Healthy-diet-plan-2

Nutritionist Susie Burrell’s Top Spring Diet Dos and Don’ts

Do the words “bikini season” strike fear and angst into your heart? It doesn’t have to be that way, says Sydney dietitian, nutritionist and author Susie Burrell.

RELATED: 7 Un-Healthy Foods In Disguise

Susie (pictured), who’s pregnant with twins due in early 2016, says you can develop better body confidence via a healthy spring diet plan which will not only see you look and feel better, but you’ll lose kilos fast in the process.  And if, like me, you’re looking at dropping winter weight in the lead-up to Christmas, Susie says you can do it simply and effectively. The secret? Delicious and nutritious salads are your summer diet go-to.

Susie has just released a new Shape Me Salads e-book via her new program, Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, via shapeme.com.au which now includes a new free trial offer. Here, Susie dispenses her usual wise and pragmatic diet and weight-loss advice as the warmer weather approaches.

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What are your top spring diet and weight loss tips?

The key is to pace yourself, there is still plenty of time to lose 5-10kg before Christmas – but you must do it the right way without resorting to unrealistic fads and extreme diets. The first rule of thumb is to look for diet options which are sustainable. This way, you will not waste your time and money on short-term programs and options. Next, look for options you like – if you do not like the food, you will not continue it. Finally, simply focus on eating less and more vegetables: smaller dinners, more salad and vegetables at lunch and dinner and exercise most days, it really is that simple.

What are some quick and easy food hacks to lose a few winter kilos?

Have an early protein-rich breakfast, for example: an omelette, Greek yogurt, protein shake by 8am. Next, have a salad-based lunch by 1pm. Then, schedule a protein-rich afternoon snack of nuts or cheese and crackers mid afternoon and then a light early dinner. Simply leaving 12 hours without food overnight is often all we need to reset our appetite and wake up hungry, so we end up eating more during the day and less at night.

What salad pitfalls do people fall prey to?

It’s usually going too strict too early and then feel hungry and deprived and falling off the rails. A lot of people mistakenly eliminate whole food groups such as dairy or carbs and then crave them. Other common mistakes include people eating well for two-to-three days then binging all weekend, or not eating enough during the day and then overeating at night.

What are the best spring salads or meals to eat?

The perfect salad balance will include one carb, one source of protein, two-to-three cups of salad or vegetables and one source of good fat, such as olive oil or avocado. Chicken quinoa salad with avocado is a perfect mix, but just make sure your salad base is always 2-3 cups of salad/vegetables.

spring diet, healthy diet, spring salads, Susie Burrell

Is the warmer weather a prime time to cut out heavy carbs?

One cup of cooked rice or pasta is equal to three slices of bread, so an easy way to reduce your fuel load at night is to stick to a hand-size serve of protein and plenty of vegetables.

What are your golden rules of spring eating?

  • Focus on light meals of fish, salad and vegetables.
  • Make the most of warmer temperatures and longer days and commit to regular training, especially if you can prepare for an upcoming event.
  • Limit alcohol to two glasses per week.
  • Drink more water – at least 1.5-2litres in total each day.
  • Use the next three months to get your body in great shape by committing to healthy eating and plenty of exercise so you can enjoy the summer and feel great, both mentally and physically.

Images via Cleo, walesonline.co.uk

September 10, 2015

Throwback Thursday: What Is The Banting Diet?

The Banting Eating Plan is a weight loss program adapted by William Harvey which ultimately relies on high fat, and low carbohydrates for optimum weight loss. This may seem a little startling if you’re coming from a balanced diet, but is used in a variety of modern weight loss programs including the popular Atkins diet.

The idea of banting refers to keeping a low-carbohydrate diet which focuses on consuming foods high in fat, and feeding your body what it deserves. A few main objectives include eating sugar in moderation, and cooking most of your main meals from scratch.

RELATED: How To Cut Carbs From Your Diet?

Which foods are allowed?

Banting encourages the consumption of high fat (avocado, eggs, olive oil, fatty fish), moderate protein (salmon, lentils, chicken), plus a variety of leafy green and crunchy vegetables which should be used as snacks to fuel the body.

Although this sounds relatively easy from a beginners point of view, most foods should be cooked from scratch so you know exactly what ingredients they contain.

Which foods are not encouraged?

Since this is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet, the consumption of grains don’t find any place within banting. If you’re finding it difficult to cut them out or go cold-turkey, switch to whole grains since they are a much healthier alternative.

