"HELPING YOU LOVE HEALTHY CHOICES"

Food for thought by Cath and Kim

Top 5 Tips for Weight Loss by Kim

To kick off your healthy eating habits

We all know that good nutrition is an important component of a balanced life, but we sometimes get lost as to what good nutrition is!  The basics are easy, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, choose mostly healthy plant fats, don’t eat junk food, but that just doesn’t seem to be enough.  This is because, although these are really important points, they are not the crux to healthy balanced eating. 

11b35c_7ec1536bb1a04993bf16efa7fa9c00d9 Eat Regularly

When you eat regularly your blood sugar levels are kept stable which in turn prevents a drop in energy levels and thereby prevents cravings as well as subsequent overeating.  In time this will become automated as your body’s hunger signals will remind you to eat, but to start with you will need to remind yourself (for example setting an alarm) to eat at a specific time. 
Regular eating means eating at least 3 meals per day, but very often snacking in between the meals is beneficial. When you eat regularly your blood sugar levels are kept stable which in turn prevents a drop in energy levels and thereby prevents cravings as well as subsequent overeating.  In time this will become automated as your body’s hunger signals will remind you to eat, but to start with you will need to remind yourself (for example setting an alarm) to eat at a specific time. 
Regular eating means eating at least 3 meals per day, but very often snacking in between the meals is beneficial.

11b35c_d684deebcf734aaab8432314f19dde69 Eat Breakfast

Breakfast will help kick start the metabolism and give you energy for the first part of your day.  It is a good idea to try to have this before you leave the house as one of your meals will already be taken care of.  If however you are only able to have your breakfast once you get to the office, have a fruit before you leave so that your blood sugar levels will not be too low when you do eat.

11b35c_6f8081bd190b49e8b036e6d9d9a47e5f Keep Food Handy

Often when we get busy it is too easy not to eat or order some fast food.  It is therefore very helpful to have a stash of food on you (at your desk, in your bag, in the car) that you can easily nibble on when you feel hungry.  Examples of some good foods include crackers (e.g. provita), low fat cheese wedges, peanut butter, tuna packs, dried fruit or fruit juice, nuts and biltong. 

11b35c_36d5260b112a49088bb7e5c270405f74 Watch Portions

Portion control is such an important part of weight loss.  Generally people eat far more than needed.  Do you know when you have had enough to eat – and I don’t mean enough until you feel stuffed!  Most people don’t know when to stop eating and only stop when their plates or the pots are empty!  But this is often too much food.  For the ladies, if you eat out the portion is double what you need, so start practicing leaving some food on the plate.

11b35c_cd6c9a2e67d54c929a88b8d9fb739290 Drink Enough Water

If you are generally not drinking enough fluid your body will be sending out a hunger signal instead of a thirst signal when you are thirsty.  This means that you are more likely to overeat when you are not drinking enough fluid.  Of course, water is the best fluid, so find a way to cue yourself to drink it (have a jug on the desk, have a bottle in the fridge) and have it in a way that you like it – cold, with ice, with a slice of lemon or cucumber etc.  The more water you drink the stronger the thirst signal will become, and the more likely you are to drink instead of eat when you are thirsty. It is important to remember that you are human – no one expects you to be perfect 100% of the time! So don’t try to be a perfectionist!  Work on letting go of the guilt of a ‘bad’ (or ‘not the healthiest’ as I prefer to call it) food choice – call it a treat, and work it into your healthy eating style.  Remember food plays two roles – nourishment and nurture.  That chocolate that you are having is not nourishing you (which is why you should only have it occasionally) but it will certainly nurture you if you eat it slowly and savour it!  And that is important too…

Top 5 Healthy Snacks by Cath

Why snack between meals?

Snacking between meals help us get all the nutrients in that we need to stay healthy. It also helps one feel energized as snacking keeps our blood glucose (sugar) levels more stable throughout the day, especially if you find your energy level drops between meals. Snacking may also help to curb your feelings of hunger (cravings) between meals and therefore assists you to stop eating too much at mealtimes. Here are some ideas to get you to love healthy snack choices!

11b35c_41a29c86095244c39a5e0534b744a77d1  Fresh Fruit = ANTI-OXIDANTS and FIBER

Fresh fruit, its simple, easy and healthy. Enough said! A great way to get in the much needed vitamin C (antioxidant) to help your body fight off the flu and other infections or just to keep your body as healthy. There is also fiber in fruit, this will help keep your gut healthy. 
 

11b35c_201ca49f0c574b9c87e1aa59192e75432  Lean protein = Good source of vitamin B12

Including lean proteins as snacks are a good way to ensure you get enough vitamin B12, a water soluble vitamin, which plays important role in keeping your mind and body healthy. Lean proteins also keep you fuller. Good examples are: lean biltong, boiled egg, cottage cheese, hummus and fatty fish. 
 

11b35c_b9d39f0296f04c4392fa8e231a0f08833  Healthy fats = Monounsaturated fats 

Nuts are a good example of healthy fats. Most nuts contain a mix of both poly and monounsaturated fats. Nuts which are sources of omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts but any nut will do – just keep an eye on your portion size 🙂 
 

11b35c_b56ab9964c674c8dbb70be29538fb3d84  Yoghurt = GREAT source of calcium

Yoghurt contains both protein and carbohydrates (lactose) which is a SMART snacking option. The carbohydrate will give you energy and the protein will keep you fuller and help you maintain muscle health. Best of all, it is a source of calcium (we need 1000 mg of calcium per day) and a source of probiotics! 
 

11b35c_d7a214227c4345e0a619a996b8c910e65  Veggies = GREAT source of most nutrients

Getting in your veggies is very important for optimal health as most vegetables are good sources of most of the nutrients essential for health such as: vitamin B1, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium and folic acid. Enjoy with a dip of sorts, such as: cottage cheese (with parsley or chives). Aim for at least 3-4 vegetable portions per day! 
 
The keys to healthy snacking are:
  • ŠChoose the foods you snack on wisely
  • Watch the portion size of the food you eat
  • Snack when you are hungry
 
Lastly,  remember that being prepared (packing snacks the night before) is so important because it will mean that you will have access to healthy options and then you will be less likely to make poor unhealthy choices that aren’t nourishing and do nothing for your health. EAT and SNACK SMART.