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Monday, March 30, 2009

What's the matter with LOL drinks?

LOL drinks made by Golden Circle are 250ml can of fruit based drink which look very much like the energy drinks V and Red Bull. Per can, each drink contains 26g + of total carbohydrate which is slightly more than that of the equivalent sized can of Coca Cola. While fruit based sugars may appear to be a healthier choice than a regular soft drink, at the end of the day any beverage based on sugar; be it fruit sugar or sucrose (table sugar) represent empty calories that we, and in particular our children do not need. Furthermore, the can style of product also poses a number of issues from a dental health perspective. LOL is a disappointing release from Golden Circle given the statistics that indicate that at least 1 in 4 children in Australia is overweight or obese, and sweetened beverages are implicated in contributing to excessive weight gain in children. In fact, a recent paper published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests that children consume no more than 2 sweetened drinks per week. The obesity team at The Children's Hospital Westmead feels extremely strongly that this drink is highly inappropriate for children and we will continue to liase with the company and the NSW School Canteen Association to have its inclusion as a "Healthy Beverage Choice" for children reevaluated.

Your thoughts on sugar

Regarding the sugar, I am definately a victim of craving more sugary foods once I have a tiny amount, especially with lollies which are my all time favourite, I have to really watch my portions as I can eat a lot more than I need. I tend to stick to having some lollies at the movies as my treat (I don't go to the movies that often for it to be a problem) and that way I can put a small amount of my faves (pineapples and strawberries and cream) into the bag to enjoy. I never buy too many as the lollies at the cinema are too expensive! But it is better than buying a whole bag and eating the lot, which I could very easily do! (1 square of chocolate is enough for me - but lollies is another story

Sunday, March 29, 2009

You are not the only one who wants to lose 5kgs.....

You may be somewhat relieved to hear that weight loss is hard for everyone, even if you are a dietitian. This weekend I have been reluctantly forced to admit that somewhere between the ages of 30 and 31 I have managed to gain a very unattractive tyre of fat around my middle that has never been there before.

Now, my delusional brain likes to believe that this addition to my body is a result of finally admitting that my body does not like running at all and swapping this extremely effective method of training to the more relaxed walk has caused this gradual, insipid weight gain - as opposed to my rational brain which tells me that the tyre could in fact be the result of much cheese, champagne, chocolate shared with SG; who coincidentally also has been complaining about her new found tyre or possibly it is the evil chicken liver pate from Fratelli which I cannot get enough of.

Whatever the reason, I now have just 3 weeks to rid myself of this repulsive excess in time for the FILEX conference, in which I have to get up and lecture in front of hundreds of lean, fit and generally intimidating fitness leaders.

So, for the next 3 weeks, like you know you need to, I too will be swapping my dinner of Pinot and pate for fish and salad and riding that horrible exercise bike after dinner as I try and distract my mind from the pain with tacky television series like In Treatment and Entourage.

So you can all breathe a sigh of relief, it happens to the best of us and yes it is awful:)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Your thoughts on sugar

have come to agree with your conclusion that sugar - particularly, in my own case and in the experience of several of my clients - does often increase one's desire for more sugar. In fact, for me, that is its greatest danger. A small amount of sugar seems to do the general population little harm, and as someone with a long-term "sweet tooth", I find it sometimes more productive to have a small dessert than to feel deprived and unsatisfied. The trouble is, very few people seem to be able to consume a small amount of sugar.
I have also come to the conclusion that the "danger time" for sugar consumption seems to be late in the afternoon, when many people want (some would say need) a "pick me up", and when it is a sugary one, they then crave more sugar, so the two biscuits with a cup of tea becomes 4 biscuits, and the tea often has added sugar etc etc. Sometimes the craving remains, and people find they keep picking and snacking while they make dinner.
What I advise people, and I have tried this myself with good results, is to try to replace the afternoon snack with lower GI carbohydrate and protein. 9 Grain Vita Weets with a cube of cheese; yogurt with berries etc (yes, it has sugar, but it seems more satisfying than the biscuits that seem to be in every office, every kitchen, every school and most hospital staff rooms!) To advise people, as some diet books do, to quell their hunger with carrots and celery just seems to be unsatisfying - I certainly find it so.
Having decided that although I was not overweight at 60.5 kg and 166 cm, that I would like to lose a couple of kilos while I train for a marathon, I have found this technique to help, and am now almost my ideal of 58-59 kg with no feelings of hunger or deprivation, and good energy levels except on those days of very early starts, when I am sometimes lucky enough to be able to have a "power nap". I also find, and advise others, that what I have for lunch also affects how I feel mid-afternoon; individuals vary with what works best to keep them feeling alert, but obviuosly, higher GI foods are more likely to lead to a slump.
Having said all that, i still do enjoy the occasional sugar treat, but I try to keep it small and consume it in the evening. I eat a dessert once or twice a week but if I am really feeling the urge for something sweet, I happily consume one chocolate (ferrero rochers are a favourite) or one to two small biscuits. FOr some reason, by evening, I have no trouble limiting the amount; having one does not lead to a craving for more.

