Nutrition and the Guidelines You Should Follow

What makes a healthy diet? What are the building blocks of the best diet plan for you and your family? Can you really pick out any diet plan from the supermarket checkout lane magazines and lose weight but still stay healthy? Why are the foods that we love best often the worst for us? It is not an easy thing to talk about nutrition because there are so many myths and so much confusion surrounding it.And to add to all of this confusion, you may find yourself stuck trying to figure out who to believe or which of the “truths” are true for today. New studies may come along and show that something we have believed to be true or false all along is the opposite. Think of all the controversy that has surrounded fats for instance, or coffee, red wine, and other favorites. It may be next to impossible to keep up with every single fact about good nutrition mainly because there are so many of them and so many changes that come along it seems every day.Where Do You Get Your Nutrition Information?Where you get your information may be as valuable as what you find out. If you rely on getting all of the information that you need for your nutrition from the rag mags and other shaky sources, you are liable to be given information that is made up on the spot. If you are reading information about a fad diet for instance, you may find that you are not getting valuable or valid nutrition information but misinformation that has been skewed to prove their case and maybe to sell their products. Anyone can write a book, and they can make it look medical and factual, but if it is not backed up by legitimate studies, then you are simply reading the words that people want you to read- whether they are true or not.You should get your nutrition information from legitimate, up-to-the-minute sources such as your doctor, a dietitian, or a nutritionist. You may also read the news from legitimate and trusted sources – those magazines that are not just trying to push products but actually providing valid news and scientific facts.You can also get nutrition information online, however you should be careful about the sources that you are using. If you are simply pulling up information randomly, you may get confused. You may also stumble into sites that are only interested in selling products.What Makes Solid Nutrition?The first thing you should know is that there is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to nutrition, although all humans need the same basic nutrients in their diet. They all need different amounts of these foods however. The number of calories that a person needs to take in each day determines how much protein, carbohydrates, and fats he or she needs to have. The number of calories varies by the height and weight of the person. The more you weigh, the more calories that you will need simply to maintain your current weight. If you are trying to lose weight, you need to reduce the number of calories that you take in, but not drastically. If you are not eating enough calories each day, you will shut down your metabolism and will not lose weight at all.In addition, if you are dramatically reducing your calories, it is a safe bet that your nutrition will suffer in the meantime. You have to make sure that you are getting the right vitamins and minerals as well as the right number of the macronutrients.Why is Nutrition so Important to the Body?The body uses food to heal itself, to protect against illness and injury, and to perform the everyday, normal activities. Every single action in the body, from the smallest to the most complicated, runs on the energy we derive from the foods that we eat. If we are only eating junk foods, then we will only have poor nutrition. If we are only eating bad foods, our body will become sluggish and we will gain weight, get sick, and be unable to move around like we should. The longer our diets continue to be made up of bad foods and the longer we continue to deprive ourselves of good nutrition, the more likely we are to become sick in addition to gaining weight.To keep the body strong and healthy, we need good nutrition. We need foods that keep up the energy level that we need to move around.Protein Supplements and other Ways to Get Proper NutritionIt may be difficult to get all of the protein or other nutrients that you need to meet your nutrition goals. You may be struggling to lose weight thinking that you can achieve this goal by eating way less than you really need. The problem, however, is that you are not only failing to meet your calorie goals for the day, you are probably killing your metabolism and failing your nutrition in the meantime. Having a protein supplement in place of a small meal or as a between meal snack can help you get the nutrition you need without having to add a huge number of calories to your diet.

Best in Class Finance Functions For Police Forces

Background

Police funding has risen by £4.8 billion and 77 per cent (39 per cent in real terms) since 1997. However the days where forces have enjoyed such levels of funding are over.

Chief Constables and senior management recognize that the annual cycle of looking for efficiencies year-on-year is not sustainable, and will not address the cash shortfall in years to come.
Facing slower funding growth and real cash deficits in their budgets, the Police Service must adopt innovative strategies which generate the productivity and efficiency gains needed to deliver high quality policing to the public.

The step-change in performance required to meet this challenge will only be achieved if the police service fully embraces effective resource management and makes efficient and productive use of its technology, partnerships and people.

