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Health assessment follow-up: Steele

Have those healthy habits been maintained, or has the going got tough and those good intentions been derailed? We revisit Steele to see how he's doing with his diet and exercise plan.

See Steele's original health assessment and recommendations.

When we first met up with 24-year-old Steele, he had just decided to take up some further university subjects on top of his full-time work and was slowly gaining weight and feeling run down. He had takeaways every day for lunch and about 3 nights a week for dinner and ate very few vegetables. Many of his choices were high in fat, particularly saturated fat, and high in salt. He had 2-3 cups of water per day and a similar amount of tea or coffee. He would have a soft drink on occasion and 5-10 alcoholic drinks each week. Steele also had high blood triglyceride levels and total cholesterol.

Steele did some varied exercise activities but had difficulty sticking to a routine. He tried to go to the gym 1-2 times per week, played squash every few weeks, and his ice hockey season was about to start so he wanted to get fitter to be more competitive.

  • Change his breakfast for the better
  • Address his work lunch and snack issues
  • Get Steele organised for a healthy dinner
  • Address other 'high energy areas'

Steele also included an exercise programme incorporating a weights programme at home and a run a few times a week.

Steele had made some major changes with his lifestyle, resulting in a weight loss of 2.5kg and a substantial drop in his blood triglycerides and total cholesterol. His intake of takeaways was virtually eliminated and his food intake became balanced, consisting of muesli for breakfast, lunches brought from home and home-cooked dinners that included a lot of vegetables. He was well-prepared for each day in advance. He also had stuck to a vigorous exercise programme and achieved results in this area.

It has been a shorter time since we last checked on Steele and although his weight hasn't changed much in that time, his lifestyle has. He is continuing to do lots of exercise including ice hockey a few times a week, squash twice a week and skating once a week. He also runs on occasion and does weights.

He also still enjoys a much healthier eating pattern – the only major change is he has slightly less salad and more frozen vegetables. He now only eats takeaways about once a week and it is often a Chinese stir-fry dish with lots of vegetables; if he sees some of the old dishes he used to eat he is turned off by the fat content and finds them quite sickening.

He also notes that if he doesn't eat as well, he feels his ice hockey suffers. He is now aiming to play representative ice hockey in Australia in January and his exercise programme is tailored towards that. Looking back on the changes he has made he wishes he had done it sooner.

First published: Dec 2006



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