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*Our Top 10 Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss!*

In the past 50 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence and prevalence of obesity worldwide. In Australia, rates of obesity are now at epidemic proportions with 2 in 3 adults (63%) and 1 in 4 children (25%) overweight or obese, and numbers increasing every year. Central Queensland is no exception to this pattern and in fact our prevalence of obesity is 8% higher than the State average.
Obesity affects all of our bodily systems, increasing our risk of many chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and arthritis to name a few.

There truly is no magic pill or quick fix that will give you a long-term solution to weight loss. Crash diets are exactly that – a crash that your body needs to recover from. They are a short-term assault on your body both physically and mentally which is neither sustainable nor healthy.

Rather than relying on marketing claims about foods, fad diets or trying desperately to attain the media image of what the ideal male or female shape is, the key to sustainable weight loss is learning what's really healthy for you. With this knowledge you are able to make informed decisions and behaviour changes leading to new habits for sustainable long-term change and ultimately a healthier you. This is how we approach weight loss at BodyNatured, tailoring programmes specifically for your needs to support you in reaching your goals.
Here are our Top 10 Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss to start practising today!

Top 10 Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss

1. Commit to change. Decide that you are really ready to make a change and prepared to do what it takes to achieve your goals. The first step to getting anywhere is deciding you're no longer willing to stay where you are. Achieving your goal weight is not about a short period of pain and deprivation to then revert back to habits of a lifetime once the dream weight is achieved. It's these habits that got you where you are in the first place and it is these that need to change if you want to maintain a healthy weight for the long-term. Changing habits can be challenging, so understanding this up front will make it a lot easier to maintain your resolve when the going gets a bit tough.

2. Eat for health, not weight loss. You need to give your body what it needs to function optimally. This includes a wide range of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that we get from food. The better your body functions, the better it is able to metabolise food, absorb and use the nutrients from it and amongst other things, maintain a healthy weight. Latest research also shows that the food we eat even plays a role in controlling which of our genes we express, bringing a whole new depth of meaning to the saying, 'you are what you eat'! This is very different to an 'eating for weight loss' mentality, which suggests counting calories, restriction and deprivation.

3. Eat real food. Real food is food that comes from nature. At some point it was living and it contains a wide abundance of nutrients that we need for good health. Processed food is food that has been modified from its natural state in some way. A fried egg is processed as it has been cooked, however, the processed food that we really want to avoid is that which has had a whole bunch of artificial ingredients and chemicals added. The more natural and varied the foods you eat, the more they contain a wide range of the nutrients that your body needs. Learn to read labels and see through Marketing claims. I'm not talking about calorie counting. I'm talking about understanding what it is you're actually eating. As the saying goes, 'real food doesn't have ingredients, real food is ingredients'!
4. Set realistic goals and expectations. In a society where we are used to getting what we want, when we want it, it can be difficult to practice patience. However, you didn't gain your weight over a weekend and you shouldn't expect to lose it in one. Setting small milestones will make the big ones more achievable. Research also shows that even modest reductions in body weight can produce significant health benefits with significant improvements to cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose levels with just a 5-10% reduction in weight so every day you progress you're already in a better place than you were the day before.

5. Enjoy your food. Food is such an important part of our existence, not merely from a survival point-of-view, but as a complex part of our social interaction and society. We eat food for pleasure as well as to nourish our bodies and mind. Often however, there is a lot of negative emotion that we've built up between ourselves and food. Whether it be guilt, a feeling of loss of control, despair and hopelessness or a binge-starve mentality, an important part of behavioural change and weight loss is addressing this relationship with food, letting go of the negative emotions and really starting to enjoy preparing and eating food again.

6. If you fall down 10 times be prepared to get up 11. Don't see one slip back into old habits as a reason to write off your day, your week, your entire good intentions. One slip is exactly that. Beating yourself up about it doesn't contribute positively to the situation so just get straight back to plan at the next meal and don't look back.

7. Exercise. Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It helps us maintain muscle mass and bone mineral density, prevents accumulation of abdominal fat, increases our energy levels, speeds up the rate at which we metabolise calories and contributes to a healthy mind state which improves our general coping ability and positive mental approach to life. It's important to vary your exercise between cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training.

8. Up your skills in the kitchen – with less and less time on our hands and more and more readymade foods available it's understandable that cooking has fallen by the wayside and along with it our culinary knowledge and skills. If you feel completely overwhelmed in the kitchen, then maybe it's time to enrol in a short cooking course or spend a bit of time building up your confidence with some simple recipes. Donna Hay has a whole new magazine series which she calls Fresh And Light which contains lots of simple, fast recipes to cut your teeth on. I'm also planning a 'Fast Real Food' workshop in 2017 covering basic kitchen skills and a number of Food recipes that will give you a handy repertoire of quick, nutrient-packed recipes to have up your sleeve.
9. Testing. Sometimes there's more going on than what we can see and it may be worth having some tests to rule certain factors out if you are struggling with losing weight. A professional will be able to advise you which tests may be relevant for you based on your symptoms and circumstances.

10. For your best chance of success work with a professional who can guide and support you. It's not going to be easy all the time but having someone there to call when motivation is fading and who will hold you to your goals and milestones can be one of the most important aspects in a successful weight loss programme.
If you're ready to make some changes and get on track for sustainable weight loss, then let me work with you. If you'd like more information on our Weight Loss programmes and tailored nutrition protocols then contact me, Victoria, at BodyNatured. I look forward to working with you soon.
Yours in good health, naturally! Victoria x

Sources:

Australia Bureau of Statistics. (2015). National Health Survey 2014-15. Available at: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4364.0.55.001. Accessed: 2nd December 2016.

Eckel RH, Kahn SE, Ferrannini E, Goldfine AB, Nathan DM, Schwartz MW, Smith RJ, Smith SR. (2011). Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: What can be unified and what needs to be individualised? Diabetes Care. Vol 34, Issue 6, pg 1424 – 1430. Available at: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/34/6/1424.Accessed: 2nd December 2016.

Jia H, Lubetkin EI. (2010). Trends in quality-adjusted life-years lost contributed by smoking and obesity. JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association. Vol 38, Issue 2, pg138-144. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20117569. Accessed: 2nd December 2016

Murray M & Pizzorno J. (2012). The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Third Edition. Atria Paperback. New York


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