The finance function has an essential role to play in addressing these challenges and supporting Forces’ objectives economically and efficiently.

Challenge

Police Forces tend to nurture a divisional and departmental culture rather than a corporate one, with individual procurement activities that do not exploit economies of scale. This is in part the result of over a decade of devolving functions from the center to the.divisions.

In order to reduce costs, improve efficiency and mitigate against the threat of “top down” mandatory, centrally-driven initiatives, Police Forces need to set up a corporate back office and induce behavioral change. This change must involve compliance with a corporate culture rather than a series of silos running through the organization.

Developing a Best in Class Finance Function

Traditionally finance functions within Police Forces have focused on transactional processing with only limited support for management information and business decision support. With a renewed focus on efficiencies, there is now a pressing need for finance departments to transform in order to add greater value to the force but with minimal costs.

1) Aligning to Force Strategy

As Police Forces need finance to function, it is imperative that finance and operations are closely aligned. This collaboration can be very powerful and help deliver significant improvements to a Force, but in order to achieve this model, there are many barriers to overcome. Finance Directors must look at whether their Force is ready for this collaboration, but more importantly, they must consider whether the Force itself can survive without it.

Finance requires a clear vision that centers around its role as a balanced business partner. However to achieve this vision a huge effort is required from the bottom up to understand the significant complexity in underlying systems and processes and to devise a way forward that can work for that particular organization.

The success of any change management program is dependent on its execution. Change is difficult and costly to execute correctly, and often, Police Forces lack the relevant experience to achieve such change. Although finance directors are required to hold appropriate professional qualifications (as opposed to being former police officers as was the case a few years ago) many have progressed within the Public Sector with limited opportunities for learning from and interaction with best in class methodologies. In addition cultural issues around self-preservation can present barriers to change.

Whilst it is relatively easy to get the message of finance transformation across, securing commitment to embark on bold change can be tough. Business cases often lack the quality required to drive through change and even where they are of exceptional quality senior police officers often lack the commercial awareness to trust them.

2) Supporting Force Decisions

Many Finance Directors are keen to develop their finance functions. The challenge they face is convincing the rest of the Force that the finance function can add value – by devoting more time and effort to financial analysis and providing senior management with the tools to understand the financial implications of major strategic decisions.

Maintaining Financial Controls and Managing Risk

Sarbanes Oxley, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Basel II and Individual Capital Assessments (ICA) have all put financial controls and reporting under the spotlight in the private sector. This in turn is increasing the spotlight on financial controls in the public sector.

A ‘Best in Class’ Police Force finance function will not just have the minimum controls to meet the regulatory requirements but will evaluate how the legislation and regulations that the finance function are required to comply with, can be leveraged to provide value to the organization. Providing strategic information that will enable the force to meet its objectives is a key task for a leading finance function.

3) Value to the Force

The drive for development over the last decade or so, has moved decision making to the Divisions and has led to an increase in costs in the finance function. Through utilizing a number of initiatives in a program of transformation, a Force can leverage up to 40% of savings on the cost of finance together with improving the responsiveness of finance teams and the quality of financial information. These initiatives include:

Centralization

By centralizing the finance function, a Police Force can create centers of excellence where industry best practice can be developed and shared. This will not only re-empower the department, creating greater independence and objectivity in assessing projects and performance, but also lead to more consistent management information and a higher degree of control. A Police Force can also develop a business partner group to act as strategic liaisons to departments and divisions. The business partners would, for example, advise on how the departmental and divisional commanders can meet the budget in future months instead of merely advising that the budget has been missed for the previous month.

With the mundane number crunching being performed in a shared service center, finance professionals will find they now have time to act as business partners to divisions and departments and focus on the strategic issues.

