Fads not the answer to dieting

According to Australia’s latest National Nutrition Survey, more than 2.3 million Australians (13%) aged 15 years and older say they are on a diet to lose weight or to improve their health.


The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) is encouraging Australians to ditch fad diets this year, and focus on achieving healthy eating habits and a healthy weight by making changes they can keep up long-term.


A large US study, the National Weight Control Registry, which began in 1994, has been tracking the success of more than 10,000 people who have lost at least 13kg and kept it off for more than five years.


‘This study gives us valuable insights into the changes that people make to shift the kilos, and how they fine tune these to keep weight off, which for many people is the hardest part of the process,’ said Professor Clare Collins, spokesperson for Australia’s Healthy Weight Week (AHWW) and DAA.


Professor Collins warns against fad or ‘quick fix’ diets as these often ban entire food groups, making it difficult to get the nutrients needed for health, and meaning people are more likely to drop out as soon as weight loss stalls.


‘Be realistic about weight loss, aiming to drop around half to one kilogram a week, be as active as you can every day, and take on eating habits you can live with,’ said Professor Collins, an Accredited Practising Dietitian.


Weight loss tips

Proven strategies from the National Weight Control Registry to help take weight off and keep it off:

  • Eat a healthy breakfast every day

  • Pay attention to the portion sizes and the total kilojoules you eat each day

  • Enjoy a healthy diet that includes foods like vegetables and fruits that are low in kilojoules but high in fibre and nutrients. They’ll fill you up and keep you from over-eating

  • Get moving and be physically active every day of the week. You’ll burn kilojoules and boost your energy

  • Be aware of your eating and activity habits. Track your food choices and your activity level in a journal, an app or on-line tracker

  • Weigh yourself weekly

  • Be consistent and go at a steady pace. A healthy weight loss is ½ - 1kg a week

  • Expect challenges. Weight loss is a process – it takes time, patience and effort.

‘There is no one magic bullet or 'ideal' weight loss diet. Instead, when the going gets tough, call an Accredited Practising Dietitian and book an appointment for expert, tailored advice and support to give you the best chance of achieving your weight and health goals,’ recommends Professor Collins.


By visiting the Australia’s Healthy Weight Week website, you can ‘Make a Pledge’ to ditch a fad diet and take up healthier approaches to weight loss - www.healthyweightweek.com.au/make-a-pledge/ . Share your pledge on social media and go into the draw to win some great prizes.


19 January 2015.