Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Where to begin a weight-loss journey! Part 2: The Fad Diet Blackhole!!!!!

I like to think of myself as pretty smart but my god have I tried some fad diets!!!!!!!!! I think paired together with my studies I have enough experience to shed some light on some shockers.

First of all let me list what I have been sucked into.

Lemon detox diet, Tony Ferguson, Atkins, Isagenix, Low Carb, Low Calorie, Weight Watchers, The Daily 19hr Fast, Celebrity Slim and not to mention the money I have spent on sport supplements like Hydroxycut and other fat burners. Arghhh as the budget person in our family it pains me to think of the money spent!!!! There are many more but just can't think of them at the moment. I will update as I remember :) haha

There are two nutrition/health industries that have boomed to unfathomable heights. The diet industry and the supplement industry. Both of these feed on your fears of being overweight/unhealthy and coax you into buying expensive solutions that they are selling.

It's sad to think I started to diet when I was 14. So young to be worried about it!! I had a weight watchers book and started counting my points. Now I was never small/petite however on the other hand I was never overweight. I was a normal teenage girl who was extremely active and loved food :) It really is amazing how all through high school I always felt I was big compared to other girls and now when I look back at my school photos there was nothing wrong!!! I was perfectly fine. It's just such a difficult time as girls are all maturing and changing at different times plus I was in boarding school so I was surrounded by 200 girls all with their own weight/food issues/ideas going on.

You've probably heard that 80% of people that lose weight put it back on and it is true!!! A lot of the times this is due to the quick fixes or extreme diets undertaken. As soon as they have finished with the diet bad eating habits creep back in with vengeance! This is mainly because of the lack of learning that occurs with these diets. For example 'Lemon Detox' ten days of drinking nothing but water, flavoured with Maple Syrup, lemon and Cayenne pepper not to mention the 1L of salt water they recommend you having every morning to 'flush' the body. Of course you are going to lose weight when you aren't eating anything but you don't learn anything either!! Nothing about portion size or strategies to deal with cravings, your not taught how to read food labels and what clever marketing and packaging covers up. All these things are required for long term loss. 

Any diet that makes you rely on food/shakes that only they can provide is not a long term solution, it's a money maker. Getting started on something like Isagenix can be extremely expensive and then the monthly up keep can really burn a hole in your pocket. Now the push with Isagenix which is a similar to a pyramid marketing scheme is that if you then get your friends/family onto it you can save money as you get a kick back. Then if they on sell to their friends and family and so on and so forth you keep getting kick backs.  I can't stand these types of things. Firstly because it's all about fake friendly network that is pushed for more the financial gains than the health. Aside from that the ingredient lists on these shakes and all the other processed foods and supplements they sell should just make you think 'chemical nightmare!!!' All these artificial things your body is ingesting can have a negative reaction in the body and sometimes work against your weight loss efforts. Have you ever seen a photo of old school body builders?? Eg: Arnold Schwarzenegger. You will see their tiny waists. Nowadays the men have real barrel bellies! This has been show to be due to the protein shakes and supplements they are now consuming. Back to Arnie's day it was copious amounts of egg whites, chicken and steaks. REAL FOOD! Now the protein source is coming from a chemical nightmare! 

Just keep in mind if you choose to follow any diet lifestyle changes that don't continue to help you once you have finished then you need to put in the effort to research and find out how to cope afterwards otherwise you will end up doing exactly what you did beforehand as you haven't learnt anything other than how to follow someone elses diet plan. You need to have strategies in place to make sure all the effort you put into losing the weight doesn't go to waste.

Now I am not saying that any of the diets I mentioned don't help you lose weight. Of course they do but what I am saying is that most of them are not a healthy long term solution. The way they suck you into the back hole is that you get on board, lose the weight, go back to normal life and then the weight comes back on. SO what do you do? Join up again, buy all the stuff and start all over again. Not fun and not cheap!!

Why go to all the effort of losing that weight to go put it all back on again!!

I love seeing people happy and healthy and being successful on their weigh-loss journey. Whether is 2kg or 25kg. When it's an internal push to help people become healthy and live a happier life I find it so much more motivating than anything that potentially pedals money as the motivator. 

