Comfort-eating

Research Confirms That Marriage Makes You Fat

If you thought that happily ever after came in the form of marriage, according to researchers it also comes in the form of weight gain, with a new study revealing that wedded bliss makes you fat!

RELATED: How The Art Of Forgiveness Can Save Your Marriage

Apparently married couples have a higher body mass index (BMI) than those who are single and are less inclined to participate in sporting activities. What’s more, while lovebirds were found to eat better, they still weighed significantly more.

The study, conducted by the University of Basel and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, compared the body mass index of married couples with that of singles in nine European countries and examined possible reasons for weight gain by investigating their eating and exercise behaviours.

What they found was that while couples were more inclined to buy more unprocessed foods and less convenience foods, they exercised less and weren’t necessarily healthier. Ralph Hertwig, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, explained to the Daily Mail: “Our findings show how social factors can impact health.

“In this case, that the institution of marriage and certain changes in behaviour within that context are directly related to nutrition and body weight.”

Another study that basically proves that you’re doomed for weight gain after marriage was published by Forza Supplements in 2013. The survey, which polled 1000 people, found that tying the knot caused couples to put on an average of 2kg in their first year of marriage, with the comfort of a stable relationship causing them to leave their healthy habits at the altar.

What’s more, this number then progressed over time with couples stacking on over 6kg in less than four years after saying “I do.” The main reason came down to staying in together and snacking while watching TV, however it was also found that people who had settled down felt less pressure to look good as they were no longer seeking a partner.

Surprisingly, 72 per cent of respondents agreed on this and admitted that the pressure to stay slim was far greater when they were single, suggesting that marriage is a good excuse to let yourself go!

So, is the comfort and social habits associated with marriage doing more damage than good? According to Lee Smith, managing director of Forza Supplements, becoming too content with ‘the one’ can result in health consequences.

Speaking to the Daily Mail when the study was released, he said: “We are all looking to find ‘the one.’ But the comfort this brings can wreck many people’s diets.”

“It is quite staggering that many couples are a stone heavier less than four years on from their wedding day. What is also striking about the research is how married men and women’s weight tends to go up in tandem. If one half is letting themselves go, so is the other.

“On a more positive note, if the husband or wife decides to diet, so does their other half.”

So there you have it, do you think you’ll get married any time soon?  

June 30, 2015

How To Enjoy Winter Comfort Foods Without The Weight Gain

It’s bitterly cold outside, baby, and if you’re eschewing the gym in favour of comfort food and more doona time, you’re not alone. Guilty, as charged!

RELATED: How To Combat Emotional Eating This Winter

So, is there a way we can somehow enjoy our favourite winter comfort foods without stacking on the kilos? Rejoice, dear readers, for the answer is yes, according to leading Sydney dietitian, nutritionist and author Susie Burrell (pictured) – but there’s a catch. Here, Susie – who recently launched her new program: Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan – advises us to carefully watch our carb intake; eat plenty of nutrient-rich veggies and use low-fat options.

Susie Burrell, comfort food, winter warmers

What’s more, Susie has even helpfully provided SHESAID readers with one of her awesome recipes for Low-Fat Burgers (see below) in order to help us do just that – winning!

“Traditionally it is the months that follow the Easter holiday period which see many of us go off track when it comes to our diet and lifestyle resolutions,” Susie says. “Too much chocolate, training sessions skipped in favour of more doona time and plenty of comfort food can mean one thing – winter weight gain.”

Susie Burrell, comfort food, winter warmers

Here are Susie’s top diet and nutrition tips for these popular, delicious and comforting winter warmers – without the extra kilos to match:

Soup
Love this winter superfood? Studies show that adding a soup to our evening meal can help us consume up to 100 fewer calories in a single meal. The diet trick here is to avoid the creamy soups in favour of clear broth and vegetable-based soups. And, to keep it uber healthy, we also have to substitute the thick, carb-heavy slices of toast and butter for a few tasty croutons or wholegrain crackers for the crunch.

easypumpkinsoup-300x250

Low-Carb Burgers
Interestingly, Susie says the beloved burger can actually be a relatively good option when dining out, or when we want to prepare a tasty, treat-style meal at home. The trick is to choose lean beef or chicken breast as our burger base along with plenty of salad. The catch? We have to ditch the yummy, calorie-laden extras such as cheese, mayo, bacon and egg and – gasp – the chips. Another great option is a low-carb burger, whereby we use a mushroom or lettuce leaves as a bun for a tasty, filling meal with significantly less carbs.

Curries
The main problem with yummy curries is that the coconut cream, rice, potatoes and fatty meats all combine to give a complete calorie and fat overload, Susie says. Sad face! However, we can lighten our curries by choosing vegetarian options; ditching the rice in favour of extra vegetables; and if making a curry at home, we should all be using a light evaporated milk with a little coconut essence as a lower fat alternative to coconut milk and cream.

pumpkincurry

Toast
Twenty years ago, toast slices were small and carbs were far less of a focus in our diets, Susie says. Nowadays, we regularly smash down massive slabs of sourdough or Turkish slices which also means that our carb and calorie intake have skyrocketed. The key to enjoying our breakfast toast is to choose small slices – a slice of sourdough served at bakeries is often the equivalent of two regular slices of bread! Opt for multigrain or rye bread and look for nutrient-rich toppings such as avocado, cottage cheese, smoked salmon or eggs for a nutritionally balanced meal.

