Father’s Day is just around the corner, a special day to say thanks to our wonderful dads, to show them how much they’re loved and appreciated.
As every Dad knows, looking after yourself often comes second when you have kids, and whether you’re young or young at heart it’s important to stay fit and healthy, even with the business of family life. Here are 10 top tips to help:
- Keep active! This can be easier said than done! Whether it’s walking or running with your new bub in the pram, kicking around a soccer ball with the kids, walking the kids to or from school, making time when the kids go to bed, or even in your lunch break at work, it’s important to get your 30 minutes a day. Exercise not only keeps you physically fit, but it can be fun, it can help lift your mood, help with tiredness and increase your energy levels.
- Watch your portion sizes! It’s easy to gradually increase the amount of food you eat overtime, finish the kids meals, and even snack more regularly with kids around, but by being mindful of what goes in your mouth, you can avoid consuming those extra calories. Choose smaller serve sizes at home and when eating out, aim for half your dinner plate to be filled with salad or vegetables and put leftovers in the fridge or freezer to help resist overeating or going back for seconds.
- Limit your alcohol intake. As per the Australian Dietary Guidelines: ‘If you choose to drink alcohol, limit intake. It is recommended that healthy men and women drink no more than two standard drinks on any one day, and no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion.’ If you are trying to lose weight, this might be an area to look at. Alcoholic drinks are high in calories and what you usually consume with them (eg chips, salted nuts, cheese and biscuits), can be high in calories and fat, particularly saturated fat.
- Aim for 5 vegetable and 2 fruit serves per day. This not only benefits you and your health with important vitamins and minerals, but sets a great example for your kids. Growing vegetables in a vege patch, whether it be in pots or a large space in the garden can be fun, educational, healthy and rewarding.
- Watch your meat servings! This is one area where everyone, but particularly men, overeat. Make sure you choose lean cuts of meat, cut any visible fat off and watch the portion size.
- Stick to low fat options. Every individual is different, but to lower your calorie and fat intake, a good way to do this is to look for low fat products. Ensure that you read the label and watch for hidden sugar and/or salt that often replaces fat for taste.
- Watch your salt intake. For heart health and blood pressure eat foods low in salt, choose fresh produce, don’t add salt to food, limit packaged foods and read food labels.
- Drink enough water and avoid sugary drinks. As well as teaching your kids healthy habits, it is important to stay hydrated with 6-8 glasses of water per day. Sugary drinks such as soft drinks, juices and cordials increase your calorie intake as well as being bad for your teeth.
- If it’s not in the house you won’t miss it. Whether it’s chocolate, chips, soft drinks or cakes, a good technique is to just not buy it. If it’s not in the house you will most likely choose a healthy option.
- Get a regular health check from your GP. It’s important to make sure you’re in tip top shape, getting things like your blood pressure and cholesterol tested or a blood test for diabetes, especially if any health concerns run in your family, ensures that anything is picked up early and can be prevented or treated either with medication or diet or both.
These are general recommendations. For more information regarding serve sizes and general healthy eating refer to the Australian Dietary Guidelines here. If you have any particular health concerns or wish to discuss a more tailored personal healthy eating plan please feel free to book an appointment with APD Danielle Dive on 9453 3046.
Article written by Danielle Dive (Nutritionist and Dietitian)