Using extreme measures like following very low-calorie diets (1000 calories or less) may not be helping you. This is because your body doesn’t know you’re dieting it just knows it isn’t getting enough food. So, it will respond by conserving energy, slowing your metabolism, and your weight loss efforts. Basically, the opposite of what you were aiming for! Can you relate?
Our biggest advice to you is to say goodbye to fad diets and learn how to eat in a way that is suitable to your needs and goals! Confused about where to start? We can help!
Try these 5 tips to get you started:
1. Start small – make small changes to your diet and make sure your goals are achievable! Rather than going with an all-or-nothing approach and feeling deprived, focus on gradual changes, starting with one thing at a time.
2. Prioritise protein – Protein is important to help maintain muscle mass, which plays a key role in your metabolism. We like to use the plate method as a guide for meals, aim for 1/4 of your plate to be protein (or a palm-size) followed by 1/4 plate low GI carbohydrates, 1/2 plate of colourful vegetables/salad, and 1 serve of healthy fats.
3. Improve your sleep – Poor sleep increases appetite hormones, leaving you feeling hungrier and less satisfied the next day with your food choices. Another thing it affects is your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels (increasing your risk of pre-diabetes) and it can make it harder for you to lose weight. What’s your sleep routine like? Start with getting to bed a little bit earlier, having regular sleep and wake times, and try to avoid screens before bed!
4. Get moving! Aim to include some resistance training into your physical activity regime. This is important for building muscle mass which we want to preserve to support your metabolism as often with weight loss we commonly see muscle loss if there is no regular resistance training involved. If you are new to exercise, working with a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist can help to get you started with an appropriate program.
5. Monitor your intake – This step isn’t for everyone but it can be helpful for some. Please skip this step if you find it triggering or have a history of an eating disorder or disordered eating. For clients without the above concerns, keeping track of intake can help to raise awareness of food choices and provides a good overview of a regular or usual intake which is also helpful for us as dietitians. This can provide us with a good base and help to form our dietary strategies and recommendations to ensure that what we are recommending is appropriate for you. If you are monitoring, try to record as you go, rather than trying to remember at the end of the day! Keep in mind there are variations in monitoring your intake, and there is no right or wrong way. Some prefer paper, others prefer using an app. These are all things we can discuss together in our sessions.
If you’re wanting to learn more about your metabolism, your weight, and how we can help, please contact us on 02 4023 2797 or Book Online to see one of our dietitians for tailored support.