I can feel a lolly or three coming on

By Monica Rostron

Diabetes Queensland Communications Editor


Most Queenslanders have or will face a weight problem in their adult lives, including me.


I've just found a resource that's going to help me limit my weight gain over Christmas and it looks too good to be true. I can still eat the foods I want.


What's the catch?


I've poured over Trudy Williams' "this=that" publication and for me, it's one of the most useful books on nutrition I've read.


Like many other overweight people, I've read a lot.


What makes this information so valuable to me is I'm shown the equivalent amounts of food, taken from both the healthy and unhealthy range, which I can eat per portion.


It's a photographic food guide to serving sizes.


For example, most of the sections are based on 600 kilojoules (140 calories), including protein, fats, the "extra foods" (all the stuff I love to eat and drink but isn't necessary), breads and grains, and other food groups.


I'm not that fascinated by the fruit and veggie chapters because they're not the foods that get me into trouble.


This reference allows me to quickly check portion size without having to measure or calculate the food and drink that give me grief. Trudy has done all the work for me.


I was sold when I saw I can eat 5 small cubes of cheese for the same kilojoules as 18 to 20 medium prawns or - and this was the clincher - three quarters of ONE thin meat sausage.


That's right: 20 prawns = three quarters of a thin sausage. Or one glass of sparkling white wine. Or one third of a small meat pie. Or one mini party pie. Or a quarter of a sausage roll. Or a very small slice of pizza.


I can eat 10 Party Mix lollies, because I love a fake red raspberry, for the same intake as 11 chocolate covered peanuts, or just over half a small doughnut.


The reality is I seldom eat 10 lollies. If I'm driving to the country to visit family and back, I'd be good for a packet.


Will I ever break my penchant for Snakes Alive? Probably not, but at least now I know how many I can eat in a day, along with meals, so that I won't put on weight.


The sad truth is, it's not that many. We all know we should be eating mostly chicken, meat, fish or other sources of protein, and vegetables, but most of us err on the amount of other foods we eat.


A young dietitian colleague - yes, I am that older woman surrounded by gorgeous young people who know a lot about food and exercise who will probably never face a weight problem - told me the other day that two extra biscuits a day can put on 7kg in a year.


I quickly hid the fruit cake I was about to take back to my desk. I pretended I was filling up the hot water in my herbal tea.


I snuck in later to reclaim my cake and did the ole "I'll start tomorrow" justification.


Well, tomorrow is now. I don't lose weight without a huge and consistent effort these days, and I don't want to put on a couple of kilos this Christmas that will take me months to take off.


I'm heading to the prawns and oysters, and trying to fill up on fresh vegetables and fruit. I'll be scooping up small amounts of dip with sliced vegetables rather than crackers, and probably skipping my third flute of champagne. But not the second.


So, if you're one of the 64 per cent of Queenslanders who is overweight or obese going into the Christmas holiday period, take heart. You're in very good company.


I'll be using my new edition of "this=that" to help me balance my nutritional intake. It's too late for me to be straight and narrow, and my diet will never be textbook.


But at least I know to avoid three small meatballs or a short piece of kabana. I can eat 25 small scallops or a small plate of smoked oysters instead. Thank you, Trudy.


In a special offer to Diabetes Queensland readers, Trudy Williams is offering a 15% discount on "this=that", which usually costs $65.


The discount reduces the price to $55.25, with $10 postage.


There is also a children's version of "this=that", which usually costs $49.99. With the 15% discount, the price drops to $42.49.


The offer ends midnight on 31 December.


To use this discount, follow this link, "this=that", and use the code WELLDONE in the Voucher Box at the online checkout. Don't forget to hit OK before going to the secure checkout.


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