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Weight loss tips
Friday, 7 March 2008
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The key to weight loss is to be in negative energy balance. This means consuming less energy (kilojoules/calories) than you expend will equal weight loss. The major contributors to energy in our diet are fat, sugar and the consumption of large servings of food. Upping your physical activity is also important to weight loss, not only to burn energy but also to improve your bone density, for heart and lung health and not to mention being beneficial for stress management.

Weight loss tips - How to eat less calories

  • Have hearty vegetable soup or sandwiches or a wrap for lunch, consume low fat snacks between meals such as fruit, wholegrain biscuits, low fat yoghurt or low fat muesli bars.
  • Avoid potato and corn chips, cakes, biscuits especially chocolate and cream filed, chocolate bars, pastries, pies, and rich desserts.
  • Limit takeaway meals
  • Change from full cream to reduced fat milk, purchase reduced fat dairy foods as well.
  • Use margarines and oils in moderation, change to a spray oil.
  • Choose lean cuts of meat, trim all visible fat, and take the skin off chicken.
  • When shopping use the label and compare product labels for levels of fat. As a general guide, foods with a fat content of less than 5 grams per 100 grams are acceptable.
  • Check for ingredients listed on food labels that are sources of fat such as shortening, ghee, lard, milk solids, and hydrogenated vegetable oil.
  • Avoid high fat snacks when drinking alcohol (chips, nuts, pizza, wedges with sour cream, nachos)
  • Use low fat cooking methods, grilling, BBQ, dry roasting or steaming.
  • Modify recipes to cut down on the fat (eg use light evaporated milk and coconut essence instead of coconut milk in curries).

Although fat has a high energy density and is often the culprit for contributing excess kilojoules to many peoples intake, cutting all fat out of the diet can have negative health consequences. It is important to include some healthy fats in the diet, particularly the ones the body cannot produce such as omega 3 fats. 

While a 'low fat' label is a good starting place for less kilojoules beware of the food that may have extra sugar added, watch out for biscuits, lollies, yoghurts desserts and some cereals.

Weight loss tips - Eating healthy

  • Don't skip meals, eat breakfast every day and include regular snacks so you donít get too hungry and overeat at mealtimes.
  • Make sure half your plate is filled with vegetables, monitor servings of lean meat and grainy foods.
  • Have at least two alcohol-free days each week. Limit the amount you drink at any one sitting.
  • Serve your meal on a smaller plate and eat slowly.
  • Plan ahead with meals, save leftovers for lunch to avoid going back for second helpings.
  • Increase physical activity

Weight loss tips - Physical activity

  • Get moving any way you can.
  • Walk more, build it into your day, get off the bus a few stops earlier; walk during your lunch break, take the stairs, meet a friend for a walk and a coffee. A good guide to aim for is 10,000 steps on your pedometer. 30 minutes a day minimum, you can do this in 3x10 minutes if you are starting out
  • Watch less TV
  • Join a gym, have an exercise program tailored to your needs
  • Go jogging round the streets, parks, on the beach, on the treadmill.
  • Swim, bike ride, or for something different: take a dancing lesson, organise a friendly tennis match, go bushwalking, have a round of golf, hire rollerblades.
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