Lose Pounds – Drink Water!

Switching to water can help you lose a substantial amount of weight - ditch your fizzy drink habit today!

Drinking water instead of fizzy drinks can help you lose 5% of your bodyweight (4 to 5 pounds), according to new research carried out at the University of North Carolina.

The research followed 318 people with a weight problem as they switched from fizzy drinks (like Coke, Fanta, Sprite and 7up) to sugar free alternatives and water. The study clearly showed that switching to water or diet soft drinks can be a simple way to lose weight.

Get Rid of Fizzy Drinks!

Switching to water had the greatest benefit and was linked to other important health improvements – like reduced blood sugar and better hydration levels. Reducing your blood sugar levels reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes – a dangerous illness that commonly affects people who are above a healthy weight. The study is published online and scheduled to appear in the March 2012 print issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Drink Water

Our advice is to totally avoid fizzy drinks – drink water instead! Fizzy drinks are full of sugar, and there is also evidence that they affect your bone health – some studies suggest that fizzy drink consumption increases your likelihood of getting brittle bones, or osteoporosis. Here are some quick tips to help make the change away from fizzy drinks:

  • Don’t buy fizzy drinks when you are doing your grocery shopping – if they’re not in the house, you’ll be less likely to drink them
  • Keep water easily available – on your desk at work, in a jug on your kitchen table, or in a bottle in the fridge
  • Does your tap water taste bad? Get a filter, or buy bottled water
  • Add some slices of lemon, lime or orange (or all three!) to give water an extra zing!
  • Be careful of fruit juices as even pure fruit juice is full of free sugar – dilute fruit juice with mineral water
  • Like the fizz? Use sparkling water and add a twist of lemon as a healthier alternative to fizzy drinks
  • If you are trying to lose weight, drink a glass of water before a meal, and drink water with your meal
  • Try switching to herbal teas – a great alternative to fizzy drinks

Stay Hydrated

A good way to check your hydration level is to keep an eye on your pee. It should be light coloured and relatively non-smelly. If it is dark coloured and strong smelling, drink more water.

The Bottom Line

If you’re watching your weight, fizzy drinks are a disaster! Switch to water & herbal teas today. It’ll help you shed pounds, and reduce your risk for some really nasty illnesses. You’ll also save yourself a fortune.

If you’re in the Shannon area and need help with weight loss, find out more about our services: contact us or give us a call on 087 930 7575.

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

colaType 2 Diabetes is on the increase. It’s a major cause of ill-health, and it will knock roughly 15 years off your lifespan if you get it.

To make matters worse, people are getting the disease at a younger age. There was a time when people got Type 2 Diabetes in their 40s, but now it’s beginning to affect teenagers. What’s causing this deadly epidemic?

Poor lifestyle habits.

Yep, you heard me…we’re doing it to ourselves with our unhealthy habits.

According to the World Health Organisation, the disease is largely preventable, and there are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk.

One of the main causes of Type 2 Diabetes is being overweight. If you are overweight, do something about it now!

Get Active

Regular physical activity reduces the risk for a range of illnesses, not just diabetes. Aim to be physically active on most days, and build physical activity into your daily life.

  • Walk or cycle to work or school
  • Park at the back of the car park when you do your shopping – give yourself further to walk!
  • Get off the bus one or two stops early, and walk the rest of the way
  • Avoid elevators & escalators – use the stairs instead
  • Have an active lunch break – go for a short walk or run
  • Limit the amount of time you & your family watch television – play a board game together instead
  • Play active games – you’re never too old to play catch or frisbee
  • Take part in regular organised physical activities. If you’re not interested in sport, why not try dance, yoga, tai chi, or other non-competitive activities


  • Don’t eat sugar or sugary foods – you don’t need sugar, and it’s bad for you
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Cut out refined carbohydrates – pasta, bread, cakes and biscuits
  • Limit your consumption of potatoes and rice
  • Drink water or milk instead of fizzy drinks

If you are overweight, make the simple changes outlined above – and give yourself time. If you need extra help, check out our services. You didn’t put the weight on overnight, so don’t expect to shift it overnight!

Photo by: JohnGoode licensed under Creative Commons

Simple Evening Meal: Roasted Chicken Pieces

MP900427799Eating for weight-loss doesn’t have to be boring! For most people struggling with their weight, the main problem is too much sugar & refined carbohydrates. It’s pretty easy to dump the carbs and still have satisfying & healthy food – and this recipe should help.

Use organic chicken if possible – you’ll be using a better quality product. Rub chicken breasts or thighs with the spice of your choice:

  • Salt & freshly milled black pepper
  • Curry powder
  • Wholegrain mustard
  • Cumin & coriander
  • Marinate in natural yoghurt + cumin & coriander
  • Marinate in BBQ paste: tomato puree, soy sauce, cumin & chopped garlic

Drizzle with a little olive oil & roast at Gas Mark 6 (200 deg C, 400 deg F) for 30 minutes.

Roast some vegetables with your chicken – simply drizzle olive oil over your veggies and roast. You can buy packs of frozen oven-ready vegetables, which require minimal preparation, but it’s cheaper to use fresh root vegetables such as carrots & parsnips. Try roasting garlic cloves in their papery skins – when they are done, squeeze out on your meal. Delicious! Other convenient vegetables include frozen peas (cook on the hob), broccoli & cauliflower. Packs of stir fry veg are usually found with the salads in the supermarket – cook in the frying pan with some olive oil and some low-salt soy sauce.

