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Posted by: Anon | 2010/03/16

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I am a 33 year old woman, my BMI is 21.8, but I still look a little flabby. I have 2 children so it is hard to get enough exercise. I train for 25-30 min (Taebo) during my lunchtime from Mon to Thu. On Mon and Tue I sometimes am able to go for a 5km brisk walk, then I do +/- 15min conditioning, +/- 10min light weights (2kg). It is just the walk I am not always able to do, but then I try to do another 30min Taebo. Fridays I rest, but Saturdays I go for a 10km walk (0r 30min Taebo), and then I do the other exercises. Sun I rest again. I know I might not do enough exercises for me to look great, but what should I eat for me to try and look toned? There is no magical diet to reduce fat and increase muscle mass, however, a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise (cardiovascular and strength) can help you to achieve your goals. The key is to avoid excessive stimulation of insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that is stimulated by certain foods in the diet, specifically carbohydrates. Insulin is necessary to support life, however many people are terrified of insulin as it promote fat storage by inhibiting the action of the enzyme lipase that breaks down fat. Many diet restrict most if not all carbohydrates to avoid stimulating insulin, however, this is not desirable as carbohydrates provide many essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals and fibre) and they help to control blood glucose levels, which in turn helps to manage energy levels, concentration and satiety. The key is to select the correct type of carbohydrate and control portion sizes. Choosing whole grain, high fibre carbohydrates in controlled portions for meals and snacks will blunt the glucose peak in the blood stream after ingestion which in turn blunts the insulin surge. As a result the ‘fat storing’ of insulin are not of any significance. For best results: - Include: whole grain carbohydrates (whole grain bread/ crackers, high fibre cereal, oats, brown rice, whole wheat couscous, barley, corn, sweet and baby potatoes etc) in most meals and snacks in controlled portions. Try to avoid eating carbohydrates at night as insulin sensitivity is reduced. - Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables day (1 vegetable is ½ cup cooked vegetables or 1 cup of salad; 1 fruit is 1 piece of fruit). Bulk up meals with vegetables in the form of salad, cooked vegetables or vegetable soup so that you do not fill up on carbohydrate or too much protein. - Combine whole grain carbohydrates in a meal with lean protein, e.g. fish, legumes, eggs, fat free or low fat dairy, soya, lean chicken and meat. - Avoid saturated fats which are generally fats of animal origin (e.g. high fat dairy and cheese, fatty meats, chicken skin, butter). - Include a small amount of unsaturated fat (generally of plant origin) daily. You should give preference to monounsaturated fats e.g. olive or canola oil, avocado, nuts). Unsaturated fat contributes to insulin sensitivity of cells. - Ensure that you remain well hydrated throughout the day. Drink 1.5 - 2 litres of water (or non-caffeinated herbal teas) daily and more when you are exercising or if it is hot and humid.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSports Nutrition

Dear Anon,
<br/>
<br/>It is wonderful that you are active and interested in healthy eating. The best advice is to try to eat six smaller meals per day, instead of three big meals. This keeps the blood sugar levels within the normal limits so you do not get hungry as often. You can also try to include the following healthy dietary guidelines:
<br/>
<br/>Enjoy a variety of food
<br/>Make starchy foods the basis of most meals
<br/>Chicken, fish, meat, milk or eggs could be eaten daily
<br/>Eat plenty of vegetables & fruits everyday
<br/>Eat dry beans, peas, lentils and soy regularly
<br/>Use salt sparingly
<br/>Eat fats sparingly
<br/>Drink lots of clean, safe water
<br/>If you drink alcohol, drink sensibly
<br/>Use foods & drink containing sugar sparingly and not between meals
<br/>Be active
<br/>
<br/>I would also advice you to see a dietician who can help you with a personalized meal plan in order for you to reach your dietary goals!
<br/>
<br/>Kind Regards,
<br/>Sunita

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: Sports Nutrition | 2010/03/18

Dear Anon,
<br/>
<br/>It is wonderful that you are active and interested in healthy eating. The best advice is to try to eat six smaller meals per day, instead of three big meals. This keeps the blood sugar levels within the normal limits so you do not get hungry as often. You can also try to include the following healthy dietary guidelines:
<br/>
<br/>Enjoy a variety of food
<br/>Make starchy foods the basis of most meals
<br/>Chicken, fish, meat, milk or eggs could be eaten daily
<br/>Eat plenty of vegetables & fruits everyday
<br/>Eat dry beans, peas, lentils and soy regularly
<br/>Use salt sparingly
<br/>Eat fats sparingly
<br/>Drink lots of clean, safe water
<br/>If you drink alcohol, drink sensibly
<br/>Use foods & drink containing sugar sparingly and not between meals
<br/>Be active
<br/>
<br/>I would also advice you to see a dietician who can help you with a personalized meal plan in order for you to reach your dietary goals!
<br/>
<br/>Kind Regards,
<br/>Sunita

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