The question I am often asked is – What is the Secret to Staying Lean, yet still Eating Rice and Noodles? Variety is always a good thing as the old saying goes: “Variety is the Spice of Life”. The same goes with enjoying a wide variety of foods that are also healthy for you without causing any health or weight problems.
If you have read any of my blogs around Nutrition and Diet, you will know that I am a “Foodie”. I Love my Food – But it has to be Healthy, Tasty & Good for me. In this article I share with you some secrets when it comes to eating carbs and how you can still stay lean and even manage to lose weight
A couple of myths that I would like to clear up
1. Will Eating carbs make you fat? What the correct statement here is overeating carbs will make you fat. Atkins, Paleo and other diet programs looking at helping us to eat healthier. Never suggest not to eat any carbs. There isn’t a Doctor, Nutritionist, Bodybuilder or other health practitioner that will either. With our food it is all about eating the correct quantities and eliminating highly processed foods. Keeping them as close to nature as possible. This is relevant whether your goal is to lose weight, bulk up muscle, become lean or maintain a healthy weight. To also remain well and free from disease. By adjusting the ratio of macro nutrients (carbs, fat, protein) while keeping correct portion sizes so as not to overtax your digestive system. So looking at it this way, you will not balloon to the size of a sumo wrestler after eating one grain of rice for a whole meal. Of course not, you will become malnourished and deteriorate, becoming emaciated very quickly. So how about a large bowl of rice and for every meal? Most likely yes. So we are looking a quantity and also quality here. The type of rice, how much you eat and how often you eat it. The next myth is:
2. Japanese eat a lot of rice and noodles.
Actually modern Japanese people are eating less rice each year. Incorporating into their diet a wider variety of vegetables.
So looking at what is a healthy consumption of rice it is 119 grams of rice is roughly 31 grams of carbs a day. So as an example – a serving sushi say 2 – 3 rolls will have a wrapping or seaweed and usually a filling including rice. Then you could have a green tea great lunchtime meal. The majority of our Western culture eating has been promoted around packaged and processed foods. The problem here is not just the chemicals involved but the large quantities of sugar. Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. Health experts agree that purchasing foods with additional sugar should be avoided and to eliminate adding sugar to coffee, tea or baking. When baking cakes, biscuits etc replace sugar with honey, you use half the quantity as honey is a lot sweeter than sugar. Fruits such as bananas, berries are also healthy alternatives to sugar when baking.
3. So What about Noodles:
I like to sometimes eat noodles for lunch or they make an easy dinner by just adding some prawns, kale and pumpkin. Cooking Udon noodles or Rice noodles that don’t actually need cooking too much. Say 200 grams is a good portion size, use fresh fish or chicken broth. Then you can include foods such as spring onions, garlic, chilli, tofu, carrot, pumpkin, chicken, fish or prawns. Great easy, healthy meal, tasty and ready in about 20 minutes. You can add sprouts, bok choy and any other vegetables that you like.
What the Secret is to not becoming Obese: Losing or Maintaining a Healthy Weight!
The main culprit to the ever increasing obesity problem, now swooping the world is the introduction of fast food chains, increased packaged and processed foods available within supermarkets. Increased portions and servings of food, increased intake of soft drinks, sports and other commercially formulated drinks such as iced chocolate and iced coffee having huge amounts of sugar. Deep fried foods and the coffee drinking precinct with the main ingredient of the meal being a bun of some description for example focaccias. Lollies, dried fruits, chocolate all take priority at the supermarket and service station outlets.
What you can Do!
- Single serving portions. By far the biggest problem is portion sizes. So whether eating at home or in a restaurant keep your portion sizes small especially that of animal protein. The portion size here should be no bigger than the palm of your hand. You might ask why? Because this is the size of your stomach, any bigger and you will suffer digestive issues initially. Then further down the track other health problems. If you are opting for more food increase your vegetable intake and for after your main meal have say an apple, banana, pear, kiwi fruit or berries with some yogurt.
- No Soft Drink Refills. If you are eating out with the kids do not opt for the free soft drink refills these are a sure link to diabetes.
- Alcohol. Keep to the recommended quantity which is one to two glasses and stick to either beer or wine. The minute you have a spirit this is normally mixed with a soft drink of some description.
- Walk Everyday. Take brisk walk for 30 minutes. Now you can either do this separate to work, taking a walk around your neighbourhood in the morning or parking a half an hour away from your workplace then walking the rest of the way to work. In your breaks go for a walk around your work site or building.
- Exclude or Minimize. Processed foods: that is packaged or tinned foods/meals. Processed cold meats and fast foods that is anything that has not been cooked on the premises of the building from scratch. There is some homework for you.
- Water: Water detoxifies, supports healthy kidney and liver function. Not to mention supporting your brain health by being the courier for your vitamins and minerals.
- Quality over Quantity. Forget the cheap meals of all you can eat, the huge steaks and schnitzels these are your dietary nightmare.
- Choosing Restaurants or Take Away. There are restaurants and take away outlets that you can choose that cook at the restaurant: Chinese, Asian, Chicken shops – avoid deep fried at all costs.
- Avoid Supermarkets: I know there are times that you need to go to the supermarket, however firstly avoid going to the supermarket with children. Especially if you are likely to weaken, letting them have lollies or other junk foods treats. Do the majority of your shopping at your local butcher, green grocer or better still a local market near you.
Your Weight is Not Due to your GENES:
The one thing I will share with you here is that your weight has nothing to do with your Genes. It all boils down to “Diet and Exercise”. Gastric Bypass surgery does not change people’s genes or bone structures. Mind you most of the time this doesn’t change the way they eat either. Consequently the majority of people having this operation may initially lose a great deal of weight. Then either come to a plateau not losing any more then to become healthy. Quite often they will gradually put the weight back on, because they haven’t changed their eating habits or lifestyle.
The NIH (National Institute of Health): informs us that – Since the early 1960s, the prevalence of obesity among adults more than doubled, increasing from 13.4 to 35.7 percent in U.S. adults age 20 and older.
Australia is a Great Country a Wonderful place still to live let’s look at overcoming obesity by changing the Way we Think and Feel about Food: