Keys to Success
Healthy Eating for Life

Healthy Eating for Life

Good nutrition requires balance, moderation and variety in your food choices. It doesn’t mean you have to go hungry or miss out on great tasting food. Once you know how to make the best food choices it will not only give you great pleasure but it will also help you with healthy eating for weight loss and help you to maintain your healthy weight for life.



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and a chronic health condition such as osteoarthritis, high blood pressure / cholesterol or type 2 diabetes?
You (or they) may be eligible for an 18 week weight loss program (including KicStart VLCD) AT NO COST TO YOU.
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Read on for some additional simple healthy eating tips and ideas to help you :-

Hunger vs appetite

Biological hunger is the true physiological sensation in our body caused by the absolute NEED for food. It does not "go away" if you wait (eg. 15 minutes) before eating, it increases over time and alternative distractions will not reduce the craving. Emotional hunger or Appetite is the psychological desire or WANT for food or drink that can arise out of boredom or habit. It is likely to go away or decrease in intensity if you have a drink of water instead or distract yourself with another task. There is also an important difference between feeling hungry and not feeling full. We should all aim to at least feel a little bit hungry before we sit down to each main meal of the day.

Natural ways of reducing hunger

There are a number of ways to combat feelings of hunger. They include:-

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Increasing the amount of low energy-dense foods in the diet (*free foods)
  • Increasing the proportion of low Glycaemic Index (GI) foods
  • Consuming adequate portions of protein (low-fat varieties) in the diet
  • Always having something for breakfast (KicStart™ is ideal for rushed mornings)

Water and good nutrition

The benefits of drinking enough water during a weight management program are enormous. It fills your stomach, acts as a natural appetite suppressant, quenches your thirst and is vital for flushing the wastes created by fat metabolism out of your system.

Many people don't consider the contribution drinks can make to their overall energy intake. For instance a can of soft drink, a 400mL glass of orange juice, a 200mL glass of wine and a 425mL glass of beer each contain approximately 600kJ of energy. In order for the average 80kg person to expend that amount of energy, they would have to walk briskly for almost a half an hour.

Aim to drink at least 2 litres of water each day instead of other calorie-filled drink options.

TIP: measure 2 litres into your personal water bottle and keep it with you to drink from it progressively during the day.

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Free Foods

Using Free Foods and your imagination you can prepare a “guilt free” tasty snack or small meal to go with a KicStart™ shake. Any combination of the low energy density foods listed can be consumed at any time during the day because they do not contain enough food energy (kilojoules or calories) to have a significant impact on body weight.

Vegetables: - eaten on their own or made into a hot salad, cold salad or dry roasted:

Vegetables: - eaten on their own or made into a hot salad, cold salad or dry roasted:
Fresh Tomato celery peas pumpkin
dill pickles cucumber broccoli garlic
silver beet watercress capsicum onion
asparagus cabbage sprouts spinach
brussel sprouts bean sprouts cauliflower radish
zucchini green beans choko eggplant
mushrooms bamboo shoots ginger carrot
pumpkin lettuce    
Fruit: Drinks:
rhubarb water clear soup
strawberries diet cordial plain mineral water
berries (fresh/frozen) diet soft drink vegetable juice
passionfruit Bonox™ tomato juice
lemon soda water soup made from free vegetables
  tea or coffee with low fat milk and no sugar
(use artificial sweetener as required)
Condiments: Some Snack Suggestions:
pepper low sodium soy sauce vegetable dip (e.g.. eggplant )
herbs fat free salad dressing vegetable sticks
spices vinegar salsas
tomato sauce sweet pickles soups made from free vegetables
Worcestershire Sauce™    


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Low GI Foods should be included in your Eating Plan

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the human body. There are important differences in the way our body breaks down and absorbs the carbohydrates we eat. The Glycaemic Index (GI) provides a measure of how quickly this occurs.

Foods that have a high GI (eg. A score of 60 or more) are quickly absorbed and therefore increase blood sugars quickly and more significantly after consumption.  Those that are low GI (eg. less than about 40) are more slowly digested and result in a slower, more moderate rise in blood sugar.

Foods that have a low GI may help control feelings of hunger by increasing satiety ("feeling full") for longer  than high GI foods and therefore can help to decrease total food intake.


When we eat proteins they are broken down in our digestive tract and used by our bodies to make new proteins for various things such as enzymes, muscles, hair, nails and skin. Protein can also be used by our bodies as a source of energy.

