Wellbeing with Skinny Clinic

Understanding Carbs

The term "carbs" is short for carbohydrates, one of the three macronutrients found in foods that provide your body with energy. Carbohydrates, protein, and fat provide your dietary calories.

Carbs are mostly found in plants where they provide energy and structure. Sugars, starches, and fibres fall into this category. And although animals need and consume carbohydrates, you won't find any carbs in meat, fish, or poultry. But you will find carbs in milk and dairy products because they contain lactose, which is also a type of sugar.

Calculating Your Goal

Your carbohydrate need can be based on your caloric intake.1 If you know how many calories you need each day, you can figure out how many grams of carbs you need:

Start by determining your daily calorie need and divide that number in half. That's how many calories should come from carbohydrates.
Each gram of carbohydrate has four calories. Divide the number you got from the first step by four.

The final number is equal to the number of carbohydrates in grams you need each day.

Example: a person who eats approximately 2,000 calories per day should take in about 250 grams of carbohydrates (2,000 divided by 2 = 1,000 and 1,000 divided by 4 = 250).

How much water should we drink

“ In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.” For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day.

How much should the average adult exercise every day. 

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:


Aerobic activity: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week. Greater amounts of exercise will provide even greater health benefit. But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefit.


Strength training: Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.

Eating a balanced diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.

This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

People with special dietary needs or a medical condition should ask their doctor or a registered dietitian for advice.

Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day). If you're having foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar, have these less often and in small amounts.

Try to choose a variety of different foods from the 5 main food groups to get a wide range of nutrients.

Most people in the UK eat and drink too many calories, too much saturated fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre.

Fruit and vegetables: are you getting your 5 A Day?


Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals and fibre, and should make up just over a third of the food you eat each day.

It's recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced.

There's evidence that people who eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

Eating 5 portions is not as hard as it sounds.
A portion is:

80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables
30g of dried fruit – which should be kept to mealtimes
150ml glass of fruit juice or smoothie – but do not have more than 1 portion a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage teeth
Just 1 apple, banana, pear or similar-sized fruit is 1 portion each.

A slice of pineapple or melon is also 1 portion, and 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables is another portion.

Adding a tablespoon of dried fruit, such as raisins, to your morning cereal is an easy way to get 1 portion.

You could also swap your mid-morning biscuit for a banana, and add a side salad to your lunch.

In the evening, have a portion of vegetables with dinner and fresh fruit with plain, lower fat yoghurt for dessert to reach your 5 A Day.

Starchy foods in your diet


Starchy foods should make up just over a third of everything you eat. This means your meals should be based on these foods.

Choose wholegrain or wholemeal varieties of starchy foods, such as brown rice, wholewheat pasta, and brown, wholemeal or higher fibre white bread.

They contain more fibre, and usually more vitamins and minerals, than white varieties.

Potatoes with the skins on are a great source of fibre and vitamins. For example, when having boiled potatoes or a jacket potato, eat the skin too.

Milk and dairy foods (and alternatives)


Milk and dairy foods, such as cheese and yoghurt, are good sources of protein. They also contain calcium, which helps keep your bones healthy.

Go for lower fat and lower sugar products where possible.

Choose semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed milk, as well as lower fat hard cheeses or cottage cheese, and lower fat, lower sugar yoghurt.

Dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks, are also included in this food group.

When buying alternatives, choose unsweetened, calcium-fortified versions.

Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins


These foods are all good sources of protein, which is essential for the body to grow and repair itself.

They're also good sources of a range of vitamins and minerals.

Meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc and B vitamins. It's also one of the main sources of vitamin B12.

Choose lean cuts of meat and skinless poultry whenever possible to cut down on fat. Always cook meat thoroughly.

Try to eat less red and processed meat like bacon, ham and sausages.

Eggs and fish are also good sources of protein, and contain many vitamins and minerals. Oily fish is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including 1 portion of oily fish.

You can choose from fresh, frozen or canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can often be high in salt.

Pulses, including beans, peas and lentils, are naturally very low in fat and high in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Nuts are high in fibre, and unsalted nuts make a good snack. But they do still contain high levels of fat, so eat them in moderation.

Eat less saturated fat, sugar and salt.