In this article we discuss some strategies that you can put into practice to make weight control work for you!
1. Eat smaller servings
A hot topic in weight control is the large portion sizes in the average diet. Most of us eat much larger meals than our bodies need, especially when eating out. We eat everything on our plates whether we are hungry or not.
Try to eat more modest portion sizes such as 120g of steak (palm size), 30g of cheese (the size of a small matchbox), 30g of nuts (a small handful) and 150g of salmon. Eat more slowly, use smaller plates and don’t automatically eat everything you are given.
2. Maintain muscle mass
As we age, our muscles shrink because of lower hormone levels and less exercise. Having less muscle is a major cause of middle-age spread as muscle burns off a lot of energy. Middle-aged Australians gain about ½ kg every year, which adds up over time.
The trick is to maintain your muscle mass by regular weight-bearing exercise such as resistance or weight training, push ups/chin ups or walking up hills or steps.
3. Meal replacements work
There is now good evidence that certain meal replacement ‘shakes’ or bars are a safe, effective and inexpensive way of rapidly reducing weight, typically about 2kg per week. They provide balanced nutrition with very low energy intake.
Meal replacements are generally used to replace 2 or 3 meals a day for at least 12 weeks, along with vegetables or salad and a little dietary oil. They can also be used long-term to prevent weight gain. Meal replacement diets should be supervised by your doctor.
4. Stay active to keep weight off
Sadly, most people who lose weight eventually regain it. However, the latest research from the US has found that regaining weight can be minimised by a high level of moderately intensive daily exercise, such as brisk walking, for at least an hour a day. Other strategies found to help prevent regaining weight include eating breakfast daily and a low-kilojoule, low-fat diet.
Please note this information was correct at time of publication.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.