Back to School for Healthy Children

August 26, 2011 by

With summer winding down and thoughts turning to “Back to School”,  we thought it might be important to highlight the importance of healthy breakfasts and packed lunches for school going children, in particular younger children attending primary school.

We cannot stress enough how important good, healthy nutrition is for growing children. Most children are in school for up to 6 hours. These 6 hours are filled to the brim with mental and physical activities! While most children will nag their mothers to include junk food in their lunchbox and to have some sort of sweet cereal for breakfast, it is vital not to give in. We are not doing our kids any favours. For one, they will probably be hungry again half an hour after consuming these empty calories. They will more than likely not concentrate or perform to their potential. In addition, by allowing them to eat nothing but junk food for most of the day, we are simply teaching them the wrong lesson. These children are far more likely to struggle with obesity in later life and that’s something no parent wants for their child.

Breakfast in a household with children rushing to school can be a stressful time. Sometimes, it may feel easier to give in and give the children what they will eat quickly. There are however “quick” tasty, healthy breakfast ideas to be found. Scrambled or boiled eggs or maybe porridge with a spoon of honey, with a piece of fruit are ideal. Nutritious, tasty and quick!! For those who find themselves seriously short of time could blend some fruit and yogurt or juice in a blender, pop it in a flask which can be consumed in the car!

Now for the lunchbox! A lot of schools nowadays have banned shellfish, eggs and nuts because of the high risk of allergic reactions. Thankfully, some schools have also banned crisps and other things which are too messy for the classroom. Sandwiches are still the most popular choice for midday meal. Try to use wholegrain bread. Whatever you put in the sandwich try to include some protein, and maybe try to slip some salad in there too!

What else should you include? A piece of fruit, low-fat yogurt, a portion of dried fruit, such as raisins, a fruit salad or even some carrot sticks with a portion of houmous. It’s a good idea to include a portion of cheese, calcium is vital for growing children!  A small chocolate bar as a treat once a week (try Fridays!) would do no harm. Some schools provide a daily drink of milk, but try to include a small bottle of water in their lunchbox too.

The possibilities are endless – all it takes is a little bit of thought and preparation and our children will benefit by having a more productive day at school and learning life long lessons of how to eat well. It’s the best lesson we can teach a child at possibly the most important period in their lives.

Eating Right on Holidays!!

August 4, 2011 by

Many of you may be taking advantage of last minute sun holidays, given the weather we have had so far this summer. Bearing this in mind, it’s important to note that a foreign holiday does not have to mean a holiday from your diet!

If you are going on a self catering holiday, it is still possible to maintain your DietDeli Programme, if you are doing one. All of our products can be prepared in any basic kitchen. In general self catering holidays are much more conducive to maintaining a weight loss diet, for obvious reasons. You are in control of what you eat,  how it is prepared and the size of the portion that appears on your plate!

For the journey, make sure you are not at the mercy of airport vending machines or fast food outlets – pop a few DietDeli Nutrition Bars in your hand luggage, maybe allowing an extra bar for any possible delays!

Nobody wants to spend their holiday abstaining from eating and drinking in a nice restaurant. It is still possible to do this without blowing your diet. As we have outlined in a previous blog – just be sensible. In a way, healthy eating is easier in warm countries. Various salads are readily available, after that it’s just necessary to go easy on the usual suspects – butter on your bread, cream based sauces and desserts!

Your exercise regime need not suffer either. Even lazy days at the beach can include short bursts of activity! In fact walking on sand, especially the loose sand furthest away from the water is great for burning calories. This sand offers more resistance and therefore increases your calorie burn. Get involved in a game of football or Frisbee with the kids and you will be burning even more! Unless you have a swimming pool in your garden at home, you will never have as much access to a pool as when you’re on holidays! Take advantage of this as swimming is great for toning your body and half an hours breaststroke can burn between 300 and 450 calories.

Enjoy your holiday and remember that a holiday from your daily grind does not have to mean a holiday from your weight reduction regime! Have fun!

 

Eating Habits for Weight Loss!

July 22, 2011 by

Thinking about how you eat is nearly as important as the food you eat when you are embarking on a weight loss diet. We are all guilty of “grabbing something quick” while rushing about on our daily business. Eating at your desk or in the car is something that everyone has done  at some stage. These “quick snacks” are more than likely going to be high fat snacks with little or no nutritional value and will not keep you from feeling hungry for very long.

Another eating habit which has an influence over our weight is eating in front of the TV. If you are distracted while eating, you are more than likely going to miss the “I’m full” signals that your stomach sends to your brain and you will eat too much. You will find that, when sitting down at the table and being conscious of what you are eating, you will find it easier to stop eating when you are full. Take your time eating – lay your knife and fork down after each mouthful and chew food thoroughly before taking another mouthful. Remember, when mindless eating occurs, your brain will simply not receive the message that you have eaten. Instead, it will send out signals of  hunger, which leads to weight gain and, ultimately to obesity.

