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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the best way to diet without sacrificing nutritional needs?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Melanie McGrice is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian with a Masters degree in Dietetics. She is the director of Nutrition Plus based in Melbourne. She ... View Profile

    The most simple way is to decrease your intake of treat foods such as chocolate, chips, take away food, alcohol, sweet drinks etc.

    Hope this helps!
    Melanie
    www.health-kick.com.au

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  • Nicole Senior

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I'm an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist, consultant, author, speaker and food and health enthusiast. I love talking and writing about food and health.(please note, ... View Profile

    I agree with Melanie that you need to focus on eating nutritious foods and minimise the ‘extras’ that offer few nutrients and lots of kilojoules.There's no need to focus on carbs or fat grams because nutritious foods contain carbohydrate and healthy fats. Ensure you eat 'core' foods every day in the right amounts for your needs: vegetables and legumes, grains (preferably whole grains), lean meat/fish/poultry, low fat dairy foods, fruits, and small amounts of oils, margarine, nuts and seeds.Before you put something in your mouth ask yourself, is this food a good source of nutrients that will nourish my body? When you are limiting your kilojoule intake to lose weight sensibly, every mouthful counts.

  • Ashleigh Jones

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    1

    Thanks

    Fanastic advice from Melanie and Nicole.  I would also like to add that reducing your portion size will go a long way towards helping you reduce your energy (kilojoule) intake and lose weight.  Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that even “healthy” foods can be energy dense, and overlooking portion size can lead to a much higher energy intake than intended.  Remember, it's not just what you eat that's important, but also how much of it.

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris ... View Profile

    Fantastic advice from my colleagues above. If you would like to know more check out the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. If you click on this link: http://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/ and you can find the new DRAFT guidelines to be released later this year by clicking on the revised dietary guidelines “read more” section.

    Hopefully it will give you a bit of direction on how to eat healthy without sacrificing important nutrients. Alternatively you may wish to consult with an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) in your local area. To find one head to www.daa.asn.au and click on “Find and APD”

  • I'm an Accredited Practising Dietitian with 25 years experience. Particular areas of interest and expertise are in Obesity & Weight Mgt, Type 2 Diabetes, Insulin ... View Profile

    Wonderful advice from Melanie, Nicole, Ashleigh and Chris.  We try not to use the term “diet”.  Healthy Eating Plan is more how we talk these days.  When trying to manage your weight, as already mentioned - portion controlling, even of healthy foods is extrememely important as is regular daily exercise.  If you have regular daily exercise in place, then your food intake becomes less of an issue.  We don't want people scrutinising their food intake forever.  Become an active person, eat regular healthy meals and it should become much easier to manage your weight. Mindful eating is important also.  Eat slowly, taste and enjoy your food and you will feel full without over consuming. For individual advice, consult an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

  • Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last ... View Profile

    Stop dieting! Eating a balanced diet is the most important concept you have to accept in order for you to make your eating habits a lifestyle.  You can lose weight by watching your portion sizes, making good choices of food, and regular exercise. You can eat everything if the quantities are controlled. If you are not comfortable with the amounts you should be eating then you should consult an accredited practising dietitian.  

    I have sample menus on my website www.arlenesway.com.au. Eating well together with a regular exercise regime will result in you losing those extra kilos without being nutritionally depleted. All food groups should be included. Forget fad diets – they may offer quick results but they are not lasting outcomes that you can sustain. You have to be organised with purchasing your food and cooking regularly. You will certainly be eating less than you are eating now, but you should not feel deprived because you can have six small meals a day so you never feel starving as well as regular ‘treats’. Nothing is off limits as long as you plan for it. You can eat anywhere, whether you are eating at home, out in a restaurant, or at a friend’s house – you only have to watch your portions and make sure you are sitting down, eat slowly and enjoy your food – eat mindfully.

    If you read my book ‘The 10 Commandments for Losing Weight’ it allows you to enjoy your food as part of a balanced lifestyle, which includes healthy amounts of food, exercise, sleep, work and recreation. One important message is to restore balance to your life and you will feel happier and healthier, and you will be able to get your eating under control.

  • Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been ... View Profile

    As mentioned above, lifestyle change is the best approach. However as for diet composition and calorie intake unfortunately there is no one size fits all approach because everybody’s metabolism, hormone function and body composition are different.

    2 key nutrients that should no be eliminated are essential fatty acids (fish, nuts, seeds) and essential amino acids (meat, eggs, dairy). They are classified as essential as they cannot be made by the body (must be consumed) and perform various roles within the body.

  • Lorraine Barratt

    Healthshare Member

    1

    Thanks

    Hi, I have an under active thyroid and have been prone to weight gain. What I noticed was that once I got to fifty even though I exercised a lot, and ate very healthy, I was still carrying too much weight. Two years ago I started researching foods etc. back in the 1970's an American Doctor Ancel Keys recommended the high carb low fat diet, which the world went for. It was argued by a British Professor Yudkin, I believe his name was that a low carb high fat diet was better. The  result of the high carb diet is now what we are seeing, diabetes, obesity, heart related problems, we do not need as many starchy carbs as we are having. Even if you eat wholemeal pasta, rice etc. unless you do copious amounts of exercise you do not need three portions of starchy carbs a day. I found this hard to believe, but spoke to two personal trainers who confirmed that the new science is that we can get all the energy from one portion of starchy carbs, as long as we eat plenty of vegetables.

    i changed my low fat diet to a normal fat diet. I longer no had low fat yoghurts because of the sugar, I swapped these for full fat Greek yoghurt, I eat full fat cheese, I have cream, I eat lots of nuts and seeds and all the usual healthy foods but I only have one portion of starchy carbs a day. By starchy carbs I mean pasta, bread, rice, cereals, cakes, biscuits and all that kind of stuff. I fill my plate with vegetables and protein, I reduced my fruit intake from five portions to one. This is due to the sugar content. I lost 11 lb over a few months, that was all I needed to lose. I can do a 30 mile bike ride or a spin class or five mile run on one portion of starch carbs and plenty of veg. Even all the nuts I ate allowed me to lose weight. I also started cooking in coconut oil. When I had a health check last year my cholesterol level had increased from 3-4 to 5.8 the nurse said they did not like it being over five but my cholesterol was so high in good fats from the nuts and advocados, that it did not matter it was over five.

    sign up for DR Mercola's blogs he gives a lot of good advice on this. Some people think Dr Keys was corrupt and wanted to promote the sugar industry back in the 1970's hence why he went for that diet. If you look at the research the USA reduced their fat content but the obesity etc has not decreased, nor has the heart attack rate. So low fat is not good for us. Our brain needs fat. Our bodies can use good fats, even saturated fats can be used as energy. It is a fallacy to avoid fat and they even think that low fat diets may be the cause of thyroid problems. 

  • Elizabeth Newsham-West is committed to optimising the health and well-being of people across all ages within the Mount Tamborine community.  She works as a domicillary ... View Profile

    I am interested that your Total Cholesterol has gone up despite you losing weight.  What is more meaningful is knowing your LDL cholesterol. It is this which is oxidised in the blood and known to be one factor that increases your risk of heart disease. We would normally expect to see total cholesterol come down with the weight loss you have achieved, as this is a very effective way to do this. However it is important to know, LDL cholesterol is modified if you have a number of risk factors for heart disease. I wonder of your thryroid function is affecting your lipid levels

    While you say your cholesterol has gone up from good fats we know that the fats from plant foods ( mono/poly unsaturated fats) do not increase LDL cholesterol so they should not be affecting your total cholesterol that much. However we do know is that the fats from animal foods and coconut products being saturated fat do. I have seen this in my clinical practice where a person has decided to go on a high fat diet particularly animal fats and has kept a healthy body weight, with significantly increases in  LDL cholesterol within a 6 week period.

    My advice would be continue using less processed carbohydrate foods and adopt a more Mediterranean diet, more plant based which has moderate amounts of monounsaturated fats.

    If your throid is underactive your GP will prescribe Throxine in the correct dose for it to function more normally. Thyroid function also impacts on your cholesterol so I would ensure you have this checked and monitored by your GP.

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