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Top 10 fat loss tips to help you lose weight and keep it off


adjust your energy intake to reflect your energy expenditure

Left to their own devices, most people eat the same amount of energy from food & drinks day to day. However, energy expenditure can vary significantly.


Think about the days you have structured PT sessions or group classes compared with a lazy day at home. Unfortunately for many people, their appetite isn’t very sensitive to changes in energy expenditure. This means that despite doing little exercise, people still tend to eat the same type & amount of food each day.


As carbs are the main fuel used during training, it makes sense that your carb intake should increase & decrease based on the amount of exercise you do.

limit your intake of energy containing drinks

The energy (or calories/ kilojoules) in drinks aren’t recognised by your body which can make it easy to blow out on your calorie intake just by over drinking. Because you don’t have to chew drinks & they are rapidly absorbed by the body, the energy they contain simply doesn’t register with your body’s appetite control centre. As such, it’s best to avoid drinks like fruit juice, softdrinks, energy drinks, flavoured waters, cordials & alcohol, & instead eat your daily calories. Both your waistline & your teeth will thank you from limiting these sugary drinks.

While the energy in milk tends to be recognised by the body (most likely because of the protein & calcium), this isn’t justification to include milk shakes, smoothies, flavoured milks & sweetened milk based coffees in your meal plan every day. Wherever possible eat your calories/ kilojoules rather than drink them. Milk based coffees can be an excellent snack (especially if made with skim milk) to take the edge of your hunger but if you are hitting a mid-afternoon slump & need a ‘pick-me-up’, then an instant coffee or long black is a better choice.

As your training loads ramp up over the next few months, it’s important that you present to your training sessions well hydrated. Dehydration impairs performance, which means less training adaptations for you & fewer calories/ kilojoules burnt in training. Arrive at the gym hydrated by remaining conscious of your fluid intake throughout the day. Carry a drink bottle with you everywhere & ensure you refill it during the day.

Try adding a small twist of lemon or lime juice to your bottle of water for an extra flavour sensation. Alternatively, if you really struggle with plain water, consider using diet cordial to boost the palatability of water & help you drink more. Keep the amounts of diet cordial to just the minimum as super sweet diet cordials still keep your taste buds craving for sweet treats.


use your appetite to help guide your daily food intake & eat mindfully

Learn to listen to your body by eating when you are hungry & stopping when you are satisfied. While the message is so simple, our plentiful supply of tasty food combined with the fact that food is often associated with social activities & celebrations means people are often presented with opportunities to eat when they simply don’t need to..

We are a nation of 'mindless eaters'. We are attached more than ever to our technology, cars, televisions, & work desks disconnecting our mind from our food. How many times did you eat today simply because you were 'hungry'? We eat more if it’s in a large container, in the presence of family &
friends, when we pay little attention to the moment, to clean the plate, if it’s convenient, when food is labelled with elaborate gourmet names, for the comfort factor... Studies have suggested that we make over 250 decisions about food every day!

How can you eat more mindfully…


  • Turn off the technology & always sit down to eat

  • Taste your food, chew slowly & put your fork down between bites

  • Use smaller plates & spoons & long/skinny glasses vs short, wide glasses where people tend to consume more (unless its water)

  • Keep junk food (chips, lollies, chocolates, biscuits etc.) out of sight so it’s inconvenient to eat them

  • Be the family 'gate-keeper' at home... over 70% of what you eat is determined by the chief cook in the home

  • Beware of the 'halo effect' or the 'what the hell' effect - just because the label says its light, low fat, 99% fat free, organic, or gluten-free it doesn't mean it’s a free for all for consumption. Likewise, if it’s free of charge or you have a coupon... do you really need to eat it?

  • Know your comfort foods... males tend to prefer comfort 'meals' e.g. pizza/pasta, ice-cream where women prefer snack-like choices e.g. chocolate, ice-cream, cakes, biscuits

  • Serve your plate at the kitchen bench - not at the table from serving dishes where it’s easy to go back for seconds, thirds & more. Take it out of the packet & observe what you’re actually eating.

allow veggies to occupy a significant amount of your plate real estate & include in at least 2 meals a day

Vegetables are extremely low in energy but provide invaluable amounts of essential nutrients. As such, they are considered very ‘nutrient dense’.


Aside from their valuable nutritional profile, research shows that merely increasing vegetable intake at a meal can help lower total energy intake.

Given this, one of the most powerful changes you can make to your diet is allowing vegetables to occupy more of your plate real estate at both lunch & dinner each day.


