09/01/2001 - 21:00

Kick off the kilos

09/01/2001 - 21:00

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Christmas and New Year celebrations are the ultimate “Get-out-of-being-healthy” card of life. Never will you find a better excuse for inactivity, over eating and alcohol consumption.

Kick off the kilos
Christmas and New Year celebrations are the ultimate “Get-out-of-being-healthy” card of life. Never will you find a better excuse for inactivity, over eating and alcohol consumption.

If you are one of the many who have spent any part of the last couple of weeks sitting on a boat out at Rotto sinking a few cold ones, or heading down south to get closer to nature (which as we all know is a PC way of saying getting closer to vineyards) then take heed that your scales aren’t the only ones in town complaining.

It seems a suspicious irony that New Year’s resolutions along the line of “I’m going to drink less, eat healthy and exercise more” are often uttered while drinking, eating and sitting on your bottom in a tent at the Perth Cup.

Fear not, there are a few simple ways to get back on track and shed the pounds understandable overindulgence has bestowed on you.

Stuart McDonald, owner/operator of Utopian Whole Health and Fitness, says there’s no need to kill yourself trying to get back into the swing of things.

To the contrary this fitness expert recommends taking it slowing and avoiding placing high expectations on what your body needs to get it back into pre-Christmas shape.

“I would advise people just to ease themselves into it, starting with a brisk walk,” Mr McDonald said.

“A brisk walk does just as much as a jog, and puts a lot less stress on the body. I would start off with 20 minutes to half an hour - that’s a bare minimum and then once they’ve built up a little bit more you would probably want to aim for 30 to 45 minutes a minimum of three times a week.”

Yep, according to Mr McDonald it’s as easy as that, in fact he claims that, “Walking is the most efficient way of burning calories”.

It’s not exactly a trade secret that the key to loosing the Santa-like beer belly or the New Year’s wine-thighs is not only a bit of exercising, but also a little food watching. While January and February often bring a plethora of quick fix diets (and let’s face it who doesn’t want a quick fix) any dietitian will tell you that they’re more lights and mirrors than real magic.

According to Boris Kazakov, dietitian, owner/ operator of Diet Biz and consultant for Family Health Publications, any radical promises of weight loss are mostly just fluid loss.

“You get on the scales, you loose the weight and you’re quite happy about that but you can’t sustain those losses of three or four kilos in a week,” he said.

“Loosing three or four kilos should take you anywhere from three to six weeks.

“Obviously those foods that you’re consuming over the Christmas period need to have a real nudge.”

As does the drink; “If their aim is to loose weight, then , alcohol does contain lots of calories and calories do matter. So if you’re exceeding your calorie intake and your wondering, ‘Well I’ve cut back on my fatty foods but I’m not loosing weight,’ well you could still be exceeding your calorie intake.

“It doesn’t have to be radical. What you need to do is reduce your intake of fats and have more ‘ground origin foods’ such as bread, pasta, fruit and vegies, legumes.”

And while you’re weaning yourself off the super taste of the full-fat foods of December don’t be fooled by low-fat products.

“People seem to get a false sense of security from fat-free foods,” Mr Kazakov said.

“The calorie count (in low-fat products) may well be exactly the same as the original product, or in some cases higher.

“What your after is the lowest calorie food content as possible, people must be aware of what’s in food in terms of food labelling.

“Look at the fat content. Look at the calorie content per serve. Look at how big the actual serve is. Often people eat twice or three times the serving size.”

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