Diet-plans-2

Make 2015 A Fresh Start

Want to make a fresh start in 2015? Eat Fit Food celebrity nutritionist, Jaime Rose Fronzek, shares her tips on how to shed those excess Christmas holiday kilos, get into shape and create a healthy 2015.

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1. Don’t stop eating the turkey

Lean meats such as turkey are an excellent source of protein to help satisfy our appetite and can even improve our mood. Don’t save them just for Christmas, use them throughout the year included in main meals and snacks like turkey meatballs, turkey bolognese, as well as skinless chicken, fish, seafood, lean grass-fed beef and lamb, eggs or a clean protein powder.

2. No fad diets

2014 was the year of the fad diet but these are destined for failure and don’t create healthy, long-term habits. Certainly being a little restrictive and disciplined for a short time to reboot and reset some bad old behaviours and create some new healthy ones is a great idea but if it’s too restrictive, you’ll not only be miserable but you will almost certainly gain any weight you lost back – and more.

3. Focus on nutrient-dense vs calorie-counting

Superfoods are great for this! Nutrient-dense foods are our natural, unprocessed foods such as fruits & veg, lean proteins like fish, eggs and Greek yoghurt, nuts, seeds, avocado, wholegrains like oats and quinoa. These foods are packed with nutrients including fibre, which fills us up making eating a smaller portion much easier. Aim to have a rainbow of colours in most main meals.

4. Be active every day

This is a no-brainer and should happen no matter what. But often it falls to the wayside over the silly season with holidays, trainers away and gyms closed. At the very least, a good walk, jog or swim is all you need to do to maintain some activity.

5. Have a plan

Think about what changes do you need to make and what you need to do to implement those changes. What has been successful for you to achieve great health in the past? Is it getting into an exercise routine again, maybe cutting down on the sweets and alcohol or as simple as eating regular meals and snacks.

6. Clear the junk pile

Creating a healthy environment is essential for re-booting healthy habits for 2015. Most of us have mounds of gifts and left over chocolates, puddings, cake and sweet treats in every nook and cranny of the kitchen and on our desk at work left over from the silly season. Give chocolates away or wrap up boxes of unopened treats to re-gift for later.

7. Be accountable

Keep a food diary or note book and just jot down every day what you eat, any alcohol and other fluids you have and the activity you do to start becoming mindful and conscious of your behaviours.

8. Ask for help

If you’re just not sure how to start, get a helping hand by seeing a health professional like a dietitian or organise to have delicious, gourmet healthy food delivered to you every day with a company like Eat Fit Food to get you started.

9. Eat in more than out

Eating at home more often makes it much easier to control what you eat. When you eat out there are often many hidden extras like sauces, oils, butter and sides. Do a big grocery shop and make sure you’ve got all your favourite healthy food around.

10. Do a booze fast

If you’ve overdone the booze, give your body a rest and don’t just do dry July, but also a dry January. It’s a great tool to keep calories down for weight loss too and avoiding eating junk food that we often go for when we’ve had a few drinks.

For more information on Eat Fit Food, visit www.eatfitfood.com.au

January 13, 2015

What Is The 5:2 Diet?

Would you ever restrict your diet to just 25% of your recommended daily intake, all in the name of losing a bit of weight? The 5:2 diet is causing a stir in the dieting world, since the outrageous guideline limits the average person to just 500 calories a day. We weigh up both the good and bad aspects of this eating plan, which has also been dubbed as the fast diet.

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How to do the diet

The diet itself is pretty simple – five days of normal eating and two days of sticking to a strict calorie-quota. Most people compare this logic to having cheat days (over the weekend), which usually involves indulging in sweets, carbohydrates and even alcohol. Over the two days of calorie-controlled meals, this works out to be approximately 600 calories for men and 500 calories a day for women.

Does it work?

If you do follow the main principles of the diet, you could be dropping a dress size or two in just a few weeks. Since you’re only watching what you eat 2 days a week, it makes it quite easy to stick to – regardless of how long you wish to adapt this diet into your lifestyle. The diet was designed to create better eating habits, control fluctuating weight problems, and works around any special dietary requirements.