This is especially important on non-training days when energy needs are lower. Enjoy a big salad at lunch or lightly steamed vegetables at dinner to ensure you achieve your daily quota.


include a small serve of protein rich food at each meal &/or snack

Protein rich foods tend to make meals & snacks more filling. Given this, it makes good sense to include a small serve of protein rich food at each meal &/or snack throughout the day.


You do not need to follow a high protein diet, merely one that has better hits of protein distributed over the day. Most Australians consume half or more of their daily protein intake at dinner.


Instead, keep your serve of protein rich food at dinner to no more than a deck of cards (about 100-120g), add some lean ham & low fat cheese to your sandwich & include yoghurt as a mid-meal snack. You will feel fuller for longer & avoid those nasty hunger pangs that can wreak havoc with your meal plan.

drinking with meals can help moderate food intake & promote better hydration

Recent research suggests that drinking non-calorie drinks with meals can help fill you up, moderating your intake of food at the meal.


This not only assists with weight loss but will also boost your hydration status by making use of the salt naturally in our food to better hydrate.


mid-meal snacks are OK if they keep hunger at bay

Including regular meals & snacks throughout the day helps prevent you from getting over hungry & bringing out the ‘bear’ in you who wants to eat everything in sight.


The key is to select the right snacks such as fresh fruit, low fat or diet yoghurts, portion packs of nuts etc. Avoiding energy rich, nutrient poor foods & drinks is critical as these foods are so easy to passively over consume.

taking time to chew & enjoy your meals is not only satisfying, it also allows your appetite to kick in

Eating too quickly simply doesn’t give your appetite time to register just how much food you’ve consumed.


Instead, take the time to enjoy the food you are eating while also allowing your appetite centre to register what’s just been consumed.


occasional foods are allowed – you just need to work out how much you have & how often

Remember, you don’t need to be perfect, just consistent enough to achieve your goals. Changing ingrained habits takes time, commitment, & support.


You can have your favourite foods, even if they aren’t what others may consider to be ‘healthy’.


The key is to ensure you are committed to your meal plan for the majority of your meals & snacks.

making informed choices at the point of purchase is a powerful tool in your arsenal to fight fat


Learning how to read food labels is an essential skill to make better choices in the supermarket. Try not to be deceived by clever labelling using terms like ‘lite’ or ‘99% fat free’. Instead, compare food within a food category with the per 100 g column to decide which product may be a better choice.


Keeping fat intake in check is certain to help reduce overall energy intake. As a very concentrated source of energy, just a small reduction in fat intake can cause a big drop in total energy intake without affecting the amount of food you eat.


Use the following tips to help moderate your fat intake…


  • Choose low fat methods of cooking such as grilling, dry or light frying, baking on a rack, microwaving, steaming or poaching. All these techniques require little or no added fat/ oil. When light or stir-frying choose a non-stick pan or try oil sprays. They provide just the right amount of oil for cooking - a very fine film to stop the food from sticking.

  • Choose lean cuts of meat & chicken. Trim meat of all fat & remove skin from chicken prior to cooking. When purchasing meat, choose the leaner cuts i.e. without fat

  • Be aware of the fat added to many foods. Butter, margarine or mayonnaise on bread, oil based dressings on salad, oil in tinned fish & nuts or cream (coconut or dairy) in sauces. Use sparingly or trial low fat alternatives e.g. oil free dressings, low fat mayonnaise, evaporated skim milk with coconut essence instead of coconut milk, tinned fish in water or brine rather than oil.

  • Hidden fats & oils in cooking - oily dressings, creamy sauces, biscuits, cakes, desserts, Danishes & other pastries

  • Flavour foods with oil-free dressings, low fat mayonnaise, lemon or lime juice, balsamic vinegar, salsa, tomato sauce, mustard etc.

  • Leave the butter/ margarine as a spread on sandwiches. Replace with a scrape of avocado, mustard, salsa, chutney, low fat mayonnaise

  • Trial low fat varieties of foods now readily available e.g. low-fat dairy products

  • When dining out, choose lower fat options. This will be especially important if you lead a busy lifestyle & rely heavily on takeaways & convenience food. Look for options that are based on noodles, rice or pasta with a healthy serve of vegetables & some lean meat, fish or chicken. Avoid deep fried choices, creamy or satay sauces or options with lots of added oil. One or two packs of low fat frozen meals in the freezer is a great idea when pressed for time.

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