The Psychological Benefits of Exercise

July 1, 2011 by

There are many physical benefits to exercising your body, but not many people think about the emotional benefits of physical activity. So beneficial is it, that exercise has been prescribed for people suffering from anxiety or depression and it is said it can actually prevent these conditions too. Heres why:-

During exercise the brain will start to release certain chemicals, the most powerful of which are beta-endorphins. These chemicals stimulate feelings of well being, even euphoria and will leave you feeling uplifted and invigorated. Long distance runners usually say that, after 20 minutes of running, it starts to get easier – this is the effect of these chemicals being released. That’s not to say that you need to do any middle or long distance running to feel any benefits. For example, you may find that, if you are worrying about something, a good walk on your own will help you put things in perspective. Similarly, if you are very busy and have a lot to do, a walk will help motivate you to get things done.

The long term psychological effect of regular exercise includes higher self esteem and the ability to handle stress more effectively. You should also begin to sleep better, as long as you exercise early in the day, rather than close to bed time! A good nights sleep is one of the most important things for your mood and state of mind.

So, in addition to helping your physical health, give your emotional health a boost by doing some sort of exercise on a regular basis. The short term effect is exhilaration and vitality and the long term effect is a healthier body and as a result, better self esteem. It’s a no brainer!

Eating Right at Weddings

June 17, 2011 by

As we are well and truly into wedding season, we thought it would be helpful to outline some ways to join in the celebrations without blowing your weight reduction diet! A wedding is a time of celebration, meeting up with people you probably havn’t seen in a long time and fun. The last thing you want to be doing is worrying about extra calories or declining the glass of champagne to toast your newly married friends or family!

Wedding receptions do involve a lot of eating and drinking and there is no getting away from that. But they also involve dancing! Dancing can burn up to 260 calories per hour so dance away into the early hours and already you getting back on track with your weight loss diet.

As for the dinner and drinks, there are a few small things you can do to minimise weight gain.

Planning is essential. Have something to eat before you leave the house. Weddings are long days and often there is a lengthy gap between the ceremony and the reception. Plan for this and bring a small, healthy snack, such as a DietDeli Snack Bar. This way, you are less likely to over indulge when you finally get to sit down.

As for the meal, enjoy it! Give yourself a day off and tell yourself that starting with the evening dancing, you will be back on track with your weight reduction. Obviously moderation is still the key. Don’t over indulge but do enjoy your meal. If you feel you need to, then just increase your exercise the following week. Diets are not about deprivation and weddings are certainly one occasion where you should be able to let your hair down. Don’t go crazy but do enjoy yourself and the more you dance, the better for your weight loss! Enjoy!

Obesity and Weight Gain during Pregnancy

June 3, 2011 by

Pregnancy can be a nervous time for women, especially first time pregnancies. Weight gain is guaranteed, however obesity during pregnancy adds an extra risk as it can lead to all kinds of problems.

Pregnant woman with a high BMI rating are at a higher risk for pre-eclampsia, foetal abnormalities, gestational diabetes and increases the likelihood of a need for a C section.

A healthy diet is vital during pregnancy. You are essentially feeding your unborn child and you need to give them the best start possible, even before they are born. This healthy diet will also serve to prevent rapid weight gain during your pregnancy which is best for  you and your baby.

A well balanced diet will provide all the nutrients both you and your growing baby need. The old saying “I’m eating for two now!” is not what you need  to be following! In fact, you don’t need to consume any extra calories until your final trimester, from then on it is recommended you consume an additional 200 calories per day. Make sure your diet includes fresh fruit and vegetables, vitamin D, protein, iron and dairy products. And don’t forget your Folic Acid!

Exercise is also possible during pregnancy, although it may be harder to motivate yourself. Staying moderately fit during pregnancy will serve you well during childbirth and once the baby is born! It also serves to prevent constipation and other not so nice side effects of pregnancy. It doesn’t have to be too strenuous. Swimming, walking and pregnancy yoga are all suitable. Listen to your body, if you do feel dizzy or tired, then stop.

The added bonus of preventing huge weight gain while pregnant is that you won’t have too long to wait after the birth to return to your pre-pregnancy weight! On average a woman should gain no more than about 2 stone, anything more than this and you are putting  you and your babys lives at risk.

Common Dieting Blunders

May 27, 2011 by

Have you ever felt as if you have been on a diet forever without ever seeing any significant weight loss? Have you tried various diets only for your weight to stay the same or even worse, for you to get heavier? If so you may be making simple mistakes that are preventing you from achieving successful weight reduction. Here are a few:-

Skipping meals:-  There is a common misconception out there, that is you skip one or two meals every day, you will lose weight. This routine is unsustainable, and eventually you will overeat . The key is healthy, sustainable eating patterns, which is one of the reasons the DietDeli Weight Loss Plans are based on 6 meals a day.

Ignoring the need to exercise:-  Exercise is crucial to your weight loss regime. A good routine will maximise your loss of fat and minimise your loss of muscle.

