5 Do’s for Health and Weight Management
Five DO’s instead of DONTS for weight loss and health.
Eat Mindfully

Some people feel they shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy food so they bolt it down without thinking. Give yourself permission to eat slowly and enjoy your food; don’t feel guilty about it. Always serve your food on a plate and take time to eat. When you are eating, slow down and focus on eating and enjoying your food. We need the mental satisfaction as well as the physical satiety. Otherwise, it’s almost like the meal doesn’t count – and it’s much easier to overeat.

Eat and Drink Enough

Many people think weight loss is about restriction, whereas in many cases we actually need to start by eating more. People think they are doing really well if they eat small amounts at breakfast and lunch, but they get too hungry so it all falls apart at the end of the day. It’s important to spread your food intake out over the day. Your body needs a regular supply of fuel, so don’t let yourself get too hungry. Stay clear of high-sugar or high-fat foods during an afternoon energy slump since their effect on your energy levels is only transient and will often make you feel more tired than you were in the first place. Instead, eat snacks like vegetable sticks with hommous, a small tub of yoghurt, a handful of nuts or a tin of tuna with wholegrain crackers. These snacks have a low glycaemic load, which means they will give you a more sustained energy boost to get you through to dinner.The make-up of meals is important too, I encourage people to eat some carbs and protein foods at each meal so they are getting ‘staying power’. I find that people who miss out on carbs look for something sweet in the evening; and people who don’t have protein during the day tend to find the wheels fall off in the afternoon. Drink enough fluid!  Sometimes we get the message ‘I need something’ so we reach for food, when all the body needs is some water. Set yourself a target of drinking a bottle of water before and after lunch. If you’re struggling, try adding fresh lemon or mint to make it more palatable.

Be Portion Savvy

Often we eating the right things, but we don’t pay attention to how much we are eating. We are exposed to huge portions all around us, which can give us a false idea of what’s normal, and stop us from tuning into our hunger.Get an awareness of portions, this is another key to long-term weight- loss. Start using measuring cups, tablespoons and teaspoons to help with this. They don’t have to do it forever, but it helps develop that awareness of what they’re really eating. Comparing your meat serves to the palm of your hand is a useful guide.

We tend to serve the meat or carbohydrate portion first and then add the vegetables: try changing this around so the vegetables are served first – it’s easier to put on a larger serve when the plate is empty, so this can help reduce meat and carbohydrate serves. Remember that a quarter of your plate should be protein; a quarter should be low-GI carbohydrates; and the remaining half should be made up of vegetables. Try using smaller plates and cups. The only super-sized vessel should be your water glass. And compare the size of your hand to your partner’s hand and your children’s hands. These size differences should be reflected in the food portions you serve as well.

Focus on Managing stress rather than “dieting”

You’re working, socialising, and dealing with big financial commitments. Maybe you’ve got kids. Your 30s are a juggling act – and with sleep, exercise, and ‘you’ time taking a backseat to other priorities, your stress levels can skyrocket. Stress increases your cortisol levels, a hormone linked to increased appetite, cravings for sugar, and you guessed it – weight gain.

While it may seem impossible, you must make time to take care of your own health. Get up an hour earlier to exercise in the morning if you are running out of time during the day. Exercise has been proven to alleviate stress levels and release feel-good endorphins and serotonin, which is the hormone that helps you sleep. Eating a balanced, nutritious diet helps your body cope with stress more effectively, so it’s important to eat well, no matter how busy you are. You could also try a vitamin B supplement. Study participants who took a B supplement for three months experienced almost 20 per cent less stress, according to a new Australian study – that’s significant enough to potentially impact your waistline.

Get 6 or more hour of shut-eye

Sleeping less than you used to is pretty normal. Your sleep requirements actually decline as you age. By your 40s and 50s you’re sleeping an hour or so less each night. This in itself is not a health issue, but many of us worry anyway. Often we see sleeping less as a concern, which causes anxiety, and that can actually stop us from getting enough sleep. Not enough sleep means increased hunger hormones, which can lead to eating more.

Exercise, a balanced diet, sleeping in total darkness and minimising ‘screen-time’ prior to bed can all help, but if you’re still not sleeping well, take a look at your caffeine intake. Caffeine has a half-life of six to eight hours, which means a 3pm coffee is still having half the effect at 11pm that night. So stick to morning coffees only, switch to decaf, or try giving it up all together – you’ll save 405kJ for every small skinny latte you don’t drink.

Christine Rice Weight Loss 2

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