5 DIETITIAN-APPROVED NUTRITION TIPS TO GET FIT FOR SUMMER!
By Sally Shi-Po Poon (Dietitian)
With summer coming up, everybody would love to have a slim body shape ready to hit the beach! Here are some practical tips to help you get fit and healthy:
- Very often people go straight on a low-carbohydrate diet when they want to lose weight. However many of them experience weight rebound once they have gone off the diet. Comparing the a low carbohydrate (Zone), a very low-fat diet (Ornish) , and a very low carbohydrate (Atkins) diets to each other and to a typical calorie-restricted (Weight Watchers) diet, research found them all to have a similar impact on weight. The Ornish diet and the Atkins diet had the poorest compliance rates. The study concluded that compliance and caloric deficits are keys to successful weight loss.
- There are 9 calories in every gram of fat, regardless of what type of fat it is. Consuming high levels of calories – regardless of the source – can lead to weight gain. Consuming high levels of saturated or trans fats (e.g. full fat dairy, animal products, butter and pastries) can lead to heart disease and stroke. For good health, the majority of the fats that you eat should be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated (e.g. fish, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds). However, you still need to control your portions; for example, 100g avocado (half piece) provides 160 kcal and 15g fat; and 1 oz. of almonds (23 kernels) provides 164 kcal and 14g fat!
- Go low GI (Glycaemic Index)! Wholegrains such as brown rice, quinoa, barley, rye, whole wheat pasta, buckwheat noodles, wholegrain bread, and oatmeal, carry lower GI values that make you feel fuller for longer. So you experience fewer cravings for junk foods!
- If you drink alcohol, moderate your consumption to no more than 2 alcohol units a day as alcohol is high in calories and harmful to health. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, almost the same calories as fat. For example, 175ml glass of wine (13%) provides 159 calories and that’s equivalent to 2.3 alcohol units. So it’s definitely not only the beer that makes your belly grow!
- Is it hunger or craving? Be aware of how your emotions affect what you want to eat. For example, do you eat more when you’re feeling angry, upset, lonely or bored? Use distractions to help control craving. For example, go for a walk, phone a friend, take a bath or apply a face mask.
Remember there is no quick fix and making changes to your lifestyle can require a lot of effort. When you achieve the target, reward your success with a gift that is non-food-related… maybe new clothing for this summer?
Sally’s Nutrition Blog @ Hong Kong Tatler: http://hk.asiatatler.com/wellness/get-fit-for-summer-5-dietitian-approved-nutrition-tips