We’re all looking for a quick fix or the ‘magic bullet’ when it comes to weight loss, whether it be superfoods, supplements or fad diets.
Healthy (and sustainable) weight loss, however, requires a different approach and frame of mind.
“One food alone cannot be blamed or pinpointed as ‘the food to lose weight’, nor can we blame a single nutrient (for example, carbs, fat or sugar) as a cause of weight loss,” Alexandra Parker, accredited practising dietitian of The Biting Truth, told HuffPost Australia.
“When it comes to effective, long-term weight loss, it is essential that we look at our diets and lifestyles as a whole.”
While cutting out food groups is tempting (as it will inevitably result in short-term weight loss), it’s likely we’ll regain that weight once we resume regular eating patterns.
“A huge problem with cutting out a particular food from your diet is that the day you allow yourself to bring it back in, you will splurge in a way that may not be healthy,” Anna Debenham, accredited practising dietitian of The Biting Truth, told HuffPost Australia.
“Additionally, if you focus on one particular food to lose weight, you are likely to miss out on receiving the variety of nutrients your body requires to achieve optimal health.”
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a ‘quick-fix’ when it comes to weight loss. To achieve and maintain a healthy weight you need to commit and be in it for the long haul.
“Successful weight loss and weight management comes down to a life-long commitment to a healthy lifestyle, which combines eating healthy foods and keeping physically active,” Parker said.
“Enjoy foods from all five food groups and ensure your diet is comprised of mostly plant-based foods for a sustainable approach to weight loss.”
InnaKalyuzhina via Getty Images Look at weight loss and weight management is a lifestyle, rather than a fad.
As Debenham explained, slow and steady weight loss is key.
“A long-term approach is required to lower body-fat levels, while maintaining lean muscle and the ability to exercise effectively,” she said.
“Body-fat stores are reduced when your energy expenditure is greater than your energy intake, so this is the aim for effective and healthy weight loss.”
To help lose weight, Parker also recommends eating mindfully — that is, eating without distractions like the TV or emails, and savouring each mouthful.
“By eating without distractions you are more likely to tune into your hunger cues and respond appropriately,” Parker said.
“Eat slowly and enjoy every mouthful as this will help you to recognise when you are full.”
Merinka via Getty Images
While there’s no ‘one’ food which help with weight loss, eating a variety of healthy foods which contain macronutrients and micronutrients will help with losing weight.
These foods help to fill us up, keeping us satiated for longer and less likely to reach for unhealthy foods later in the day.
“To ensure you have enough nutrients in your day and to maintain a healthy weight, base your lunch and dinner around the healthy plate model,” Parker said.
And don’t forget about exercise.
“Aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week,” Debenham said.
Some foods should be eaten occasionally rather than every day. These include sweet treats and many takeaway foods (especially those that are deep fried).
“Foods that are high in kilojoules (energy) and low in nutrients, such as takeaway foods and sweet treats like cakes and biscuits, do not help with weight loss,” Parker said.
“These foods are considered ‘sometimes’ foods and should therefore be enjoyed occasionally, in small amounts, to ensure weight loss goals or weight maintenance can be achieved.
zeljkosantrac via Getty Images Keep these as a ‘sometimes’ food.
“Alcohol is a big one to keep an eye out for as it is a huge contributor to weight gain.”
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