Thoughts on sugar......

YES! I 100% believe that eating sugar makes you crave it more. I am walking, talking, living proof of that theory. As you know, before I went to Golden Door for the first time in 2007 I was completely addicted to sugar. I would have at least one cake a day, sometimes two plus at least one chocolate bar. I couldn't get enough sweet things. I would have an apple juice with my lunch and then as soon as I'd eaten lunch I would be craving a chocolate or cake. As soon as I'd finished eating my mountain of pasta for dinner everynight I would be craving a chocolate. Then I went to Golden Door and didn't eat any sugar for 7 days. I came home, read a book called "stop the sugar cravings" or something like that and since then I have pretty much stopped eating lots of sugar. I'm constantly amazed now when I finish lunch or dinner that I have absolutely no desire whatsoever for sweet treats. I eat more protein and feel happy and full at the end of a meal. I still love a cake or chocolate now or then but only have it as a special treat about once a week. I did notice over Christmas that I started wanting more sweet treats because I'd been eating more cakes etc than usual. It was a real "aha" moment. I also think this craving thing applies to alcohol. Now I haven't been drinking since Jan I don't crave alcohol at all. I used to have a big fight with myself every Sunday night (because I used to drink on Fri and Sat) to not have a glass of wine, I would be really craving it. Now I couldn't care less if I never had another drink again!

Your thoughts on sugar......

Just to let you know that I found last weeks update – about sweet tasting food triggering more craving for sweet tasting food – confirmation of probably what I already knew – the more sugary foods I eat the more I want – and if I start eating sweet food early in the day, I continue to crave that sweetness all day!

Now my challenge is to rid of most of the sweet foods from my diet.

Interestingly, I do however find that a drink of Pepsi Max around 5pm in the afternoon, seems to quell the hunger and sugar cravings quite well – whereas If I eat something sweet at this time, I just tend to crave more!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saving time

Do you know anyone who is not busy? Any one of your friends who says that they have 2 hours each day to spare and are more than happy to donate it to more shopping, self care and exercise? The reality is though, that each and every one of us has exactly the same amount of time in our day, yet some of us do a lot more with it than others. Working in a department of women I notice this often; while we all work the same number of hours, some of us have far more to show for it than others. And so onto the topic of effective time management. Here are my top 10 tips to get more done as a result of eliminating the most common time wasters that can become a routine part of the day if we are not careful-
1) Scan your email, delete anything not directly relevant including all SPAM, group emails, jokes and forwards. If it is that important it will always reappear.
2) Put your phone on voice mail or silent. This lets you concentrate on the task you are doing without interuption so you can return calls at the best time for you, like in the car.
3) Avoid the office chat. My collegues can spend 30 minutes chatting about their weekends before they even start work. Get in, get started and catch up over lunch.
4) Print minutes, research papers and any other documentation that requires reading and set it aside to read on planes, at the park, cafe, train or while waiting for appointments.
5) Handle emails once only - read it, answer it, file or delete it. Aim to keep your screen with just 6-10 emails so you do not get distracted and keep focused on the task at hand.
6) Change your hours to avoid traffic. You many need to start early or late but you can add an hour to your day.
7) Exercise at lunchtime. Driving to a packed gym at 7am or 6pm wastes another 30-60 minutes. Get out each lunchtime and then yet another thing on your to do list is checked off.
8) Run errands at lunchtime. The bank, doctor, anything you can get out of the way during work hours means more recreational time for you and your family.
9) Be strict with meetings. Meetings can sometimes be an excuse for professionals to look busy and important with no outcome other than a booking for another meeting. Keep them brief, outcome based and post pone or cancel if actions have not been completed.
10) Clean your desk and write a to do list each week. Having weekly goals keeps you on trcak while the clear out makes sure you are regularly filing and reminding yourself of projects that are outstanding.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Conflict of interest?

Earlier this week I received an email questioning my product recommendations and the potential for "conflicts of interest' as I do consult to some industry groups.

In the past I have consulted to a number of industry groups including Meat and Livestock Australia and Fonterra on products and nutrition themes which I believe, based on my independent clinical experience from over 10 years of working in the area of paediatric nutrition and weight loss, that offer superior nutritional properties for consumers.

At present, I am regularly approached by various food industry groups to act as a spokesperson on behalf of their products or to consult on product development. In such circumstances I have very clear guidelines about which products I will and will not consult on and only ever represent products which I truly believe offer superior nutritional properties, and ones which I myself routinely recommend for my clients.

Currently I consult to Aldi supermarkets and to Unilever on the Streets Paddle Pop MOO project and I am proud to represent both groups as they develop products which offer wider consumer ranges of nutritional sound products. You can decide for yourself if that is a "conflict of interest".