta.
  • Reduce the sugar in recipes and add spices to boost flavour and taste.
  • For a pick me up, have a piece of whole fruit with a handful of nuts or a small tub of plain yogurt.

Health and Wellness in the workplace

Health and wellness in the workplace

Healthy and empowered employees are happier and more productive.

Healthy employees are efficient, take fewer sick days and are more productive in your company. The reverse is also true – it is recognized that the workplace itself has a powerful effect on people’s health. When people are satisfied with their job, they are more productive and tend to be healthier. When employees feel that the environment at work is , which has a large impact on employee mental and physical health, and in turn, on productivity.

We have done various health and wellness days including:

  • Presentations at Parliament and Transnet
  • Assessments and consultations at Mr Price, Milady’s, Mr Price Financial Services, Swiss Re, Shelll and OMD.

We have seen that a good workplace wellness program has an impact on employees’ mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being, and of course productivity. It’s time to empower your employees with life-changing nutrition information.

benefits of wellness

 

Basics on how to lose weight (easily) 

Most people that walk through my door want to lose weight but feel like it’s an impossible task and huge mountain of a challenge. My job is to make weight loss achievable and yes, EASY!

The best trick is to make lifestyle changes that suit you and fit into your current routine. In this way you will see the kilograms shed with minimal effort.

Here are some basics to set you off on the right track. If you can start by following these 8 tips you will be leaps ahead.

  1. Cut out sugar in tea and coffee. Do yourself a favour and add up the teaspoons of sugar you have in a day. Remember that 3-4 tsp = 1 slice of bread.
  2. Cut out fruit juice and fizzy cool drinks. This is VITAL because most juices are laced with sugar. For example, Ice Tea can contain about 30g of sugar!
  3. Say no to high energy snacks like chocolate, muffins and sugary treats
  4. Limit alcohol. The body breaks down alcohol in the same way as it breaks down fat. The problem is that there is no ‘alcohol reservoir’. So the body needs to stop metabolising any other food and turns to burning the alcohol, storing the fat and carb that it was metabolising.
  5. Drink lots of water and herbal teas. This keeps you feeling full and ensures that the metabolism  is functioning well.
  6. Include a lean protein in most meals and snacks. Protein has an excellent effect of satiety and really helps tide you over until your next meal.
  7. If in doubt about portion control, only allow yourself one helping and try and leave 20% on your plate (and ask for a take away for lunch the next day)
  8. Exercise!!!

Good luck

The Banting Round Up 2

General health
Great- no problems. I have been a bit tired lately but that is probably from overworking and under sleeping. My great news is that I have been less bloated and my cholesterol dropped amazingly! Yay! But this is definitely based on the unsaturated fats. Most people doing real banting have the opposite effect and see a sharp increase. As I mentioned before, cholesterol isn’t the main heart disease culprit. However it is an associated risk factor if your blood sugar is slightly raised. So this is really important to remember if you do Bant- you cannot cheat otherwise you will be sitting with a double whammy of high cholesterol and blood sugar- BAM, heart attack here you come.

Expense
I didn’t notice such an increase compared to most people doing real Banting, as I didn’t buy loads of red meat and saturated fats like butter and cream. My groceries we similar to before- huge amounts of veg, yoghurt, tuna, salmon, sardines, eggs, Avos, nuts and seeds. So where I saved on starch I spent on extra fats.

Socially
I really battled. Generally you can always opt for a salad when eating out, but it’s awkward to always be the “fussy” one. And it’s damn tempting when everyone else is eating pasta and pizza. It’s do-able especially with many of the restaurants becoming banting-friendly, but it’s is a dampener.

More coming tomorrow….the final opinion!

 

The Banting Round Up 1

As you all know I have been giving the Royal Banting a whirl, as a sneaky Banting (aka Tim Noakes diet) taster. Two months in and this is what I have to say…..

My aim- to give my clients a subjective opinion on this type of diet.
My version- the Royal Banting- low carb (100g max), medium protein and high unsaturated fat. This works along similar principles to the Tim Noakes Diet however I just couldn’t face the saturated fats….yes yes I know, eating the saturated fats and increasing cholesterol is not the sole indicator of heart disease but I err on the side of caution and decided to give this a go on unsaturated fats.

I know that my opinion is based on my own version, but hopefully this will give you an idea about certain aspects. The fact that my diet is low carb and high fat, still gets me into ketogenisis which is the effect I was after in order to give my opinion…..

Dietitians opinion

Energy
Initially I dipped in the afternoons and felt quite lethargic and moody. However after the first 7-10 days I was over the carb-flu symptoms. Now my energy levels are great. I wouldn’t say any better than when I was eating a high carb diet though. Training-wise, I’ve been eating nuts during my training or races and have been surprisingly fine. One triathlon involved 8 degree water and an ice-cream headache from hell so on the cycle I inhaled a quarter of a GU, but this was more in desperation to get caffeine into my body to get over the headache.

Appetite
This was my main point of interest when I started the diet because after the half ironman I was so sick and tired of always being starving and having to eat constantly….gaining weight in the interim, despite exercising for 2-4 hours a day.
So a quick physiology background- When you are in ketosis, the ketones signal to your brain saying that you are satisfied, so your appetite is reduced. In actual fact you are in the same state you would be in if you were starved. Hmmmm, okay so the jury is out on this point regarding long term safety…
But awesome news- my appetite definitely deminished. So yes ketosis worked in that sense but what are the chronic effects?

Weight
Initially I was quite strict and followed a well controlled Royal Banting diet. However as time progressed I started reaching for more and more nuts…eeeeek. So in the beginning I dropped 2 % body fat and gained 2 kg of muscle (oh yeah, but wait..). As I write this I am back to normal pre-diet. DAMN THOSE NUTS!

I will be posting more on my experiment tomorrow, so keep posted 🙂

 

Banting 101- know the basics…

Banting (aka the Tim Noakes Diet)  comes with some health benefits…HOWEVER this is only true if you do it CORRECTLY. If you do it half-heartedly you will be increasing your cholesterol and blood sugar, and even gain weight- all of which will drastically put your health at risk.

So here is a list of the main points…
1. Banting is named after a man called William Banting in the 1860’s, who lost extreme amounts of weight by cutting out carbs and eating a high fat diet.
2. Tim Noakes has rediscovered this way of eating and noticed that it has helped him control his blood sugar and weight.
3. Banting is high fat, low carb and medium protein.
Cutting down on carb causes the brain to start breaking down fat as an alternative energy source. This is called ketosis.
4. Ketosis causes loss if appetite thereby reducing energy consumption…and ultimately weight loss.
5. High saturated fat is likely to increase your cholesterol. However if your blood sugar control is perfect and your carb intake is low then your risk for heart disease isn’t necessarily higher.
6. This diet is not for everyone- if you are insulin resistant and if it suits you to cut out carbs and to increase your fat intake then great, if not please don’t pick and choose the principles that suit you.