Similarly, sugar (both natural and artificial), is also discouraged since it is viewed as an addiction. The same rule applies for fruit; rather than thinking of fruit as a healthy snack throughout the day, it is viewed as a sweet instead. Keep fruit to a minimum, and enjoy a crunchy vegetable as a substitute.

How does banting actually work?

The idea of banting seeks to eliminate unnecessary eating or snacking, and focuses on a clean diet which is made mostly from scratch. It is an entire lifestyle change which doesn’t encourage the consumption of processed foods, fruits, sugar and grains for a long and healthy life. Combined with regular exercise and physical activity, banting will get your body back on track without loading on the extra kilograms.

Are there any side effects?

Since sugar is not encouraged, many people usually feel tired, experience intense migraines, suffer from an upset stomach, and even have the symptoms of withdrawal decreases sugar levels. This is often referred to as the low-carb flu, and will only last a short period of time. To combat this, get involved in swimming, running, or yoga which will get your natural energy back.

Image via All For Women

September 10, 2015

What You Can Eat On The FODMAP Diet

Do you suffer from aches and stomach pains that just won’t go away? The culprit is likely to be in your diet and switching up a few of the usual suspects in favour of organic food is the best option.

RELATED: Top 5 Non-Diet-And-Exercise Ways To Lose Weight

FODMAP or (Permentable Oligosaccharies, Disaccharies, Monosaccharides and Polyols) are usually sugars which are found in almost all food groups, but are harder for people suffering from gluten allergy and gut disorders such as IBS to break down. They can lead to painful stomach cramps, bloating and nausea.

History

Dr Sue Shepard developed the FODMAP Diet in 1999 after conclusive researched indicated that a diet low in these sugars could actually help people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other gut-related conditions.

Foods to avoid

Main sources of FODMAPs are usually found in fructose-rich fruits, dairy and even legumes.

  • Fruits: apples, honey, pear, watermelon, avocado, cherries, plums.
  • Vegetables: artichokes, garlic, leek, corn, mushrooms, beetroot, asparagus.
  • Dairy: milk, ice cream, soft cheese, evaporated milk, custard, yoghurt.
  • Legumes: beans, lentils, chickpeas.

Foods to eat

In terms of what you can eat, stick to gluten or lactose-free alternatives and see how they make your body feel. They are usually a safe option and will help your body digest food a lot easier. A few options include but are not limited to:

  • Vegetables: baby spinach, roma tomatoes, book choy, capsicum, ginger, cucumber, green beans, lettuce, sweet potatoes and zucchini.
  • Grains and starches: potatoes, quinoa, rice, buckwheat.
  • Nuts: raw almonds, pistachios and cashews.
  • Lactose: hard and ripened cheese.
  • Fruits: bananas, grapes, mandarins, oranges, kiwi fruit, lemon, lime, pineapple, strawberries, rhubarb.

Would you try the FODMAP diet?

Image via RM Dietetics

July 24, 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.

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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.

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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

Why Detox Diets Are Dodgy And Don’t Work

Have you ever been seduced by the phony weight-loss claims of popular detox diets?

You’re not alone. These days, everyone’s looking for a quick fix and multiple ads screaming at us to pop the latest pills and/or try “miracle” liquid diets can be very persuasive.

RELATED: Are You Addicted To These Fatty Foods?

Perfectly smart, sane women I know have completely lost their minds over these fad diets and been very disappointed with the results.

Leading Sydney dietitian, nutritionist and author Susie Burrell (pictured) says this isn’t surprising given detox diets are a sham and can do way more harm than good.

detox diets, healthy eating, weight loss

Susie, who recently launched her new program: Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, says our bodies are already highly efficient at waste removal.

“The first thing to keep in mind when considering a detox or period of rapid weight loss is that the body does not actually need to be detoxed – the liver and the kidneys already do a very good job of this,” Susie says.

“And for this reason, any pack of pills and potions that cost $39.99 and promise you the world are not likely to really be doing much at all!

“But what tends to happen is when people follow a strict regime, they lose weight quickly (or fluid) and think it is the detox diet when really it is just not eating much at all, or plenty of fresh food without the caffeine, sugar and processed foods,” Susie says.

“Poor diets without adequate fluid and fibre can mean we feel less than our best and think a detox program will fix that – instead, it just gives us something specific to follow.”

And here’s the important health warning, ladies: these bogus detox diets are not good for you, despite what clever marketers would have us believe, and do not provide any actual benefits.

“In general, anything that eliminates a large number of food groups; or encouraging no food is not safe or healthy long-term,” Susie says. “The dangers can include a reduction in metabolic rate as our body breaks down muscle to fuel itself; hunger; fatigue; abdominal distress; diet cycling and becoming obsessed with food.

