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Healthy weight loss tips

Swap over to healthy habits for life

Do you find losing weight and then keeping it off a real struggle? Don’t worry… you’re not the only one.

But the good news is, that just by making some simple changes to our eating and physical activity habits, in ways that we can sustain and maintain for the rest of our lives (rather than through short term dieting) we can lose weight, keep it off and boost our health for a lifetime.

Realistic goals

A good place to begin is to tune-up those old habits by setting realistic goals.

One way to start doing this is to keep a simple diary for a few weeks to track our eating and physical activity, as this can help with setting achievable goals and planning our positive changes to accomplish them.

Avoid ‘quick-fixes’, weight-loss traps and unhealthy fad diets

Watch out for these weight-loss traps or bad habits that can get in the way of achieving your goals:

  • skipping meals or eating on the run
  • eating and drinking to relieve stress
  • eating convenience foods too often, instead of preparing home cooked meals from fresh ingredients

Stay clear of diets that:

  • ban a specific healthy food or all of a food group
  • promise fast and miraculous results
  • are not scientifically based or approved by accredited health professionals.

Quick-fix diets do not help to improve long-term eating habits or sustained weight-loss and can often also bring about harmful side effects to your health.

How fast should I lose weight?

Once you determine your healthy weight, it is important to set a realistic and long-term goal that’s both achievable, and based on healthy eating and being active.

For healthy adults, the recommended rate of weight loss is 0.5 to 1.0 kg per week.

Get off to a good start with these healthy weight loss tips

  • have regular healthy meals – including breakfast – with the right amounts from each of the five nutritious food groups to match your individual energy needs
  • decrease those portion sizes to avoid over-eating (with the added bonus of saving on your food bill too)
  • check you are not over-indulging in the ‘discretionary foods’ category as these foods and drinks tend to be high in kilojoules due to their fat, sugar and/or alcohol content
  • eat slowly and stop when comfortably full
  • keep on the move, sit less and set goals to be more active every day
  • pre-plan your weekly menu and shopping list, and learn how to follow the nutrition panels on food labels
  • switch over to healthy cooking habits and look for simple, tasty and healthy recipes that the whole family can enjoy
  • swap sugary drinks for water. Watch the Swap It and Save! Ideas to save your waist video.
  • avoid ‘non-hunger nibbling’ between meals or when distracted such as when watching tv or at the movies
  • learn to confidently say ‘no thanks’ to second serves and high-energy desserts. Finish the meal with some delicious fruit instead.
  • reduce high-sugar and high-fat foods and go for more fruit and vegetables instead
  • when eating out, carefully check over the fast food menus including kilojoule counts and serve sizes. Try these healthier eating out ideas instead
  • drink plenty of water and if you do choose to drink alcohol order by the glass and sip slowly
  • reward your achievements along the way and taking time for something that makes you feel good but steer clear of using food or drink as a reward
  • seek positive support from friends and others to help reach your long-term goals.

Who can help and support you to lose weight?

There are lots of weight loss programs, services and products available that may help you lose weight. Weight Management Council Australia provides information about best practice in weight loss. Use this information to help decide what approach will be best for you.

Your doctor, an accredited practising dietitian, an exercise physiologist or a psychologist will also be able to help.

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