Losing weight can be a rewarding journey
Sustainable weight loss can be a challenge. There is much confusion surrounding which foods constitute a healthy diet and which do not. As a result, rates of chronic disease are skyrocketing, brought about by an epidemic of obesity, lack of exercise and poor food choices. None of this is helped by the constant stream of misinformation spread by clever big-business marketing, fad diets, and promoters of ‘get thin quick’ weight loss programs. But the good news is, help is at hand! With the right knowledge & support, it is possible to lose weight and keep it off.
Good nutrition made simple
Losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated, nor does maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In fact, both of these will be most effective if kept simple. The best foods to eat are those provided by nature, not ones that come from a packet. Fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, nuts, fresh fish and lean meat provide an excellent basis for sustainable weight management. Processed foods should be avoided altogether, as they often contain hidden nasties that can sabotage attempts to lose weight, or compete with nutrients for absorption.
Make the right choice
When making healthy food choices it’s the quality of the energy consumed (kilojoules or calories) rather than the quantity. For example, a soft drink and a handful of nuts may contain similar energy content, but think about where that energy is coming from.
The soft drink contains empty energy; that is, carbohydrates for the sake of carbohydrates in the form of sugar. Consuming this will cause your blood sugar levels to spike, and signal your body to store fat.
The handful of nuts on the other hand contains protein, good fats, vitamins and minerals that will be put to work immediately by your body for repair of body tissues and maintenance of cellular processes. Yes, the nuts contain fat – but the latest nutritional research confirms that if we get more of our energy from fat and protein rather than carbohydrate (this includes rice, pasta and bread), blood sugar levels stabilise and hunger is more easily controlled.  When hunger and blood sugar is under control, weight loss is far more easily achieved!
 Pastore, R.L et al. (2015). Paleolithic nutrition improves plasma lipid concentrations of hypercholesterolemic adults to a greater extent than traditional heart-healthy dietary recommendations. Nutrition Research. 2015 Jun;35(6):474-9
Eggs, nuts and full fat dairy
These days, low fat, no fat, and sugar free are the most popular food choices, and these are also touted as the best methods for losing weight. This is not so. Low fat products often contain large amounts of sugar, and sugar free foods will often have artificial sweeteners added that are far more damaging to the metabolism than normal sugar, and can in fact be responsible for weight gain.
Everyone should include eggs and nuts in their diet (unless vegan or suffering from allergies). They are super foods and contain loads of essential nutrients in high amounts. Full fat dairy is far better for the average person than reduced fat as it contains many more nutrients as a result of being less processed. That being said, dairy should be consumed by adults only in small amounts.
Fresh is ALWAYS best!
Where possible, make home cooked meals. This way, you know what’s in the food and you can more accurately track your nutrition journey, particularly when your goal is weight loss. When eating out, avoid starchy meals like pasta or risotto. Salads, fresh seafood, grilled meat or stir-fries are preferable. Vegetarian options typically provide more nutritional value.
 Yang, Q. Gain weight by going “diet”. Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings. Yale J Biol Med. 2010 Jun; 83(2): 101–108.
What about snacks?
Snacks are fine, but they must be the right foods. Nuts (unsalted), or vegetable sticks with cottage cheese or goats feta are an excellent choice. Avoid sugary sweets wherever possible and instead of lattes or cappuccinos, try green tea or long blacks. Water is always the best beverage of choice. Depending on activity levels, 2L is normally adequate (or 8-10 glasses/day). Snacking after dinner should be avoided. Research shows that snacking after dinner or late at night is more likely to disrupt blood sugar levels and trigger storage of fat.
This is an important lifestyle component for everyone, even if you don’t want to lose weight. I can’t stress enough how important it is to build exercise time into your daily regime. This doesn’t mean you have to run a half marathon everyday though. If you haven’t exercised much before, start small, find something you enjoy doing and build up your fitness levels over time. This might start off being a 15 minute walk around the block, gradually progressing up to an hour a day. Any exercise is better than none at all and the benefits extend far beyond weight loss!
To lose weight, you must burn off more energy than you consume. If you’re not exercising each day, weight loss becomes much more difficult.
Health & Wellness Program
At Nepean Naturopathic Centre, we have created a Health & Wellness Program to benefit not only those who would like to manage their weight, but also for those who feel their diet may be lacking in some areas and need advice.
During the consultation, we will explore your diet using the latest in dietary software, and assist in highlighting areas that may need improvement. We’ll take you through each step and design a personalised diet and lifestyle plan to help you achieve your wellness goals.
If you’d like to know more, please click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab and follow the link.
It is time to Live Well!
Call 03 9785 7885 for further information or click below to make an appointment.