Lifestyle / Dietary Advice

we firmly believe that both diet and exercise play vital roles in achieving health and well-being.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI gives an indication of your weight in proportion to your height. It can give a broad indication of whether you are over, under or within a healthy level for your height.

Guideline

Healthy 20-25
Overweight 26-30
Obese Over 30

Muscle controls your metabolic rate (energy levels) and the more muscle you have the faster your metabolism and more calories you burn throughout the day. Fat is relatively inactive.

The distribution of fat in your body is also an important indicator of future health. People who tend to gain weight in the abdominal area tend to have a higher risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke compared to those who gain weight in the hip area. In general men tend to gain weight in the abdominal area and women in the hip/backside area.

For health benefits, you should aim to include 30 minutes of moderate activity on 3 days a week. This can be walking, dancing, swimming, vigorous housework, gardening and DIY. For fitness and weight loss the intensity needs to be raised to a more vigorous level - at least 45 minutes of moderate activity on 5 days a week.

Resistance exercise (weights, body conditioning) is also very effective for weight loss, while activities like Pilates and Yoga are good for posture and flexibility.

Dietary Recommendations

Dietary Habits

It is important to have a long-term, balanced eating pattern rather than the "quick fix" dietary approach. Generally an eating pattern focusing on at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, together with 2 portions of lean protein, 3 servings of low-fat dairy, and high fibre/whole-wheat grains are best.

Breakfast

It is important to boost your energy levels and metabolism at the start of the day with a morning meal. Nutritious breakfast options include a high fibre/low-sugar cereals, porridge, fresh fruit and yoghurt, wholegrain bread & fruit juice, poached or scrambled eggs. Keep the higher fat options of croissants, muffins and full cooked breakfasts as occasional rather than regular choices and avoid sugary cereals.

Fluids

An adequate intake of varied fluids throughout the day helps the body work more efficiently helps the kidneys and liver to filter and cleanse the body and sweating during exercise prevents the body from overheating. Ideally you should drink 2 litres (about 4 pints) of water, juice or squash each day, whilst keeping your tea/coffee & caffeinated drinks intake under 4-5 cups a day, as they are dehydrating on the body.

Protein Intake

Ideally you should have red meat (without the fat) no more than 3 days a week with bias towards white meat (chicken/turkey) and fish (at least once a week).

Calcium

For healthy bones, and for fat metabolism, you need to include 3 servings of dairy per day (low fat if watching calories). If you avoid dairy, try calcium enriched Soya products. Other good sources of calcium in the diet include broccoli, green leafy vegetables (spinach) nuts (almonds), seeds, peas, beans and lentils.

Saturated Fat

As weight, body fat and cholesterol are a concern, you need to watch your intake of saturated fat in the form of fried foods, crisps, chocolate cakes, biscuits and pastries as well as red meat. These should be occasional treats rather than regular staples in any well-balanced diet, diet, regardless of any health concerns. Please refer to the enclosed dietary guidelines for further assistance with food choices.

Fruit & Vegetables

The target for health is to include a combination or 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day and more is fine, especially vegetables. The best way to obtain all the vitamins and minerals we need is to go for variety and include as many different colours of fruit and vegetables you can each day.

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