What is the best way for me to lose weight?
Updated: Jan 3, 2022
With so many different weight loss ‘solutions’ out there, it is understandable that you might find it hard to pick the right one for you. Unfortunately, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer! For your weight loss plan to be successful it should be tailored to suit YOUR individual needs.
The bottom line is to be kilojoule (energy) wise; however, there are many ways to achieve this. Most people say, "I eat healthily!”, but our society is now what the researchers and health professionals call ’obesogenic’. This refers to the role that environmental factors such as the food supply, urban sprawl, and concerns regarding neighbourhood safety, play in determining both nutrition and physical activity. As a result, it is very easy for extra kilojoules to sneak in, even when we are paying attention to what we eat. Examples include changes in portion sizes due to the way manufacturers make food, the easy availability (and palatability!) of discretionary foods (‘sometimes foods’), and the amount of time we spend socialising around food and alcohol. Over time our weight can creep up and at some point, even start to impact on our health.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Clinical Practice Guidelines tell us that just a 5% loss of weight is enough to improve overall health outcomes, including a reduction in risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. This can be as little as 4-5 kilograms. It is important however to have individualised tailored approach to not only achieve your weight loss goal but to maintain the 'healthier you' once you are there.
Where do I start? I have never tried to lose weight before.
The first step, if you have not already been actively trying to lose weight, might be looking to improve your ‘diet quality’. This means looking at the amounts and types of foods you eat. Taking simple steps to eating more healthily, increasing your physical activity, and adopting healthier habits through changing lifestyle behaviours will get you on the right path to weight loss.
I think I have a well-balanced diet, so what might work for me?
A Reduced Energy Diet (RED) aims to reduce your energy intake by 2000-4000 kilojoules per day. Taking this approach is the best place to start if you have not previously attempted to lose weight. This approach is a good fit for you if your weight loss is not required urgently (such as for surgery) and if you already have a good understanding of nutrition and the five food groups. It may be useful for you if you have previously found that ‘stricter’ diets do not suit you and you are after a more simplified approach to healthy eating and weight loss.
What might be a weight loss approach for me – I have tried a lot of diets before?
A Low Energy Diet (LED) will limit your energy intake to 4200-5000 kilojoules per day. This might be the go-to strategy for you if you have had multiple previous attempts at ‘dieting’ but never attempted a ‘strict’ approach. If your weight is negatively affecting your health and well-being this might be a good starting place for you.
I have seen the shakes and meal replacement diets – who are these best suited to?
If you feel like you have tried and tried again with the LED approach to weight loss with limited success, then it might be time to consider a more intensive intervention in the form of a Very Low Energy Diet (VLED). The VLED approach is primarily used where weight is seriously affecting your health or where you might require a certain amount of weight loss to be fit for surgery or a particular procedure.
Remember the bottom line is always to be energy wise no matter the approach you take. And do not forget the importance of getting the right plan tailored to your individual needs. Health practitioners working at Lifestyle Metabolic specialise in dietary counselling methods that focus on the behaviour of eating. We use a coaching approach to weight management and healthy eating that draws on evidence-based strategies to promote a life-skills focus to facilitate lifestyle change to assist our clients achieve a more comfortable and healthy weight.
For further information, advice, and support towards being a healthier you, make an appointment to see one of our healthcare professionals at Lifestyle Metabolic.