Check out my previous post on what guidelines should be in place when wanting to achieve long-term weight-loss.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Where to even begin a weight-loss journey! Part 1: Useful Guidelines

As I embark on my journey of losing the baby weight I always knew how I would go about it. Safely, smartly and sustainably!
 Although I don't agree with some of the information that is taught in my Human Nutrition Masters course I do agree with the principles! No matter what way you choose to lose weight the principles are always the same.

1) Make changes that are sustainable
          - Extreme dietary changes and high volume exercise may give you fast results, however they are not sustainable and once you finish/fall off the wagon the weight will come back and more often than not a few extra kgs will be added on top of what you began with initially 
          - Keep in mind that 80% of people put weight back on after losing it. Why go to all the effort just to be back at square one! 

2) Support is Critical. 
          -  First and foremost there needs to be support in the home or family. It is very hard to try and make healthy dietary changes if there are bad foods in the house for the children/partner/housemate/spouse. Some may say that why should the children go without just because the adults can't control themselves. I believe the health of the entire family is much more important. The children must understand that a healthy change is important and they too need to be supportive. The significant other in a persons life can be their biggest influence both positively and negatively. Making healthy changes when working in an office can be so difficult as there are people to ridicule your efforts and sometimes many offices have morning teas or biscuit tins that can be hard to resists so knowing that there is a safe place at home can make the willpower at the office a lot stronger. 

3) Portion Size is the biggest problem. 
          - understanding and following portion sizing can be the most powerful thing in weight loss. Don't deprive yourself of delish healthy foods, just eat the right amount.  
          - you may think you're eating healthy but if your portion sizing is out of control then you could be slowing or even sabotaging your weight-loss efforts. 

4) Watch out for processed food, sugar and salt
           - The more processed the food, the more opportunities there has been to tamper with the food. More things (chemicals, additives, stabilizers) need to be added to the food to ensure it survives each process. Sugar and salt is added to enhance lost flavour and to help prolong shelf life. All these additives can effect each person differently and many times it can react to your body and cause you to slow, stop or even reverse your weight-loss efforts.
          - The closer the food product is to its natural state the better it is for you. It is also quite hard to eat an excess of calories of 'real food' as you will feel full quicker due to the fat content (meat, diary) and the high amount of fibre.

5) Don't completely rule out 'bad foods'. Cheat days/meals can be great family fun and quite an eye opener.
          - My own personal experience is that I need rules to follow otherwise I can veer off quite easily. This is where a cheat day/meal is perfect!! As an example my husband and I eat very clean and simple during the week, we portion all our meals and have no sugar Monday to Saturday. Then on Sunday we pretty much have whatever we feel like. The funny thing is after being good for 6 days we often don't want to mess it all up so the cheat food ends up being healthier than we originally planned. We also make the cheat food a bit of an event. We look up recipes and head out Sunday morning and buy all the food and have a big cook up together. We can't wait until our daughter can join in with the cooking. 
          - Although many times we end up having a healthier cheat food, if we feel like a big feed of pizza, fried chicken, ice cream etc we happily indulge without guilt and then Monday morning it's back to normal.

6) Stay away from liquid meals!!!!
         - There are many weight-loss companies and fitness personalities out there that push their shake/juice diets claiming fast weight loss. If you drink your calories then you will definitely lose weight fast however as soon as you start eating again the weight will come back. 
          - These liquid diets don't teach you how to eat real food so you never learn anything new or different in order to help you with long term weight-loss. There is no mention of portion control or which foods are healthier than others or how to combine foods to feel fuller for longer. Nothing to help once you stop the shakes/juices as they are not something you can do forever/long-term.

Even though I have passed my units with high distinctions I still feel like I can't give advice on weight-loss until I have been through my own weight-loss journey. I understand the struggles, the day to day mental battle of choosing to eat healthy and also the elation of seeing the weight and cms reducing not to mention the little lump in your throat and the sinking feeling you have when the numbers have gone the other way. There are so many different ways to lose weight and each persons body is different so trying to find what is not only best suited to your body but also easy to incorporate into your daily life can be a struggle. However once you are on your way, following these simple guidelines can help to keep you on your journey of long-time successful weight-loss. 

