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Archive for the ‘Diet Therapy’ Category

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Politically Correct

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Did you know that the majority of Canadians feel that health care is or should be the government’s top priority during its administration both on a provincial and federal level? Did you also know that over 30% of health care costs come from preventable illness and diseases DIRECTLY related to obesity?

And yet it is considered rude or politically incorrect to say anything about it to the offenders themselves. When you see an obese child eating a big-mac and some fries – what thoughts cross your mind? What do you think when you see a morbidly obese person walking down the street eating a bag of chips? Do you say what you are thinking? Of course not! None of us do because it would be bad manners and we don’t want to hurt any one’s feelings.

And that silent acceptance has turned what was once an anomaly into a health care crisis of epidemic proportions. It is now a litigious offense to not allow access to a restaurant, theater or mode of transportation to anyoo  based on their size, even if they don’t fit! You can’t dare charge someone for two seats on a plane – even if they take up three – for fear of being sued. Suddenly everyone has become so politically correct andafraid to offend that no ne is willing to stand up and say that this is not acceptable! It costs billions of dollars in health care – taking away funding for people suffering from unpreventable illness, it is destroying the health of our country as a whole and is slowly killing our children. No oneeven seemed to blink when they changed the name of ‘Adult-Onset Diabetes’ to ‘Type-2 Diabetes’ because so many children were being afflicted with the lifestyle-related disease, something that was unheard of 30 years ago! We demand more funding for health care, more money for phys-ed classes, more money for everything and yet the solution doesn’t lie with the government or with more funding (never has more money been spent on health care that it has in the past decade and yet it isn’t nearly enough), the solutions lies as it always does – at the root of the problem.

Everyone knows that the less junk you eat and the ore you exercise, the healthy you are. Everyone knows that a carrot is a better snack than a doughnut and that 1 hour of baseball is healthier than 1 hour of x-box any day of the week – even children know that. The problem isn’t with getting people to understand what is right and healthy for them and their children, they know. The problem is getting them to do it! All of the pay off – all of the short-term rewards in society (at least where healthy lifestyles are concerned) come from doing the wrong thing. Fast food is easier. Video games make great babysitters. Sports are more expensive than TV. Pizza pops are an easier lunch than a sandwich when you are pressed for time to get out the door in the morning. And it is just easier to give in to a demand for Pepsi when you know water, juice or milk is really what they and you should have… Short term gain for long term pain.

It is so much easier to concentrate on those short term pay-offs than to deal with the alternatives and put energy and effort into doing the right things because well sometimes they are hard. No mother likes to hear her child cry, and it is so hard not stick to broccoli when they are screaming for french fries. It is so hard to go for a walk after dinner when you have worked all day than it is to sit and watch TV. And lets face it, planning andpaying for healthy snacks is much more difficult than opening up a bag of chips. I understand it – I really do! It is even more difficult when it’s all you have ever known and you try to change – even your body betrays you buy craving the fat andsalt you have grown it accustomed too! If you find it hard to say no – imagine how hard it will be for your children in 20 years when the word has been completely foreign to them their entire lives. Children live what they learn and they will follow in your footsteps.

So if people know the right thing to do but choose to do the wrong thing anyway – how do we as a society change that? Some may even be asking – Should we? Well, when it came time to change the way that the Country viewed smoking, we sure did think that society had a right and even an obligation to get involved in people’s personal choices and what they did with their bodies – because it affected society as a whole. that is the point of a democracy – to do what is best for the majority and look at what that attitude has done in the past 10 years on that front. No more smoking in public places – rules where you can smoke outside andincreased taxes on cigarettes to discourage the practice even more. we have also all heard stories of smokers being denied government-funded surgeries or treatments because they refused to quit. Has it worked? Look around next time you go out for dinner or for a few drinks – smokers used to be the majority because it was the popular thing to do and totally acceptable – that is no more. Some will argue that these laws an policies interfere with individual rights and you know what – I agree, they do and they should! Because when individual choices negatively affect society as a whole, they need to be taken away.

Perhaps these types of incentives are needed to get people to see obesity in a different light – not as an individual freedom, but as a problem that affects society as a whole. Perhaps if we weren’t so afraid of offending people andstood our ground saying that this behaviour is NOT acceptable, we would start to see a change. If you take up two seats, you pay for two. If you can’t fit – you don’t go. If you refuse to change lifestyle you lose free health care for those related illnesses. What is obesity was no longer considered a disability? What if we started referring obese children to Child and Family Services for intervention and home studies? What if we started seeing it for what it is, a choice? Would that change the attitude people have towards solving the problem? Health care is free, mental health is free,  dietitians are free – in Canada there is no excuse for not taking charge and being responsible for your own choices. There is so much help available – so many people willing to help that we can stop this epidemic and change the way our country is growing – giving us and our children a chance at a healthy and happy future. Isn’t that what we all what?

