There are numerous ways to go about losing weight but only a few ways will ensure the weight stays off. Before you start thinking about following this programme you need to accept that losing weight is hard and there is no magic bullet, short cut or wonder drug that can help. It takes a clear strategy, support and commitment. With our support, you’re in the best possible position to succeed and enjoy the health benefits for years to come.
Strategy behind weight loss:
The fundamental aim is to ensure energy intake is less than energy expenditure. The quickest way to achieve this is to address both sides of the equation – increase your activity levels through exercise and reduce your calorie intake. You’re probably thinking this is common sense, but so many people fail to grasp this basic principle. In our experience, weight loss is 30% influenced by exercise and 70% influenced by diet.
A golden rule to remember is the faster you lose weight, the faster it will return. Short-term, crash diets don’t work. If you want to keep the weight off, you need to commit to small changes over a long period of time. Small changes to your knowledge, behaviour and food choices will help reduce food cravings and binges. It will also help maintain your metabolic rate (the energy your body uses to maintain baseline functions), which makes it easier to create an energy deficit.
Goal 1. Set a realistic weight loss target
The speed at which you can reduce body fat is dependent on a number of different factors. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you should aim for a maximum weight loss of 0.5 kg per week. This equates to a calorie deficit of 500 – 700 calories each day. This goal will be set in consultation with your nutritionist.
Weight loss is a long-term commitment. Choosing a balance diet, high in vegetables grown above the ground, lean sources of protein and wholegrain carbohydrates. In addition, limit your intake of sugar and high fat foods such as processed meats, crisps, cakes, biscuits, chocolate and sweets. Think about the factors that influence why you eat when you’re not hungry – it happens to everyone but some of us are better at controlling these urges than others.
Goal 2. Replace energy dense foods with low energy, high satiety alternatives
This will result in a reduction in calories consumed per mouthful and you will be left feeling fuller for longer. Try some of the following tips to help achieve this:
Goal 3. Reduce your dietary intake of bad fats and sugar
Reducing your dietary intake of bad fats is an essential step to losing weight BUT by itself, it doesn’t guarantee loss of body fat. The overriding factor is total energy intake and activity level. Low fat alternatives have become very popular but beware. These foods often contain added sugar to improve their taste. Start including these top tips into your diet:
Goal 3. Understand portion sizes
Hunger is not the only factor that dictates food intake. There are many different behavioural and environmental factors that influence our eating habits and desires. Common triggers include:
Identifying some of the factors that influence your ability to recognise when you are hungry is a great exercise to help control portion size. Take the time to eat smart and recognise which foods make you feel full and satisfied, and which behaviours cause you to eat more than you need. Keeping a brief food diary can help you to understand how different foods influence the way your feel.