Fasting can’t be good for the body? Can it?

Creator of the 5:2 diet, Dr Michael Mosley suggests that intermittent fasting actually has a number of health and psychological benefits, one of which teaches the importance of self control. On the two days which require fasting, you really have to listen to your body and feed it only when it’s actually hungry. It also makes you realise how much you take food for granted the other five days of the week, and will eventually help to break any bad eating habits.

How do I start?

The great part about the 5:2 diet is that you can start almost straight away, since the first five days are all about normal or indulgent eating. Once it’s time to start restricting your calorie intake, it’s best to eat foods which will keep you alert and energised throughout the day. They should often include protein, fruits, vegetables and red meat which will also keep you fuller for longer. Incorporate some light exercise on the side such as jogging, swimming or even walking the dog which will keep your body looking and feeling it’s best.

Warning signs

Many dieticians such as Kate di Prima are against the practice of the 5:2 diet, since it will dramatically decrease the amount of calories you are subjected to for two entire days. Many people don’t actually understand how little 500 calories can be, especially if you’ve been indulging for the past five days. Meals are often extremely restricted and you will end up feeling tired, sluggish and weak during the two days of controlled portions.

A regular 500 calorie meal will usually consist of:

Breakfast

2 Rye Ryvitas

2 teaspoon Vegemite

Lunch

Chicken, potato and leek soup

Sun-Maid mini box

Dinner

Chicken tikka masala

Snacks

Sweet and Salty Skinny popcorn

The 5:2 diet does offer amazing results in terms of weight loss, but only if you can stick to the strict calorie intake for 2 days of the week. Have you tried the 5:2 diet before? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image and Meal plan via Woman Magazine, Metro

September 23, 2014

How Effective Is ‘The Zone’ Diet?

You’ve most likely heard about ‘The Zone’ diet since it’s used by celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Madonna to achieve a toned and slender physique. Some main guidelines from this diet show that users follow strict portions of 40 per cent carbohydrates, 30 per cent protein and 30 per cent fat, otherwise known as the 40-30-30 diet. Although how does this diet differ from other popular eating plans out there on the market, and how does it take into account your hormones for increased weight loss.

How does it work?

The Zone Diet was created by biochemist Barry Sears by eating food portions which control proper hormone balance. He suggests that inflammatory chemicals, also known as eicosanoids, are released when the insulin levels inside the body are not in the correct proportion. This leads to diabetes, gaining weight over a short period of time and even gastric bleeding. The Zone Diet was then created to even out hormones within the body by eating carbohydrates, protein and fat in controlled moderation.

How does it differ to other diets?

Rather than putting The Zone into the same category as the Atkins Diet (limiting the consumption of carbohydrates altogether), The Zone diet simply states that all foods should be eaten in moderation. This is necessary since whatever food we put into the body could ultimately shift our hormone balance and lead to weight gain, poor skin and many other health problems later in life. The diet was also moderated for vegetarians with soy-based substitutes who also wanted to follow the diet but remain faithful to their eating habits.

No strict guidelines

Everything is eaten in moderation, but states that foods high in fat such as grains, starches and pasta should be kept to a minimum. The best way to visualise a meal using this eating plan would allow users to eat mostly low-fat protein with the rest of the meal consisting of mostly fruits and vegetables. As always, light exercise is encouraged for overall good health.

Time consuming

The diet can get quite complicated since most portions are controlled to achieve a healthy hormone balance and weight loss. Investing in a guide book is a good idea if you’re serious about making the change. It will make it easier to create meal plans and will advise how much protein, carbohydrates and fat you will need for every single meal.

The Zone Diet seems like a good way to maintain your weight by directly accessing your hormone balance. Although, it does make mealtimes less enjoyable since everything is so calculated and leads to less variety. The best way to maintain your weight is by eating foods in moderation, exercising and treating yourself every now and again.

