Nutritionists offer some food for thought – and for survival

NUTRITIOUS home cooking and portion control were the Healthy Weight Week themes at Ballarat Health Services yesterday.

Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Centre and the Base Hospital were handed pumpkin and quinoa salad for lunch, along with a host of healthy recipes.

Ballarat Health Services accredited practising dietitian Kate Falconer and clinical psychologist Dr Renee VanDerHorst said they had emailed recipes to all BHS staff every day during the week, as well as passing on exercise tips and challenging unhealthy eating habits, such as yo-yo dieting.

“Avoid crash diets which are a risk to your health and only offer short-term results, with often all weight being regained plus an additional few kilos,” Ms Falconer said.

“Instead, aim to make small lifestyle changes to your eating and activity levels, which you can maintain for the long term and build up over time.

“Successful weight loss strategies should focus on nutrition and physical activity, as well as a healthy mindset.”

Ballarat Community Health (BCH) dietitians have offered supermarket tours, label reading workshops and individual consultations.

Dietitian Michelle Ryan said the focus was on ditching unsustainable quick-fix diets.

She said the latest statistics shows almost 64 per cent of Australian men and women aged 25 to 54 years are overweight or obese.

Ms Ryan urged people to adopt a long-term view when it comes to food and avoiding serious health problems.

“There are lots of diets at this time of the year that promise quick and easy weight loss. Sadly, the good results are just as quick and just as easily gone,” Ms Ryan said.

“I encourage everyone in Ballarat to look at how they cook and eat for long-term health. Making small changes, such as including more fruit and vegetables, or controlling your portion sizes, is where the best health gains are made.”

For more information,

contact BCH on 5338 4500.

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