The cultural impact on the departments and divisional commanders should not be underestimated. Commanders will be concerned that:

o Their budgets will be centralized
o Workloads would increase
o There will be limited access to finance individuals
o There will not be on site support

However, if the centralized shared service center is designed appropriately none of the above should apply. In fact from centralization under a best practice model, leaders should accrue the following benefits:

o Strategic advice provided by business partners
o Increased flexibility
o Improved management information
o Faster transactions
o Reduced number of unresolved queries
o Greater clarity on service and cost of provision
o Forum for finance to be strategically aligned to the needs of the Force

A Force that moves from a de-centralized to a centralized system should try and ensure that the finance function does not lose touch with the Chief Constable and Divisional Commanders. Forces need to have a robust business case for finance transformation combined with a governance structure that spans operational, tactical and strategic requirements. There is a risk that potential benefits of implementing such a change may not be realized if the program is not carefully managed. Investment is needed to create a successful centralized finance function. Typically the future potential benefits of greater visibility and control, consistent processes, standardized management information, economies of scale, long-term cost savings and an empowered group of proud finance professionals, should outweigh those initial costs.

To reduce the commercial, operational and capability risks, the finance functions can be completely outsourced or partially outsourced to third parties. This will provide guaranteed cost benefits and may provide the opportunity to leverage relationships with vendors that provide best practice processes.

Process Efficiencies

Typically for Police Forces the focus on development has developed a silo based culture with disparate processes. As a result significant opportunities exist for standardization and simplification of processes which provide scalability, reduce manual effort and deliver business benefit. From simply rationalizing processes, a force can typically accrue a 40% reduction in the number of processes. An example of this is the use of electronic bank statements instead of using the manual bank statement for bank reconciliation and accounts receivable processes. This would save considerable effort that is involved in analyzing the data, moving the data onto different spreadsheet and inputting the data into the financial systems.

Organizations that possess a silo operating model tend to have significant inefficiencies and duplication in their processes, for example in HR and Payroll. This is largely due to the teams involved meeting their own goals but not aligning to the corporate objectives of an organization. Police Forces have a number of independent teams that are reliant on one another for data with finance in departments, divisions and headquarters sending and receiving information from each other as well as from the rest of the Force. The silo model leads to ineffective data being received by the teams that then have to carry out additional work to obtain the information required.

Whilst the argument for development has been well made in the context of moving decision making closer to operational service delivery, the added cost in terms of resources, duplication and misaligned processes has rarely featured in the debate. In the current financial climate these costs need to be recognized.

Culture

Within transactional processes, a leading finance function will set up targets for staff members on a daily basis. This target setting is an element of the metric based culture that leading finance functions develop. If the appropriate metrics of productivity and quality are applied and when these targets are challenging but not impossible, this is proven to result in improvements to productivity and quality.

A ‘Best in Class’ finance function in Police Forces will have a service focused culture, with the primary objectives of providing a high level of satisfaction for its customers (departments, divisions, employees & suppliers). A ‘Best in Class’ finance function will measure customer satisfaction on a timely basis through a metric based approach. This will be combined with a team wide focus on process improvement, with process owners, that will not necessarily be the team leads, owning force-wide improvement to each of the finance processes.

Organizational Improvements

Organizational structures within Police Forces are typically made up of supervisors leading teams of one to four team members. Through centralizing and consolidating the finance function, an opportunity exists to increase the span of control to best practice levels of 6 to 8 team members to one team lead / supervisor. By adjusting the organizational structure and increasing the span of control, Police Forces can accrue significant cashable benefit from a reduction in the number of team leads and team leads can accrue better management experience from managing larger teams.

Technology Enabled Improvements

There are a significant number of technology improvements that a Police Force could implement to help develop a ‘Best in Class’ finance function.

These include:

A) Scanning and workflow

Through adopting a scanning and workflow solution to replace manual processes, improved visibility, transparency and efficiencies can be reaped.

B) Call logging, tracking and workflow tool

Police Forces generally have a number of individuals responding to internal and supplier queries. These queries are neither logged nor tracked. The consequence of this is dual:

o Queries consume considerable effort within a particular finance team. There is a high risk of duplicated effort from the lack of logging of queries. For example, a query could be responded to for 30 minutes by person A in the finance team. Due to this query not being logged, if the individual that raised the query called up again and spoke to a different person then just for one additional question, this could take up to 20 minutes to ensure that the background was appropriately explained.

o Queries can have numerous interfaces with the business. An unresolved query can be responded against by up to four separate teams with considerable delay in providing a clear answer for the supplier.

