‘28-day detox’, ‘2-day juice cleanse’, ‘lose up to 10kg in time for summer’.
I am sure you’ve heard these before and you might have even tried what they’re trying to sell you because let’s face it – some of it does sound good and the marketing on diets these days are incredibly persuasive! But have you ever wondered how reliable are these claims are? Are they sustainable long term? Are they really interested in your health outcomes?
The reality is, some of these programs aren’t invested in your health, they just sell a diet or program is popular or trending, in order to make money and it’s just a bonus if you get some benefits out of it as well.
How many times have you dieted and just haven’t found results like they claim, or it just isn’t sustainable or fits in with your lifestyle? Well you’re in luck, this post will give you everything you need to get started with your weight loss journey that is sustainable and can fit in with YOUR lifestyle.
Back to basics
First let’s get back to basics. What is needed for weight loss?
Energy in = Energy out
We have a scientific equation which is called ‘energy imbalance’. Essentially it is made up of two components; energy in and energy out. Energy in being the calories your body takes in through consumption of food and drink and energy out meaning the calories your body uses through daily activities such as walking and breathing (yes, our body burns calories breathing).
Weight gain can happen when we disrupt this balance by either consuming more energy than our body expends or expending less energy than what we put into our body. It’s a balancing act which can go both ways – if we consume less energy than we expend, than we can see weight loss start to happen.
Tip #1: Start with a goal.
So now that you understand how weight loss happens- what can you do next? Well, starting with a weight loss goal is important.
But, before you write down your magic number, you need to consider a few things first.
Scrap your 20kg in a month idea – it’s not going to happen, and you will end up being disappointed that it didn’t happen and that’s because it isn’t realistic or achievable.
Your weight loss goal needs to be ‘SMART’- Specific, measurable, achievable, realisticand timely.
Steady weight loss of about 500g to 1kg is a realistic weight loss rate. Everyone loses weight at different rates but if you start with this, it is a great starting point.
Now with this in mind, use these the following to help you determine a goal that is right for you:
You’ve set your goal and you’re determined to get started. So, what can we do to achieve this?
Be careful of fad diets. These types of diets often promise fast weight loss without any scientific basis. These diets often cut out entire food groups which may mean you’re missing out on important nutrients which can lead to deficiencies or they may actually even hinder your weight loss.
We want to avoid any diets that cut out entire food groups or specific nutritious foods like carbohydrates and those who focus on focus on short term changes to eating and exercise habits. Most importantly steer clear of those who encourage miracle pills and potions!
What we want to do is have a balanced, wholesome nutritious diet. Heard of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating? This is based off our Australian Dietary Guidelines which promotes eating a wide variety of foods from all food groups including:
These food groups should make up a large proportion of your diet and aim to meet your recommended serves of these foods so you get all of the essential nutrients your body needs.
Here are some tips for eating healthy while trying to lose weight:
3# Get moving
Remember the equation energy in vs energy out? Well in order for effective and sustainable weight loss to happen, we need to get moving.
It is recommended adults achieve at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day. While it may seem like a challenge at first, find something you enjoy doing and stick to it! Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore and if you find yourself feeling like this stop and think.
If we aren’t enjoying what type of exercise we’re doing, we won’t put 100% into it and then you may feel unmotivated and could quit all together. And then you become disappointed with yourself and it becomes this vicious cycle. But when we enjoy exercise it’s a complete 180 difference. Here are some useful tips to get yourself moving:
4# Track progress
While weight loss is your primary goal, don’t forget about the other important changes that might be happening along the way. If you aren’t seeing much change in the scales it can be quite unmotivating but don’t forget about these amazing milestones to help you keep you on track:
5# Enjoy yourself
When you have a SMART goal, are eating healthily and exercising regularly it should be a lifestyle change and not just some quick fix. Your weight loss journey should not be a punishment either and you can still enjoy your food! Establishing a positive relationship with food will improve your mental thoughts surrounding food. When we demonise or restrict certain foods, we often attach negative associations with these foods which can hinder our weight loss journey. When this happens, we often binge on these foods, feel guilty about it and even fall off the wagon only to start again on ‘Monday’ or in a few weeks’ time and then we are caught in a cycle.
But food shouldn’t be demonised nor restricted. Enjoying a balanced diet of wholesome and natural food can keep us on track. Food brings people together and is a social celebration for many of us. You don’t need to eat less- just enjoy a balanced diet!
For specific, tailored advice that suits your individual lifestyle, speak to one of our Dietitians.