Two leading dietitians have uncovered the biggest barriers to lasting fat loss, and why you need to take at least 8,000 steps a day to see long-term weight loss results.
Susie Burrell, from Sydney, and Leanne Ward, from Brisbane, make up the podcast’s team, The food bank — and they explained that they see several issues with their clients trying to lose weight.
“We both spend between 90 and 100 percent of our time working with clients whose goal is to lose fat,” Susie said in the podcast.
“Yet, so many clients lose some amount of weight initially and then fall right back into their old habits, never achieving sustainable long-term results.”
Two leading dietitians revealed the biggest barriers to fat loss and why you need to take at least 8,000 steps a day to see results (Susie Burrell and Leanne Ward pictured)
ENTERING AND EXITING A PROGRAM
The first problem Susie said she sees repeatedly with her clients is turning a food and exercise program on and off.
“Many of the people I work with can be very strict during the week,” she said.
“They get a good, protein-rich breakfast, a lunch with lots of salad and vegetables, they pack their snacks to take to work so they’re not tempted, and then eat a portion-controlled dinner with lots of vegetables.”
But because they feel like they’ve been so strict during the week, they let the weekends off — filling their days with high-calorie brunches and smoothies, takeout, and alcohol.
“They’ve effectively gone from eating 1,500 calories a day with calorie restriction to about 3,000 on Saturday and Sunday,” Susie said.
While the dietitian said you don’t have to give up your favorite foods like pizza or sushi, she did say you should ditch the idea of a “cheat day.”
“Have at least one or two high-calorie meals a week,” she said.
‘But don’t write off whole days. Our bodies can’t handle that difference. The more consistent you can keep your program, the easier it is not to undo things.’
The dietitians said instead of cheat days, you should have cheat meals so that your body doesn’t get confused by the huge difference between the week and the weekend (stock image)
DON’T MOVE ENOUGH
In the same way that the dietitians said customers can bounce with their food, they also agreed that many hover between 12,000-15,000 steps on some days and near zero on other days.
“You can’t expect to lose weight if you don’t take 8,000 steps or more a day,” Susie said.
She aims for 8,000-10,000 steps a day and knows that this keeps her body ‘healthy’.
But she never gets less than 8,000 – whether it’s raining outside or the sun is shining.
“You only lose weight if you are active in some way every day,” Leanne added.
The best way to achieve this is through consistency.
“You can’t expect to lose weight if you don’t walk 8,000 steps or more a day,” said Susie (stock image)
AVOID THE LONG TERM
Leanne said many of the clients she has are initially successful, but when it comes to thinking long term, many stray.
“If you’re not working with a professional on your weight loss, then you really need to think long term,” she explains.
“Once you’ve lost weight, a professional will introduce foods that you’ve phased out or left out in a slow and calorie-controlled manner.
“But what happens to most people is that as soon as they lose those five or ten kilos, they immediately go back to their old diet.”
The dietitians said it’s best to avoid omitting whole food groups. This means that you will not feel disadvantaged in the long run.
FORGET TO INCLUD VEGETABLES
Finally, the couple said that while many of us think we are healthy, all too often we forget to include vegetables in our lunch and dinner.
“I often look in my clients’ food diaries and see them eating something like a toasted sandwich,” Susie said.
‘Where are your vegetables? I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have two to three cups of vegetables in your lunch and dinner every day.’
She added, “If you don’t have that mass, you’re eating too many calories in other ways.”
Leanne said the best way to do this is not to rob yourself.
Even if you have a cheat meal like pizza you can have the pizza but make sure you have a salad with it.
To learn more about The Nutrition Couch, follow them on Instagram here.