Keep a lookout for my next post about my personal weight-loss experience after having my daughter.


Monday, 2 June 2014

This week is all about getting back to sugar free!! Can I do it easily in Bangkok???

After getting a little lazy with being aware of the sugar content of my food and a week of trying new recipes I really want to get back to sugar free eating during the week. I have been using my pregnancy as a bit of a crutch to allow the kitkats and dark chocolate digestive to invade my fridge during the week instead of only keeping the bad stuff to Sundays.

So this week I am determined to get it sorted. Have a read of the below to see how I go day by day.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Want to shop at the wet markets of Bangkok but don't know how. Here'syour ultimate guide!!!

Ever since I went to the Siglap Wet Market with my mum in Singapore I have always had a soft spot for them however farmers markets back home in Australia never really filled the void. The things that still stick out in my mind from those experiences with my mum was the people talking and yelling from behind their stalls either trying to get you to buy or finishing up deals with other shoppers however my most fondest memory is of the little old banana lady. My mum would go up to her and buy a bunch of mini bananas and the lady would pick the coins out of mums hand for payment as she spoke no English. She was so tiny and always smiling and just the most endearing person I have ever encountered at a wet market. The funny thing was that mum always said that the bananas were horrible but she just had to always buy them. Considering they were only $2 max you could warrant the cost. Ever since those few trips on school holidays I have been hooked.

Looking from the outside in wet markets in Bangkok and anywhere in the world for that matter can be quite confronting as well as a bit nerve wracking, however if you follow a few simple steps/rules I feel you can really enjoy another side to what Bangkok has to offer.

Monday, 12 May 2014

7 months pregnant and living in Bangkok....... Just some ramblings!

With many of my friends both currently pregnant or recently having had children it's common place to discuss all the fun and not so fun times we have been experiencing while pregnant. I must admit I have been very lucky so far in regards to pregnancy sickness and any other issues and haven't really struggled with anything however I am starting to see a change coming! Clothes not fitting, no nice maternity clothes easily accessible, not being able to get comfy on the couch or when sleeping, Bangkok going into hot season, eating challenges and the impending war I will be waging with a pram and the horrific sidewalks that is part of Bangkok city life.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

What do we do to eat healthy while living in Bangkok???

In the land of smiley faces and delicious foods around every corner how do we try to eat healthy while living in Bangkok???? 

Moving to a new city let alone country is a hard thing to do!! Not only do you have all the moving/relocating issues such as finding a new house, sorting out utilities, new schools and making new friends but you also have to find your way through a whole new food and grocery shopping experience. Trying to track down trusted brands that you can get back home but also having to find suitable alternatives for those you can't.

When you are trying to eat a certain way, whether it be vegetarian, vegan, paleo, organic or one of many others it adds another level of difficulty especially in Asia!! The healthy eating options other than a few organic things can be very hard to track down if possible at all. There is also sugar added to many things that just doesn't occur at home (Australia). Trying to wade through all the different new products and choosing the best one is both confusing and time consuming especially when you don't know what you are looking for. Below I have run through a few of the food sources that some we struggle to find and others that are easy and sometimes better than home.

Monday, 21 April 2014

What do you want to be when you grow up??? I don't think a Princess will cut it anymore!!

Life certainly throws you some interesting changes and challenges. After finishing the 1st year of my Masters last year I'm now sitting here in Bangkok 6 months pregnant at a lovely coffee shop with our 6 month old Cocker Spaniel puppy Cimeron trying to figure out what I thought would be a pretty easy answer. What direction do I want to take with my nutrition career and how?
With many jumbled thoughts and ideas swirling around in my head I thought I had it figured out. Now that I am trying to put an actual plan in place it is like writers block!! Even though ideas, plans and concepts can always be changed especially when designing your own future it feels like if I forget something or write the wrong thing down then it could ruin everything.