Four nutrition questions I’m asked all the time: dietitian Lyndi Cohen
Health experts say they tend to get asked the same things over and over again.
1. Which foods should I avoid if I want to lose weight?
So many people believe you need to cut out carbohydrates to lose weight – and it’s absolutely not the case. Carbohydrates, especially minimally processed wholegrains like brown rice and quinoa are incredibly satiating, low in fat and naturally gluten-free.
Wholegrains help give you longer lasting energy and keep you feeling satisfied. I’d recommend having a portion of healthy carbs with every meal if you’re trying to lose weight, such oats for breakfast, SunRice Naturally Rice & Quinoa for lunch, and a corn on the cob for dinner.
Honestly, it’s no secret that if you want to lose weight, take a look at the amount of alcohol you drink and the number of takeaway meals you eat. In Australia, 35 percent of our energy intake comes from junk food, which is 25 percent higher than the recommendation.
2. Should I try the keto/vegan/5:2 diet?
All diets work until they don’t work.
That is to say, you’ll lose weight on any weight loss diet you try, but it’s essential to realise that if you can’t keep it up, then you’ll always regain any of the weight your lose – and possibly gain even more than when you started.
Before starting any diet, always ask yourself: Can I maintain this for the rest of my life? Because if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you need to be able to respond yes. Most people use a diet to lose weight and then try to transition back to the way they were eating before and this never works.
It’s much more sustainable to adopt habit by habit instead of going on a specific diet. Some easy habits you might want to try are to keep alcohol consumption to the weekends, buy one less treat item for your pantry, snack on two serves of fruit a day (which means less of the other stuff), or setting up a regular walking catch up with a friend.
Over time, these little sustainable changes really do add up to something big – and they’re much easier to maintain.
3. I eat so well during the week but ruin it on the weekend. How can I be more consistently healthy?
First up, it’s completely natural to eat healthier during the week and relax on the weekend. That is what balance looks like! Don’t give yourself a hard time because balance is really important for healthy eating.
If you feel like the week and weekend are extremely different from one another, it’s important to restore some balance. If you’re being strict and very controlled all week, there’s a good chance that when the weekend comes along you feeling deprived and this can lead to a binge and emotional eating. In which case, it may be important to relax more during the week so you no longer feel like you’re on a diet.
You may also want to reassess how you’re socialising on the weekend. If your friends love to drink lots, suggest going for brunch instead. Sign up to a team sport, try a new hobby like rock climbing, or go for a coastal walk to make the most of weekend daytime.
4. How do I reduce my afternoon sugar cravings?
Most people make the same mistake. They under eat at lunch so by the afternoon, their energy has slumped and the cravings can be overwhelming. It’s really important to have a satiating lunch, try having a piece of wholegrain toast or a serve of SunRice SuperGrains which will provide longer lasting energy.
If your cravings are consistent, be realistic and pack yourself something nice to eat in the afternoon. I love yoghurt with some fruit, which is sweet and filling, or a piece of wholegrain toast with avocado for something more savoury.
Another really important tip is that if you’re going to have something to eat at work, don’t eat in front of the screen. It’s okay to step away for something delicious to eat, but be sure to step into another room – or even better, get out of the office for five minutes.