How would you feel if you popped into your local café for your latte and muffin and on your table there was a menu listing the calories in the drinks and cabinet food the café supplied. Would you like to know, or would you rather not?
Would it change your mind if you saw that your muffin contained 500 calories and your coffee 200 calories? Would you realise that you were having, as a snack, about 1/3 of your daily calories, maybe more for a small person. That is maintenance calories, not weight loss calories.
According to an article in last Saturday’s New Zealand Herald, many States in the U.S. have nutritional labelling in their fast food stores, where the calories are listed next to the food item on the menu. I struck this at a café in Queensland last winter too, where all their meals had a calorie content next to the item. Many of the meals were over 1000 calories and that wasn’t fast food, that was an ordinary kind of lunch.
I believe that one of the causes of New Zealand’s rate of increasing obesity is the fact that so many meals and snacks are bought. It doesn’t have to be a Friday night to drive through any village to see the cafes and restaurants doing a great trade. At the weekend, there is breakfast out, coffee and cake out, brunch out and so on. Add to that snacks consumed at the movies, snacks mindlessly bought when paying for petrol and of course all the nibbles and drinks when socialising, and it is no surprise that our waistlines are growing.
We are losing sight of how much and how often we eat food not prepared by ourselves. That doesn’t mean you can never eat out without gaining weight, but you do have to be mindful of what you are eating and drinking if you aren’t preparing the food.
How often do you eat in a day?
Are you a grazer or a picker? Are you someone who forgets to eat during the day and then comes home starving and simply can’t stop eating?
Lots of studies seem to point to it being better for weight loss and healthy living to have a decent gap between meals (3-4 hours at least) and then, an important one, is to have your last meal at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed and to have a 12 gap between your last meal of the day and your first meal of the next day. The 12-hour gap is generally pretty easy, as in if you have your dinner at 7pm, aim to have your breakfast no earlier than 7am.
Picking between meals can be the downfall of many people whose goal is weight loss. A few crackers here, a piece of cheese or chocolate there, grazing on kids’ leftovers, you know how it goes. If you were to diary every mouthful you would probably be surprised to discover how many extras pass your lips each week. If you want to keep an accurate diary, to see how you are doing, you can download one here.
Keeping your water cold tip
If, like me, you prefer to drink cold water, but don’t have a water cooler handy, try half or 2/3 filling your water bottle and then standing it upright in your freezer. When the water has frozen, simply top up with water and your water will stay cold for hours.
Note: the bottle will sweat when you take it out, so stand it in a holder or on a mat. Also, don’t do what I did the first time I tried this and lay the bottle on its side. Guess what? The lid was totally frozen to the bottle and impossible to get off or open.
Setting yourself a goal for 2018
Now that the kids are back at school and life has returned to some kind of routine for many of you, it is your time. Time to put yourself and your health and fitness goals for 2018 in place. Working on a healthier lifestyle for you, having more energy, eating better and exercising to help you deal with the stresses of everyday life. Isn’t that a very valuable goal for everyone? If you need help and advice to achieve this, drop me an email now and let’s do it.