Two leading dietitians have revealed the biggest barriers to lasting fat loss, and why you need to take at least 8,000 steps per day in order to see long-term weight loss results.
Susie Burrell, from Sydney, and Leanne Ward, from Brisbane, form the team from the podcast, The Nutrition Couch – and they explained that they see several issues with their clients who are trying to lose weight.
‘Both of us spend between 90 and 100 per cent of our time working with clients who have the goal of fat loss,’ Susie said on the podcast.
‘But still, so many clients lose an initial amount of weight and then go right back to their old habits, so they never achieve 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 per day in order to see results (Susie Burrell and Leanne Ward pictured)
GOING ON AND OFF A PROGRAM
The first problem Susie said she sees repeatedly with her clients is bouncing on and off a food and exercise program.
‘Lots of people I work with are really good at being strict during the week,’ she said.
‘They’ll have a good, protein-rich breakfast, a lunch with lots of salad and vegetables, they will pack their snacks to take to work so they’re not tempted, and then have a portion-controlled dinner with plenty of veggies.’
But then, because they feel they have been so strict during the week, they let themselves off at the weekend – and fill their days with calorie-laden brunches and smoothies, takeaway and alcohol.
‘They’ve effectively gone from eating a calorie-controlled 1,500 calories per day to around 3,000 on Saturday and Sunday,’ Susie said.
While the dietitian said you don’t have to give up your favourite foods like pizza or sushi, she did say that you need to ditch the idea of a ‘cheat day’.
‘By all means have a high-calorie meal or two during the week,’ she said.
‘But don’t write off entire days. Our bodies don’t cope with that difference. The more consistent you can keep your program, the easier it will be not to undo things.’
The dietitians said rather than having cheat days, you need to have cheat meals so that your body isn’t confused by the huge difference between the week and weekend (stock image)
NOT MOVING ENOUGH
In the same way that the dietitians said clients can bounce on and off with their food, so too did they agree that many oscillate between getting 12,000-15,000 steps some days, and close to zero on other days.
‘You cannot expect to be losing weight if you’re not walking 8,000 steps or more per day,’ Susie said.
She aims to do 8,000-10,000 steps per day and knows this is what keeps her body ‘healthy’.
But she never gets less than 8,000 – whether it’s raining outside, or the sun is shining.
‘You’ll only lose weight if you’re active in some way each day,’ Leanne added.
The best way to achieve this is through consistency.
‘You cannot expect to be losing weight if you’re not walking 8,000 steps or more per day,’ Susie said (stock image)
AVOIDING THE LONG-TERM
Leanne said that many clients she has are initially successful, but when it comes to thinking about the long-term, many veer off track.
‘If you’re not working with a professional with your weight loss, then you really need to think about the long-term,’ she explained.
‘A professional will introduce foods you’ve cut down or out in a slow and calorie-controlled way once you’ve lost weight.
‘But what happens with most people is as soon as they’ve lost that five or 10kg, they immediately go back to their old eating habits.’
The dietitians said the best thing to do is avoid cutting out entire food groups. This means you won’t feel deprived over the long term.
FORGETTING TO INCLUDE VEGETABLES
Finally, the pair said while many of us think we’re being healthy, all too often we forget to include vegetables with our lunch and dinner.
‘I often look at my clients’ food diaries and see they are having something like a toasted sandwich for lunch,’ Susie said.
‘Where are your vegetables? I can’t stress the importance of having two to three cups of vegetables in both your lunch and dinner every day enough.’
She added: ‘If you don’t have that bulk, you’ll overeat calories in other ways.’
Leanne said the best way to do this is not deprive yourself.
Even if you’re having a cheat meal like pizza, you can have the pizza, but just make sure you have a side salad alongside it.
To find out more about The Nutrition Couch, you can follow them on Instagram here.