Thursday, November 29, 2012

Surviving the Christmas Bulge

With less than 4 weeks until Christmas... the silly season has begun. Did you know, on average, Australians put on 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas period? This blog is packed full of useful tips on surviving the festive season and beating the bulge. So read on for smart food swaps, healthy nibble ideas and ways to incorporate exercise.


Healthy Food Swaps

- Swap regular hommus for skinny hommus (save 140kJ per 2 tbsp)
- Swap water crackers for carrot and cucumber sticks with dips (save 215kJ per 4 crackers)
- Swap potato chips for wholegrain chips (lower GI)
- Swap chocolate for chocolate dipped strawberries (save 944kJ/ 225 cal per 4 squares)
- Swap party pies for tuna sushi (save 398kJ and 5g fat)

How many calories in that?

A big reason for weight gain during the holidays is the nibbles that flow at parties. A party pie here, a mini quiche there,chips, dips and crackers and you've blown your calorie bank for the day! Remember we should aim for no more than 1200kJ in total for snacks for the day; either 3 x 400kJ snacks or 2 x 600kJ snacks.
High calorie nibbles:
- Handful potato chips 577kJ/ 138 cal
- 4 Jatz crackers with full fat cheddar cheese 750kJ/ 179 cal
- 1 small mince pie 802kJ/ 192 cal
- 1 party pie 539kJ/127 cal
- 2 chocolate Lindt balls 669kJ/ 160 cal

- 1 spring roll 2066kJ/ 495 cal
Low calorie nibbles:
- Carrot & celery sticks with 2 tbsp skinny hummus 306kJ/ 73 cal

- 10 cherries 100kJ/ 25 cal
- 20 grapes 335kJ/ 80 cal
- Small punnet strawberries 262kJ/ 63 cal

- 1 vegetable rice paper roll 396kJ/ 95 cal
- Skewers with 1 bocconcini ball and cherry tomato 386kJ/ 92 cal

No time for exercise?

You may feel like you're too busy to exercise with all the hustle and bustle of Christmas. However, with all the extra food being consumed, it's important to burn the extra calories with some exercise. Try and incorporate some exercise into your festive occasions.

- Game of backyard/ beach cricket
- Walk around the neighbourhood to view Christmas lights
- Swimming in the pool
- Park the car further away from the shops when Christmas shopping

*kJ values sourced from Calorie King

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What's making news in nutrition this month?

A Black cuppa a day keeps Diabetes Away

Data published in the BMJ Open journal showed the prevalence of Type II Diabetes is lower in countries where black tea consumption is high. Another reason to have a black cuppa... 

The Benefits of Interval Training

More emerging evidence is showing interval training is one of the most effective ways to burn calories, increase your metabolism and improve fitness. A recent study showed doing interval training for 20 minutes 3 x a week was more effective than jogging for 7 hours. In this study the participants did 20 minutes on an exercise bike 3 x a week, doing 8 seconds of fast pace cycling at a level that elevates heart rate and 12 seconds at a moderate, slower pace. 

Key findings from Australian Health Survey 

63.4% of adults are overweight or obese, an increase from 61.2% in 2007-08. The average man (18 and over) is 175.6cm tall and weighs 85.9kg. The average woman is 161.8cm tall and weighs 71.1kg. Between 1995 to 2011-12, the average weight increased by 3.9kg for men and 4.1kg for women. On average, men have a waist circumference of 97.9cm while women have a waist circumference of 87.7cm. How do you measure up against the average?