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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

It ain't just about losing weight!

2nd December 2015
A penguin cannot become a giraffe, so just be the best penguin you can be!

Is your diet really healthy?  When you keep a record of the food/drink you eat (track) if you do, do you ever look back at it and think yeah that's a good healthy tracker!  What does a 'healthy' tracker look like?

What about your shopping trolley, would you be proud of its contents? 

At this time of year particularly we can get a little of the 'sod it' syndrome and forget our bodies need taking care of too.  So let's remind ourselves of Weight Watchers good health guidelines that ensure you are getting the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need to boost your health while losing weight.   Keep them in mind as a reminder of how to eat healthily every day and lose weight.

Fruits and Vegetables - aim for at least five portions of different fruits and vegetables a day. You can choose from fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced. One portion is:
  • 1 slice of large fruit (pineapple, melon)
  • 1 medium sized fruit (apple, banana)
  • 2 small sized fruit (plum)
  • ½ a grapefruit or avocado
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of beans and pulses
  • 1 dessert bowl of salad
  • 1 glass (150ml) of fruit or vegetable juice
Milk and dairy products are great sources of protein and vitamins A, D and B12 and zinc. They are also a rich source of nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D, which help to keep bones and teeth healthy and strong. Aim for 2 portions very day and choose low fat varieties where you can.  If you suffer from lactose-intolerance, look for dairy products that are labelled lactose-free or alternatives like calcium-enriched soya milk. 

Follow the advice from your health professional to ensure that you have a sufficient balance of nutrients in your diet.
What counts:
  • ½ pint milk
  • 1 small tub low fat natural yogurt
  • 40g hard cheese
Fluid is essential for life. It plays a role in almost every one of your body’s chemical processes.  Drinking water is the easiest, cheapest and healthiest way to ensure you’re getting enough fluid as it is totally calorie free and contains no sugars. Feel free to count coffee, tea, milk, squashes and diet drinks as part of your intake too. 

Aim for at least six 8oz glasses or 1.2 litres. You’ll need to drink more if you are exercising. 

Lean Protein
Protein is an essential element of a healthy diet. Lean protein is also a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as iron, selenium, zinc, and B vitamins. Aim for 1-2 portions every day.

As part of our protein intake, the Government recommends at least two portions of fish a week (a portion is about 140g), one of which should be oily, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, kippers and sardines. Fish is rich in protein and minerals, and oily fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. 

What counts:
  • Lean meats, skinless poultry, fish, beans
  • Eggs
  • Soy products
  • Lentils

Wholegrain foods and fibre help promote health and can keep you feeling fuller for longer. Health professionals recommend that foods like bread, rice, pasta and cereal should play a part in each meal. Aim to base at least half your daily intake of bread, cereal, rice and pasta on wholegrain varieties.

If you want to include more wholegrain varieties of these foods, choose wheat, oat or multigrain bread instead of white bread; brown rice instead of white rice; wholewheat pasta instead of white pasta; and wholewheat or wholegrain cereal varieties.

Being active is important to keeping your body healthy and in great shape and is a proven way to help control your weight. Aim to exercise for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week.
All activity counts, including gardening and housework.

Reduce your intake. Most people in the UK eat too much salt.  Salt is mainly hidden in processed foods like ketchup, tinned food, bread and cakes. While it may be helpful to check food labels for salt content, the simplest way to cut down is to eat more fresh foods and avoid adding salt to your cooking and your meals.

Limiting your intake may help reduce your risk of high blood pressure and may also cut your risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

Sugar and Alcohol
Limit your intake of both alcohol and sugar. Alcohol contains empty calories and may contribute to weight gain. Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to a wide range of health problems, including cancer liver disease, stroke, high blood pressure and can affect mnetal health.

Medical experts recommend that women drink no more than 2-3 units a day and men no more than 3-4 units a day. A unit is a half pint of standard strength beer, lager or cider or a pub measure of spirits (25ml). A small (125ml) glass of wine is about 1.5 units.

Aim to eat fewer sugary foods, such as sweets, cakes and biscuits. Cut down on tea or coffee with sugar and drink fewer soft drinks with sugar.


There you go, now compare that to your tracker from yesterday and again today?  I know I managed the fruit and veg, I had an apple, satsuma, avocado, carrots, onions, parsnips & mushrooms, if I'd made soup I would've added more veggies!  My milk/dairy was covered easily, as was my water intake.  Protein included egg, ham and beef, think I'm going to opt for some oily fish with wholegrains today.   Reading through those guidelines really makes me realise how easy it is to go off the 'healthy' trail and end up with the quick whatever kind of day that has little balance at all!

Take an honest look at your diet, there's more to being healthy than the numbers going down on the scales!

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