Clock genes and weight gain - Waitplate

‘Clock genes’ and weight gain

Everyone of us has a ‘body clock.’ It’s the special genes that us humans have to ensure our body and brain are getting enough rest and enough nutrients to function.  These special genes are actually clocked ‘clock genes‘ and are the reason for us maintaining a reoccurring circadian rhythm that regulates our other genes.

As defined by Urs Albrecht, Jurgen A. Ripperger of the Department of Medicine at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland: “Clock genes are components of the circadian clock comparable to the cogwheels of a mechanical watch. . .  Any of a number of genes that interact with each other to make up an auto-regulatory feedback loop, in which its activation and repression cycle takes about one day.”

There are several genes that are responsible for contributing to our ‘body clock’ including:

  • Core body temperature
  • Melatonin production
  • Sleep and wake cycles
  • Metabolising sugar and fat
  • Digestion
  • Immune system
  • Satiety hormone

So what happens when all of these clock genes are either out of sync or worse still, don’t even have a rhythm to reference to? The answer is our body just doesn’t work properly as it’s not receiving a regular pattern of when it can prepare to sleep, prepare to digest and even prepare to go to the toilet! The most common ‘side effects’ when these clock genes are de-synchronised are:

  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic disorders

Skipping meals, having irregular bed times and eating meals late at night are three of the biggest factors in causing havoc with our metabolism.  If your body can’t anticipate when it has to digest food then all of the other clock genes will be in a constant state of confusion – this is why you sometimes feel hungry when you’re tired.

If we need affirmation that we don’t function properly when we’re out of routine, we can simply look at children as an example. If it’s past their usual dinner time or they are up later than they’re usual bed time, the effects on their mood and behaviour is immediately obvious and they can sometimes take a day or so to recover.

Having a regular routine of eating and sleeping is not only beneficial for your body being able to maintain a healthy weight but also your general well-being.


Michelle Bridges ABC Australian Story

Michelle Bridges speaks out about childhood obesity on ABC’s Australian Story

Childhood obesity is a hot topic and with good reason. There is an estimated 1.5 million people in Australia under the age of 18 that are considered overweight or obese. This transcends into approximately 20-25% of Australian children being overweight or obese.

Alarmingly, if this trends continues one third of Australian children will be obese by 2020.

In a recent interview as part of her Australian Story episode ‘Building Bridges’ which aired on the ABC earlier this week, fitness trainer, business woman and media personality Michelle Bridges has also jumped on the wagon to address and tackle the issue of childhood obesity. In her story Michelle said:

Having Axel has really made me think about how I can use what I’ve learnt about health and fitness to make a better life for kids like him. Potentially getting out there and putting some truth and hard-hitting messages around the junk food industry and the sugar industry. And the truth of the matter is: they sell crap food and make people sick. And that makes me angry.

I’d like to tackle the junk food industry the way that the tobacco industry was tackled 50-odd years ago. We’re now seeing children that potentially have a lifespan shorter than their parents. Never before have we ever seen that globally. We’re now seeing it. Why? I’d like to get out there and start fighting the fight for others who can’t fight the fight.”

Not only are children eating the wrong foods but they’re eating too much of it. The difficulty is that children will only eat what is put in front of them from their parents, which is not only establishing their eating behavior but also their future health.

Educating children at a young age about ‘sometimes’ foods, the importance of healthy food, the correct portion sizes of food and the speed they should be eating their food all contribute to their overall health and well-being both as a child and as they grow into adults.

Michelle Bridges ABC Australian Story L

Michell Bridges on ABC’s Australian Story ‘Building Bridges’.

waitplate table setting

How setting your table can make a difference

Many of us are guilty of using our dining room table for everything but eating. A dumping ground for paperwork and laptops, folding the laundry, kids toys, the list goes on.

Try and think back to the day you went and purchased your dining room set. It was probably one of your biggest furniture purchases for your home outside of your lounge suite. And there was probably a lot of thought put into which dining room set was best for you and your home.

Instilling a set place and routine for meals is one of the first steps in retraining your eating behaviour and getting your habits right for a healthy lifestyle.

Sitting at a table while you’re eating is good for your posture, digestion, speed of eating and general enjoyment of the meal. So why not make an effort and use the one piece of furniture in your house that was actually specifically designed for eating?

