10 Steps To A Healthy Weight

Step 01- Fill up on breakfast

Do you skip breakfast believing this will help you eat less and lose weight?
Eating a healthy breakfast is one of the best ways to lose weight and gain health.
* Gets your metabolism going
* Reduces mid-morning cravings
* It gives you a head start on nutrients you need to stay well

Make a healthy breakfast Include starchy food + protein + fruit and/or vegetables

Choose one:
2 Wheat biscuits
2 Wholegrain toast
Untoasted muesli

Include one:
Egg Green or yellow top milk
Baked beans
Cottage cheese
Low fat yoghurt

Include one:
Fresh fruit
Canned (low sugar) fruit
Dried fruit
Sliced tomatoes Mushrooms

More breakfast ideas
At home:
• Toast with cottage cheese and tomato with fruit
• Scrambled egg and tomato on toast with a low fat milky drink
• Leftover rice or roti with vegetables and yoghurt

On the run:
• Piece of fruit
• A pottle of yoghurt
• Banana wrapped in wholemeal bread
• Smoothie or breakfast drink

Try mixing cereals (for example wheat flakes and untoasted muesli). It can be cheaper, healthier and just as tasty

Can’t face breakfast? Try the following…
• Eat your main meal earlier in the evening and avoid late night snacking. This will improve your appetite in the morning
• Get up earlier. Take time to sit down and enjoy your breakfast
• For early starters, take breakfast to work
• Eat something as soon as possible. Each day try eating a little earlier

Step 02- Follow a regular meal pattern and prepare healthy meals Prepare healthy meals

A regular meal pattern helps weight loss
Keeps you full over the day
* Reduces food cravings and help you to lose weight
* Provides a healthy balance of foods and nutrients
Research shows that missing meals often leads to eating more kilojoules over the day.

What is a regular meal pattern?
• Eating three meals per day – breakfast, lunch and dinner
• Eating at around the same time each day
• Having 1-2 healthy snacks, if hungry, between meals. Ideally snack on fruit and vegetables.

How to get into a regular meal pattern
• PLAN in advance the times you are going to have your meals.
• Try not to leave gaps longer than 5 hours between meals. If you let yourself get too hungry this can increase cravings for high fat and high sugar foods
• If you eat unplanned snacks or meals, return to your regular meal pattern as soon as possible.

Prepare healthy meals
The foods we choose and the way we put them together has a big influence on the number of kilojoules and the nutritional value of meals

The way you prepare and cook food can make a big difference to your weight. Try the following suggestions for healthy cooking:
* Trim fat from meat before cooking. Choose trimmed pork bones rather than brisket. Remove skin from chicken
* Grill, stew, poach, steam or boil foods instead of frying. Use a rack when grilling so the fat drips away
* Skim fat from stews or boil ups when cool. Drain fat off corned beef
* Use no more than tablespoon oil/fat/butter in stir-fries or when frying meat or browning vegetables
* Season and flavour with herbs. Try using garlic, fresh ginger, soya sauce and chilli to add flavour

Step 03 Make healthier food swaps

Regularly using higher fibre, lower fat and lower sugar varieties of foods you commonly eat can make a BIG difference over time.

Three easy food swaps
Swap HIGH FAT crackers for LOW FAT/HIGH FIBRE crackers
Swap HIGH FAT cheddar cheese for LOWER FAT Edam cheese
Swap HIGH FAT potato crisps for LOW FAT rice crackers

Step 04 – Caution with your portions

Are you eating more than you think?
Increasing portion sizes lead to us eating more kilojoules than we realise. This promotes weight gain.

