With all the gifts exchanged and opened, Christmas and end-of-year parties, and all the reflecting done and dusted, it’s now the time of the year when we all sober up, take out our thinking caps and pen to write down, or type out our eat better resolutions.

Like most Australians at the start of 2022, we guilt-trip ourselves with needing to lose the weight we gained from that extra party food and drinks we consumed the year before. We then psych ourselves into going on yet another diet. Diet (take #100!) for 2023’s new year’s resolution!

We research TikTok, Facebook, health magazines, video blogs, and friends’ WhatsApp videos/forwarded messages to look for the latest new diet to follow. Perhaps it’s the newest Hollywood diet promising to help you lose 10kg in 10 days! Surely this new diet can help me keep that weight off. I have dieted for the 100th time, surely I have grown smarter and this will work! We start off well for a couple of days or weeks or months, but before we even get through half the year, we’ve forgotten what diet we’re on. We might have lost a kilo or two at the start, but now we have regained it back and perhaps even more!

Here’re some of the top reasons why time and time again, I see clients and patients go on diet after diet and are unable to keep the weight off for good, and, hopefully, some tips to help you eat better:

The diet is not sustainable in the long run.

If you’re following a diet that is not sustainable for the long run, chances are you will stop it eventually, and… Guess what? The weight comes back on again.

One way of helping you identify if the diet is sustainable in the long run is this – simply ask yourself, “Can I see myself doing this when I’m old or when I’m in the nursing home?”  If your answer is no, the diet you’re thinking about is most likely not sustainable and will not result in long-term weight loss and weight maintenance. In my entire dietetic life, I have not seen any older Australian in a nursing home have a Keto diet or a 5:2 (intermittent fasting) diet. It’s simply not sustainable in the long run.

The diet is too drastically different from your lifestyle.

From the famous kid’s fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare” comes the well-known saying “Slow and steady wins the race!” I believe this is true for a healthier, NEW YOU! I always advise that small lifestyle changes are the best! Nothing too drastic or different, so you don’t feel it’s a chore or a challenge to stick to with your current lifestyle choices.

It’s not about losing weight!

It’s not about losing weight, it’s about providing your body with the fuel and nutrients it needs to function, for a better you!

This is probably one of the key mindsets we need when it comes to creating a healthier you! When you think about losing weight and all the restrictions and food you think you will miss out on, it’s no wonder it’s a dread for most of us. No wonder we lose motivation quickly and fall off the bandwagon.

During my time as a corporate health dietitian and life coach for CEOs and managers, we rarely talk about food restrictions for losing weight. Rather, we talk about food to fuel your body for a better you, to achieve peak performances, and to be the best your body can be for work, your loved ones, and to do the things you enjoy! 

Non-tailored diets rarely address the root issue!

Non-tailored diets rarely address the root issue, they only distract you from the root issue to focus on another thing so that the root issue becomes less apparent. This is how people claim they manage to lose weight on this particular diet. They go on a specific diet, restrict their intake and of course, they lose weight. But because they have not dealt with the real nutritional issues, given time, when they stop dieting, they go back to their old eating habits. It’s no surprise the weight comes back on again and they’re in search of the latest, newest diet plan again and the cycle continues! The root nutritional issue has not been addressed. So I highly recommend seeking professional help from a dietitian for expert advice for your body’s nutritional needs.

If you ever need help with understanding food and nutrition as fuel for your body, or diet advice for a tailored diet that best suits your body’s needs, ORS dietitians are here for you! Don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to chat with you and help you to understand your body’s nutritional needs, and how best to feed your body and eat better, for a new, and improved you in 2023!  

Erene Thong

National Manager – Dietetics
BSc, MNutr&Diet

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