Weighty Matters

Most would agree that good nutrition is a core requirement for good health and well-being, and an ideal weight profile. There are a number of nutritional guidelines that can make a positive difference in everyone’s lives, whether overweight or not.

As health professionals, midwives themselves should ideally portray a positive example, and they should be very sensitive to passing on realistic, kind, innovative and effective advice in the nutritional and weight department!To help you fulfil both these agendas, gradually try and introduce as many of these as possible in your life, and advise those in your care to do the same:

  • Be seated when eating so that your body can concentrate on digestion
  • Eat neither too quickly nor too slowly
  • Avoid ice cold drinks as this counteracts the heating activity of digestion
  • Drink little at meals so as not to dilute digestive juices
  • Eat to comfort levels and avoid over-eating
  • Avoid leftovers as freshly prepared food is the healthiest
  • Don’t eat when you feel that your last food is not yet fully digested
  • Cut down on animal fats, proteins and foods generally
  • Increase fresh fruit and vegetables substantially
  • Respect the individuality of taste buds – not all foods suit all people
  • Include plant foods from all the vibrant colours nature provides
  • Sip hot water each morning and evening
  • Breakfast can be a fruit only meal with very good results for health
  • Snack on fruit until the main meal at lunch
  • Have the evening meal no later than 3 hours prior to bedtime
  • Good mood of the cook and at mealtimes is an important part of nutrition

Healthy weight loss

If you or those in your care are carrying excessive weight, apply to yourself and suggest to your clients these principles too:

  • Replace supper with nutritious, chunky soup (no bread) 3 x/week
  • When craving sweets, first eat two fresh dates
  • Minimise processed and saturated fatty foods
  • Don’t skip meals on a regular basis unless fasting under medical care
  • Try to have a light breakfast, your main meal at lunch and a medium supper
  • Keep meals simple with not too many ingredients at the same time
  • Chew food thoroughly, remembering that digestion starts in the mouth
  • Eat a raw salad before each main meal

Sister Lilian’s safe weight loss guidelines

If you need to lose 1-5kg:

  • Drink at least 1.8l water/day
  • Have a fruit-only breakfast 2x/week
  • Concentrate on veg & fruit in the diet

If you need to lose 6-10kg:

  • Drink at least 1.8l water/day
  • Have a fruit-only breakfast 2x/week
  • Replace supper with nutritious soup 2x/week but have no bread

If you need to lose 11-20kg:

  • Drink at least 2l water/day
  • Have a fruit-only breakfast 3x/week
  • Have your main meal at lunch 3x/week
  • Replace supper with nutritious soup 3 x/week but have no bread
  • Have supper at least three hours before retiring
  • Have the homeopathic remedy 2x/day to help anxiety & coping ability

If you need to lose 21+kg:

  • Drink at least 2l water/day
  • Have a fruit-only breakfast 4x/week
  • Have your main meal at lunch 4x/week
  • Replace supper with soup 3 x/week, no bread
  • Have no second helpings at supper and this meal must be at least 3 hours before retiring
  • Have a homeopathic remedy 2x/day to help anxiety & coping ability
  • Go to sleep by 22h00 and rise by 6h00

About the Author:

Lilian Paramor (known as Sister Lilian) holds a B.Nursing degree from the University of Stellenbosch (1978) and is a qualified and registered SANC nurse and midwife (1980). She is also a qualified reflexologist and natural health practitioner. Sister Lilian has close to 40 years of health professional experience, and is South Africa’s leading pregnancy and parenting advisor. She is well-known in both the maternity professional world as well as amongst the parenting community in South Africa and beyond. Her trademarks are her compassion, credibility and innovation ability, showcased by her longstanding approach of ‘first do no harm’ and her work slogans ‘with nature, knowledge and experience’ and ‘advice you can trust’. Sister Lilian has had six pregnancy and parenting books published in South Africa, edited and adapted a Canadian parenting book for the South African market and contributed to a renowned Juta handbook for midwives. She has also written and published numerous topic-specific booklets for midwives and parents, on subjects like breastfeeding, nutrition, birth, and sleep. Sister Lilian’s has also been a popular radio and TV presenter and often contributes to parenting magazines. She started in private practice in Pretoria in 1988; this morphed into the Sister Lilian Centre® in 1994, which also runs one of the most renowned midwifery conferences in the southern hemisphere, called Sensitive Midwifery Symposium, and publishes Sensitive Midwifery Magazine for professionals, as well as an online pregnancy, birth and parenting magazine called eBaby.

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