Eight essential strategies for losing weight

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Mareike Bout is a qualified and registered personal trainer who specialises in holistic fitness and lifestyle coaching. She is a recognised leader in the industry, receiving the peer-voted South Australia Personal Trainer of the Year award in 2008. She is also a regular guest onAdelaide’s top-rating radio station FIVEaa. If you don't look and feel great after following Mareike's advice, we'll be very surprised. This month she offers three great new pieces advice on keeping off the kilos:

Eight essential strategies for permanent weight loss

  1. Control you portion size and eat 'clean' meals: that is, eat a large variety of fruit and vegetables, a fist-size portion of unrefined, complex carbs (brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc), and some lean protein about the size of your palm. Snack on fruits, nuts and sugar-free organic yoghurt.
  2. Eat less at dinner time. The claim that your entire dinner is stored as fat isn't entirely true but the fact you don't move much after dinner is enough to hurt your weight loss efforts.
  3. Eat more fibre rich foods including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds.
  4. Eat breakfast.
  5. Lift weights. The more muscle your body has, the more calories your body burns, even at rest.
  6. Keep your metabolism steady. Your metabolism goes and slows with your food intake and eating something small every three hours will keep your metabolism burning calories.
  7. Drink more water every day. I suggest at least two litres. If you consistently feel hungry during the day, don't immediately think that you need to eat more. You might simply be thirsty!
  8. Avoid 'white' foods (white rice, white flour, refined sugar). These foods cause insulin spikes and trigger increased storage of dietary fat storage and slow down burning of body fat.


The simple maths of losing weight

The key to weight loss is simple maths – calories out must be more than calories in. If you overestimate how many calories you expend during exercise, not only will you not lose weight, but you may even gain weight. Use the following information to calculate the perfect equation for your weight loss. Calculations are for a 70kg person training for one hour.

  • Aerobics: 422
  • Cycling (vigorous): 704
  • Circuit training: 563
  • Jogging: 493
  • Mountain biking: 598
  • Rowing machine (vigorous): 669
  • Running 10kph: 704
  • Running 13kph: 950
  • Skipping: 704
  • Weightlifting (vigorous): 422

To put things in perspective, here are some examples of the calorie content of some common meals:

  • Pasta, average serve: up to 1100
  • Chicken breast with steamed vegetables: 450
  • Chicken Schnitzel with chips: 900
  • Fish fillet with salad: 350

To maintain your current weight, a mostly sedentary man should eat on average approximately 2200-2400 calories per day and a woman 1800-2000.

Eat to lose weight with protein

A recent article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, about the relationship between high-protein diets and weight loss, cites several studies showing evidence that protein can help people lose weight and gain muscle mass. In one study, greater consumption of protein led to greater losses of body fat compared with a high-carbohydrate, lower-protein diet. The reduction of body fat was probably due to the lower intake of calories and the increased feeling of fullness (satiety) that comes with eating more protein.

By adding a small serve of protein (about the size of the palm of your hand) to three or more meals and snacks a day, you will:

  • Increase your metabolic rate
  • Burn more body fat
  • Feel full for longer
  • Increase lean muscle mass

The best sources of protein are chicken and turkey breast (fresh, not from the deli section), eggs and egg whites, fish and shellfish, low-fat cottage cheese, lean beef and lamb, kangaroo (one of the leanest meats available), chickpeas and lentils, soy.

More expert advice on health and wellbeing

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Mareike runs her personal training business, One Life Live Well, both online and from a private studio in Adelaide. Services include one-on-one training, outdoor group fitness, lifestyle coaching and weight-loss programs. Individually tailored programs encompass aspects of exercise, nutrition, relaxation, positive thinking, life balance, and goal setting. Her approach is to guide, support and educate her clients so that they posses the tools required to live a life of health, strength and vitality!