“And another big issue I have with commercial detox programs is that they also may contain a number of additives which can potentially give cause for concern.

“While we do need a certain number of vitamins and minerals to allow our body to function optimally, more and more of these essential nutrients are not a good thing, and in fact could even be toxic long-term.

“For this reason, any program that encourages multiple vitamins, supplements, herbs and powders should be approached with extreme caution. Even the good, old ‘protein shake’ needs to be checked, as many varieties contain the full ratio of essential nutrients which means that consuming several of these a day may leave you vulnerable to constipation and exposed to a toxic level of some nutrients.”

detox diets, healthy eating, weight loss

So, is good, old-fashioned regular exercise and a balanced diet still our best fast track to weight loss?

“Yes, boring but yes!” Susie says. “I also recommend calorie control, plus more fruit and vegetables; less crap and lots of movement.

“Eliminate all of your processed foods, cakes, bars and snacks and simply get all of your nutrition for a week or two from clean, whole foods.

“While it may not sound as flash as the latest and greatest program, you are guaranteed to feel better, lose weight and save some serious cash in the process, without doing any possible damage to your body long term.”

Meanwhile, the Dietitian’s Association of Australia (DAA) has also publicly condemned detox diets, saying the science shows they’re dangerous and they make bogus claims.

DAA spokeswoman Simone Austin, a Melbourne-based dietitian, says detox diets are to be avoided. “Do not believe the hype,” Simone says. “Don’t get sucked in by the fad.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“There’s no scientific evidence that shows detox diets actually work. And healthy adults have extraordinary systems for removing toxins from our bodies every day.

“Our lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and immune system remove and neutralise toxic substances within hours after we eat them.

“For most of us, we can improve our diets simply by increasing our vegetable consumption in particular.”

Simone also believes detox diets are “unnecessarily restrictive and for some people, they can be very dangerous”.

detox diets, healthy eating, weight loss

In addition, consumer watchdog, Choice Magazine, via choice.com.au, recently released a report condemning the growing popularity of detox diets, juice diets and highly restrictive eating regimes.

It put 10 popular detox diets and pills to the test, including Pure Natural Health Australia’s Lemon Detox, $87, as endorsed by none other than American reality star/socialite Kim Kardashian, through to the Skinny Mini 5 Day Detox and Weight Loss Program, $44.95.

And the results were conclusive: while they encourage a healthier lifestyle, detox diets do not work, contain potentially dangerous ingredients and have no real health benefits whatsoever.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is the government body responsible for regulation of medicinal products, including detox diets.

We savvy consumers are warned to be very wary of any marketing claims on detox products, such as “aids” and “assists”, which largely absolve manufacturers.

Susie Burrell’s new e-book Change Your Mindset And Lose Weight Fast: The Motivation You Need To Lose Weight is out now. Visit www.shapeme.com.au or www.susieburrell.com.au.

What do you think? Have you ever been conned by a detox diet?

Images via www.pixabay.com

March 16, 2015

What is the S Factor Diet?

Would you try an eating plan which only last 2 weeks, and is designed to make you feel happy all the time? The S Factor Diet takes hormones into consideration to make your body feel it’s best, rather than depleting the body of serotonin – which often leads to mood swings and binge eating.

RELATED: How To Successfully Follow A Diet Plan

How does it work?

The S Factor Diet is specially created by Lowri Turner to balance your hormones, and include foods which will have your mind and body feeling satisfied, not starved. In the early stages, you have to participate in a short questionnaire which determines the types of hormones that are causing your body to gain all the extra weight. It’s main objective is to prove that some hormones could actually be the cause of all your cravings!

How long does it last?

A 14-day food plan is all the time you need to get your diet back on track, and eliminate food and drinks which are causing your body to pack on the kilograms. Even though it may seem like a short period of time, there are many tips and tricks you can incorporate into your lifestyle after the diet is over.

What can I eat?

The diet is split into two stages which focus firstly on fat consumption, and then on achieving a consistent weight loss. This basically means that you’ll be eating approximately 1000-1600 calories a day between both phases.

An average day consists three main meals which are mostly high in protein, and will help to maximise your weight loss. Eggs, fish, and vegetables are all important parts of the S Factor Diet, since they control cravings, and leave you feeling full and content for longer.

What can’t I eat?

On the 14 day eating plan, it is advised that you avoid processed sugar, dairy products, and to an extent, foods which contain gluten.

