Three Maintenance Cheers

Three Maintenance Cheers

To begin, some maintainer’s statistics…

Weight that I decided to maintain at: 85.0kg (13st 5)

Average weight since getting to my target: 83.0kg (13st 1)

Average weight in the last month: 82.8kg (13st 1)

Away Eating days in the last month: 12

Average daily steps in the last month: 9,785

As the last month includes Christmas and the New Year, this is not too bad at all. There has been a tiny upward trend in my weight, but it’s only a slip of a few ounces, so it’s not a slide yet!

I have thought a lot recently about my much-blogged personal rule – Keep it Simple. I made it a rule three years ago because I soon found that getting down to a good weight was a tough target – just on its own. I knew that if I also had a second target (for example ‘eat healthily’) everything would become too complicated, and I would fail with both targets. I see all the time on the forums that people are trying to lose weight, move house, give up smoking and start a new job, all at the same time. Good luck to them, and I hope they succeed in everything, but I know myself well enough to know that I would make a mess of all of it!
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How to track extra nutrients

Many of us check food labels to try to eat a healthy diet – but it’s not always easy to know how we’re doing.

To give you greater insight into your diet, we now track 5 more nutrients – carbs, sugar, protein, saturated fat and salt – as well as calories and fat.

3 easy steps to track more in your food diary

On the website…

Get the big picture with all 7 nutrients showing in your food diary.

1) Go to ‘Settings’ and tick what you’d like to track.

2) Choose how columns are ordered in your diary by dragging and dropping. Then apply your changes.

3) Your diary now shows all of your chosen nutrients. Check your daily progress in the summary chart on the right.

In the App…

The App also tracks all 7 nutrients – but you can only choose one extra nutrient to track on your diary. Tap the icon top right, then use the scroller to choose.

We hope this extra information is helpful. But remember, if you’re trying to lose weight, it still all comes down to calories – so make sure you’re sticking to your target!

Is fat a 4 letter word?

Fats-1

Fat is certainly a hot topic at the moment! When it comes to weight loss and health, the advice around fat has always been to reduce it in our diet. But recently, some emerging evidence is putting this advice into question. So is fat really all that bad?

What we know about fat

The advice to reduce total fat in our diet comes from two angles:

1) The calorie angle – fat regardless of whether it is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ fat, is the most calorie dense nutrient, with 9 kcals per gram compared to 4 kcals per gram for carbs or protein. So cutting down on fat has a bigger impact on reducing calories overall….which is why it’s a good approach for weight loss.
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Protein – how much is too much?

Protein1

Nutracheck now tracks 5 more nutrients. In addition to calories and fat, you can now see how much sat fat, sugar, salt, protein and carbs you are eating. A key nutrient to track is protein. It plays a vital role in our diet as our body needs it for growth and repair, cell generation and immunity – just to name a few functions. But while it’s important to eat enough protein each day, it’s equally as important to not eat too much!  I’ll explain why…

What we recommend

As well as the extra tracking, we also give members nutrient guides to follow. We recommend the Well Balanced guide as a good place to start. It is based on official guidelines from the Department of Health and sets nutrient proportions that are considered to provide the right balance of important nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, protein, minerals and fats.

The Well Balanced guide recommends 15% of your daily calories should come from protein each day. This level is considered the appropriate amount for most people to get the level of protein their body needs.

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7 top tips for a healthier lower carb diet

low_carb

Carbs are an important part of our diet, so we shouldn’t cut them out completely. They are our body’s preferred source of energy and also high carb foods tend to be the primary sources of important nutrients, such as fibre, in our diet. But if you do want to cut down a little, follow our tops tips to get the most out of the carbs you do eat.

Tip 1.

Still include some carbs with each meal – just cut the portion and eat a little more protein.

Tip 2.

Swap spaghetti for a veg alternative such as courgetti.

Tip 3.

Swap rice for a veg alternative such as cauliflower rice.

Tip 4.

Switch sandwiches to open or club versions to cut down on bread.

Tip 5.

As you are reducing carbs, ensure what you do eat is the very best quality – see below.

Tip 6.

Limit refined carbs such as cakes, biscuits, sweets and chocolate.

Tip 7.

If exercising, remember carbs are an important source of energy, so time a carb snack for before and after your training.

