Dietician’s practical weight-loss tips

There are many challenges that come with weight loss. File image.

There are many challenges that come with weight loss. File image.

Published Mar 13, 2024


On the back of the recently celebrated World Obesity Day, health experts have stressed the importance of maintaining a positive approach to weight management.

This comes as a new "Lancet“ study revealed that more than one billion people in the world are now living with obesity.

The research, conducted by the weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal is for the period up to 2022.

Their latest findings discovered that obesity among adults worldwide has more than doubled since 1990.

Meanwhile, the same study has found that obesity rates among those aged between five and 19 has quadrupled during this 32-year period, while the data also shows that 43% of adults were overweight in 2022.

“The study also shows that even though the rates of under-nutrition have dropped, it is still a public health challenge in many places, particularly in South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa,” Lancet said in a media statement.

And with issues around obesity in the spotlight, Sonal Ratan, a dietician from the health food range Future Life stressed the importance of recognising the challenges in sustainable weight loss.

As she advocates for self kindness, achievable goals, starting small and emphasising the celebration of life and health, Ratan believes in empowering individuals with achievable strategies.

“By embracing this holistic approach, individuals can celebrate life and health not just on World Obesity Day but every day,” she said.

The dietician said that World Obesity Day is a renewed call to action to address the global obesity crisis.

“This annual event serves as a platform to raise awareness and advocate for practical solutions to combat obesity”.

She also acknowledged the challenges that comes with weight loss.

"There is no doubt about it , losing weight and keeping it off is tough," said Ratan.

"This is why so many individuals unintentionally become yo-yo dieters.”

She added that many start their healthy eating journey strong but then, life happens.

“It has a way of throwing curveballs, making it incredibly difficult to sustain healthy eating habits."

But by recognising the challenges we all face, Ratan added that long-term success isn't about sticking to a strict "diet".

“It's more about rebounding after a tough day and getting back on track with a healthy eating routine.”

“She also suggests ditching the word 'diet' altogether, as she believes that it tends to evoke negative feelings.

“Instead, speak about making positive changes for better health.”

"Words hold incredible power and often meaningful changes start in the way you speak and a shift in mindset.”

To support individuals in their weight management efforts, Ratan has shared the following practical tips that serve as a foundation for healthy eating habits:

There are many challenges that come with weight loss. File image.

Portion control: The dietician recommended using the plate model to balance meals. This involves allocating half the plate to salad/vegetables, a quarter to starch, and a quarter to protein.

Increase fibre intake: Ratan suggested incorporating more fruits and vegetables into meals to enhance satiety and improve digestive health.

Limit added sugar: Reduce consumption of added sugars found in beverages and processed foods.

Avoid energy-dense foods: Ratan recommended steering clear of large portions and high-calorie options which are typically found in take-out meals.

Embrace a low GI diet: Prioritise low-glycaemic index foods to control hunger and reduce excess energy intake.

Opt for high-protein options: Include protein-rich foods to sustain energy levels and promote fullness.

Moderate healthy fats: Incorporate healthy fats in moderation for balanced nutrition.

Be mindful of meal additions: Ratan advised weight-watchers to beware of hidden fats and salts in sauces, soups and gravies.

Start the day with breakfast: Consuming a nutritious breakfast will regulate blood glucose levels and prevent overeating later in the day.

"By embracing a holistic approach to weight management and incorporating practical strategies into daily routines, individuals can celebrate life and health on World Obesity Day and beyond," said Ratan.