The implementation of a call logging, tracking and workflow tool to document, measure and close internal and supplier queries combined with the set up of a central queries team, would significantly reduce the effort involved in responding to queries within the finance departments and divisions, as well as within the actual divisions and departments, and procurement.

C) Database solution

Throughout finance departments there are a significant number of spreadsheets utilized prior to input into the financial system. There is a tendency to transfer information manually from one spreadsheet to another to meet the needs of different teams.

Replacing the spreadsheets with a database solution would rationalize the number of inputs and lead to effort savings for the front line Police Officers as well as Police Staff.

D) Customize reports

In obtaining management information from the financial systems, police staff run a series of reports, import these into excel, use lookups to match the data and implement pivots to illustrate the data as required. There is significant manual effort that is involved in carrying out this work. Through customizing reports the outputs from the financial system can be set up to provide the data in the formats required through the click of a button. This would have the benefit of reduced effort and improved motivation for team members that previously carried out these mundane tasks.

In designing, procuring and implementing new technology enabling tools, a Police Force will face a number of challenges including investment approval; IT capacity; capability; and procurement.

These challenges can be mitigated through partnering with a third party service company with whom the investment can be shared, the skills can be provided and the procurement cycle can be minimized.

Conclusion

It is clear that cultural, process and technology change is required if police forces are to deliver both sustainable efficiencies and high quality services. In an environment where for the first time forces face real cash deficits and face having to reduce police officer and support staff numbers whilst maintaining current performance levels the current finance delivery models requires new thinking.

While there a number of barriers to be overcome in achieving a best in class finance function, it won’t be long before such a decision becomes mandatory. Those who are ahead of the curve will inevitably find themselves in a stronger position.

Importance of Basic Diet and Nutrition – 4 Essential Fat Loss Tips

Is it necessary to provide our body adequate diet and nutrition? Is good nutrition important to our health? Eating well means achieving or maintaining adequate nutrition that is necessary for every person to improve and maintain optimal health. Eating healthily includes special diets for weight loss, lowering cholesterol level, blood pressure and controlling diabetes mellitus. It also includes nutritional guiding principles and healthy recipes. Basic nutrition and diet therapy are the two most important factors we should consider to keep our health to the fullest.A person’s diet is composed of the food they eat while nutrition is the means of nourishing our body appropriately. Adequate diet and nutrition means that your body is getting all the vitamins, nutrients and minerals it requires to function at its best level. Therefore, eating a healthy diet and nutrition is your primary way to get good health.Most people believe that a balance of diet and nutrition, including physical activity can help them reach and keep a healthy weight. However, the benefits of good nutrition, outweighs the weight. Good health can also improve heart and other body organs function, including mental health; improve school performance, better wound healing and fast recovery from injury or any diseases. Having enough diet and nutrition in our body system can also boost our immune system, increasing the body’s ability to fight off diseases and infections.Every individual has unique nutritional needs, and every person’s diet and nutrition should meet those specific needs. For instance, an infant requires different diet and nutrition than an adolescent. Also, the nutritional needs of a pregnant woman are much different from those of a toddler. On the other hand, a person’s height, current weight and activity level can also influence the quantity and quality of nutrients their body needs.Here are several tips for healthy diet and nutrition:1.Eat foods that are rich in fiber. Taking in fiber rich foods can make you feel full much longer as they stay extensively in the stomach compared with carbohydrates, tricking your brain that there are still enough foods in your tummy. Thus, keeping you off from food cravings.2. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet and nutrition. It is recommended to eat fresh frozen fruits rather than ready made fruit juice for most of your drinks. Eat adequate amount of dark green leafy vegetables, beans and peas most of the time as they contain lots of fiber.3 Eat lean meats. This is one way to reduce calorie intake, especially fats that go with meats. Other protein-rich foods include fish, peas, pork, seeds, nuts and beans.4 Eat all food groups in moderate amount. Be sure you know the limits of salt, fat and sugar especially those foods that are high in saturated and trans fat as they tend to raise bad cholesterol level in the blood, increasing our risk of having heart diseases.Generally, a healthy diet and nutrition is the one that provides your body balance nutrition. It is necessary to make smart selections from every food group, balance between food and physical activity and obtain most nutrition out of your calories.