Hunger Vs Thirst – the Importance of Hydration

Being well hydrated has several health benefits but can also SAVE you HUNDREDS of 14316648_sCALORIES. Several patients I see on a weekly basis are MISTAKING HUNGER for THIRST. Both signals are controlled in the same part of your brain, so what can we do to AVOID the CONFUSION?

 As I mentioned, its the same area of the BRAIN that controls hunger, thirst and many other bodily functions and behaviors – it is called the hypothalamus. When your stomach is empty, specific hormones are released to signal hunger. The problem being – the same happens for thirst. The hypothalamus can’t DIFFERENTIATE the signals therefore communicates with the nervous system to tell your stomach that it’s time to eat. If you feel like you’ve eaten everything in sight, yet still didn’t feel SATISFIED afterwards, you would have experienced receiving these mixed brain signals. And it’s more common than you may think.

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What is Mindful Eating?

Do you often forget what you had for dinner? Have you bitten your finger because you didn’t realise that you’d finished your sandwich? Can you remember how good (or bad!) your breakfast tasted? Do you often feel bloated or that you’d eaten too much?photo(1)
Any of these sound familiar? Then you need to MASTER the ART of MINDFUL EATING and get out of autopilot.
Here are a few more INDICATIONS that you are not ENGAGING with your food:
Feeling GUILTY because you’ve eaten too much
EMOTIONAL eating – bored, stressed, upset, anxious
Not TASTING your food
MINDLESS or unconscious eating while watching TV or being on your phone
Not listening or recognising HUNGER and FULLNESS signals Continue reading

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus – food and gender

I have always been interested in the gender DIFFERENCES in terms of food and WEIGHT. photoPracticing as a DIETITIAN over the years has taught me that you need to change your APPROACH with men and women when discussing weight and food for the messages to become SUCCESSFUL. Here is a little insight into why the approach needs to be different:

It’s a common PERCEPTION that men require LARGER portions and should have PRIORITY to foods such as meat as they were TRADITIONALLY the manual workers. Years ago men did require more CALORIES than women but, as jobs have become more SEDENTARY and, the divide has REDUCED. A person’s caloric requirements are INDIVIDUAL – it depends on height, body size and exercise level. Men NATURALLY require more calories than women as they have a higher MUSCLE mass but, as the majority of the population are now OVERWEIGHT their requirements are REDUCED. Most MEN consume too many calories compared to their activity levels, which means their WEIGHT will increase. Traditionally, WOMEN would fore go MEAT at the family meal so that the men and children would have PROTEIN. I think this IDEA that men should take PRIORITY in terms of food still exists TODAY.

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Eat, Drink and be HEALTHY at Christmas

‘Tis the season of OVER INDULGENCE in rich, delicious and generally UNHEALTHY food. But, panic not! You can still ENJOY the festivities without GUILT by making some HEALTHIER choices.

On average, people GAIN 5lbs (2kg) in WEIGHT over Christmas and spend the next few months REGRETTING it or trying to LOSE the excess weight – some without much SUCCESS. The average person can EAT their way through 6,000 calories on Christmas day ALONE, never mind the run up to Christmas with TREATS all over the house and parties. 6,000 calories is about THREE times as much as we need so no wonder Christmas can be an AGONY for people trying to watch their WEIGHT. Continue reading

Superfruits – what?!

As I come across more trendy, marketing terms I feel the need to try to reveal the truth behind the hype……….

‘SUPER FRUITS’ refer to plants that are BELIEVED to provide great HEALTH benefits because of their nutrient and antioxidant levels. The some fruits ‘classed’ as super are acai, goji, mangosteen, noni, and seaberry. The more common ones are blueberries, cranberries and pomegranate. Continue reading

Artificial sweeteners – friend or foe?

Artificial sweeteners cause CONFUSION amongst the general public and health care providers alike. Sweeteners have been around for decades and are used in a wide variety of food and drinks. Almost EVERYONE in developed countries consume sweeteners – whether they know it or not. They are often discussed in the press and are some of the most EXTENSIVELY studied INGREDIENTS in food manufacturing but, still we seem to be BAFFELED by them.

What are artificial sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners are a sugar SUBSTITUTE that duplicate the effect of sugar in terms of TASTE but contain less CALORIES. Artificial sweeteners are also known as intense sweeteners as they are much SWEETER than sugar therefore you need to use LESS. Continue reading

Beat the Winter Bulge

As the seasons change it’s not just the weather that’s different, we tend to change our diets too. I often see patients who say that managing their WEIGHT is easier during the summer. People tend to gain weight during the winter as our diet and exercise routines grind to a screeching halt. Here are some common weight gain triggers:

We tend to:

  • Eat less SALADS and opt for hearty meals
  • Increase our PORTIONS
  • EXERCISE less – most of us just want to hibernate!
  • Wrap up in cosy LAYERS so the worry about showing our ‘beach bodies’ is long gone!
  • Have endless PARTIES!

Do any of these apply to you? Well, read on!

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