Experts believe that the thing about weight gain is that your habits need to change. Dietician in private practice from Bryanston, Clair Julsing-Strydom says, “You cannot keep doing what you are doing and expect the weight to change, so procrastinating is not helping anyone, you need to start today. The fact is that in real life, we are all going to go on holiday or experience life-changing events that might shift our weight, the key thing is to always come back to your correct weight.”
She recommends that if you have gained weight over the December holidays or during lockdown, you need to put in energy and time to getting it back to where it needs to be.
She says there is a danger to small bouts of weight gain. The 1kg or 2kg that creep up now and then is how she ends up seeing patients who weigh 120kg and do not know how they got there. “Haphazard eating over time is what slowly accumulates weight,” she explains.
Julsing-Strydom, who is used to virtual consultations which is a service she has been offering for years, says that while some of her patients were battling with healthy eating during lockdown, quite a lot of patients are thriving, embracing their health goals and putting effort into nutritious cooking.
Claire says that people need to stop being on diet and off diet. “This all or nothing mentality about weight needs to end,” she says and explains that all foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle.
“Eighty per cent of the time we need to be eating well but 20 per cent of food is going to be pleasure food”.
By not depriving yourself and still including the food that you enjoy, she says that you are in a much better position to change bad habits and lose weight.
Her biggest goal with her patients is to educate them about what their bodies really need. “I want their knowledge gain on the nutrition front to be so significant that they never battle again,” she says.
People who understand nutrition are also less likely to fall for fad diets or the fearmongering that goes with the marketing of over-the-counter weight-loss pills.
She says that in order to lose weight, you must have an energy deficit, but the quality of those nutrients is also important as all foods have a metabolic impact. Simply put, this means a lot of vegetables, and portion control for everything else.
“Quality is key, quantity is key. If we do not get those factors right and do not eat the right quantity of food that you need, you will not lose weight.”
She also says that there is just no quick fix. “You are going to have to fundamentally change your lifestyle behaviour and patterns to help you achieve good weight loss.