Health assessment: Kelly

Reviewed by our expert panel
Health assessment: Kelly

Kelly Sagar won Healthy Food Guide’s ‘Win a consultation with a dietitian’ competition. Having been put on the right path to a healthier lifestyle, here’s the practical advice she received.

Kelly Sagar is a busy wife and mother. She has a frantic schedule coordinating the activities of her twins (7 years) and son (11 years), while managing a household, working from 9am-3pm, then doing the books for her husband’s business at night. It’s not hard to imagine that Kelly doesn’t have much time for exercise or just simply to relax!

When Kelly won sessions with the Nutrition Therapy Clinic dietitian, she thought it would be a good chance to do something positive for herself and her family.

Dietitian Shana Copland gives practical advice on how Kelly can become healthier.

  • Age: 39 years
  • Height: 163cm
  • BMI: 38 (ideal range: 18.5-25)
  • Waist circumference: 123cm (ideal measurement: <80cm)

Kelly generally has good health with normal cholesterol and blood pressure readings. However, she has a family history of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. To reduce her chances of developing these nutrition-related diseases later in life, Kelly needs to improve her nutrition and lose weight.

A typical day before Kelly meets with Shana consists of:

  • Breakfast: Large bowl of cereal with lite blue milk and 1 tablespoon sugar, or 2 slices of toast with a thick spread of butter and jam/honey/marmite.Coffee/tea with sugar and milk. Cooked breakfast on the weekends.
  • Morning tea: Fruit, biscuits, muesli bars, purchased muffin.
  • Lunch: Sometimes skips or just picks at snacks and may eat out on the weekends.
  • Afternoon tea: Cup of tea with a biscuit or crackers and cheese.
  • Dinner: Large amount of carbohydrate (pasta, rice, potato or kumara) with around 1/2 cup of non-starchy vegetables and a serving of meat (usually red meat, sausages, mince or chicken). Takeaways around once a month.
  • Supper/dessert: Sometimes ice cream, biscuits and milo.


  • Breakfast: Choose one of the following:
    3/4 cup of low-fat, low-sugar, whole grain cereal or porridge with 1/2 cup of calci-trim milk, 1/2 cup of fruit or 1/2 medium banana and artificial sweetener to taste if required; or 2 slices of wholegrain toast, a thin scraping of margarine with Marmite or a small amount of jam; and coffee/tea with trim milk and artificial sweetener
  • Morning tea: Choose one of the following:
    1 piece of fresh fruit; or Pottle of low-fat unsweetened yoghurt; or Low-energy muesli bar; or 2 wholegrain crackers with cottage cheese, cracked pepper and tomato.
  • Lunch: Choose one of the following:
    Leftovers from dinner with a salad; or salad sandwich made from ingredients kept at work (preprepared salad with low-fat dressing, tuna and wholegrain bread with mustard); or 6 wholegrain crackers with salad, low-fat cheese and fruit
  • Afternoon tea: Choose one of the following:
    Homemade muffin or low-energy (kilojoule) slice (see Smart slice and HFG blueberry muffins makeover); or fruit with coffee.
  • Dinner:
    1 cup of cooked rice/pasta or 1 medium potato/ kumara
    Large serving (at least half the plate) of non-starchy vegetables (salads, peas, pumpkin, cabbage etc)
    Palm-sized serving (~100g) lean meat, fish or poultry or 2 eggs or 1 cup of cooked beans/legumes
  • Supper/dessert: Choose one of the following:
    1 cup low-fat, low-sugar ice cream; or low-kilojoule hot chocolate; or fruit


Prepare a healthier version of the cooked breakfast (grill or poach) and cut down on the portion size (see HFG breakfast fry-up makeover). Continue to have regular meals and snacks.

Be prepared: It is essential that time is spent each week planning meals and snacks, and stocking the cupboard with the healthy options so that good choices are the easy choices.

Break habits: All of us find it difficult to stop doing what we enjoy and have done for a long time. Providing a healthy alternative is one way to making the change easier. Kelly was regularly having a large, purchased muffin for morning tea, which can contain around 2,500kJ! Now she has the option of a homemade muffin or slice with added nutrition and only 500-600kJ per serve.

Push play: Kelly enjoys playing indoor netball once a week with her girlfriends; a great way to get out and burn some kilojoules! She also tries to be active while her son plays soccer by helping set up the goals and walking around while he plays. She is going to add extra activity: at least 3 x 10-minute walks during the day or a decent walk while her daughter is at dancing practice.

Food diary: It can feel like a hassle but research shows that keeping a food diary improves weight-loss success. It also pinpoints foods that need to go and ensures overall nutrition needs are being met.

Health assessment follow-up: Kelly

First published: Nov 2006


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