Frequently asked questions
How can I choose the right weight loss plan for me?
How can I stay motivated to maintain a healthy diet for weight loss?
Are carbohydrates fattening?
What should I do to lose weight?
Is there a special diet I should follow while trying to get pregnant?
What should I be eating to stay healthy?
Protein vs carbohydrate
What take away foods are healthy?
I'm tired all the time, should I try a detox diet?
What does low fat mean?
Can I drink alcohol?
What does low salt mean?
What does GI mean?
These days there are many weight loss programs available.
The right weight loss plan should:
- Meet your individual nutritional and health needs
- Fit with your individual lifestyle
- Include a wide variety of foods from all food groups
- Promote physical activity
- Focus on realistic life-long changes to eating and exercise habits
Watch out for fad diets! These encourage short-term changes in eating behaviour. Weight lost on these diets is often regained.
An Accredited Practising Dietitian can help you choose the right weight loss plan for you.
An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) can help you set realistic goals and will provide you with practical advice on how it can be achieved with a personalised eating and exercise plan. APDs provide you with strategies to cope with minor setbacks and offer support and motivation when you need it.
Carbohydrate-containing foods are an important part of a healthy diet as they provide fuel for the brain.
Choose a variety of carbohydrate containing foods, preferably wholegrain and lower glycaemic index (GI) options.
Low GI foods include wholegrain breads and cereals, pasta, oats, apples, oranges and pears, low fat yoghurt and milk and dried beans and lentils. Eating low GI foods may help to keep hunger at bay for longer, helping you eat less, and provide gradual, continuous supply of energy from one meal to the next.
Successful weight management requires a life-long commitment to a healthy lifestyle, which is focused on eating healthy foods and keeping physically active in a way that is both sustainable and enjoyable.
Gradual weight loss will provide the most health benefits and help you avoid weight gain over the long-term.
An Accredited Practising Dietitian can work out an eating plan to help you lose weight while still meeting your nutritional needs.
It is recommended that you follow the Dietary Guidelines for Australians, in particular:
Physical activity is also important before and during pregnancy.
Ask your GP or Obstetrician for advice on an appropriate physical activity program.
An Accredited Practising Dietitian can help you to plan and implement a healthy pregnancy eating plan.
The Dietary Guidelines for Australians are designed to help people choose foods for a healthy lifestyle.
The guidelines recommend you:
Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods
- Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruits
- Eat plenty of cereals (including breads, rice, pasta and noodles) preferably wholegrain
- Include lean meat, fish, poultry and/or alternatives
- Include milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives. Reduced-fat varieties should be chosen where possible
- Drink plenty of water
And take care to:
- Limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake
- Choose foods low in salt
- Limit your alcohol intake if you choose to drink
- Consume only moderate amounts of sugars and foods containing added sugars
Prevent weight gain : be physically active and eat according to your energy needs prepare and store it safely
Care for your food.
Encourage and support breastfeeding.
An Accredited Practising Dietitian can provide you with more information on the Dietary Guidelines for Australians and work with you to make changes to your own eating plan.
The Dietitians Association of Australia does not recommend diets that are very low in carbohydrate and very high in protein. However there is a range of recommended carbohydrate and protein intakes that may assist with weight loss.
An Accredited Practising Dietitian can tailor a healthy eating plan and adjust the amounts of carbohydrate and protein in your individual plan.
Detox diets may promise amazing results in a limited amount of time. They often claim to flush toxins from your body leading to more energy and weight loss.
However these detox diets are often very rigid and can remove whole food groups which can be dangerous, especially for children, adolescents, pregnant or breastfeeding women and older adults.
Fortunately, healthy adults have extraordinary systems for waste removal. Our lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and immune system remove and neutralise toxic substances within hours after we eat them.
The key to feeling more energised is to include plenty of healthy nutritious foods in your eating plan and get rid of any unhealthy habits.
Alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, saturated and trans fats, soft drinks and refined sugary foods will leave you feeling tired and run down. Eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grain foods, and regular exercise will have you feeling better in no time!
An Accredited Practising Dietitian can provide practical, expert, dietary advice on how to follow a healthy eating plan which will help you recharge, lose weight and stay healthy.
Nutrient claims such as ‘low fat’ are often used by food manufacturers to point out the nutrition benefits of their product.
Manufacturers who use this claim have to make sure the product meets strict criteria before they are allowed to print ‘low in fat’ on the food label.
A ‘low fat’ or ‘low in fat’ food must contain no more than 3g of fat per 100g of food. A liquid must contain no more than 1.5g fat per 100g.
‘Reduced fat’ means the food must contain at least 25% less fat than the regular product to which it is being compared, and at least 3g less fat per 100g of food.
This means that a product can still be relatively high in fat, but still labelled reduced fat.
In moderation, alcohol can be part of a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle, however drinking large amounts of alcohol can be harmful to health.
To minimise risks to your health, both in the short and long term:
- Men should consume no more than four standard drinks a day on average.
- Women should consume no more than two standard drinks a day on average.
Both men and women should aim to have at least one or two alcohol free days per week.
Children and pregnant women should not drink alcohol.
Nutrient claims such as ‘low salt’ are often used by food manufacturers to point out the nutrition benefits of their product.
Manufacturers who use this claim have to make sure the product meets strict criteria before they are allowed to print ‘low salt’ on the food label.
A ‘low salt/sodium’ or ‘low in salt/sodium’ nutrient claim can only be placed on the label if the food contains no more than 120mg sodium per 100g.
It is recommended that people with high blood pressure follow a low salt diet.
An Accredited Practising Dietitian can help you to understand fool labels and to use them to choose foods which are right for you and your family.
The GI scale ranges from 0 to 100.
- Lower numbers represent a low GI food
- Higher numbers represent a high GI food
Foods with a high GI are quickly broken down and absorbed by the body and result in a rapid rise in blood sugar levels.
Low GI foods are broken down and absorbed more slowly into the blood stream. They result in a steady rise in blood sugar and insulin levels.
Eating low GI foods may:
- help to keep hunger at bay for longer after eating
- provide a gradual, continuous supply of energy from one meal to the next
- help to keep blood sugar levels stable in those with diabetes, by providing a slower, more sustained release of sugar into the bloodstream
An Accredited Practising Dietitian can provide further information and support on how the GI can best be applied to your diet and lifestyle.