So the next step is to make it appealing for you, your partner, your family to sit at the dining table and that comes down to setting. By making an effort to set the table nicely will be the difference between eating your meal and enjoying your meal.

Some Tips to Table Setting:

  • Remove all clutter from table
  • Wipe down your table before setting
  • Use place mats and coasters
  • Have a cold glass of water for each place
  • Minimise amount of sauces & dressings on table
  • Ensure cutlery is laid out nicely
  • Involve the whole family in setting the table

There is so much more involved to eating than just the food on your plate and as you begin on your way to a healthier lifestyle, it’s a good idea to cover all of the bases.


jamie oliver soft drink tax

UK taxes sugary drinks as childhood obesity figures continue to increase

The United Kingdom government has announced that as of 2018 there will be a tax on any drinks with more than 5 grams of sugar per every 100ml.  The announcement comes as the problem of childhood obesity in the United Kingdom continues to rise as well as ongoing health issues from the over-consumption of sugary food and drink products.

Chef, businessman, restaurant owner and healthy living advocate, Jamie Oliver has applauded the decision and urged other countries such as Spain, Germany and Australia to do the same to help tackle the problem of childhood obesity.

Soft drinks are seen as the main offenders when it comes to high sugar content, but many drinks on the supermarket shelves contain just as much if not more sugar content such as:

  • Iced tea
  • Juice
  • Energy drinks
  • Flavoured milk drinks

The problem with these particular drinks is that the sugar content is not in proportion to the average daily consumption needs of an average person, let alone a child. In fact in some bottles of drink, you can receive your weekly intact of sugar in five mouthfuls.

The best idea if you are needing a sugar fix or the kids want to drink something a bit sweet is the sensible way of simply squeezing some real fruit into some ice cold water. It is important to understand the correct portion sizes not only when it comes to food but to specific food groups and ingredients such as sugar.

Staying healthy made easy

Taking the confusion out of being healthy

Every day it seems like there is a new theory on what’s best for our health.  Eating too much of one food group causes cancer.  The next day you’ll read eating too less of another food will also result in massive health problems.  It can get very overwhelming being bombarded with all of these facts and sometimes even result in instigating health problems through anxiety and incorrect information.

To avoid all of this confusion and sometimes conflicting information, we can offer a simple formula you can use to maintain your health.

Here it is:

Health = Everything in moderation


Life is all about balance and that goes for our diet as well.  Our bodies need nutrients from different sources for different reasons:

  • Our bones need calcium for strength.
  • Our blood needs iron to create healthy blood cells.
  • Our heart needs fiber to assist with keeping it’s arteries healthy.
  • Our body tissue needs Vitamin C to help make collagen which assists in making protein for our skin, tendons and cartilage.
  • Our brain is 60% fat and needs Omega-3 fatty acids to support brain development.
  • Our eyes need lutein and zeaxanthin to help prevent degeneration.

The list goes on! However, through these few examples we can safely reach the conclusion that in order for our bodies to function at their best, there needs to be a balance.  Stick with this philosophy and you’ll never be confused again!

Waitplate Staying healthy made easy


Why emotional eating is hurting your health

We are all guilty of reaching for that chocolate bar when we’re feeling a bit down.  Bridget Jones famously devoured an entire tub of ice-cream when she was having men problems! But as we all know, we usually end up feeling a lot worse after our eating binge.

Emotional eating is a natural response for most people.  As humans, we don’t like feeling down or out of control of our emotions, so eating food which gives us that temporary high, can be a solution for many people – especially those who struggle with their weight. Unfortunately ’emotional eating’ can turn into a bad habit or behaviour and end up being destructive both physically and psychologically.

There are many reasons why people can turn to eating when they are not feeling happy with themselves:

  • Stressed   fatshadow
  • Lonely
  • Anxious
  • Upset
  • Angry
  • Guilty
  • Boredom

If we take a look at all of these negative emotions, we can see a pattern.  All of these emotions which trigger unnecessary eating are the same emotions we feel after we have eaten that whole block of chocolate.  When we are feeling these emotions our thoughts are not in a good state of mind.  By eating food which makes us feel good, it is inadvertently rewarding these bad eating behaviors.  It is creating a habit that each time you are feeling low, your brain has conditioned itself to expect a reward of a big slice of cheesecake.

