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Diet without Dieting!0 Comments

admin | 10:39 am | April 17, 2012 | Weight Loss

dietThat dreaded “D” word! It has an uncanny way of conjuring up visions of impending failure- and rightly so. Dieting is not quick. It’s not easy. But it is do-able. According to renowned life couch Dr. Phil McGraw in his book, The Ultimate Weight Solution, “Diets fail because we rebel and we don’t have a system in place to support us when we are not in the mood to stick to our plans”. As a practicing dietician, I have seen this scenario far too often. It’s all very well having the best meal plan in town, a contact at the hottest new gym and all the good intentions in the world- but when a person doesn’t deal with the psychological and emotional aspects of weight loss, failure is imminent. This has led me to the conclusion that weight loss is not so much about the dieting itself, but rather about getting tuned in to the correct dieting mindset and developing a healthy attitude towards food and eating. So, forget the dieting for a moment and meditate on these 10 steps, which I’ve developed to help you achieve nonsense free, diet free weight loss:

Have an action plan. No successful venture is possible without proper planning. Plan shopping, meals and exercise ahead of time so that you are always pre-prepared.  Stocking up that work fridge and cupboard with some fresh fruit, wholegrain crackers and low fat cheeses before-hand may well prevent you from visiting the canteen for a greasy toasted cheese or a chocolate bar.

Set reasonable goals. According to Lori Lea, Johannesburg based life coach, “Set small, attainable goals with a time frame attached to them and commit to a start date.” Don’t jump the gun by trying to lose all the weight or change all your bad habits in one week. Rather set mini-goals, like losing 3-5 kilograms in the next month or fitting into those old jeans by December. With food, start with the worst villains first and eliminate them. So if chocolate is your problem- get rid of it first. Congratulate yourself for each small goal reached.

Deal with cravings. If cravings are a problem, you need to deal with their source, whether it be emotional, psychological or physical. When a craving hits, ask yourself “What need am I really trying to fill?” Dr Phil recommends “slowing your thoughts down and listening attentively to what’s really going on.” If its emotional need you are trying to fill, deal with the issue out of the kitchen. Ensure that you have a good emotional support system in place to help prevent you from inappropriately turning to food.

Be a visionary. Think ahead and think thin. In your dream time, imagine the body of your dreams and hold that vision in your head. Imagine yourself a few months down the line looking and feeling better and younger than you ever have.

Become accountable. According to Lori Lea, “You need to establish to whom you are accountable during your weight loss plan, whether it’s to yourself, your best friend, your therapist or your dietician”. Commit to checking in with someone for a weigh-in, a personal training session or a general motivational chat once or twice a week. With this type of accountability comes responsibility, which helps keep us on track.

Be enthusiastic about losing weight. Nothing great can be achieved without enthusiasm. Become enthusiastic about making changes, about vitality, about meal planning and about healthy eating.

Love and nurture yourself. At the heart of it, successful weight loss is about self-love, it’s about loving yourself enough to allow your body to achieve optimum health. Do something for yourself for at least 3 hours each week, like a yoga class, a quiet meditation or a walk along the beach or in a park. Nurture your body by feeding it only wholesome, natural foods. Be careful not to fall into the trap of self sabotage.

Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Thought leads to action which leads to habit. Instead of bombarding your brain and body with negative thoughts, shower yourself with positive affirmations and miracles will happen. Instead of telling yourself that you feel deprived and hard done by, focus on the positive consequences of avoiding unhealthy foods, like improved health and increased energy levels.

Act; don’t react to life’s stressors. According to Dr. PhilWe cannot always control situations, but we can always control our reactions to them”. The events of your daily life have only the meaning you assign to them. Dealing with a blow up with your boyfriend by guzzling through a bag of potato chips and devouring a tub of ice cream is typical reactive behaviour. Rather deal with things in a proactive fashion; for example, with effective communication.

Turn obstacles into opportunities. Set yourself up for success by remaining true to your weight loss mission. Failure is not an option here. As a great man once said “There are no problems, only solutions”. That chocolate cake that somebody brought to work for their birthday is not an obstacle, but an opportunity to prove your willpower, self love and endurance.


Beat the Holiday Bulge1 Comment

admin | 3:02 pm | December 12, 2011 | Uncategorized, Weight Loss

santascale

Having a good time is the main intention behind taking a holiday, and this often means indulging on heavy food and drinks. But coming home bloated, overweight and unhealthy will only make you feel like you need another holiday. The following tips will help you keep in tip top shape and avoid those regretful feelings.

Don’t sacrifice on exercise

If you are travelling locally, make sure that your gym contract is activated for the city you are visiting. Most hotels have at least basic gym facilities now days. Choose high energy out-door activities, like hiking, swimming or water sports. Even a good old walk through a local market or shopping centre is good exercise (especially if you carry around some heavy shopping bags too). Remember, the more exercise you do, the more over-eating you can get away with. Don’t forget to pack some running or walking shoes, or maybe even your yoga mat.

Up the Water

This is especially important if you are travelling to hot climates or spending lots of time in the sun. Water is one of the single most important nutrients for a healthy weight and sacrificing on intake could cause you to gain.

Eat a good breakfast

Most hotels serve a big breakfast where you’ll have lots of healthy choices. Always go for some fresh fruit in the mornings, with a wholegrain cereal or porridge and yogurt. Eggs on wholegrain toast is also a good choice (poached or boiled eggs are best). Go easy on the muesli as these tend to be high in fat and sugar. If pastries for breakfast are your thing, limit these to a couple of incidences per week max.

Order Out Smartly

Most restaurants do not base their menu choices on what’s healthy, but rather on what’s tasty- and this often means rich, creamy sauces. If you are near the coast, sample some of the local fish and seafood. Always order your fish dry-grilled or Cajun style, without the lemon butter sauce. Sushi is also a great choice. Steaks should be limited and always go for the smaller option, like a minute or ladies’ steak. Grilled chicken breasts or ostrich steaks are a less fatty option that beef steaks or lamb. Regarding side orders- go easy on the chips, onion rings and creamed spinach and rather opt for a baked potato minus the sour cream, or even better for steamed vegetables or salad. Pasta should always be ordered as a half portion with a tomato base. Take out foods should be kept to a minimum. If you must indulge, why not save on some kilojoules and try a plain chicken burger instead of a regular burger with chips?

Mind Your Liquor

Alcohol is a concentrated kilojoule source and can affect your weight if you over-indulge. If you do drink, choose mixers with soda water instead of juices, cocktails and sugary fizzy drinks. Dry wines are preferable to sweet wines, which contain more kilojoules. Drinking can also take its toll on your liver, leaving you sluggish and bloated.

Become a Health Conscious Cook

If the holiday event is at your home, consider preparing dishes that require more nutritious ingredients and healthier cooking methods. Be aware of how you use fat, sugar, starch and salt. Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your menus. Use plan fat-free yogurt instead of cream. Don’t fry anything. Rather grill, bake, steam and boil. Use lemon or lemon juice, herbs and spices for flavor. Garlic and crushed red pepper give most dishes flavor and character. For dessert, try fresh fruit salad with low kilojoule jellies and sorbets.

Indulge, don’t binge

There is a big difference between indulging (which involves a subtle enjoyment) and bingeing (which indicates a type of gluttony). Choose your indulgences carefully. If crème brule is simply your favourite, then by all means indulge in a dessert after dinner. But if you’re just eating for the sake of it and not deriving much pleasure- its better to stay away. Remember- everything in moderation.


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