Ditch the diet

Summer is always the catalyst to kickstart weight loss. And according to new research, New Zealand women are stressed about what they should eat, and one in four want to lose weight - 15kg to be exact. Editor Trudi Brewer chats with Nutritionist Nikki Hart on how to feel good about what we eat and start summer with a positive vibe.

 The latest kitchen tool to take the stress out of healthy eating.

The latest kitchen tool to take the stress out of healthy eating.

What woman has not tried dieting to fit the fashion of her dreams? From vegan to paleo, the 5:2 fasting diet, sugar-free and calorie counting there is a weight loss plan to suit anyone who is keen to shed those extra kilos. The Nutribullet Balance survey found in the last 12 months, eight in 10 of us had been on some controlled eating plan. Auckland based dietitian and nutritionist Nikki Hart believes, “Food trends constantly bombard us - we want health but we want luxury, we worry about obesity, but we want a quick fix, not a long-term plan. She adds “Our obesity statistics are showing us that we are still steadily gaining. Twenty years ago when I first started consulting 120kg was considered rare - now I regularly see people that are 140kg. Hart says it all starts with portion control when trying to maintain a healthy weight. That and making small changes, like increasing intake of water; vegetables and fruit along with moving regularly and getting enough sleep. “Most importantly, there is no such thing as good or bad food, because if we start associating those feelings with food, we start berating ourselves for being anything less than perfect."

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Aim to eat food in its whole form, and plant-based this will allow you to lose weight without dieting.
— Trudi Brewer

Here are Hart's tips to healthy eating.

Should we eat three big meals a day and no snacks, or small meals and snack?
There is no one right answer. Some people can get by with eating three meals a day, while others due to the intensity of their physical work or long hours need in between snacks.

Does skipping breakfast help with your weight loss?
Your liver glycogen (the storage of carbohydrate energy) drops to 20g overnight. Replenishing this in the morning boosts your ability to be cognitive and alert. If cereal or a toast based breakfast does not appeal, whizz up a breakfast smoothie. My favourite is a mix of oats, banana, yoghurt, apple juice, and frozen berries. Put these ingredients into the NutriBullet Balance, and it's the ideal breakfast for busy women on-the-go.

The latest Instagram trend is intermittent daily fasting? Does this work?
Day to day reducing of your total kilojoule intake by intermittent fasting may work for some people, however, the trick is not to play ‘catch up’ with those energy kilojoules you’ve negated by eating more at your next meal.

What healthy snacks should you reach for?
Healthy snacks are those based on their whole food form with minimum processing - hummus with veg sticks, fruit toast and unsaturated spread, yoghurt and fruit, unsalted nuts, grainy crackers, and low-fat cheese.

Does the 80/20 rule work?
Absolutely. Food is more than function, we celebrate and share experiences through food (the trick is not to make every meal and every snack a celebration). A Brioche on a Sunday morning is one of my 20 percent rules.

What rules do you live by?
I use my hands as my portion control tools, and I get my children to do the same. Your hands are the key to portioning for your body. For example the palm of your hand and its thickness should be the meat or chicken portion (the whole hand if its fish), of a meal, a clenched fist is an excellent way to visualise the potato, rice or pasta portion, and two cupped hands is your vegetable or salad, which is roughly half of the plate.

Once you lose weight how do you maintain it?
You can’t go back to old habits. Understanding overeating in the past and why you were overweight. And once you lose weight and become the right weight for your skeleton - don't slip back into those past habits.

What's your best weight loss tip?
Your weight is not tattooed on your forehead - you're so much more than just a number. Aim to eat food in its whole form, and plant-based this will allow you to lose weight without dieting.

 The bluetooth technology helps you create a personal profile that matches the best recipes for healthy eating.

The bluetooth technology helps you create a personal profile that matches the best recipes for healthy eating.

The new Nutribullet Balance creates the best smoothies, soups and bliss balls. It sinks to your smartphone via Bluetooth technology and takes the guesswork out of the boring job of calorie counting. Once you add the ingredients it measures fat, salt, protein and carbs via the blender cup, automatically tracking the nutritional information you need to stay healthy and shed those extra kilos. To find out more information and get some delicious recipes below.