Feel great at your healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can sometimes feel like an up-hill battle. Busy schedules, uninformed food choices and sedentary lifestyles can make it hard to keep active, eat well and live an overall balanced lifestyle, which in-turn can contribute to weight gain.
Yet keeping within your healthy weight range can minimise your risk of developing lifestyle-related health conditions (such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease), increase your energy levels and improve your confidence, allowing you to spend more time doing the things you enjoy.
In recognition of Healthy Weight Week taking place 13-19 February, we’ve sourced a few need-to-know facts about maintaining a healthy weight from the Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA), the Better Health Channel and Nutrition Australia, with a few easy suggestions to help you keep within your healthy weight range.
Did you know?
1. We need to move for at least thirty minutes a day
Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day will help you to manage your weight by burning un-used energy and will also reduce your risk of developing diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Playing a sport or training at the gym are great ways to achieve your daily thirty minutes. However, if you are unable to participate in these kinds of activities, even making small changes to your daily habits can make a huge difference. Try taking the stairs instead of an elevator, or getting off the bus a stop earlier and walking the rest of the way on your commute to work.
2. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
According to the DAA, people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight and are less likely to re-gain lost weight. Starting your day with a nutritious breakfast improves your energy levels, boosts your metabolism and stabilises your blood sugar levels, leaving you fuller for longer and less likely to binge on an unhealthy quick-fix later in the day.
3. (Some) fats are good for you
Many people may not know that some fats are actually good for you. Whilst a diet high in saturated fats and trans fats can often be the cause of high blood cholesterol and heart disease, unsaturated fats keep your cholesterol levels within the healthy range and are great for your skin, eyes, and brain.
The DAA recommends consuming unsaturated fats in small amounts each day by eating foods like avocados, fish and nuts and cooking with healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil.
4. Alcohol is high in kilojoules, empty in nutrition
According to Nutrition Australia, alcohol contains almost as many kilojoules as fat, at 29.3 kilojoules per gram compared to fat which has 37.7 kilojoules per gram. Yet despite the high energy, alcohol contains no nutrition. Which means that when drinking you’re actually consuming a lot of ‘empty’ kilojoules, which could contribute to weight gain.
To reduce your chance of weight gain, try moderating your alcohol intake. Australian health authorities recommend adults have no more than two standard drinks on any day and no more than four standard drinks on any one occasion.
When you do drink, choose a beverage that is low in sugar, such as wine, or a mixer like soda water with a spritz of natural lime juice.
For more information on healthy weight management check out these useful resources:
- Better Health Channel: Alcohol and weight gain
- Better Health Channel: Physical activity – it’s important
- Dieticians Association of Australia: What’s the best type of fat for a healthy heart?
- Dieticians Association of Australia: Where do I find saturated fats in food?
- Healthy Weight Week: Eat better to achieve a healthy weight
- Healthy Weight Week: 10 tips when drinking alcohol
- Healthy Weight Week: 10 tips to improve your eating habits
- Nutrition Australia: Balancing energy in and out
- Nutrition Australia: Breakfast