If we look at it, the stats on weight loss are less than stellar. People who lose weight on a diet gain the weight back within a few years because of dieting strategies that don’t necessarily keep weight off. This is where nutritionists and dietitians come in – they can help identify effective strategies for long term weight loss that will leave you feeling accomplished, happier, and healthier for years to come.
So, what really happens after the diet is over? Is long-term weight loss achievable? Mobile Dietitian, your reliable online nutritionist in NZ, has gathered helpful tips for healthy weight management. Read on.
It’s worth noting that calories are a measure of the energy that comes from the food we eat. Gaining, losing, or maintaining weight depends on how many calories we eat and how many calories our body uses over time. But then, not all calories are created equal when it comes to weight management.
For example, if you have a choice between a handful of cashew nuts providing you 100 calories and a piece of chocolate cake also providing you with 100 calories, it’s important to remember that despite the calories being the same, the cashew nuts are still the better choice for weight loss. Why? There are so many good things in those nuts and seeds that affect our health in other beneficial ways. For example, they are higher in fibre so they’ll keep us more satisfied than the cake would, so we will eat less food later on. They also contain healthy fats which are good for our heart and brain, whereas the chocolate cake will provide saturated fats, which can increase risk of heart disease. When you are choosing foods for weight loss, it’s important to look beyond the calorie content. When searching for great snack options, check the label and look for high protein and fibre options, and ensure you are opting for the lowest sugar, salt, and saturated fat options where possible.
So many people try to reduce their calorie intake by focusing on food. Another effective way to cut calories is to change what you drink. Perhaps you’re drinking fizzy drinks and juice every meal, so you may be taking in quite a few calories this way. These types of drinks provide you no fullness factor and simply leave you with a temporary sugar high. To put this into perspective, drinking a 330ml can of fizzy drink every day amounts to approximately 52,560 calories per year, and 3,193 teaspoons of sugar.
Consider the beverages you have every day and think about some simple swaps that could make a considerable difference in calorie consumption. If you drink a daily full fat latte (157 calories per cup), you could try changing to a flat white, which contains 1/3 of the milk, so 1/3 of the calories. Alternatively, you could opt for a skim milk latte (116 calories per cup), saving you 14, 965 calories in a year. Skim milk will also give you more protein, calcium, and less fat!
There is a misconception that if people eat less food, they will lose weight. It sounds right in theory, however few of us have the ability to take our usual eating patterns, and just eat a touch less at every meal. Many people take the approach of skipping meals, skipping snacks, or removing types of foods, such as carbohydrates and dairy from their diets.
In reality, when you work with a qualified nutritionist or dietitian, they will make sure you eat every meal and every snack possible! Going hungry is not an effective weight loss technique. The idea is to fill yourself up on foods that contain low calories, but lots of nutrition. For example, foods that contain a lot of water and are high in fibre like fruits and vegetables are great choices to bulk up meals, without the calories. Consider foods like popcorn for snacks – 2 cups of air-popped popcorn contain only 62 calories but has a satisfying, crunchy texture for those cravings. It also looks like a lot of food, so you feel like you haven’t been denied.
However, not everyone has a schedule that allows them to eat every 3 hours. Search for online dietitian services or find a nutritionist near you to help you create a food plan suited just for you and your unique lifestyle. With an online nutritionist in NZ helping you create smart eating patterns; you’ll find it easier to lose weight – and keep it off.
Physical activity increases the number of calories your body uses. Cardio and weight training play different roles. While cardio helps you burn through lots of calories quickly, weight training helps to build muscle, which uses more calories in the long-term, helping you keep the weight off. Exercise also has many other benefits, like improving our heart strength, oxygenating our body, and releasing feel-good chemicals to promote happiness and a sense of wellbeing.
When you start exercising, it’s important to give yourself a bit of extra fuel so you can exercise effectively. Don’t worry, if you pick the right foods, this won’t stop you from achieving your weight loss goals. Try having some carbohydrates around 2 hours before your work out. This could be a bowl of porridge, a large banana, some wholemeal crackers with some fruit. Your body will be able to use the carbohydrates from your food as fuel for your workout, so you can get more out of it. Ensure you have a high protein snack within an hour of finishing to help your muscles repair and build. This could be a pottle of yoghurt, a glass of milk, cheese and crackers, or a handful of nuts and seeds. If you are having a meal, having meat, chicken, fish, or vegetarian options such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, or tofu are a great choice.
You can be eating the healthiest food in the world – but if your portions are too big, you’ll find it harder to lose weight. Some things can distort how large portions are. For example, if you are served your food on a huge plate, the food looks smaller than it is. Likewise, if you are given a small bowl overflowing with food, it looks like you’ve got a lot more. With larger portions, it becomes easy to over-eat or drink too many calories, leading you to take in more calories.
Many people also have a finish-their-plate mindset, where they keep eating until their plate is empty, as opposed to stopping when they are full. Some general tips to keeping your portions down include 1) Using smaller plates, bowls, cutlery, and cups 2) Use your hand as a portion size guide. Carbohydrate portions such as bread, pasta, rice, or potatoes should be no more than the size of your closed fist. Protein portions should be able the size of your palm, or the size of your open hand if you are eating fish or vegetarian proteins. On the plus side, you can eat as many vegetables as you want! Fill up your plate with vegetables 3) Listen to your body to know when you are full. It takes about 20 minutes for us to start feeling full, so eat slowly, drink lots of water with your meal, and put down your knife and fork when you are full – not when your plate is empty.
Are you ready for your journey to weight loss? Get in touch with Mobile Dietitian, an online nutritionist in NZ, to help you create a science-based strategy on how to lose, gain, or maintain weight.