With around two thirds of Australian’s being classified as overweight or obese, it can be tempting to jump onto the bandwagon of the latest fad diet promising quick and easy weight loss. However, research shows that adopting healthy eating habits and being physically active over the long term are the most effective ways to manage your weight. Try these simple strategies to help reach and maintain a healthy body weight.
Begin with breakfast – Breakfast kick-starts the body, providing focus and energy.
- Have a boiled egg on wholegrain toast or a bowl of natural muesli with low fat milk before leaving home
- If you’re not hungry first thing in the morning, make a toasted wholegrain sandwich or mix fruit with yoghurt to take with you
- Whip up a fruit smoothie for that extra boost of calcium
A light lunch – An energy-giving combo of wholegrain bread, brown rice or grainy crackers plus lean meat, eggs, fish or cheese will feed both the brain and muscles. Try:
- Wholegrain egg and salad sandwiches
- Stir-fry tofu, vegetables and brown rice
- Pita bread wraps with salad and tuna, chicken or lean meat
Eat every 3-4 hours – Top up regularly to maximise concentration and energy levels. Choose:
- Fresh or dried fruit, dry roasted or raw nuts, vegetable sticks with hommus or raisin bread
- Boiled eggs
- Smoothies, low fat milk drinks or yoghurt
Keep the fluids flowing – Adequate hydration improves vitality throughout the day. Two litres a day is recommended for effective performance.
- Choose water when possible
- Other low kilojoule fluids include fruit and herbal teas, black and green tea, mineral water and soda water
Enjoy a variety of foods – include wholegrain breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables, with moderate amounts of low fat dairy products and lean meat, eggs, chicken or fish or meat alternatives such as legumes and tofu. Also be sure to include sources of healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds and plant based oils in your eating plan. Enjoy high fat, sugary or salty foods such as fried foods, pies, pastries, chips, biscuits and cakes occasionally and keep alcohol intake to a minimum.
See movement as an opportunity not an inconvenience. Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity on most days of the week. Some examples include walking, swimming, gardening and bike riding. Even periods of activity as brief as 10 minutes can be beneficial when they add up to 30 minutes. Exercise increases your metabolic rate which in turn results in a greater ability to burn fat.