Image via Share Our Books

By Felicia Sapountzis

July 3, 2014

Top Tips for Kick Starting your Summer Detox

Summertime spells holiday, fun, fabulous food and sometimes too much of the things we shouldn’t be filling up on. Delicious treats like yummy (sugar-laden) pavlova; an extra wine or two; a second helping of ham and some tasty Christmas panettone are often too tempting to avoid. It’s OK to indulge here and there, but in excess these temptations are known inflammatory foods that can wreak havoc on our bodies.

The result of days (or weeks) of overindulgence can place strain on your digestive system which  can result in an undesirable blend of side effects including brain fog, bloating, lack of energy, headaches and general aches and pains amongst others.

In addition to the abundance of delicious food and beverages that are playing havoc with our system, we can often find ourselves dealing with lingering stress – an overflow from a busy year that may have felt like an exhausting session on the treadmill for 12 months straight. This often leads to fatigue and other symptoms that are the result of a body and mind struggling to cope.

It’s only when we find ourselves run-down that we realise it’s time for a change. To prevent the onset of these symptoms or to treat those we are experiencing, nutritionist and dietician Belinda Reynolds shares her best tips for cleansing our system and getting our health back on track.

Love your liver
The liver is the body’s chief cleansing organ, while the skin, intestines and kidneys play a secondary, yet very important, role. The liver’s job is to process toxins that have entered the blood, and transform them into water-soluble molecules that are removed from the body. The liver needs a helping hand so by reducing your intake of alcohol and inflammatory foods you can take the pressure off and improve this process. Liver cleansing pathways are  supported by a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients found in foods like garlic, onions, brazil nuts, fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, brown rice and quinoa. Plus, amino acids from protein in foods such as sardines, nuts, legumes and natural yoghurt are useful also.

It is important for the liver to have the right nutrients in order for the blood cleansing processes to run effectively and efficiently. Your healthcare practitioner can also recommend supplements to support this cleanse.

Get outdoors
Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system which helps fluid balance and improves the transport of impurities for ultimate removal from the body. Try exercising at least 30 minutes each day, and mix it up by walking to work, joining a yoga class, taking your goggles to the beach for a swim or taking the stairs when you can.

Pack some protein
Protein helps to metabolise toxins and will improve the cleansing process. Whole brown rice protein is a leading choice among healthcare professionals as it is gluten, dairy and soy-free; three protein sources that some people have difficulty digesting, and that other individuals may be sensitive to.

BioCeuticals Aminoplex Cleanse is a practitioner-only supplement that contains a high quality rice protein made from organic sprouted wholegrain brown rice. It’s advised to ask your health practitioner for guidance regarding your personalised cleanse program. Tip: Add 2 scoops to your smoothie.

Revisit your diet
Make it a New Year’s resolution to reduce the sugar content in your diet. Focus on removing processed foods with added sugar and/or refined grains (e.g. white bread, pasta and rice), and fruit juices that are concentrated sources of fruit sugar (fructose) and devoid of essential fibre. Consuming whole fruits in moderation is still OK as they provide fibre, less sugar per gram, plus many health-promoting nutrients. So stay clear of sweets, cordials, soft drinks and juices and those oh-so-delicious desserts that provide short term pleasure, but long term harm to our health goals.

Liquid your way
It is important to drink at least two litres of water per day to stay hydrated and to help flush out the toxins in your body. Top up your liquids with caffeine-free herbal teas and fresh vegetable juices. These beverages are great to nourish your body and also help to maintain a healthy digestive system.

Invisible toxins
The environment we live in is laden with toxins that affect our natural body functions. During your cleanse, try to live as ‘clean’ an existence as possible avoiding hairspray; cosmetics which contain parabens and phthalates; synthetic fragrances (use natural essential oils); pesticides (found on our fruit and veggies unless you buy organic from your local market); household cleaning agents (unless you use eco-friendly brands). Convert to BPA-free plastic containers, or use glass, or better still, eat fresh food on a day to day basis, at least during this time.

The more you reduce your exposure to inflammatory agents as well as environmental toxins during your cleansing program, the better chance you have of a reduced toxic burden on your body. The outcome will have you feeling energetic, happy and light in being. Enjoy!

Remember to speak to your healthcare practitioner for more information about cleansing.

Are you starting a summer cleanse?

December 27, 2013