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Health Check: Six Tips for Losing Weight Without Fad Diets


Image by Alisa Golovinska, Unsplash


Monday – start diet. Tuesday – break diet! Wednesday – plan to start again next Monday.


If this is you, it’s probably time to get off the diet roller coaster and make some bigger changes to the way you eat, drink and think about food.


Here are six tips to help you get started.


1. Improve your diet quality score


When trying to lose weight, it might be tempting to quit carbs, dairy or another food group altogether.


But to stay healthy, you need to meet your requirements for important nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium, vitamins B and C, folate and fibre. These nutrients are essential for metabolism, growth, repair and fighting disease.


Our review of diet quality indexes used to rate the healthiness of eating habits found that eating nutritious foods was associated with lower weight gain over time.


Improving your diet quality means eating more fruit and vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes, dried beans, wholegrains and dairy (mostly reduced fat).


Rate your diet quality and get brief feedback using our online Healthy Eating Quiz www.healthyeatingquiz.com.au.


2. Mum was right – eat your veggies


Fruit and veg are high in fibre, vitamins and phytonutrients, but low in total kilojoules. So eating more can help you manage your weight.


A study of more than 130,000 adults found that those who increased their intake of fruit and vegetables over four years lost weight. For each extra daily serve of vegetables, there was a weight loss of 110 grams over the four years. It was 240 grams for fruit. Small, but it all adds up.


Drilling down to specific fruit and veg gets interesting. Increasing cauliflower intake was associated with a four-year weight reduction of about 620 grams, with smaller reductions for capsicum (350g), green leafy vegetables (230g) and carrots (180g). The reduction was 620g for blueberries and 500g for apple or pears.


By Clare Collins