Most people, when embarking upon a healthier lifestyle or weight change journey choose a particular ‘diet’ to follow. What is important to realise is that sweeping changes to one’s diet is often only a short term fix, resulting in regression to one’s original diet and weight in the long run. Smaller, more sustainable changes can result in equally impressive results (albeit slower to achieve) but importantly these results are easier to maintain.
It is a myth that people who are overweight or obese are very greedy and eat huge portions of food. Small imbalances in calorie intake over time will lead to weight gain (or loss). Each pound of fat in our bodies is storing approximately 3500 calories. Consuming just 96 calories more than you require each and every day will result in a 10 pound weight gain over the course of a year. Year on year, this can easily add up
Small, purposeful, changes to your calorie intake make a big difference over time. Just 250 calories fewer each day (that’s about a medium latte with 2 sugars) will lead to a pound of fatty weight loss over 2 weeks. That’s a weight loss of 26 pounds in a year. To double that result simply (additionally) cut out 1 packet of mayo at lunch, use ½ cup rice instead of a cup at suppertime and don’t nibble whilst cooking.
Small changes are key – and it’s all in the details:
- Choose the highest quality of food that you can afford such as wholegrain foods and high quality proteins such as beans, lean meats and oily fish
- Read the labels – check for added salt, sugar and fats
- Choose products with less than 200mg sodium per serving, Less that 5g sugar per serving (unless the sugar comes from fruit within the product) and avoid anything with trans fat, hydrogenated oils or palm oil
- Be aware that white sugar, brown sugar and honey are all sugars and should all be kept to a minimum
- Avoid pre-packaged and processed foods as much as possible – these products are usually laden with hidden extras and unhealthy additives and preservatives
- Cook from scratch as much as possible
- Limit condiments such as butter, mayo, chutney, salad dressings
- Plan ahead; write a shopping list and avoid shopping when hungry as you will likely buy more
- Take your lunch to work to both save money and eat more healthily
- Reduce your portion sizes of meats and eat more beans, lentils, chickpeas and other pulses. Add beans etc wherever possible to dishes such as meat sauce, chilli, burritos, soups, stews and salads
- Watch out for marketing tricks. For example a product may say it is reduced sodium but that does not mean that it is a low sodium food, merely less than the original product
If you are concerned about your or your child’s nutritional health and feel you would benefit from support from a Registered Dietitian please contact us at Island Nutrition on 295-4082 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.