Bad habits are just bad behaviours and like any bad habit, you have the power and choice to stop it.  The way to do this is to instill and stick to new habits. Such as:

Drink water: Whenever you are feeling ’emotional’ and that you need to eat something, have a big drink of cold water. Most of the time when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty and need hydration. Drinking water will also help your brain oxidize which will give you more clarity in your thoughts.

Create a routine and stick to it: Set yourself definitive times for your breakfast, lunch and dinner and stick to them. Even if it starts out as reminders on your phone. For your morning and afternoon tea breaks, have a hot drink (even if it’s just hot water with lemon) and a small snack such as nuts or fruit.

Stay away from the sweet stuff: We’re not saying to cut out of the naughty treats altogether, but just make your sweet sugary delights your rewards rather than your staple diet.  Lots of sugar will dehydrate you and make you feel hungry and un-satisfied.  Keep the sugar to a minimum when you’re feeling down and reward yourself occasionally when you’re feeling happy so your brain starts to associate eating with feeling good.  You will find by reducing sugar your mood will improve and those ‘down days’ will start to decrease.  If you get a sugar craving, grab an apple – they are the best natural sweeteners around!

Keep everything in proportion: Having a balanced diet and eating the correct portion sizes will retrain your brain both visually and physically. Understanding exactly how much food you actually need as opposed to want, is the best way to break the habit of over-eating and unnecessary eating. If just by looking at your meal you can understand how much you need, your brain will begin to automatically distance itself from over-eating.  Chewing your food properly and waiting for ten minutes after you’ve finished your plate will also assist your digestive system. This is helping train you towards hunger satiety – the state of feeling full rather than hungry.

Emotional eating has become a big health problem in the western culture with fast food and sugar fixes available at our finger tips.  Health issues directly related to a poor diet include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

As the patient becomes move anxious or worried about their weight and health, they can often turn to the thing which is causing the problem – over-eating.

There is hope! As with breaking any bad habit, it takes discipline and a need to want to have a healthier life and the only person that can do that is you.



women enjoying waitplate portion control tableware

Why is ‘Diet’ a scary word?

“I’m going on a diet.”  Everyone has either heard this statement or said it themselves.  There seems to be such a finality in these five words and little room for compromise that it’s no wonder people often shudder when they hear it.

The word ‘diet’ itself has become such a powerful force when it comes to people searching for a way to loose weight and feel healthy.  The word diet refers to the consumption of food used for nutrition.  This is why we refer to poor food choices as a ‘bad’ diet because the nutrition side of things is lacking and the body is not receiving the diet it needs to sustain itself in a healthy manner.

However, these days the word ‘Diet’ has been ambushed by companies and products whose sole focus is to provide weight-loss solutions.  To prove this, simply type the word ‘diet’ into Google and take a moment to read through the types of search results that come up.  There’s not actually many that options which offer information on nutrition.

‘Diet’ should not be a scary word. Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in and the word ‘diet’ has almost become synonymous with being overweight.  The word ‘diet’ should be used as an educational tool to help assist individuals to make their own decisions when it comes to nutrition.

People need to be enabled with the mindset that they can be responsible for their own actions and not have to rely on a mapped out meal plan or food products.  There are many reasons that people take the step into changing their eating behaviour and these include:

  • Health concerns
  • Diagnosed Health conditions
  • Low energy levels
  • Self-confidence
  • Happiness

Notice we did not include weight-loss in this list. This is because gaining weight, just like loosing weight, is a result of other elements – it is not an action or emotion.

People don’t go on a ‘diet’ to lose weight. They go on a diet to repair something internally that is not right, whether it be medical or emotional. Unfortunately many manufactured diets are just short term plans working on a specific time frame. After this allocated time frame, whether it be 12 weeks or 12 months, the client is left on their own and inadvertently exposed to their old habits that got them in trouble in the first place.

So instead of trying to find a short-term fix, the answer is to look for lifestyle choices that can easily be incorporated into your life’s routine.  Having tools that you can use on day-to-day basis and do not have an expiry date or contract, will enable you as the intuitive individual that you are, to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  You need realistic solutions that do not hinder your life but compliment it.