Protein can be of animal or vegetable origin. Principal sources are: meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, cereals, nuts, peas, beans and lentils.

Having adequate protein in the diet (especially low fat sources) is important for hunger satisfaction. Some proteins are very rapidly digested and absorbed (e.g. whey protein) which results in a quick satisfaction of hunger which lasts for about 2 hours. Other proteins are significantly slower in their digestion and absorption (e.g. caseinate protein) and can produce feelings of fullness which are sustained for many hours. 

Simple ways to avoid oversize portions of food

  • Use smaller plates to serve home cooked meals - get used to seeing your meals as smaller on the plate, this way your hunger level will decrease to meet the amount of food served
  • Include a protein portion about the size of the palm of your hand and fill the rest of the plate with vegetables or salad
  • When you are eating out consciously try to reduce the portion size that you order and don’t order the side of chips or wedges
  • Limit take-away food as much as possible, or if you do have it, don’t “super size” your order

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Increase Fibre

Dietary fibre is a vital part of a balanced diet and should be an essential part of all healthy eating plans. Fibre is filling but it contributes very little to your daily caloric intake.

Fibre comes in two forms – Insoluble Fibre and Soluble Fibre – and most vegetables and fruits have some of both. Soluble fibre can help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Insoluble fibre acts like a sponge holding water and helps digested food move quickly through the gut (sometimes referred to as roughage).

Some advantages of increasing fibre in the diet:

  •     More "filling" and therefore helps you eat less
  •     Leaves less room for fatty foods
  •     Improves bowel movement
  •     Decreases constipation
  •     Reduces the risk of bowel cancer
  •     Can help lower cholesterol levels
  •     Is low in total energy (kJ)

Simple ways to start increasing your fibre intake:

  • Eat at least 5 servings of (assorted colour) vegetables and no more than 2 servings of fruits per day
  • Choose wholemeal or wholegrain breads
  • Choose wholegrain pasta, brown rice, traditional oats and high fibre cereals
  • Eat more legumes, beans and lentils

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Reduce Fat

Good fats vs bad fats & how much fat?

All fats have the same amount of kilojoules (or calories) so the terms "good fat” and “bad fat" refer to the potential for a particular fat to increase the risk of disease rather than how much energy it contains.

The three forms of fat found in foods are:

  • Saturated Fats - can cause a person's bad cholesterol (LDL) to rise and may increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer and heart disease. Some common sources of saturated fat are non-lean cuts of meat, butter, cheese, coconut oil and palm oil. These fats should only be eaten very sparingly.
  • Monounsaturated Fats - do not cause cholesterol levels to increase. When substituted for saturated fat in the diet it helps to lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and protects the levels of good cholesterol (HDL). Some common sources of monounsaturated fat are olive oil,canola oil, peanut oil and most nuts.
  • Polyunsaturated Fats - the two major categories of polyunsaturated fats are Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (also called Essential Fatty Acids) because they perform vital functions in the body and our bodies can’t make them. As such, sources of omega-3 and omega 6 must be included in the diet.

    Omega 3 plays an important role in the development, functioning and maintenance of the human brain, eyes and heart and also has a natural anti-inflammatory effect, which may be beneficial in joint health and for a number of inflammatory disorders. The best sources of Omega 3s are oily fish, (such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and rainbow trout), Canola oil, walnuts, and flaxseed. Sources of Omega 6 include eggs, poultry, many vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.

Simple ways to start reducing your fat intake:

  • Avoid adding butter, margarine, oily salad dressing or mayonnaise to your food
  • Avoid or limit sausages, processed meats, pies, sausage rolls and pasties
  • Trim visible fat from meat and take the skin off chicken, duck or turkey before cooking
  • Buy leaner cuts of meat (that are at least 90% fat free)
  • Drain fat off cooked mince and soups
  • Swap to reduced fat or skim milk
  • Minimise your total cheese intake and swap to low fat cheese
  • Use vegetable stock rather than oil for cooking where possible
  • Snack on fresh fruit and vegetables rather than biscuits and chips
  • Be careful of “fat free” claims – they can often be very high in sugar instead and it is the total energy content of food that affects your weight loss or weight maintenance efforts.

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Did you know....

Those who lose weight more quickly actually obtain greater weight reduction and better long term weight maintenance than those who lose weight slowly.
Int Journ Behav Med (2010) 17:161-167.