Hot Tips to help your Weight Goals from ANZOS 2016 Meeting

After attending the 2016 ANZOS (Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society) Conference in beautiful, balmy Brisbane last week I decided to summarise a few hot tips:

  1. Exercise is different to physical activity. Exercise is a planned activity with the aim of increasing fitness. While both are important, exercise has health benefits beyond activity performed as part of daily living such as gardening, shopping and using the stairs.Take home message: start scheduling some form of exercise 3 times a week. The best type of exercise will be one you enjoy doing.
  2. Relying on willpower to make diet and lifestyle changes can be difficult as willpower is a limited resource. As stress and interruptions increase in life our ability to employ willpower reduces. An alternative strategy is to introduce positive small changes to your routine. Keep practicing these until new habits develop. Take home message: A new habit is developed after about 2 months of sustained practice. Once the habit develops it no longer requires conscious effort or willpower and is easier to sustain.
  3. Care for your mental health. Stress and depression are common in Australia and have a big impact on our overall health. Take steps to build a self care buffer zone by: (1) Building supportive networks with friends, family and peers, (2) Take time to do things that make your heart sing (read a book, spend time in nature, visit the beach, listen to music), (3) Eat well on a Mediterranean style plan to feel well and; (4) Go for a walk.
  4. Excess sugar intake is a big problem to our health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends limiting our  consumption to 10% of total energy. This amounts to around 10 teaspoons of sugar per day for an average person. That means no more than 1 can of soft drink per day. If you have a chronic disease such as diabetes you should halve your intake again. Fruit juice is not a healthier alternative. High fibre, low GI and wholegrain carbohydrates are the best carbohydrates.
  5. Our microbiome plays a big role in our overall health. Microbiome refers to the bacteria that live in our gut producing substances that help maintain gut health and immunity. These bacteria are now thought to play a role in metabolic health including weight, heart & liver disease and diabetes. In just 3 days of poor diet (think a big weekend eating takeaway) our gut bacteria can change! A diet high in resistant starch, fibre and plant foods will help keep your gut bacteria healthy.

Are you keen for further advice on improving your health? Book an appointment with Susan Phillips (Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Nutritionist) to develop a personalised plan for you.



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