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2.3 million Australians are on a diet, but nutrition fads not the answer
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 longterm.
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.
With Australia’s Healthy Weight Week (AHWW) now underway, DAA spokesperson Professor Clare Collins cites the Survey and the US-based National Weight Control Registry, which, since 1994, has been tracking the success of more than 10,000 people who have lost at least 13 kilograms and kept it off for more than five years.
Professor Collins explains “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.”
Professor Collins, an Accredited Practising Dietitian, 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.
She adds “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.”
Proven strategies from the National Weight Control Registry to help take weight off and keep it off include:
• 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.
Australia’s Healthy Weight Week (AHWW), which runs from 16th to 22nd February 2015 is an initiative of the Dietitians Association of Australia.
The aim of the 2015 campaign is straight-forward: to encourage more Australians to cook at home as a way to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Australians are encouraged to get involved in the campaign by making a health pledge, challenging themselves to cook at home for a week and visiting one of the hundreds of free healthy weight week events hosted by Accredited Practising Dietitians around the country.
For more information go to www.healthyweightweek.com.au
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