Tips to help portion control
* Use smaller plates and bowls
* Use the HEALTHY PLATE model as your guide for lunch and evening meals
Start by filling half your plate with vegetables/salad
Follow with protein foods and lastly starchy foods

HEALTHY PLATE model food portions
1/2 vegetables/salad = KEEPS YOU WELL
1/4 starchy = FILLS YOU UP e.g. wholegrain breads or cereals, rice, pasta, potato
1/4 protein = KEEPS YOU GOING e.g. fish, seafood, dried beans, meat, eggs, tofu, lentils, skinned chicken

Use your hand as a guide to portion size
– A standard portion of cooked rice, pasta, potato, kumara or taro is around the size of your fist
– A portion of meat, chicken or fish is what fits into your palm It is around 1cm thick and 120 – 150g raw weight
– Fill half your plate with vegetables/salad

Portion control ideas
* Serve your meal then put leftovers out of sight
The more visible and available the food, the more you are likely to eat

* Drink water with your meal.
This helps to slow your eating down and fill you up

* Be aware of large packets and “value” packs The larger the packet, the more you will eat without realising it. To reduce this:
• Divide contents of one large packet into smaller containers
• Don’t eat straight from the packet. Instead, serve food in a small bowl or container • Buy a smaller pack!

* Resist the call to upsize
While it may seem good value it will not help your weight

* When offered cake, slices or other sweets Cut into small pieces and share with others. Alternatively put some away for another time

Step 05 – Be mindful when you eat and plan ahead

Eating fast, on the run, and while distracted by other activities like television, can lead to you eating more food that you realise or need. Becoming more mindful when you eat can help you stay satisfied with less food.

Eat slowly, use all your senses and get satisfied on less
– Sit down to eat
– Always put food on a plate
– Minimise distractions. Turn off the TV and concentrate on the process of eating
– Tune in to your senses. Enjoy the sight, smell and taste of the food
– Be the last person to start eating and try to be the last person to finish
– Eat slowly until just full but not overfull
– Chew each mouthful well and put cutlery down between mouthfuls Think of the taste and texture of everything you eat
– If you feel like second helpings, wait 10-20 minutes and you may not feel like it
– If you are still hungry, eat extra vegetables or salad
– Use a teaspoon for cakes or desserts and take tiny mouthfuls
– Use chopsticks with Asian dishes. If you are not an expert this will definitely slow you down

Practice all of the above The more you do it the easier it becomes. Involve your household and make it fun!

Step 06 – Include plenty of vegetables in your meals & snacks

Your mother was right when she said you should eat your vegetables
They are SO IMPORTANT for health and healthy weight
– Contain antioxidants to boost your immune system
– Low in kilojoules – help keep you full without promoting weight gain
– Contain fibre, vitamins and minerals to help you stay well

Boost your vegetable intake:
– Add fruit and vegetables to every meal and snack
– Add vegetables to curries, stir fries, boil-ups, chop suey, casseroles and stews. Aim for twice as much vegetables as meat. The stir-fry recipe is a good example
– Chop finely or grate and add to hamburgers, meat loaf, meat balls or rissoles
– Add to platters. Try tomatoes, cucumber, gherkins, carrots, celery, peppers and mushrooms
– Cook extra vegetables at night and use them the next day. They are great as salads, in a wrap, or on top of pizzas
– Add to soups

How much and what kinds of vegetables?
• Aim for 3+ servings a day – more is better
• Go for variety – different colours ensure you get the vitamins and antioxidants you need to stay well

What about tinned vegetables? Tinned vegetables can be used to add variety to meals and salads. Choose low salt options.

Step 07- Get into the fruit habit

How often do you feel like a snack or get the urge for “something sweet”?
Next time, satisfy this with fruit or fruit based foods.
Eating more fruit will help you look after your weight and health.

Get into the fruit habit Why?
– It fills you up on fewer kilojoules than other sweet foods
– It is a good source of vitamins, antioxidants and fibre

What is a serve?
– 1 serving of fruit = what fits into your palm

How much?
– 2 or more servings of fruit a day
– Go for variety – different fruits and different colours ensure you get the vitamins and antioxidants you need

Tips for eating more fruit
Include with your meals
• Slice or stew fruit for breakfast
• Finish your lunch and dinner with a fruit
• Add to salads

Eat as a snack
• When you feel like a snack, have a piece of fruit
• Take fruit to work to avoid vending machine temptation
• Chop up for children after school

Frequently asked questions
Q. What about canned fruit?
A. This counts, as does frozen fruit. Compare labels and choose lowest sugar (lite or natural juice) varieties.

