According to Christian Matuz, It’s a popular misconception that skipping meals can help you lose weight, but maintaining healthy balanced eating habits is more beneficial to both your health and weight goals.

Diet constitutes 90% of any weight modification quest, whereas physical activity accounts for only 10%. If you eat healthily there is no point in missing meals as every meal plays its own important role. Denying yourself a meal results in hunger, which in turn translates into cravings for the quick, satisfying fix of refined carbohydrates – pies, croissants, cakes, breads, pastas, any meal with sugar in it and so on.

The programme designs meals to help its clients resist the temptation to skip meals on that journey to a healthier balanced diet. Instead of being too restrictive, it also includes a “treat” every second or third day. For an example, a chocolate brownie sounds yummy and naughty but it could be yummy and healthy, depending on how it’s prepared.

There are four general eating groups into which people can be divided. Firstly, those who were raised to eat healthily, and are unlikely to skip meals. The second group include those who have adopted a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet. They are also unlikely to skip healthy meals because they are serious about their food and know the consequences of a bad diet.

Sliding down the scale, there are the ones who try to eat healthily but are less committed than those in the first two groups. They’re not as serious about their diets, often skip meals and are easily seduced into eating the wrong foods. They could remain in this position, or they could work their way into group 2.

Lastly, there are those who don’t eat healthily at all, and not interested in doing so. Unfortunately, they are the ones who are likely, sooner or later, to suffer from health issues which, in the worst case scenario, could be fatal.

Matuz who is the owner of the programme said: "I would like to see more people in group 2, and successfully moving from group 3 to 2. This shows initiative and a willingness to transform their lives. This is the group that needs help and to be motivated."

For a chocolate brownie that is healthy and tasty, fructose or xylitol can be used instead of sugar, and half the amount; while ground almonds or walnuts cut the flour content and use whole wheat flour.

Whenever you eat anything sweet, with it or immediately afterwards make sure you eat small amount of “good” fat , which is contained in natural non-animal products, like vegetable oil, salmon, nuts, seeds and fish. This will help your body to digest the sugars and not end up in an insulin spike, which can cause obesity and possibly diabetes in long term.

You also can eat anything that is digested slowly, but still slightly sweetened - rusks, oatmeal bars with nuts. Always check labels before you buy to see if the product contains any sugar. If so, walk away and do not buy or eat it. Sugar is one of the worst addictive carbohydrates after wheat flour.

It takes commitment and discipline to stick to healthy diets and an eating regime. After a while it becomes natural to you and eventually you won’t even crave the unhealthy food you use to eat. If you are serious about your health, then you will take your diet seriously. This is what we sell, not only meals but lifestyle change, education for you and your family.

Read more about iHealth Meals.

Christian Matuz is CEO of iHealth Meals. He saw a way to help South Africans incorporate a desire for a healthy lifestyle into their demanding work lives.

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