Healthy weight loss for summer
As the weather heats up, many people’s thoughts turn to losing the weight they gained over the winter months. Although this is generally for aesthetic reasons, it is more important that we lose excess weight for our health. Becoming complacent with weight gain can encourage more and more to creep on each year which can lead to lifestyle related disease.
Weight loss is a science. It is creating a deficit between energy input and energy output. In order to lose 0.5kg per week, the average person should aim for a daily reduction of 2,000kJ from their diet. In order to lose 1kg per week, this figure should be doubled to 4,000kJ per day.
What does this look like?
2000kJ is equivalent to approximately:
- 3 ½ rows of dairy milk chocolate
- 3 ¼ tablespoons of butter or oil
- 2 (600ml) bottles of coke
- Two thirds of a small serving of Pad Thai
- 2 ¼ cups of cooked pasta
- 79g of almonds (66)
- 1 large serve of French fries
- 140g of snakes (10.7 snakes)
- 3 thin sausages
- 125g of raw, rolled oats (just over 1 cup)
- Just under 5 Tim Tams
*The above values were taken from Calorie King and were current as of 19/09/2014
It is easier to cut back on energy dense food and fill up on food low in energy. For example, 10 cups of cooked broccoli equals 2000kJ opposed to 3.5 rows of chocolate or oil.
Start with the extras like chocolate, soft drinks, and flavoured milks and once you have eliminated those, assess whether you may be over doing the nutrient rich but also energy dense healthy foods – like nuts. These foods are still good to incorporate in to your diet but in smaller portions.
Why are those last few kilos harder to lose?
If you are someone who is of a smaller build and who only has a small amount of weight to lose, it can seem like it takes a little longer. A two or four thousand kilojoule reduction can be significant for someone with a daily requirement of only around 8000kJ and who is already eating close to that. If you were previously eating well above your requirements (and hence had a higher energy requirement to maintain that weight) then it would have been much easier to create a deficit!
However, all hope is not lost. Remember that gradual losses of 0.5kg are still achievable and healthy, without having to deprive your body of nutrition. It may not sound like much but it adds up quickly! Don’t get discouraged.
Be careful of grazing
A couple of handfuls of nuts throughout the day, a row of chocolate here and a can of coke there can really add up! Try and stick to a routine. Three set meals and a couple of small snacks in-between (fruit, low fat yoghurt, 30g nuts) may help to get that kilojoule count down.
What additional factors can hamper weight loss?
- Stress and disrupted sleep – these two factors disrupt the normal production of cortisol (stress), ghrelin and leptin (sleep). These hormones play different roles in the regulation of hunger, satiety, fat storage and hence weight loss/maintenance.
- Emotional eating
Some individuals find that regularly practicing yoga or pilates can greatly reduce their stress levels. Exercise in general is good for improving mood and encouraging healthier sleep patterns. Give it a go! The trick is to keep it up regularly which will assist with good health and weight loss anyway.
Exercise can as well help to get emotional eating under control. Eat meals around the same time each day and be aware of triggers of emotional eating. Put thought in to meals and snacks so there is no temptation around.
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist.
If you have questions about losing weight, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.