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 Issue 66, May 2015  

Hello <<First Name>>,  

Are you on track with your health goals for the year?  In this issue of our popular and practical e-newsletter, we bring you tips to make ongoing healthy eating a reality.  Read on to learn:

  • How often you should step on those scales
  • How nutrients speak to your genes to block inflammation
  • Why mandarins are a perfect cool-weather snack
  • What salubrious sprouts can do for you
  • If olive oil and your fry pan really can be friends
  • Why our popular supermarket tour is so beneficial
  • Whether alcohol really is good for your heart

How Often Should You Weigh Yourself

Stepping on the scales is common practice among dieters who want to shed excess body fat.  But how frequently should you weigh yourself when attempting to successfully lose those extra kilos and keep them off?

It’s well known that regular self-monitoring methods, such as recording your physical activity, keeping a food diary and tracking your weight, are fantastic tools to assist with your weight loss and maintenance if you are overweight.  The question under debate though is how frequently you should track your weight.

Past advice

It was previously recommended that jumping on the scales daily may not be such a good idea as it won’t accurately reflect true weight loss (particularly body fat) since your weight tends to naturally fluctuate throughout the week – think body water fluctuations for one thing.  This is probably where the ‘weekly weigh-in’ rule originated, and this point may still have some validity.

The latest thinking

But evidence has been mounting over the past decade that more frequent weighing may in fact be the hallmark of success for dieters and weight maintainers.  How?  It may have something to do with maintaining your motivation due to the instant feedback you get, which helps keep you focussed. 

A new study from Tempere University of Technology in Finland found that the more frequently dieters weighed themselves, the more weight they actually lost!  Researchers have also shown that as the frequency of weight checks decreased – going from weekly to monthly and less than monthly – the larger the weight gained.  This suggests that if you only weigh yourself once a month, you will be more likely to gain weight in between, compared to if you step on the scales each morning.  Although this study cannot prove causation, it does demonstrate a distinct link between frequent self-monitoring by weighing yourself and successful weight management.  It has even been suggested that daily weighing may be useful in preventing age-related weight gain that seems to creep on! 

Other tools to help you self monitor

Living in the age of technology means there are many useful devices at your disposal that have been developed for health tracking. Just searching the word “health” in the app store generates 18,287 results. Using internet-based food and activity log books has been widely researched and found to be a useful strategy to promote weight loss. If you’re a smartphone user, you’ll find apps like My Fitness Pal and Easy Diet Diary which can help you easily track food intake and steps on the go, rather than struggling to recall your habits later on.

Other new forms of technology available to assist you include the popular Fit Bit or Jawbone. These types of devices allow you to record your activity, food intake, weight and sleep in the one place. And they can be synced with your smart phone and computer for ease of use wherever you are. Not only that, they are something you wear all day – another great reminder for you to keep on track each time you look down at your wrist!

Preventing weight regain

One of the biggest concerns we have as dietitians is for overweight people who struggle to maintain their weight loss. Often, weight regain occurs when clients have achieved their goal weight and wave us goodbye at the door, thinking they’ll now be fine. Yet research from the National Weight Control Registry indicates it takes between two and five years for weight maintenance to become easier! This means that even when you have achieved that magic number on the scales, the work is not over. You have just entered the “maintenance phase” of your weight management. This means you are at risk of weight regain if you take your eye off the prize. This is where professional accountability and self-monitoring methods (as discussed above) can be useful. In fact, a study published in the Annals of Behavioural Medicine, which compared a group of people who ‘weighed in’ daily to a group weighing in weekly, found that the daily group continued to lose weight after a 10-week maintenance period, while the weekly group actually started to regain some of their lost weight. This means that even in the “maintenance phase”, frequency of weigh-ins appears to have a significant impact on long term weight management!

In our opinion, a major problem with weight loss programs and fad diets is that they neglect this “maintenance phase”.  So as soon as you return to your normal routine, if you don’t have a maintenance program planned, the weight inevitably creeps back on.  Yet true weight loss is not about a temporary change in diet but a permanent change in your lifestyle, including what and when you eat.

The bottom line

If you are overweight, whether you want to lose weight or maintain a reduced weight, daily weighing appears to be an effective strategy for success. It allows you to observe any changes to your weight immediately and intervene before you experience significant weight regain. However, for a truer reflection of your actual body fat loss, it is still useful to look at weight trends over time. If you have a disordered body image, or are underweight, frequent weighing is not advisable. You should seek personalised advice from a dietitian and psychologist experienced in this area and the weighing scales may be removed entirely.


“There is no influence like the influence of habit." -  Gilbert Parker

What’s Cooking? – Gene Smart Foods to Fight Inflammation & Chronic Disease

Have you heard of inflammation? TIME magazine called it ‘The Silent Killer’.

This is because inflammation is an insidious process that affects multiple disease pathways in your body, bringing on early sickness and death.

The good news is there are ways to dampen inflammation so you can stay well.

Phytonutrients from plant foods, such as legumes and wholegrains, can talk to your genes to boost your body’s anti-inflammatory defense systems. They act as the control switch to turn off and on multiple genes that regulate the process of inflammation.

Your genes don’t have to be your destiny!

Join us at this fascinating cookshop to learn more about delicious anti-inflammatory wholefoods and discover pro-inflammatory ingredients that might be lurking in your fridge or pantry.  Hear about the safest cooking methods that avoid the formation of nasty inflammatory chemicals!

If you have a family history of heart attack, stroke, diabetes or cancer, what you are eating right now is even more important than you think!

This cookshop will open your eyes a little wider to protect your whole family.

It’s also a must if you already have insulin resistance, arthritis, asthma, psoriasis, gout, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease or obesity – conditions which are all fuelled by inflammation.

