February 4, 2013

Weight Loss: Dietitian

As I've mentioned previously I have been seeing a dietitian. The great thing about this is that not only do I get to see her over a six month period but I don't have to pay a thing! I don't know if this service is available to everyone or whether it depends on which PHO (Primary Health Organisation) your doctor/you belong to. A friend of mine was referred to a dietitian a few years back by her doctor but only the first session was free. If you think this is something that you would find useful then ask your doctor (1) whether they can refer you and (2) if there are any associated costs involved.

I haven't been eating as well as I should for quite some time. There is so much conflicting information out there that I wanted to talk to a professional. I pay more attention in an individual session than I would to pages from the internet.

My first session we talked about the importance of breakfast. We've all heard that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" but do we really pay that any attention? Here's how it works: breakfast is break-fast. Your body has had no fuel since you had dinner, it is fasting, it is starving. Consider if you finished dinner at 7pm and woke up at 7am, that is a whole 12 hours (half a day) that your body has had nothing to run on. I'm not suggesting eating a lot before bed (that creates its own problems) just that you have something when you get up in the morning. Eating when your body needs it means that you are less likely to eat more later in the day - because your body is no longer starving and trying to convince you to eat everything in sight. All of this is information I'm sure you've heard before (I had!).

We also looked at the choices I made for breakfast and how to make them better for me eg. switching to grain or brown toast, having only two weetbix, increasing the amount of porridge (half a cup of uncooked oats).

At my next session we talked about the make up of a meal. I don't mean making a meal pretty, I mean what your meal is comprised of. This is what a meal should look like. In New Zealand the trend is for more protein and more carbs than vegetables even though we have the option to get them fresh or grow them ourselves. What I found really interesting is that potatoes, corn, parsnip and banana are treated as carbohydrates in this diagram because that is how our body treats them. Protein isn't just fish and meat either; it also includes dairy, eggs and legumes (beans, chickpeas and lentils).

Serving sizes are something else that we seem to have got all wrong.Our bodies only require 1-2 servings of protein a day and that serving should be the size of your palm. That steak you had for dinner last night was probably 3 or 4 servings, yikes! A serving of carbs is about a fist - one cup of rice, one slice of bread. At least with fruit and veges we can eat to our hearts content, well almost. As you know the government recommends 5+ a day and my dietitian says you should always have one more serving of vegetables than you do fruit. So to make up your 5 if you have 2 pieces of fruit you need to have 3 servings of vegetables.

Does this seem like a lot to process? It does for me too. Just think of the image of your plate and try to find ways to make your plate resemble the ideal meal, bit by bit.

In the next couple of weeks I will be starting a new weight loss programme called "Dance your Bootie Off." There are still spaces available if dancing and a diet plan sound like something you would be interested in. As part of that course I will be meeting with a nutritionist. I have no idea what the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist is but hopefully I'll find out!

Do you know what the difference is between a dietitian and a nutritionist? (that sounds like the start of a bad joke!) I just finished posting when I found this, so dietitian is more qualified by the sounds of things. Do you eat breakfast? How do you plan to adjust your meals to match the healthy plate?

Keep reading and you'll see less of me next time!

Weight: 93.5 (+0.1)

Special thanks to: Ian Tilley PhotographyKiwi Pole Fitness

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