Serve your roast chicken with some salad & vegetables. Aim to fill at least half your plate with vegetables – remember that eating more veggies can help you to control your weight.

Refrigerate surplus chicken and shred it into salad for an excellent lunch option. It might even be an idea to cook enough chicken for your evening meal plus your lunch for the following day.

Alternative Meat Options

You can vary this recipe by substituting beef or salmon instead of chicken – just cook the meat/fish as instructed on the pack. Salmon is an excellent protein source, and can be cooked from frozen. When cooking beef, you can grill or fry the meat.

  • Gammon steaks in individual packs can be grilled or fried – see pack for cooking instructions.
  • Steak grilled or fried – see pack for cooking instructions. Cook extra for lunch – keep in fridge overnight, shred into salad next day.
  • Salmon steaks cooked from frozen drizzle with olive oil squeeze lemon juice over them bake in oven for 20 minutes at gas mark 6.

How to Stop Overeating

Are you in the habit of eating biscuits with your tea? It might have nothing to do with being hungry!

Do you always snack on popcorn when you’re watching a movie? Or have a few biscuits with a cup of tea? When you are in the habit of eating food in a certain situation, you might find it difficult to break the habit – even if the food you’re eating doesn’t taste good!

But don’t worry. Read this article to the end – you’ll find one simple tip on how to regain control over your eating habits.

Mindless Eating

You might think that you eat according to how things taste, and whether or not you are hungry. Think again.

Many of us end up mindlessly overeating even when the food we’re eating tastes bad. This habitual eating may be one of the causes of obesity.

Researchers from the University of Southern California recently looked at some of the reasons behind “mindless” eating, by carrying out experiments in a cinema. They found that people who usually ate popcorn at the movies ate the same amount whether or not the popcorn was freshly made, or old & soggy!

People who didn’t usually eat popcorn at the movies ate much less stale popcorn than fresh popcorn. For those in the habit of having popcorn at the movies, it made no difference whether the popcorn tasted good or not.

Training Ourselves for Overeating

It turns out that our environment can trigger automatic eating behaviour. When you get used to eating in a certain situation, you “train” your brain to expect food in that situation.

Chances are that when you’re in the habit of eating biscuits during your tea break, you’ll keep munching away even if the biscuits are stale. Hunger doesn’t even come into it – it’s pure mindless habit.

I Keep Overeating – How Can I Stop?

How can we avoid overeating, if we eat when we are not hungry or do not even like the food that we are consuming? If the environment causes you to overeat (and the evidence suggests that it does), what can you do?

You can’t always avoid the environment that triggers your overeating. It turns out that there is one simple way to disrupt automatic eating habits.

Back to our original movie-theatre experiment. When researchers asked right handed people to eat with their left hand (and vice versa for lefties) their eating habits were disrupted, and they ate less of the stale popcorn. Eating with the non-dominant hand seems to help us to pay attention to what we are eating.

So next time you sit down to a cup of tea with your habitual biscuit, use your left hand (or right hand, if you’re a leftie). You might make more mess but you’ll be less likely to overeat! You’ll find more information on how to manage your eating habits on our article on mindful eating.

If you’re in the Shannon area and need help with weight loss, find out more about our services: contact us or give us a call on 087 930 7575.

Photo by: Pink Sherbet licensed under Creative Commons

Healthy Breakfast: Porridge

Healthy Breakfast
Grab a healthy breakfast - it'll help you maintain a healthy weight and will provide you with energy for your daily workout!

Just wanted to share my super-healthy breakfast. I can’t stomach eating straight after getting up, so I normally tuck in to a healthy breakfast at my desk as I’m starting work. Anti-social? Maybe, but I don’t care!

Today’s healthy brekkie:

  • Porridge made with jumbo oats
  • Stewed apple (made in bulk, stored in fridge)
  • Walnuts
  • Banana

Lets break it down:


The slow-release energy from the oats will help fuel my lunchtime exercise session – as well as the workshop I’m delivering later to a bunch of rowdy 12 year olds. The porridge will keep me full all morning, so I won’t be snacking during tea-break. Full of soluble fibre and anti-oxidants, oats are a super-healthy food.


Great for the heart and circulatory system, full of vitamin E. Many of the beneficial flavonols in walnuts are found in the skin.


Full of potassium & fibre, helping prevent high blood pressure.


Another heart-protective food, can help you to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce blood-lipid (fat) levels.

Weighing it Up…

Having a healthy breakfast will help you to balance your energy intake, helping you reach and maintain a healthy weight. If you’re worried about your weight, don’t skip breakfast! If you don’t fancy porridge, try home-made muesli, which contains many of the same beneficial ingredients.


I’ve had a nasty virus lately so felt like I needed an extra boost – hence the two fruit + nut topping – normally I might just go for the stewed apple or a blob of honey. If you keep varying the toppings, porridge needn’t be boring. Total high-performance breakfast: enhancing physical & mental performance and excellent for health!

Share your healthy breakfast – leave a comment below!