3 tips to lose weight quickly!

Although a long term approach is always the best way to lose weight and keep it off,  below are my top 3 tips to give your journey of weight loss a kick start.

Reduce your portion size –  This may seem simple, but even a healthy meal can really add up in kilojoules which means you’re eating too much.  Aim for a meal of about 1500-2000 kilojoules and it’s okay to leave food on the plate it you don’t need it.

Muesli bars are not healthy snacks – muesli bars have healthy elements, such as fruits and nuts, but are also heavily packed with kilojoules. These can really add up, so preparing snacks in advance, such as having cut up fruits or carrots sticks reduce your kilojoules count and stop the cravings.

Stop being afraid of carbs – having some carbs in each meal stops the cravings and gives your brain fuel.  This does not mean massive carb meals, but a small amount in each meal evens out your blood glucose and reduces the load on your pancreas, controlling your insulin levels.

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How many kilojoules do I consume to lose weight?

Although each person is different and your ideal kilojoule intake depends on your height, weight and muscle mass, I can give you a rough guide of how many kilojoules you should be consuming to lose weight.

The key to losing weight is to eat less kilojoules than you are using with activity and your natural metabolic rate, so your body uses its fat stores.  But you need to eat more than youre minimal metabolic rate otherwise you start to breakdown muscles for energy, making it hard for you to maintain weight loss in the long term.

Basic guide:

1) Each meal – about 1500 kilojoules per meal
2) Snacks – 500 kilojoules per snack, 2 a day

Total – 5500 kilojoules per day

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How much should I weigh?

Weight is not the only measure of healthiness, but a healthy weight range does affect your risk to issues such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, wear and tear on your major joints such as your hips and your knees.  Although it is harder to measure, being in a healthy weight range does affect the way you feel about yourself and mental well-being, which is just as important as your physical well being.

A good overall measure of a healthy weight is a BMI of 22 (Body Mass Index).  This does not take into account your lean muscle mass, which means people with a higher muscle mass are normally meant to be heavier, but is a good indication for most people.

So the healthy weight for people of different heights are:

1) 150cm – 50kg
2) 160cm – 56.5kg
3) 170cm – 64kg
4) 180cm – 72kg
5) 190cm – 80kg
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How to lose belly fat!

Belly fat is generally a more dangerous fat than elsewhere in the body because, firstly it is more mobile and more likely to deposit in arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease and small blood vessel damage.  Secondly, it is also a strong indication that there is an increased fat surrounding our vital organs, such as the liver, abdominal organs and kidneys.

Although we can selectively lose fat around our belly by doing crunches or more core work, there are steps you can take to lose body fat overall, and here are my top three tips:

  1. Reduce your portion size – although we may eat healthy meals, large meals may still contain more energy than we require for our body to function, especially if you frequently eat out.  A rough guide for weight loss is that meals should be about 1500 kilojoules and snacks around 500 kilojoules.  You can work this out by entering what at you eat in an app called Australian Calorie Counter, and find out exactly how much you are eating.
  2. Doing strength based training – this helps to build muscle mass, which not only gives you a more shapely figure, but directly works to burn more kilojoules with normal activities than when you have a low muscle mass. Cardio is NOT enough, and strength training should be the foundation of any exercise program.
  3. Watch the small, unhealthy snacks – snacks are important to even out your blood sugar levels throughout the day, however, fat snacks, such as chocolate, those 2-3 biscuits or 2 lattes throughout the day are surprisingly high in kilojoules and are hard to burn off in your everyday activities.  Cutting down on these types of snacks may seem small, but can go a long way in losing your belly fat.

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What exactly are growing pains?

Some children, but not all, can experience pain especially at night time when they go through large growth spurts.  Kids grow at night time while they sleep.  That’s why it seems that your kids seem taller when they wake up and that’s because they have grown. The bones grow from the growth plates, parts of which are still soft in childhood and made up of cartilage instead of bone.  Bone cells are added from these growth plates and the muscles are put on stretch, beyond their existing size thus causing pain.  The muscles will adapt and grow, but in the meantime whilst the growth of the bone is faster than the growth of the muscles, this may cause aching pain in the legs or arms.

So what can you do for your child?

  1. Firstly, simple pain relief such as children’s Panadol and Neurofen are really good in settling the pain in about 15 minutes and allowing your child to sleep.
  2. Secondly, you can gently massage the muscles, especially the calf muscles to help relieve some of the muscle pain before the Panadol/Neurofen kick in.  But be gentle, these muscles are sore from being stretched.
  3. Thirdly, don’t panic.  This isn’t long term, it’s just whilst your child is going through their current growth spurt and will settle when this growth spurt is over.

If your child describes different symptoms, such as a sharp pain, burning sensation and not a soreness in their legs or arms, but a different description of the pain, or they generally feel or look unwell, different to their normal selves, see your doctor or physiotherapist for an opinion.  There is never any harm in doing so if you are worried.

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