Posted: 20th January 2020
Posted in: Health Tips
Happy New year everyone!!
If you feel like you’ve had a bit too much to eat over the holiday season and need to get your diet back on track, then you’re not the only one. Weight loss is one of the most common new year resolutions.
To help you out here are 5 general weight control tips to help you on your weight loss journey.
1. Focus on feelings, not numbers
Scales only measure your mass at a single point in time. The scales will not tell you how much fat mass or lean muscle mass you have. Scales can be influenced by factors such as how big your last meal was or how hydrated you are. While it’s the easiest way to indicate weight, it is often the most inaccurate and least indicative method of analysing body composition.
Don’t throw away the scales just yet though, instead find other measures of weight and body composition to interpret the number on the scales. Other good indicators of weight management are clothing size – loose or tighter fitting for clothes you regularly wear – specific body measurements such as waist or hip measurements, and skin fold measurements.
What’s more important than numbers? How you feel and what your capable of. Keep track of things such as mood, energy levels, stamina and mobility. Keep in mind that weight control shouldn’t be a goal by itself, it should be viewed more as a single factor in a much larger goal.
2. Plate real estate (plate sizes and meal portions)
The battle for appropriate portion control is often lost before we take a single bite of food. Being aware of the size and type of foods that are on your plate will have a huge impact in your overall diet intake. We don’t usually judge portions according to our hunger or nutrient requirements but by the size of the object holding the food. A bigger plate often meals we load it up with more food, often far beyond our nutritional needs.
The same is true with bowls, cups and lunch boxes. we can also use plate sizes to downplay how much we eat; we may say we only had one glass of soft drink however that glass may hold 750ml. we can use this same psychology to reduce our portion sizes by stocking smaller sized plates, bowls and glasses/cups in our cupboards thus making the portions appear bigger than what they actually are.
Other ways of reducing energy intake is adjusting the composition of food on our plate, for example a plate full of cheese has a much higher number of kilojoules compared to a plate full of vegetables. Take advantage of this by stocking your plate up with low energy yet high nutrient food such as vegetables. Not only will you reduce total energy intake without going hungry, but you’ll also be increasing your fibre, vitamin and mineral intake
3. Planned meals and snacks (meal prepping)
Planning out meals can be very beneficial for those who struggle with erratic eating patterns or binging habits, it can also reduce food wastage and save you some money. Meal prepping your weeks meals is a great example of diet planning and portion control that can have a huge influence on weight control.
Start your planning with what meals and snacks you would like to have, making sure your meeting your daily nutritional requirements of course. Detail out what ingredients would be needed to make your desired meals and snacks, from there make a shopping list of only the necessary items. Avoid adding extra snacks and treats to your shopping cart. If an unhealthy snack isn’t readily available in the pantry you won’t be able to eat it during a moment of boredom or stress craving
4. Identify personal habits and pitfalls
Many factors influence our food choices, such as our mood, food availability, social life and events. Some of these factors can come as a surprise, however most factors can be identified as daily or even weekly patterns and behaviours. Keeping track of what you eat and identifying influencing factors can help you understand the food choices you make, for example, maybe Wednesdays are usually very busy causing you to skip lunch and snack more often. Once these choices and their factors are understood you can then make plans to make positive food choices, such as stock piling healthy snacks for those busy Wednesdays.
5. Don’t binge on the weekends
This can be a common struggle for those attempting to eat right. The thought of a cheeky weekend binge especially after 5 days of clean eating can’t do that much harm, right? Yes, it can. Weekend binging can often exceed the calorie deficit created throughout the week, putting us in a calorie surplus and causing weight gain. Cheat meals or sanity snacks are absolutely fine, the problem comes when it turns into a cheat day or cheat weekend. Don’t let two bad days ruin your five good ones.
Keep in mind that weightless isn’t appropriate for everyone and that these are only general tips and may not right for you. If you’re not sure if you should work on weight control, or you feel like you need additional help please give us a call at Generation Physio, we have a friendly team of professionals that are dedicated to changing the lives of our clients. All of our clinicians are mobile and come to your own home to conduct an examination. Give us a call on 1300 122 884 to book a consultation today.
Article written by Will Best
Will is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, holding a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from the Sunshine Coast University. Using a patient-centred approach for all his clients, Will works with you to create diet recommendations that suit your nutritional requirements and your lifestyle.
Will continuously strives to expand his knowledge about all things food-related, including food production, cooking techniques, nutritional qualities and different food cultures.
Learn more about Will here.