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Friday, June 15, 2007

Thank you Kellogg

Finally we have had some movement from a major food company in terms of their commitment to improving kids nutrition. The increasing number of food companies using branded characters to entice children to less than desirable food options including muesli bars, processed cereals and biscuits disgusts me and now Kellogg have committed to phasing out this marketing strategy. Let's just ope that many more follow!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The truth about fat loss

After working primarily in fat loss with athletes, children, teenagers and adults for the past 7 years, these are the things I know to be true:

1) Fat slow is hard work. There is no easy way to lose weight.

2) You can get 10, maybe 20 kgs off with food restriction alone but you can get 20+ kgs off and keep it off if you do resistance training

3) The right exercise is just as important as the right diet

4) Low carb diets only work for as long as you can keep doing them

5) It is extremely hard to shift weight after someone has been on a constant diet for years and years

6) You either want to lose weight or you don’t - there is nothing in between. If you are not 100% committed, don’t even bother trying.

7) How a person looks after their body tends to be a marker of how they look after their life.

8) Body builders know just as much about losing body fat as any scientifically trained professional.

9) Research may give us an idea about what works in practice, but it is the clinicians, the people who see hundreds of paying clients who know the most about fat loss in real life.

10) Every single person will need a different diet and exercise prescription.

People who are thin exercise more and eat less than you do

Thursday, June 7, 2007

And they keep getting fatter....

I have worked in the area of child and adolescent obesity for just over 4 years. Unfortunately I must say that during this time not much has changed; yes there are more media headlines that scream out headlines to the effect of "Obesity Crisis", "1 in 4 kids fat", and more research is presented that tells health professionals and journalists that the problem is increasing and that describes habits related to obesity in children and adults. But, correct me if I am wrong. I would say that:
1) Many influencial people know that Australian children (and adults) have an obesity problem, and
2) We know what causes it - they move too little and eat too much

So unfortunately, until key and influential people in health, government (both local, state and federal), education, food industry and research come together and help families see the importance of making lifestyle changes, and help them to make them nothing is likely to change.

We need:

1) Large food companies to come to the party and help deliver more child and nutrition friendly processed food products
2) We need trans fats and palm oil to be clearly labelled on ingredient and nutrition panels to help consumers make informed choices
3) We need more research done by actual clinicians who can translate the science of eating and exercising into doable lifestyle recommendations for the average family
4) We need more physical activity in school hours
5) We need rebates for activity programs for children
6) We need GP's, nurses, teachers and paediatricians trained to deal with overweight children each and everyday
7) We need reality TV to talk about health promotion in a contemporary, sexy fashion rather than sensationalising fat families and teenagers
7) We need someone in government to take an interest in this and push it on the long term agenda to local, state and federal government levels

Until at least some of these issues are considered, we could be seeing childhood obesity headlines for some time yet

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

What do dietitians eat?

Every day I get asked what I eat, so here it is and as you can see, I am no purist and prefer the dietary concepts of balance and pleasure!

Every morning I wake up and make myself a cup of green tea. I like the Dilmah Jasmine one. I find that it is very calming and I drink it in bed with a candle or in the bathroom while I am putting my makeup on.

Then, about 730-8am I have one of those bran type cereals like Multigrain Weetbix or All Bran Honey & Almond with low fat milk and about half a cup of orange juice, both for the soluble fibre and Vitamin C. Or sometimes I have Burgen bread and Vegemite which I love-Vegemite toast is my all time favourite thing to eat, sad I know. On the weekends it is always eggs. My sister and I often go to Jackie's on Oxford St because we think they have the best eggs in Sydney and we have had a lot of them to know.

Once I get to 10am I need my coffee and have an 80 degree skim mocha which may be accompanied with a homemade cake or cookies, especially if I am at the hospital with my friend Kerryn as we like to bake things. If I am at home I will have fruit.

Lunch is always a good piece of chicken or red salmon with feta and a massive salad. Maybe a Mountain or Burgen bread or beans. This is pretty standard. With a cup of tea to finish.

About 3 or 4 I have nuts, walnuts or almonds and maybe an apple if i am bored but i try and wait until dinner and am usually going to the gym now so don't want to eat too much.

I have to have cheese before dinner so we have a bit of Mersey Valley or Tasmanian Brie with those waferthin biscuits. Portions are meant to be controlled!

Dinner in the week is strict to compensate for the weekends. My mum makes me this rich vegetable soup which I love and have this most week nights. Most weeks I have nachos once with my friend SG-she does a very good nachos, her one and only recipe. I don't think it is low in fat. If I go to my sisters she makes me lamb or pizza or lamb cutlets, which we grew up with or last night we had Shepard's Pie- sharing dinner with people is so much more fun.

Then about 8 I have tea and chocolate, I know, a very bad habit. At the moment I am having that dark Rum and Raisin Old Gold but it changes each week. We all need treats.

The weekends are far less structured and I eat out most meals-usually fish, seafood, salads. Anywhere we can sit somewhere nice, with some wine, nibbles and good food and service. That is part the the pleasurable process.

So, as you can see, it is definitely not rabbit food and water for this dietitian but that would be boring wouldn't it?