Learn how small changes in your kitchen can make a big difference to your health.

When: Tuesday, 2nd June 2015, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm             

Enjoy a delicious brand new tasting menu throughout the evening as well as recipes and handouts!

Learn more about our cookshops

Call NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to book your place.  Bring a friend and make it a date!

What’s Fresh – Mandarin

Did you know mandarins were first grown in ancient China? The mandarin first got its name from Imperial Court officials in China and grew in popularity among visitors touring the land. Spreading worldwide, this fruit is now commonly eaten among many and even used in festive traditions. For example, mandarins are a Christmas tradition in Canada, America and Russia! They are the treats Santa Claus leaves in stockings hung at the fireplace. Mandarins are also considered a symbol of abundance and good fortune for Chinese New Year.

Mandarins look like a small orange. They have a thick orange coloured outer skin with a flat top and bottom. If you peel away the skin, inside you will find deliciously sweet flesh pieces of mandarin. There are many varieties available in Australia, including Imperial, Ellendale and Murcott.

Just two small mandarins can provide you with a whopping 35 % of your daily dose of vitamin C. They are also a very good source of vitamin A for immunity and good vision as well as providing a source of dietary fibre to assist with bowel regularity and heart health. Further, mandarins are also a low FODMAP fruit, so for those of you who have trouble absorbing fructose, you can also enjoy mandarins!

The best time to start shopping for your mandarins is Autumn and Winter. They will start to disappear in the warmer seasons as they prefer a cooler climate. Choose a mandarin that feels heavy for its size. This will indicate a juicier fruit inside. To store your mandarins at home, place in the crisper section of your refrigerator and eat within a week of purchase for optimal freshness.

5 fun ways with mandarins:

  1. Mandarins make a perfect snack for school lunchboxes.
  2. Add some mandarin in a salad along with some fennel and parsley, then dress with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
  3. The sweet juice from your mandarins can make a perfect marinade for chicken or fish. The acidity helps to tenderise the protein in the meat.
  4. Create a fancy dessert by adding mandarin slices to a glass, layered with orange and cardamom custard and crushed nuts to top.
  5. Add a touch of zing to your wintery porridge with some mandarin segments and a drizzle of honey.

Food Matters with Sue Radd – Super Sprouts

Need to add some freshness to your winter warming dishes?  How about some salubrious sprouts?  Read Sue Radd’s article to discover why you should seek out these nutrition powerhouses and how to use more.

Virtual Supermarket Tour – Understand Food Labels Better to Lose More Weight & Improve Your Health

Do you spend hours in the supermarket not knowing which are the best products to choose?  Are you confused by the multiple claims, logos and nutrition panels vying for your attention? 

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, this event is for you!

To take control of your health, you need to understand how product labels work to compete for a share of your stomach. It’s more than just comparing figures to see what is highest or lowest for a given nutrient.  You need independent benchmarks you can carry in your wallet so you won’t be duped by stars, logos and clever marketing.

Join us for a virtual supermarket tour.  Over our two-hour session you will be coached on how to read the fine print and learn what to look out for, and gain the confidence you need to shop smarter for your whole family.  We’ll also get hands-on so you can pick up boxes, cans and other packaging to practise what you learn on the spot!

And you get to take home our pocket shopping guide and list of best brands!

When: Wednesday, 27thMay 2015             
Time: 6.30 pm – 8:30 pm

What people who attended previous events said:
“Loved it. Learned heaps. Can’t wait to go shopping!”
“The ‘Best Brands’ section answered a lot of questions I've wanted answers to.”
“Thank you for opening my eyes a little wider.”

Call today on (02) 9899 5208 to book and take charge of your health!

Food InFocus – Is Alcohol Good For Your Heart?

You’ve probably heard that a little red wine is good for the heart, but how much truth is in this statement?  And could alcohol raise the risk of other diseases?  Watch this short TV segment with Sue Radd to find out.

Kitchen Tips – Can You Fry With Olive Oil?

Some people believe you can’t fry with olive oil. Is this true?

Contrary to popular opinion you can safely cook, and even fry, with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) – it’s what they’ve been using in the Mediterranean for years!

EVOO is primarily a monounsaturated oil and it has a high content of vitamin E, which means it does not oxidise readily. Vitamin E helps stop fats in oils and nuts from going rancid (oxidising). Rancid oils are those that have used up their vitamin E. EVOO holds up as good or better than other vegetable oils. Additionally, it provides an abundant source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phyotnutrients that help retard the harmful changes that occur when heating other oils.

Some years ago a study from Newcastle University in Australia found olive oil could be heated up to 10 times before any breakdown in the fatty acid chains started to occur. Most oils can only be heated once!

The key thing with any oil is not to go above its smoke point. This is the temperature at which a cooking oil or fat begins to break down. The smoke point of olive oil depends on its quality. Research from the 1930s first showed the smoke point in olive oil increases as the level of free fatty acids decreases. This means that if you buy a top quality EVOO with a low free fatty acid level you can cook foods at higher temperatures – even up to around 220 degrees Celsius! Incidentally, the ideal temperature for frying is 180 degrees Celsius. So why would you want to fry at a higher temperature and produce an inferior product?

While we generally don't recommend deep frying, if you sauté, stew or choose to shallow fry your food occasionally, you can use EVOO. But its health-promoting phytonutrients are best preserved when used raw, like on bread or salad; when used in cooking at low heat; and when stored in a cool, dark cupboard.

The bottom line: You can cook with EVOO. Just buy a top quality product with a low free fatty acid content (as declared on the label), use it mostly raw or at lower cooking temperatures and avoid bringing it to its smoke point.

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