***the definition of obesity is being at least 20% over ideal weight as determined by body fat percentage or body mass index***

Posted in Diet Therapy, Weight Loss | 86 Comments »

Calorie Tracker

Monday, April 5th, 2010

With the launch of our new FREE calorie and exercise tracking software https://www.butterflyconsultations.com/diettherapy I thought I should say a few words about calories and what the heck they mean.

Everyone is different – we all have different Base Caloric Requirements – that is the amount of calories we need to eat every day in order to stay exactly the same size as we are, doing what we normally do. It changes based on body weight, composition, activity level and of course metabolism and can’t really be guessed at – you need a pro to determine yours (someone like me lol) – but we can hazard some pretty good guesses.

At no time should ANYONE consume less than 1500 calories a day unless they are under strict supervision by a doctor, dietician or nutritionist – 1500 calories MINIMUM because your body needs food for energy and it burns those calories doing everything from thinking and blinking to digesting and sleeping. And most of us do not require more than 2000 calories to maintain weight. So it is a safe guess to assume that your base caloric requirement is somewhere between 1500 and 2000.  And as simple as it may seem, losing weight isn’t just about lowering your calories, but is is a very good start.

So if you choose to track your calories with our software or with anyone else’s, keep in mind a few basic weight loss facts:

  1. Keep your calories spread out throughout the day, 3 meals, 3 snacks.
  2. Eat a variety of foods (55% of those calories need to come from complex carbs so don’t skimp on the grains!)
  3. Choose foods from all food groups, making leaner and lower-fat choices whenever possible.

Three quick and easy weight loss tips that are simple and easy to follow. Make them a habit and keep your calorie intake between 1500 and 2000 (more if you get regular exercise, less if you don’t) and you are on your way to creating a whole new lifestyle and have started on the path to sustainable weight loss, the healthy way.

I am always available for advice – here, on our forum or in person, and if you want your eating habits analyzed and are interested in professional recommendations, our software is embedded with the capability to be directly sent to me in confidence! You don’t have to be a weight loss client or even interested in weight loss – maybe you want to gain, maintain or just eat healthier – regardless of your goals, I CAN HELP. A single analysis is only $50, 3 for $100  and there is no commitment for anything other than feedback – no in person counselling, everything can be done online. Contact me if you have any questions.

Regardless of whether or not you are interested in an analysis or further consultations, I hope that this software helps you and your family get a better idea of what you are doing and what you culd be doing for a healthier and happier life! YOU DESERVE IT!

Posted in Diet Therapy, Fitness, Weight Loss | 24 Comments »

Stop the Abuse!

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

I know that this is going to be a controversial post, but I feel that it needs to be said. Over the weekend my family and I were staying at a hotel in the city and while watching my 4 year old in the pool, I was astounded to see at least half a dozen children under the age of 10 or 12 who were obese, some perhaps morbidly obese. It was both saddening and infuriating.

Working with weight, and counselling people with weight issues, I understand the problems. I understand the personal conflicts, the esteem issues, the addictions, the emotionality of over-eating. I am aware of chemical and hormone imbalances and how they effect metabolism. I get it. I honestly do, I get it and I am dedicated to working with people to overcome them all to live healthier and happier lives. But what I don’t get is why any parent, would perpetuate all of that on to an innocent child. Unless the child is the one buying the groceries, cooking the meals or choosing and paying for the restaurants – it is the parents who are responsible for and to blame for their child’s weight. 

You don’t need to be a nutritionist or a specialist to understand what types of foods are good and which are bad for your children and that 8 hours a day of TV isn’t as good as playing outside. As a matter of fact with the media coverage and national campaigns for health it is easier than ever to get the information and help that you need to make better choices for your family. I don’t understand why it happens or why more parents are working to correct it when it does,  is it shame? Laziness? Apathy? 

Whatever it is – it needs to stop. Our children are our future, they will take care of us, lead our country and perpetuate the future – things they can’t do if they don’t live to be 30 or can’t get off their couches. We owe it to them to give them the best chance we can and that starts with a healthy beginning. If you don’t want to take care of you – can’t you at least take care of them?

Posted in Diet Therapy, Weight Loss | 15 Comments »

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