Kick-start better health: Here’s some food for thought

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Helen’s 10 healthy habits to start today:

  1. Skip the fads: Fad diets might bring quick weight loss results, but they don’t work in the long term. So, ditch the fads and focus on sustainable changes to make a real difference to your health and wellbeing.
  2. Focus on eating regularly: Be prepared with healthy snacks like nuts, cheese and crackers, fruit and yoghurt, to avoid crashing and burning or overeating at the next meal.
  3. Watch out for portion distortion: When eating out, opt for an entrée sized meal rather than a main, and never be afraid to leave food on your plate if you’re already satisfied.
  4. Start with the right fuel:Breakfast eaters are slimmer than those who skip a morning meal, and tend to make healthier choices throughout the day.
  5. Everything in moderation: There’s no need to deprive yourself of the foods you love. Enjoy a wide variety of foods, including ‘treat’ foods – everything in moderation!
  6. Clear fluids for a clear mind: Go easy on the alcohol, and cut out empty kilojoules in soft drinks – sticking to tap or sparkling water will save you around 700kJ.
  7. Get moving: Get your heart rate up for 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise each day.Take the stairs instead of the lift, or park a little further away from the shops, it all counts!
  8. Start a food diary: Writing down everything you eat and drink helps to highlight areas you can improve. This canbe really helpful, but watch out if you’re becoming obsessive about what you eat as a result of diarising your meals. If so, back off turn to other techniques such as mindfulness
  9. Fill up on fibre: Fibre-rich foods like fruit and veggies, wholegrain bread, pasta and cereals help to keep us feeling fuller for longer, and less likely to reach for the biscuit tin mid-morning.
  10. Up your veggies: Less than one in ten Australians eat enough vegetables, and adding in a few extra serves is a simple first step toward healthier eating. Start by bulking up pasta sauces and mince-based meals with grated vegetables like carrot and zucchini, or make a big pot of vegetable soup and portion out for weekday lunches.
  11. Seek support:An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is your diet coach – providing you with tailored, expert advice and support to help you achieve your goals. Visit the ‘Find an APD’ section of the DAA website – or reach out to me, Helen Barnett at, or make an appointment online at

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