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The year is almost over and holidays are round the corner.  How will you keep on top of your health goals? Research shows self monitoring is key. This issue we delve into the contentious issue of how often you should weigh yourself.  We also have a fabby low GI cookshop geared especially to help you plan a delicous and low GI festive menu.  And we give you some hints to save $$$ and reduce your food scraps in the kitchen.

What’s in the News – Should you Weigh Yourself Christmas wreath Regularly to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain?

Are you  obsessed about weighing yourself several times a day?  Or do you shy away from the scales altogether?  Weighing yourself does have some benefits.  But just how often should you step onto the scales? The answer to this question depends on a combination of factors. 

Weighing yourself can help keep you on track with your weight loss goals. 

If you’ve had a big weekend, a couple of extra kilos on the scales can help motivate you to get back on track – right away!  With this sort of monitoring, you’ll notice that ‘letting your hair down’ does have consequences, which add up over time! 

What ordinary scales won’t tell you

It is important to remember that the reading you see on the scales is kilograms of total body weight – not the specific type of weight most people are trying to lose.  It includes your skeleton, blood, fluids, muscles and body fat!  So don’t be fooled if you appear to lose weight after skipping just one meal or forgetting to keep up with your fluids during the day.

There are more fancy scales that tell you the break up of your total body weight and you can see how your fat mass (the kilograms of actual body fat) changes over time.  We have professional TANITA scales in the Clinic that can do this for you but suggest that if you want to keep an eye on your body fat levels at home (with domestic scales),  you compare your figures only every few weeks or monthly.  Interpreting your body fat reading more often is tricky due to various factors that can impact this measurement e.g. your hydration status.  Comparing body fat levels or fat mass over longer periods is usually recommend, for both clinical practice and home monitoring.

Other helpful tools you can use to monitor your fat loss include your clothes – are they getting tighter or looser?  A tape measure or belt to check on your waist circumference can also be a handy tool. 

The National Weight Control Registry in the US, which is researching the lifestyle habits of people who have successfully lost at least 13.5 kg and kept this off for a minimum of one year has found that monitoring your progress on a regular basis is one of the important keys to success.  There are various forms of monitoring, of course, and checking your weight or body fat is only one of them. 

When not to weigh 

If you have an unhappy relationship with food or have disordered eating of any kind, it is probably best that you avoid weighing yourself altogether and leave that to your visits for when you see your dietitian.

For people who are working on improving unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits, it’s OK to weigh yourself a few times per week (or even once daily if you prefer).  But it’s best to do this at a regular time, such as first thing in the morning so you can compare serial measurements.

Keep Tabs During the Festive Season

Research shows that being just as vigilant with healthy lifestyle habits on week-ends and during your holidays as you are during a typical week, can result in more success than being completely footloose and fancy and taking the view ‘but it’s holidays’.  It can also prevent you being shocked once you step on the scales after the festivities quieten down!

Health Tip – Alcohol

How many drinks will you be having over the festive season? There is now convincing evidence that consuming more than 3 standard drinks each day - say, half a bottle of wine or 3 middies - is a cause of colon cancer in men and a likely cause in women.  Instead of red wine, try Grapetiser.  Instead of beer, why not sip on ginger beer?  Rather than a cocktail, try a mocktail.  It's smart to keep an eye on how much alcohol you are drinking.

What’s Cooking in December – Scrumptious Low GI Dishes for the Festive Season 

The festive season is almost here!  Celebrations are meant to be fun, but that doesn’t mean your weight or blood sugar levels should go through the roof.  Come along to this cookshop and learn how to make delicious low GI party food that will support your weight loss journey and keep your sugar readings under control. 

Whether you’re planning a BBQ or a dinner party, we will show you a menu to impress your guests while keeping you on track with your health goals.  From finger foods to mini chocolate mud cakes with raspberries, your guests will be coming back for more. 

Sound delicious?

Join us on the 6th December 6:30 – 8:30 pm and find out  how to make your festive season both fun and healthy!   

Learn more about this cookshops         

Call NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to book your place. This is a new cookshop and seats will fill fast.  Bring a friend!

What’s Fresh – Raspberries

Enjoy this jolly season in style with raspberries.  They’re small and lusciously red…and they’re packed full of goodness.  Research shows raspberries contain up to 50 % more antioxidant activity than strawberries and ten times more than tomatoes! 

Antioxidants are important for many reasons.  For example, they mop up free radicals – nasty unstable molecules - that can damage your DNA, proteins and fats in your body.  And a diet rich in antioxidants has been repeatedly linked with a lower risk of certain types of cancers, heart disease and diabetes.

Raspberries are also very high in fibre and low Glycaemic Index (GI).  Fibre is important to help control your cholesterol levels, keep you regular and more satisfied  after meals.  The daily recommended intake of fibre is at least 30 grams. Just one cup of raspberries will supply a quarter of your daily fibre needs!  Having a low GI means the carbohydrate from the berries will be absorbed more slowly into your body to help keep your blood sugar level more stable.  This makes raspberries perfect if you are trying to lose weight – especially while celebrating – or if you have diabetes!

Raspberries are in season during Summer and can be readily obtained fresh during this time.  Frozen berries contain similar amounts of nutrients and can be enjoyed all year round.

Three ways with raspberries:

  • Add raspberries to your cereal or fruit salad, or simply eat a punnet as a snack.
  • Try our Red Berry and Yoghurt Parfait.  You’re guests will be sure to love this for breakfast or dessert!
  • Puree raspberries with a little orange juice for an elegant sauce to top a range of desserts.

Stuck for a Xmas Gift Idea?  

Are you struggling to think of something to purchase for that ‘hard to buy for person’? Why not get a gift voucher to attend one of our fabulous cookshops and make a positive change to that special someone’s life? Too easy. Check out what's coming up in 2012 and call the clinic on 9899 5208 to arrange payment over phone.

In the Kitchen – What to do with Food Scraps?

Food scraps are serious offenders of greenhouse gases.  In landfill, where they decompose without oxygen, food scraps produce methane gas, which has over 20 times the global warming capacity of carbon dioxide!

Australian households are throwing out more than $5 billion worth of wasted food each year, more than Australians spend on digital equipment, and more than it costs to run the Australian Army!

Here are some tips to reduce your household food wastage and save you money at the same time:

- Only cook enough for what you need

- Plan your meals in advance, take a shopping list with you and only buy sufficient perishables to last you the week

- Store your food appropriately to keep it fresher for longer

- Freeze your leftovers or think of tasty ways to use them up the next day

- Start a compost or worm farm for your fruit and vegetable scraps.

Do you have any other ideas? Send us an email

Clinic News – ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Are you on Facebook?  We are!  We’re sure you’ll ‘like’ our Culinary Medicine Cookshop page. Keep up to date with additional cookshop info, including exclusive information and photos from behind the scenes, as well as interesting nutrition tips from our dietitians.  Have you tried a new recipe or dined at a new restaurant lately?  Tell us what you like and what works for you.

Tell Your Friends! 

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Published by the Nutrition & Wellbeing Clinic, Copyright 2011.

Suite 10, 80 Cecil Avenue, Castle Hill NSW 2154 Ph: +61 2 9899 5208 Fx: +61 2 9899 2848 www.sueradd.com

We are a boutique Dietitians clinic in Sydney, Australia, offering one-on-one consultations, culinary medicine cooking workshops, motivational health seminars and nutrition advisory services to businesses in the local and global area.

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