Skip the fads: Correct weight all about simple choices

SMALL HEALTHY STEPS: Healthy Weight Week encourages people to think about their choices in regards to healthy eating.
SMALL HEALTHY STEPS: Healthy Weight Week encourages people to think about their choices in regards to healthy eating. Digital Vision

AS MODERN society bombards us with visions of healthy body images and the latest superfoods, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up.

Finding the right balance of fruit and vegetables versus those "naughty" extras can sometimes seem like a chore.

Thankfully the Bundaberg region has a wealth of specialists who are dedicated to helping you find that balance and even enjoy yourself along the way.

Whether it is nutritional advice, a delicious but healthy treat or finding a work out to suit your individual needs there are definitely some exceptionally choices locally.

Healthy eating and exercise continue to be valuable parts of lives with Nutritionist Honor Tremain highlighting that if you want to maintain a healthy weight, it's vital to eat healthily consistently.

"It's really simple things such as aiming for five to seven different vegies in a day, one piece of fruit, and fresh protein three times a day while avoiding processed foods, sweets, soft drinks and junk food.

"It never works to eat poorly most of the time and then do a fad diet once or twice a year to try to lose the weight.

"I tell my clients it's a bit like the story of the Tortoise and the Hare; like anything but particularly staying at your ideal weight, you achieve and maintain it by continual small healthy steps in the right direction, not giant leaps."

But another initiative held throughout Australia can't be forgotten.

Australia's Healthy Weight Week is an initiative of the Dietitians Association of Australia held from February 15 to 21.

This year the aim of the campaign is straight-forward: to encourage more Australians to cook at home as a way to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Research shows that people who prepare food at home are more likely to eat smaller portions and take in fewer kilojoules and less fat, salt and sugar. And in turn, this is more likely to result in a healthier weight.

Australians are encouraged to get involved in the campaign by making a health pledge, challenging themselves to cook at home for a week and visiting the free Healthy Weight Week events hosted by Accredited Practising Dietitians.

Dietitians are also calling on Australians to forget fad diets and instead aim for perfect portions.

A new survey of 1230 Australians, commissioned by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), found about half of all adults aged 18 to 64 (54%) are unhappy with their current weight.

During Australia's Healthy Weight Week, the DAA will launch its annual campaign to make it easier for all Aussies to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

According to the peak body for dietitians, eating the right amount, rather than piling up the plate, is a key way to reduce your kilojoule intake and manage your weight.

"We all know fad diets come and go, and usually end in failure," said DAA spokesperson and AHWW ambassador professor Clare Collins.

"So rather than starting the diet merry-go-round this year, make your New Year's resolution about being more aware of the right portion sizes and how much you're eating."

Professor Collins said getting back into the kitchen for more home-cooked meals and keeping a check on how much you serve yourself and your family is a good place to start.

But according to Professor Collins, there's more to this story.

"Research shows that substituting vegetables, and other low-kilojoule, nutrient-rich foods, for those that are 'energy dense' is the way to go.

"This helps to fill you up, without tipping the scales in the wrong direction.

"Aim for two to three or more cups of vegetables or salad a day.

"At the moment, most Aussie get nowhere near that.

"So a simple step when cooking at home is to start your meal with a salad or add an extra serve of vegetables to your main meal.

"Let vegetables fill at least half your plate."

"To eat less without thinking about it, switch to using smaller plates."

Topics:  food health healthy eating nutrition weight

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