Written by Shannon Lavery, Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist
With 6 in 10 Australians overweight or obese, it is no surprise that weight loss is one of the most commonly set New Year’s Resolutions. But unfortunately it can also be one of the hardest to achieve if you choose a fad diet that’s not right for you.
If you are overweight, then setting an over-arching goal to lose weight to improve your health is a great one, and definitely one that I would encourage. But it will be easier to achieve if you can break it down into 5 simple and specific goals as stepping stones to achieve it. Although each goal individually may seem trivial to your overall health, when you join lots of small changes together they will amount to huge benefits!
MY TOP 5 SIMPLE & SPECIFIC GOALS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
- Reduce your portions – the basic algorithm for weight management is energy in versus energy out. If we consume more energy from the food and drinks we consume than the energy we expend each day, then that excess energy will be stored as fat in the body.
If weight loss is your over-arching goal, try reducing your portions by 25%. Then, if appropriate, in a couple of months’ time, reduce those portions another 25%.
- Increase your water – Our bodies are made up of 50-75% water and it is needed for most of our body functions – from delivering nutrients and oxygen to body cells, to regulating our body temperature. Our bodies are unable to store much water, so we need to replenish our supplies every day.
Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water every day.
- Eat more fibre – High fibre foods help keep you feeling fuller for longer, reducing your desire for extra snacks and helping with weight management. Plus, fibre plays a huge role in maintaining a healthy digestive system and in managing blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Aim to eat at least 30g of fibre every day by eating plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and wholegrains breads and cereals.
- Swap your high energy fluids – Soft drinks, alcohol, juices, smoothies, milky coffees, energy drinks – they are all examples of fluids that are high in kilojoules (energy) and low in the nutrients required for good health. Furthermore these drinks often contribute to weight gain.
Swap these drinks for lower kilojoule options such as diet soft drinks and low alcohol drinks, or better yet – water!
- Do regular exercise that you enjoy – Physical activity and healthy eating go hand-in-hand in improving your health and reducing your risk of chronic disease. It’s great that you have taken the initiative to join as a member of BlueFit, but it’s important that you are doing exercise that you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like a chore. If you are looking for ideas to spice up your exercise routine talk to a BlueFit staff member for a new program or try one of the group fitness classes.
Aim to include at least 30 minutes of exercise that you enjoy on most, if not all, days of the week.
Need further support?
BlueFit members can receive a 10% discount on dietitian consultations with Shannon Lavery at Switch Physiotherapy in Penshurst. If you are interested in booking an appointment please call 02 9585 8844 or visit www.penshurstphysio.com.au; alternatively you can email Shannon directly at SL_NUTRITION@OUTLOOK.COM Please remember to mention your BlueFit membership.