Eat a well-balanced diet from all four food groups each day.
Breads and cereals (whole meal & whole grains)
Milk and other dairy products (low fat or reduced fat)
Lean meats, chicken, seafood, eggs, beans and lentils
Fruit & vegetables (2 fruit and 3+ vegetables)
Eat 3 meals (and 2 snacks) per day. Do not skip meals or eat tiny portions as you will get hungry towards the end of the day and end up over eating. Spread your food intake out evenly over the day as your body needs a regular supply of energy.
Watch your portion sizes. You can still put on weight if you are eating too much healthy food! Use your hand as a rough guide for carb and protein serve sizes; place salad or vegetables on your plate first and use a smaller plate.
Weight loss should be gradual – aim for 0.5 to 1.0 kg per week. This is considered to be ‘healthy’ weight loss and you are more likely to keep it off.
Reduce food intake by 1050kJ or 250 calories per day and expend the same in exercise. This can be done by removing those high fat snacks/meals from your diet and watching your portion sizes.
Switch to low-fat dairy to reduce fat and kilojoule intake.
Be mindful of what you are eating. Sit down every time you have a meal or snack and always serve your food on a plate (do not eat straight out of a packet).
Weight loss should be from body fat; so be sure to include resistance training in your exercise routine so you preserve your lean muscle.
Drink water! The recommendation is 6 – 8 glasses per day. Often we get a message saying ‘we are hungry’ when more often than not we are actually thirsty. Have a glass of water first and let this settle before heading to the pantry!
Reduce your alcohol consumption. Calories from alcohol are calories without any nutritional benefit. Also the calories in alcohol are consumed first when combined with other nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates and fats. This means a delaying or postponing of the fat-burning process that can lead to more fat storage.
It’s common for your weight loss to plateau at some point. Do not be put off and think this is it. Reflect on what you have achieved to date and the progress you have made. Keep positive and keep focused.
Do not think of this as wanting to get to the end. Think of this as a journey whereby you are learning healthy eating habits and making healthy life style choices that will fit into your life, that way they will be permanent and sustainable.
Remember we are all human, we all have a ‘bad’ day! Let’s not let one bad day turn into a bad week, or a bad month. It’s about what you do most of the time, not what you do some of the time. Pick yourself up and get back on the horse!