Topical Nutrition

What’s the best diet for weight loss?


As a Dietitian and health professional we are required to keep up to date on topical nutrition issues and maintain our knowledge by doing continuing professional development. To be fair, we never really stop learning, which is fantastic as nutrition science is actually quite a young field of study compared with say medicine which has much older origins.

Today I attended the 3rd Eating Disorders and Obesity conference on the balmy Gold Coast. I love conferences. We get to hear from industry experts, chat to like minded people, learn new tools for our toolbox as practitioners. And we get perfectly portioned meals, what’s not to like?!

We heard from various disciplines: Psychology, Medicine, Dietetics and nutrition research. For me, there was a similar theme echoed amongst the various speakers, and that was trying to determine the most effective diet for weight loss. As frustrating as this might sound, there really is no one size fits all approach. There is however, strong evidence to support the energy reduction approach for long term weight loss, compared to most other diets including severe energy restriction and the use of meal replacement shakes.

An energy restriction is one of the most common approaches for Dietitians, and certainly the way that I was trained at uni, by working with clients to negotiate healthier dietary swaps. This however may not be the sexiest and quickest approach, in a society primed by instant gratification and a ‘need it now’ attitude. So how do we make common sense nutrition sexy? Please tell me!

I also learned some new goal setting techniques that I am eager to try with clients. This took the focus off weight loss as a goal, instead turning the focus on to more health or lifestyle related goals, where weight loss might be a side effect of that, but isn’t the primary driver. This notion sat well with me, as I feel that too often weight becomes the unattainable goal, whereas if the goal post was moved slightly it might be more achievable.

On a final note, here’s a quote I recently heard on the TV program Insight while the merits of low carbohydrate diets for Diabetes treatment were being discussed.

  “The best diet is the one you can stick to”.

This is so true, although I’d love to lose the word diet and the stigma that comes with that, and let’s keep it even more simple.

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Thanks for stopping by, Madeleine (THG).


This blog post first appeared on That Healthy Girl blog and was written by Madeleine Baumgart

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