On 1 January 2018 computer small business owner Mr Craig Plaister, then 52, made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight.
Twelve months later he achieved his goal, weighing in nearly 30kg lighter. In doing so, he became a statistical anomaly.
Nutritionist Lyndi Cohen, author of The Nude Nutritionist, said “96 per cent of people will fail to reach their diet goal”.
“Most people will regain their weight, plus put back extra weight,” she said.
January is a time when diet and healthcare industries go into a marketing spin, targeting people who have made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight after Christmas feasting.
Ms Cohen is critical of the weight loss industry. “Diet companies try to make money from selling the same approach that you have already been trying – and failing – at,” she said. “Diet companies use lots of tactics to get us to sign up. They show you before and after photos, but they never show us the after-the-after photos.
“All diets work until they don’t work.”
Ms Cohen lost 20kg over four years by eating intuitively and embracing regular, gentle exercise.
“It doesn’t cost a lot of money to eat healthily,” she said. “Anyone who says otherwise wants to profit from you.”
Ms Cohen recommends people drink water and include more legumes in their diet. “Bulking bolognese out with tomatoes and a tin of lentils will ensure you can indulge a bit without feeling deprived.”
CSIRO researcher Gilly Hendrie said more than two-thirds of Australians struggled with their weight.
She said the key to successful weight loss was to ensure it fit into your lifestyle.
“If the diet requires too much energy, the benefit versus the cost will eventually wear you down,” Dr Hendrie said.
Developed 20 years ago, CSIRO’s Total Wellbeing Diet has rolled out an updated online platform. It offers a refund to participants who stick with the program for the full 12 weeks, demonstrate weight-loss at the end, and consent to sharing their story and photos with others.
“Self-monitoring is super important to successful weight loss,” Dr Hendrie said.
“You lose weight when you expend more kilojoules in exercise relative to what you consume,” she said.
“A higher protein, low GI carbohydrate diet has been shown to help by making you feel full for longer.”
Two years on from his New Year’s resolution, Mr Plaister remains fit and trim.
He first lost weight by using a meal replacement shakes and supplements program.
“Then, I took up running, cycling and Latin dancing,” Mr Plaister said.
“I’ve run two marathons and five half-marathons this year. It has been a total lifestyle change for me.”
FRUGAL DIET FOODS
• Plain water
• Plain rolled oats
• Brown rice
• Frozen berries
• Tinned tomatoes
• Tinned lentils and other legumes
• Tinned tuna
Source: Nutritionist Lyndi Cohen