Making unrealistic goals:-  Many diets are not planned in terms of realistic goals and the ultimate goal seems so far away that the dieter gets disheartened and gives up. If your goal is to lose a stone, then set realistic short term goals for achieving that. A realistic target is to lose 1-3 lbs per week, so set yourself weekly goals based on this. By doing this your motivation will stay high and that long term goal will become much more achievable.

Not being honest with yourself:- Only you can answer this, but if you tend to cheat a little by robbing a few chips from your kids plates or picking at food while you’re preparing the dinner, then try to find ways to combat it, such as eating a DietDeli Nutritional Bar while you’re in the kitchen.

Poor planning:- Good planning is essential to any diet. Know what you are going to eat each day and stick to it. Try to work out what you will be cooking and write your shopping list accordingly so you buy only the right things in the supermarket.

Finally, it is easy to feel disheartened and frustrated if you do have a bad day on a diet. It is vital not to let these bad moments thwart your whole diet. Keep trying. If you return to your weight loss plan and continue your exercise routine, then weight loss is not impossible.

What Causes Weight Gain?

May 18, 2011 by

What are the most common causes of weight gain and what can we do to prevent it? A few causes are out of our control, such as medication or illness.

Other reasons are completely within our control and the first step towards weight reduction is to identify your own particular reasons for your weight gain. Here are a few common causes:

Lifestyle – The more physically active you are in your everyday life, the less likely you are to gain weight. If you spend all day behind a desk , try to use your weekends to get some exercise. With the long evenings in the summer, a quick walk after work will also do wonders towards your weight loss. You need to burn as many calories as possible, as any calories that your body doesn’t convert to energy are stored as fat.

Habits – Your eating habits have the most influence over your weight and these can include, how you  eat, what you eat and when you eat.  Lots of  things influence the way we eat in this country. Busy lifestyles, children, TV and other everyday stresses all mean that we tend to rush our meals, and eat the wrong kind of food. It can take 20 minutes  for food to reach your stomach, so if you eat too quickly, you won’t realise you’re full until you have already eaten too much! Be careful with your portion size and take your time eating. Enjoy every mouthful…it won’t delay you too much!

Emotional eating is another common cause of weight gain. A lot of people tend to reach out for some food when they feel tired, lonely or stressed. If you think you may be one of these people, try keeping a food diary to help you identify your triggers. Identifying these triggers is the first step to controlling emotional eating.

Weight gain is a slow process and can creep up without any huge warning signs. Use our Body Mass Index to get a true picture of your weight. Making the decision to finally take control of your weight can be very liberating and DietDeli is here to help you with every step of your weight loss.

The Importance of Drinking Water During Weight Loss

April 28, 2011 by

 

We have all heard about the theory that water is the best beauty treatment. It’s true! Water helps to flush out toxins from your body, leaving you with clear skin and sparking eyes. But did you realise how important water is in weight reduction? Here’s why….

One of the functions of the liver is to convert stored fat into energy. This is what is known as metabolism and the more efficiently this occurs, the better for your weight loss. However, if your kidneys are not getting enough water, then the liver steps in to pick up the slack. Your liver cannot therefore metabolise efficiently as it’s other jobs have increased. This is when your metabolism slows down and as a result, more fat is stored rather than converted into energy. That’s the scientific bit….

Drinking plenty of water is important for everyone, but it is essential during a weight loss diet as it helps to promote muscle tone. Also, your weight loss regime includes a certain amount of exercise which will increase the need to keep your body hydrated.

Finally, water is a great energiser. Once of the main reasons for that mid-afternoon “slump” is actually mild dehydration. So instead of that strong cup of coffee, try drinking a large glass of water and see how that lethargy disappears! If you can’t stand the thought of 8 glasses of plain water a day, then pop in a slice of lemon!

Eating out and Weight Loss

April 8, 2011 by

With Easter Sunday looming and perhaps the prospect of being treated to a nice lunch or dinner out, we thought we would put down some DietDeli  tips on how to enjoy a meal out without blowing your weight  reduction diet!

  • Have a snack before you arrive at the restaurant. A DietDeli Protein Snack is perfect. If you are hungry when it comes to ordering, you will probably order too much of the wrong thing!
  • If you are having a starter, then have a small salad or a tomato/vegetable based soup. Avoid cream based soups and don’t put butter on your bread.  Watch the dressing on the salad – 1 tablespoon of dressing can add 60 calories to your meal!
  • As for the main part of the meal, it is quite simple. Grilled or baked fish or chicken are the way to go. Fried food are the enemy to your weight loss plan. Watch the hidden extras such as French Fries. Most restaurants will offer a baked potato if you ask. And again, do not put any butter on your vegetables.
  • If you are going to have a dessert, have something with fruit in it. It’s hard to avoid calories with desserts, so if possible, try to share your dessert . A few spoonfuls of something sweet is often just enough  to satisfy you.
  • DietDeli always advises eating slowly. It takes 20 minutes for food to reach your stomach so eat your meal slowly and enjoy it.

The key is to avoid the hidden fats, which is possible and means that you can enjoy a guilt free meal and go back to your DietDeli Meal Plan the following day.


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