 

As your total carbs are reduced, ensure the ones you do eat are the very best quality…

 

Best quality carbs to eat

Refined carbs to limit

fruit

Whole wheat carbs

sweets

Refined carbs

fruit

Pulses

sweets

Confectionery

fruit

Fruits & Vegetables

sweets

Sugary drinks

fruit

Wholegrains

sweets

Desserts

fruit

Potatoes with skin on

sweets

Sugary cereals

8 tips for reducing sugar in your diet

Too-much-sugar
There’s no official figure, but UK labelling uses a guideline (target) of 90g per day based on a 2,000 calorie/day diet, which is 18% of total calories from all sugars – added AND naturally occurring – this is the target Nutracheck uses. What’s most important is the SOURCE of sugar in your diet. We should be trying to get most from foods with naturally occurring sugars, not added. Sugars within foods such as fruits, vegetables and milk come with a whole host of other nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Try the following…

Tip 1.

Switch to sweetener in tea & coffee (or cut out sugar altogether if you can)

Tip 2.

Opt for no added sugar soft drinks or just stick to water

Tip 3.

Limit your intake of high sugar foods such as sweets, chocolate and cakes

Tip 4.

Choose lower sugar cereals such as Weetabix, Shredded Wheat and porridge – add fresh fruit for sweetness

Tip 5.

Choose unflavoured yogurts and add fresh fruit for taste

Tip 6.

Check the label on readymade meals, sauces and soups for unexpected sugars

Tip 7.

Aim to get your sweet tastes from fruits, vegetables and milk sugars e.g. yogurt, to get added nutritional benefits

Tip 8.

Limit portion size and frequency of dried fruit – it contains natural sugar, but as it is dried, it’s a condensed source

Sugar in your diet should come mostly from natural sugars in food, try to limit added sugars…

 

Foods with natural sugars

Foods with added sugars

fruit

Fresh fruit

sweets

Confectionery

veg

Vegetables

icecream

Desserts

milk

Milk

cereal

Sugary cereals

yogurt

Yogurt

fizzydrink

Sugary drinks

sauce

Some sauces

Note! Some foods may contain a combination of natural and added sugars, such as flavoured yogurts, cereals with added fruit and ready meals.

Chris’s ‘Around the UK Rowing Challenge’

Chris-Angel-Map-Mockup

Chris Angel lost 9 stone in 2014 and was Nutracheck’s Inspirational Member of the Year. Since then, he’s stayed with Nutracheck and we’ve followed Chris’s journey after losing the weight. Looking back to 2014, things were very different…

The stark moment of truth

inspirationalmember2

The turning point for Chris came on New Year’s Day in 2014. He tipped the scales at nearly 22 stone (139 kilos) – his heaviest weight ever.

“I was the biggest I had ever been and my health was suffering. I had high blood pressure, I was pre-diabetic and given my father had type 2 diabetes, I was at a high risk. My GP gave me a stark choice: take medication to control my blood pressure and the onset of diabetes – or lose weight”.

Aged only 46, it was a harsh wake up call. Chris realised that the only person who could change things was himself and so his journey began.
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A healthy balanced diet made easy!

Well-balanced

New for 2017, Nutracheck now tracks 5 more nutrients. See how much sugar, carbohydrates, protein, saturated fat and salt you are eating – as well as calories and fat. We’ve added the extra tracking to give you greater insight into your diet. And to help you understand how much you should be eating of each, we’ve added Nutrient Guides created by our nutritionists. The first guide we are introducing is ‘Well Balanced’ – as this is the one we set for everyone.

What is a ‘healthy balanced diet?’

The calorie content of all the food you eat is made up from three main food groups – carbs, protein and fat. Carbs and protein contain 4 calories per gram and fat contains 9 calories per gram. Some foods will be higher in one or the other of the main nutrients for example chicken is largely protein and cheese is mainly fat. It’s the overall balance of what you eat across the day that it’s important to get right – and our new tracking makes this easy to check.

The Well Balanced nutrient guide

This guide is based on current advice from the Department of Health which recommends that a healthy balanced diet should consist of 50% calories from carbohydrates, 35% from total fat and 15% from protein. Within this no more than 11% of total calories should come from saturated fat. The maximum recommended amount of salt we should eat each day is set at 6g.

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