Roasts
I love me a roast; the trick to enjoying this hearty, winter favourite is the more vegetables we can add in, the better. The extra calories from a roast generally come from fatty serves of meat and the gravy. So, if preparing a roast at home, Susie says to choose the leaner cuts of meat; load up with plenty of the lighter, nutrient-rich vegetables, including pumpkin, carrots and greens; and ask for our gravy to be served on the side so we can control your portions.

Pasta
If you’re anything like me, you can devour bowls and bowls of this glorious comfort dish. And, add some fresh parmesan to the equation and it’s food porn, baby! But alas, pasta is the undoing of many a lass at winter, not to mention today’s popular low-carb diets. Susie advises us Italiano-lovers to control our portion size by enjoying just an entrée-size bowl of good quality pasta and/or swapping traditional pasta for a spiralizer to make zucchini pasta.. With next to no calories, and chock-full of nutrients and fibre, zucchini pasta can be freely enjoyed with our favourite pasta sauces, without the weight gain.

Delicious Red Wine Pasta Recipe

Pies
One of my favourite things to do in winter is to make the family-favourite Carrington Pie, with chicken, mushrooms and red wine – yum! What’s more, pies are popular everywhere we look – you’ll  be hard-pressed to find a pub which does not offer a winter pie on its menu. Unfortunately, pies made with plenty of high-fat puff pastry can contain as much as 50g of fat per serve, much of which is saturated. A much better option nutritionally is to swap to a pie made with filo pastry which contains just 5-10g of fat per 5-10 slices, Susie says. Another option is to make our pies with just a single sheet of puff pastry on top.

Mexican
While nachos, burritos and quesadillas can be packed with fat and calories from rice, flat bread, corn chips and cheese, the humble taco can be a relatively good choice, Susie advises. Hurray! With a single taco shell containing just 6g of carbs and 2g of fat, a couple of tacos filled with lean meat and plenty of salad can be a great choice nutritionally, she says.

Desserts
Winter is synonymous with calorie-rich puddings, pastries and pies, oh the sweet, delicious agony! The key thing to remember here is that a single cream or pastry-based dessert will usually contain more calories than a meal, so sharing or tasting is always the best option, Susie says. You’ve been warned, sob. Baked fruit; small individual puddings with just a spoon or two per serving; or a hot drink can be just as satisfying low-cal options, she advises.

Nutella Dessert Rolls Recipe

Low-Carb Burgers from Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan

Susie Burrell, comfort food, winter warmers

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 500g pack of lean beef burgers such as peppercorn extra
  • Lean beef burgers
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1 small avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp sweet chilli or Dijon mustard
  • 8 large romaine lettuce leaves

Method

  1. Grill or pan fry burgers with a little oil. Allow to cook, turning for 15-20 minutes on medium heat until cooked through.
  2. Mix mayo with sweet chilli or mustard. Set aside.
  3. Assemble burgers inside each lettuce leaf. Top with salad and avo. Drizzle with sauce then serve.

Susie Burrell’s new e-book Change Your Mindset And Lose Weight Fast: The Motivation You Need To Lose Weight is out now.

Images via srjohannes.com, beanafoodie.com

June 11, 2015

How To Combat Emotional Eating This Winter

Mood rhymes with food and stressed is “desserts” spelled backwards, as the saying goes, but emotional eating is no joke; in fact, it’s a big problem for many of us.

RELATED: Do You Suffer From Orthorexia?

How often do you find yourself, when stressed, tired, upset and/or angry, reaching for that chocolate bar, slice of cake or packet of chips? I’m certainly guilty of this when feeling super anxious – add it in a bottle of wine and it’s a pity party for one!

There’s surely not a woman (or man) alive who hasn’t fallen prey to emotional/comfort eating. So, how do we stop eating our emotions? Are there practical ways we can actually fight the urge to eat our feelings this winter?

Even my GP says she has to fight the urge to comfort eat. And her best advice on how to do this is to get out of the kitchen; distract yourself with a task which involves using your hands; do something which makes you feel good, such as a pampering hair or face mask and/or painting your nails; and/or eat nutritious, regular meals to combat emotional eating and overeating.

emotional eating, comfort eatiing, nutritionist advice

Meanwhile, leading Sydney dietitian, nutritionist and author Susie Burrell (pictured) says emotional eating is, by definition, “periods of abnormal eating behaviour which have been triggered in response to a particular mood state such as sadness, loneliness or anger.”
In addition, she says sufferers find their emotional discomfort is then temporarily lessened once they eat; with super sweet or salty food the common modus operandi.

So, why is emotional eating bad for us? Obviously, the sweet relief, pardon the pun, is all too fleeting, but Susie says there are serious health risks at play too.

“Weight gain is a problem if excessive calories are consumed, but more importantly in the case of emotional eating the underlying emotional distress is not being identified and managed appropriately. Long-term depressed mood and distress, left unmanaged, can develop into significant health issues,” she says.

“And other dangers can include low mood and energy levels; fatigue, inability to concentrate; and long-term nutrient deficiencies and girls at risk of developing a clinical eating disorder.”

emotional eating, comfort eatiing, nutritionist advice

So, what’s a healthy food relationship? Susie’s top tips to stop comfort/emotional eating include:

  • Eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Eating regular meals and snacks every 3-4 hours.
  • Not being obsessed with eating and food.
  • If you really do not want to eat it, do not keep it in the house.

What do you think? Do you eat to ease emotional pain and distress?

 Images via blog.aarp.org, blisstree.com

May 25, 2015