Q. What about dried fruit?
A. Dried fruit is full of fibre and vitamins but contains concentrated sugar because the water has been removed. When eating dried fruit, choose small amounts i.e. 1 tablespoon of sultanas

Q. What about fruit juice?
A. Fruit juice counts but it is high in kilojoules and easy to overconsume. It is best avoided, limit to no more than 1 small glass (150ml) a day.

Step 08 – Be smart with snacks

You don’t have to give up all snacks when trying to lose weight. Sometimes snacks are useful as they can help reduce cravings. However, it is important to:
– Eat snacks only when you are hungry, not because you are bored
– Choose healthy snacks that look after your weight and health

Go with real hunger, not just a desire to eat
If you are not really hungry, distraction techniques can help you take your mind off food. Try going for a walk, calling a friend, brushing your teeth or reading a book or magazine.

Plan snacks for vulnerable times
If you are a late afternoon nibbler, plan a healthy snack for that time. Whatever you have, put it on a plate and sit down to eat at a table.

Make a list of healthy snacks you enjoy Put this on the fridge or somewhere you can see it. Keep some of these snacks on hand.

Keep a food diary
Write down everything you eat and drink including snacks. If you snack for reasons other than truehunger, discuss and plan strategies with your health professional.

Tips to be a successful snacker:
– Snack only when you are really hungry – don’t snack from boredom, habit or temptation. Snacking for reasons other than hunger can lead to weight gain.

– Choose healthy foods i.e. ones that are good sources of nutrients and look after your weight.

FACT: If your meals are regular and filling you will be less likely to snack

Step 09 – Choose drinks wisely

Sweet drinks have become “normal” and “everyday”. Their high sugar content contributes to weight gain and tooth decay. Choosing drinks wisely will help your health and weight.

What should I choose?
Drink anytime
– Tap water
– Water with ice and a slice of lemon or lime
– Plain, spring or mineral water sparkling or still

Drinks that can be useful in moderation
• Unsweetened tea or coffee
• Sugar free or “diet” fizzy drinks/ cordials
• Low sugar flavoured waters

Drinks that contribute to weight gain
• Sweetened drinks such as fizzy drinks, sports drinks, cordial, energy drinks
• Fruit juice
• Blue top milk and drinks made from it e.g. cappuccino, hot chocolate, milkshakes, smoothies
• Alcohol

What about milk?
– Milk is important for bones and teeth
– Choose green or yellow top varieties
– Have up to 2-3 glasses per day

Tip: Get into the water habit
• Water is the best drink to quench thirst and achieve a healthy weight
• Keep a glass, bottle or jug of water close by

Do we need 6-8 glasses of water a day?
Experts agree we need 6-8 glasses of fluid a day and that water is the best drink. Fluids such as tea, coffee and other low kilojoule drinks contribute to your 6-8 glasses a day.

Make sure you are having enough fluid by checking your urine. If it is pale and straw coloured during the day you are having enough. If it is dark in colour you need to drink more.

Step 10 – Ditch the takeaways. Be healthy in a hurry!

Takeaway meals are not helpful for weight loss. They are mostly
• High in fat and kilojoules
– eating just one takeaway meal can deliver all the fat and kilojoules you need for a day!
• Low in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
• Bigger portions than you need
• Poor value for money

If you do have takeaways or go out for a meal occasionally
– Choose a place you know has healthy options – some menus are available on the internet
– Don’t be afraid to ask about ingredients and cooking methods – ask to have mayo served on the side
– Choose water or diet soft drink
– Make sure your meal includes vegetables or salad
– Watch portion size – choose the smallest size, share a meal or save left overs for your next meal
– Avoid anything battered or fried and creamy sauces