Diet therapy

The power of measured change

If we want to build sustainable energy we need to remove the barriers that stop the flow of energy in our body.

It’s easy to judge our fitness from the outside our shape and size. Last week Jamie Oliver in a TV1 programme entitled Eating to Save Your Life looked under the skin. He took 18 overweight British men and women had their dietary intakes, blood and fitness levels analysed to determine the damage wrought by a lifetime of poor eating.

Those who saw the programme were amazed as dissections were also done on people who had died showing what happens when lungs, livers, hearts and body parts are overrun by diets laden with fat. 1

While this programme may have shocked some, its power and fascination was in Jamie’s ability to provide us with visual measures of difference.

  • Normal healthy livers and hearts verses large fatty ones from overweight people.
  • Larger, healthy lungs verses those that were shrivelled and hardened.
  • Healthy bones, cartilage and joints verses those that had collapsed by over work.
  • Strong, taut muscles verses those swollen and infiltrated with fat.
  • Even apparently slim people had extra abdominal fat that was detrimental to health.

When we can compare our actual measured performance with what is needed for good health visually, our understanding grows and change becomes not only possible but imperative.

Our confidence to make changes (or self efficacy) grows the more we measure things.

So if the programme got you thinking these are some things you can do to achieve quick measurable results :

  • Try to eat more dietary fibre- remember bulky pooh’s reduce your risk of bowel cancer. Have some bran cereal every morning and eat more fruit and vegetables.
  • Every bit of exercise counts and helps improve heart and lung health. So note down how many extra minutes you exercise and each day try to do a little more.
  • Cut down on takeaways, the salt and fat is hardening your arteries making circulation difficult.
  • Cut back on snacks as over the course of a year these add inches to your waistline. Try measuring your waist and hips every three weeks you’ll soon see improvements.
  • Weigh yourself weekly and set realistic, healthy goals.
  • See your doctor to measure your blood cholesterol and blood glucose and re- check it regularly.
  • Have a fitness check and maybe join a gym.
  • Have your diet analysed by a dietitian near you. Find out how good your intake is of fibre, fluids, fat, salt, energy, sugar, calcium and other vitamins and minerals compared with recommended levels. Learn how it’s never too late to ward off the ravages of time and build a healthier body you can be proud of right now.



About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

View all posts by Lea Stening »


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