Easter break is definitely a time of year when many of us overindulge. Cue the hot cross buns, chocolate bunnies, soothing hot chocolates and all sorts of decadent chocolate treats. While it’s okay to treat yourself from time to time, it’s fair to say that many of us are now feeling the post-Easter bulge thanks to a sugar overload and inactivity.
Michael Dermansky, Senior Physiotherapist and Managing Director from MD Health Pilates, is passionate about helping people strike the perfect balance between fitness and nutrition for optimal wellbeing.
“Over this past Easter break many of us have been eating more and moving less – a perfect recipe for feeling fatigued, bloated and irritable” says Michael.
“This time of year, similar to Christmas, often serves as a wake-up call for many and there is often an influx of people taking up fad diets in an attempt to detox or even embarking on a gruelling exercise regime their body isn’t ready for”.
“Consistency and a smooth transition is far more effective than a quick fix if you want to achieve long-term results”.
Michael offers his top five tips for fighting the Easter bulge – and keeping it off. In addition to regular exercise, Michael suggests:
Small changes make a big difference: Often it is just about changing one or two small things in your diet that can mean the difference between losing weight and gaining weight. For example, replacing a muffin for morning tea with a banana and piece of toast has 2/3 of the kilojoules and 3 times the amount of fibre.
Skipping meals does not work: Skipping meals causes your body to go into starvation mode, which has 2 significant effects on your body. Firstly, it causes you to overeat when which increases your overall energy intake. Secondly, your body will work to store as much as it can as fat, to stop starvation in the future. This ultimately results in weight gain.
Muesli bars are not a healthy meal replacement: Muesli bars are very high in fat and are very energy dense, so they have a lot more kilojoules than you think. They are not very filling, so it is very easy to eat too much and add a substantial amount of kilojoules to your daily intake without realising it.
Watch the total kilojoules that you eat in a day: Whether you choose a high protein or high carb diet, both are very similar in terms of weight loss in the long term. The largest factor that affects whether your gain or lose weight is the total kilojoules you eat in a day compared to the amount you use. The hidden danger of many high protein diets is the amount of hidden fats in the proteins that you eat. This can affect your cholesterol, blood pressure without you knowing it.
Fibre is important: Most people do not eat the adequate amount fibre in their diets, which is a major factor in losing weight. Women should eat 25g of fibre a day and men 30g per day. Fibre has two major health benefits. Firstly, it reduces the amount of kilojoules absorbed in food and reduces your total energy intake without you having to reduce the amount you eat. Secondly, fibre reduces the absorption of cholesterol, protecting your arteries and your heart. The best source of fibre is fruits, not just cereals. For example, just 1 cup of raspberries contains 7g of fibre – that’s over a quarter of a woman’s daily fibre intake.
You can find out more about achieving optimal health through fitness and nutrition at www.mdhealth.com.au.