Health and Fitness Secrets of a Dietitian
Want to know the secrets of the nutrition world? Here are my insider Dietitian health and fitness secrets you need to know:
- Snacking adds up
Snacking, picking and grazing – you may not think a biscuit here, a few squares of chocolate there or a spoonful of ice-cream matters, but it really does add up! Grazing and picking can prevent you from losing weight, no matter how much of a sweat you work up at the gym, plus it can even cause weight gain. If you are constantly reaching for snacks that's are high in refined/added sugars or grazing on muesli or cereal, you may not be meeting your carbohydrate requirements in your main meals. To combat this, make sure you include a small amount of low GI carbs with your lunch and dinner like sweet potato, lentils, quinoa or brown rice. This will stabilise your blood sugar levels and prevent cravings for those sugar-filled sweets. Another cause of continual snacking can be dehydration, so whenever you reach for the biscuit jar, grab a glass of water instead.
- You need to move your body
Our bodies are designed to move, and in different ways. We are not meant to sit for 8 hours at desk without even getting up. And a few little walks a couple of times per week just isn't enough. You need to be exercising most days, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Exercise should involve a mix of cardio and strength training to ensure you whole body benefits!
- You don't need meat to get all your protein
If I asked you what foods are high in protein, most of you will answer with meat, chicken or eggs. However there are many other foods that are high in protein aside from meat, which are actually healthier too! Think lentils, beans (kidney beams, cannelloni beans etc), fish, tofu, nuts & seeds. These foods are not only excellent sources of protein but have also been scientifically proven to improve your heart, skin & digestive health as well as prevent chronic diseases & some cancers.
- Dairy isn't the only (or best) source of calcium
Contrary to popular belief, dairy isn't your best source of calcium. Leafy green veggies, think broccoli, cabbage and bok choy, are great sources of calcium, as are soy and tofu. Sardines and salmon with bones, along with brazil nuts, almonds and tahini contain excellent amounts of calcium too. So don't be worried if you don't eat dairy, just make sure you include these alternative calcium-containing foods in your meals and snacks each day.
- Counting Calories does not equal weight loss
Counting calories is not, I repeat, not, a good way to lose weight. All counting calories does is create stress and fixation around number and does not allow you to enjoy food in a healthy, balanced way. It is good to be aware of the calorie content of certain foods such as those sold in takeaway outlets, but counting calories shouldn't be your focus. Not only are most people, apps and devices very inaccurate when it come to counting calories, but many foods that are healthy for you are high in calories, and many foods that are very unhealthy food you (for example diet soft-drinks) are low in calories. You could thus drink diet-soft-drink all day and not go over your calorie limit, but this would not be healthy.