KNYSNA NEWS - More than 90 staff members at Community Day Centre (CDCs) clinics in Knysna and Bitou participated in the Health Department’s Biggest Loser competition last month as part of National Nutrition and Obesity Week 2020, 9 to 15 October.
They showed their colleagues and, most importantly, themselves that healthy lifestyle choices have a positive impact on wellbeing.
The competition, organised by the subdistrict’s dietetic department, came to an end on 30 October after a month of hard work and dietary re-evaluations.
Participants were monitored with a point system and given healthy lifestyle information on various topics such as healthy eating, sleep and exercise. They also had access to a WhatsApp group wherein they could share tips and motivate each other daily.
A variety of prizes as well as a grand prize were up for grabs, and these staff members came out tops:
• Winning group: The Sylvia Challenge (Keurhoek clinic).
• Individual winner who lost the most weight: Gina Fredericks (Knysna CDC clinic)
• Biggest Loser winner who put in the most effort: Joan Mopp (Hornlee Clinic)
• Best champion who was always keeping us up to date and organising things: Yonela Khanzi (CDC clinic)
• Most inspirational competitor: Connie Makoena (Keurhoek clinic)
• The Dark Horse (surprised us all!): Siphokazi Nomafeje (FSU KPH)
• Fitness Guru Hyrone van Wyk for organising training (Rehab KPH)
“This was not just about weight loss, but overall health and a lasting lifestyle change,” explained dietician Sam de Kock, who added that poor diets are among the leading health and societal challenges of the 21st century, leading to chronic diseases, disability and death, growing inequalities, staggering healthcare costs and environmental implications.
“We have to start with ourselves first if we want to change our lifestyle to be healthier,” De Kock said, and pointed out that a healthy diet and regular exercise can reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
How to follow a healthy lifestyle:
1. Enjoy a variety of fresh whole foods
Enjoying a healthy eating plan also means preparing food in healthy ways such as boiling, grilling, steaming and baking instead of frying food in oil.
2. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit every day
Vegetables should be eaten every day so try to include vegetables and fruit in meal plans. Frozen and dried vegetables can also be incorporated as part of a healthy eating plan.
3. Eat dry beans, peas, lentils and soya regularly
Eating legumes at least four times a week can help prevent chronic diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and obesity, as well as improve gut health.
4. Plan and prepare meals
Plan and prepare healthy meals at home rather than buying ready-to-eat meals or snacks, or eating out frequently.
5. Always read food labels to check what is in your food
The labels on foods and drinks contain information on the ingredients that were used to manufacture the product. Ultra-processed foods often have difficult-to-pronounce names and even strange numbers in the ingredients list. Also be aware that sugar comes in many different names and forms, for example brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, xylose, fruit juice concentrates, sucrose, lactose, treacle, cane sugar and more.
6. Be active
To increase your heart rate during your daily routine, walk or cycle instead of taking the car or bus, choose to take the stairs, stretch in your office.
7. Stay hydrated
It is important to keep hydrated and there is no better way than drinking clean, safe water. Water has no added kilojoules and the taste can be altered by adding fresh fruit or vegetables such as lemon, berries or cucumber, or use herbs such as mint to change the flavour of the water, if needed.
8. Sleep enough
Sleep at least seven to nine hours a night for good health and energy.
Visit your local clinic and speak to one of our healthcare workers should you need assistance with your weight and making lifestyle changes. If needed, you will be referred to a registered dietician.
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