This is especially the case if you are trying to improve eating habits when you have a family.  Displaying an informed eating behaviour which can easily be transcended into your home, is one of the best ways to ensure success when it comes to sticking to a healthy lifestyle.  If your way of thinking and habits are something that involve the entire family/partner rather than isolate them, the support you will personally gain from your home environment, will be more effective than any personal trainer or dietitian.

Our Waitplate System embodies the philosophy that we believe you are intelligent enough to be responsible for your own health and happiness.  Having the Waitplate System in your home is having tools you and your family can physically touch and use. It is having an organic alternative to retrain your eating behaviour, right at your finger tips.  It is allowing you to eat naturally and sensibly without having to stick to a rigid meal plan. It does not have a contract or expiry date.

If you would like any more information on our products, or would like to share your journey with your Waitplate, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


What is the Waitplate System?

The Waitplate System is an aid to assist with correcting your eating habits and instilling portion sizes into your every day meals. But how does it work? Watch our new Waitplate video on our Youtube channel for a comprehensive introduction and demonstration on how the Waitplate System ‘works’ and the benefits you and your family can receive.

Click HERE to view ‘The Waitplate System, what is it?’ or simply visit our homepage.

Waitplate TVSN


A Mother Daughter Story with Waitplate

At the Waitplate System we are always receiving emails about success stories and how peoples lives and eating habits have transformed from using the Waitplate System. We recently received an email that particularity appealed to us as it’s the journey a mother and daughter have taken together to improve their lifestyle and health.

Hi Kelly,

Just thought I would take the opportunity to let you know how great your Waitplate system is. Both myself and my daughter Georgia have
been using the Waitplate system for a little over four weeks now and the results have been quite amazing to say the least. What I find most remarkable is how Georgia has embraced this new eating habit and lifestyle change. The differences are enormous, the portion sizes to amount of food consumed each day has dropped dramatically.

For instance the amount of food Georgia takes to school for recess and lunch in her lunchbox is nowhere near the amount she was taking four weeks ago. The lunchbox now contains a lot more fresh whole foods such as carrots, celery and apples rather than the processed packet foods, which is saving me a whole lot of money at the supermarket these days. I am very impressed with how we have been trained to identify the type of hunger our body creates and Georgia has adapted very well learning not to eat just for the sake of it.

This new lifestyle change to our eating habits has given us both more energy to be active and results are evident in the sporting events Georgia competes in, such as a recent triathlon race where she finished and looked like she was ready to race again. Georgia’s body is much more leaner and she is looking very fit.

I personally believe your Waitplate system has had a huge impact on our lives and we are both very grateful.

Kindest regards,

Michelle Rabula

One of our biggest goals at Waitplate is to educate people on how they can improve and retrain their habits to achieve a healthy lifestyle. We firmly believe that if children and young adults are introduced and begin these healthy habits of portion control early in life, the foundations are already set for a lifestyle that is both healthy and maintainable.

Michelle has taken the first step on improving both her and her daughters lifestyle and we applaud her for including her daughter in this life-changing step.

If you would like any more information on how the Waitplate System can work for you and your family, please don’t hesitate to contact our Waitplate team today.

pumpkin halloween

Happy Healthy Halloween

It’s that time of year when the shops shelves are overflowing with huge bags of sweets for all of those Trick or Treaters. It is a bit of a difficult time of year with so much temptation and incentive to splash out and fill your cupboard with lollies ‘just in case.’ While you don’t want to the Halloween Grinch, you can have your cake and eat it too when it comes to Halloween.

Remember, it’s all about portion control! If you have children it may be a bit hard to police but where there is a will, there is a way.


Here’s some tips to contain the Halloween sugar rush:


Prepare some healthy snacks before the Trick or Treat’ing begins:

If you have given your kids something healthy and substaintail in their bellies before the festivities begin, they will not over indulge (as much) due to hunger. This also helps with giving them energy that will last and just that big sugar high.


Drink lots of water: 

Obviously this is keeping everyone hydrated but will also help to wash some of that sugar away from their teeth.


Encourage portion control:

This may be impossible but it’s worth a try. Instead of having a big sugar blow out, give the kids the chance to choose which sweets they can have and spread it out over a few days or even a week if you’re clever.


Happy Halloween!