Image via Independent

December 3, 2014

The Guide To Intermittent Fasting 

Perhaps you’ve seldom heard of intermittent fasting, and cringed at the very idea of denying your body vitamins and nutrients all for the sake of losing weight. Intermittent fasting actually has a variety of health benefits, and won’t have you feeling famished at the end of the day.

If you have ever wanted to try this for yourself, below you will find a quick guide on how intermittent fasting actually works, and why it’s more than just another fad-diet.

RELATED: Why Breakfast Is Really The Most Important Meal Of The Day

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting isn’t described as a diet, it’s actually more of a long-term eating pattern which helps to regulate problems such as diabetes, chronic indigestion and even stomach disorders. Quite often, the scary part of this eating plan is the word ‘fasting’ since it makes people think that a significant weight loss means that you’re required to starve yourself – which is far from the truth.

The eating patterns rely on small on and off periods (feasting and fasting) which have been instilled to actually boost your metabolism, and control bad eating habits. Designed by author and journalist Dr. Michael Mosley, the eating plan which also operates under the name of the 5:2 diet, is a good fit for people who have suffered years of over-eating, and want to create a structure in terms of food consumption.

How does it work?

Based on cycles of feast and famine, intermittent fasting actually helps to control urges of snacking since your body is properly nourished at almost every time of the day. The period of feast is designed to make you appreciate healthy, wholesome food, and thus will diminish any chances of binge eating. If you’re constantly snacking throughout the entire day, your body forgets to stop and repair, which can often create chaos and frantic eating around 3:30pm, where the body typically craves something sweet.

Calorie restriction helps to create a balanced diet, and is a much more appealing strategy than starving yourself for that perfect summer body. This basically means you can feast some days, but on others you should stick to a diet which is healthy, preferably home-cooked, and preservative free.

Fasting plan

The Guide To Intermittent Fasting 

Creator Dr. Michael Mosley suggest that you can eat normally for five days, but stick to a healthy diet for two (these can be any days of the week). On these fasting days, cut your food down to 1/4 of your normal calories which normally means around 600 calories for men, and around 500 calories for women.

Would you incorporate the foundation of intermittent fasting into your diet?

Image via iStock

November 18, 2014

How to Create Your Own Pregnancy Diet Plan

Healthy eating is always a good thing, but it’s never more important than when you’re expecting! Having a pregnancy diet plan can make a huge difference in how you feel as well as your baby’s development. Now that you’re eating for two, you need to make every calorie count.

Even if you’ve never given much thought to what you’re eating before, now is the time to start formulating a food plan, one that you can stick to for nine months. Here are a few tips for creating your own personal pregnancy diet plan. You have lots of choices—just choose wisely!

No empty calories

If you’re a junk food junkie, kick that habit now! Fast food, sugary snacks and soft drinks are all full of calories but woefully lacking in nutrients. Purge these from your diet and replace them with healthy foods and snacks.

Build your plan around lean protein

Protein is the “building block” of human cells, which makes getting enough very important for your baby’s development. Aim for three servings, or about 75 grams, of protein each day. Concentrate on lean protein sources like poultry, seafood, eggs, and low-fat dairy foods, plus non-animal sources such as whole grain breads and cereals.

Get variety with your veggies

Fruits and vegetables provide many vitamins and minerals essential to your baby’s cell growth, so aim for several servings per day. Try for a mix of green and yellow veggies, and serve some of them raw for extra fibre. Fruits are also fabulous for satisfying your sweet tooth.

Grains are great

Whole grains provide vitamins and minerals as well as fibre, so feel free to enjoy several servings per day of corn, rice, oats, rye, barley, quinoa, and legumes. These complex carbs also have the added advantages of fighting both nausea and constipation. Avoid simple grains like white bread, white rice and baked goods.

Cut down on fats and salt

While you don’t have to ban all fats from your pregnancy diet plan, you should keep a close eye on how much you’re consuming. Watch out for the “hidden fats” like mayo in salads, butter on toast and oil in cooked veggies. You should also cut back on salt intake to discourage those pesky swollen ankles.

Get enough vitamins and minerals

You should be taking a pre-natal vitamin supplement every day as well as eating foods high in nutrients. Be sure to consume lots of iron-rich foods like spinach, soy products and dried fruits. Plus, get the vitamin C you need from citrus fruits as well as kiwi, mango, strawberries, melon, capsicum, tomatoes and asparagus.

With a little planning, you can put together a pregnancy diet plan that’s super healthy for both you and baby!

August 6, 2013