The basics to weight loss, which we are all familiar with, would be to make healthier choices, eat nutritionally balanced food while at the same time increasing physical activity. However, here are a few extra tips to help one lose weight while maintaining one’s health. 
  • Keep a food diary to create more awareness of habits and problem areas. This will allow one to see what it is that we are eating and to hopefully indicate where certain nutrition changes need to take place.  
  • Concentrate while eating your food. We tend to eat on the go or while working or watching TV. Spending time with food will help one feel more satisfied, and because we can see how much we are eating, it will also create appreciation for the taste and textures that the nutritious food is providing us with.  
  • Include a variety of vegetables with each meal and as part of snacks during the day. At the same time, increase the range of whole fresh fruit for a healthy boost, but limit 
these to three portions a day. 
  • Avoid added and hidden sugar in food. This includes table sugar, chocolates, sweets, pastries, cakes, muffins, sugar-sweetened drinks, sugary cereals, etc.
  • Choose lower-fat sources. Low-fat dairy, without the additional sugar; or lean proteins such as chicken, fish or pulses. And include healthy fats such as avos, nuts and seeds in your diet. 
  • Watch portion sizes of foods. Eating a balanced diet doesn’t mean that we should favour one food over the other. Rather maintain a healthy amount of food consumed. If you are unsure of what a portion size would be for yourself, consult a dietitian. 
  • Don’t get fed up with a fad diet. 

Kezia Kent is a dietician and spokeswoman for the Association for Dietetics in South Africa.