(Australian Associated Press)
After Easter is the perfect time to start a weight loss program because the motivation to shed unwanted kilos is “at its peak”, experts say.
Professor Manny Noakes, Research Director for Nutrition and Health at the CSIRO, says seizing on the guilt felt after periods of indulgence, like Easter, is often a great source of inspiration.
“If you are going to start a weight loss program make sure your motivation is at its peak, and I think after Easter would be a good opportunity when that motivation might be at its peak,” Prof Noakes told AAP.
Another motivating factor is knowing that for every kilo lost blood pressure goes down by one millimetre of mercury, blood fat profiles improve and your blood sugar levels go down, Prof Noakes said.
“There are certainly some very immediate impacts of weight loss even a few days into your weight loss program.”
Two thirds of adults in Australia are carrying too much weight as a result of poor diet and a lack of physical activity.
A recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report showed that if every overweight Australian lost just three kilos the burden of obesity would be reduced by 14 per cent.
Losing five to 10 per cent of your body weight is a “realistic” goal that will have a significant impact on an individual’s health, says Lisa Renn, accredited practising dietitian and spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia.
“People read things in the media and see that people are losing 30, 40, 50 kilos and think that’s what they need to loose. Those huge amounts of weight that people think they need to lose is really off-putting,” says Ms Renn.
Exercise is essential to ensuring the best results, says Associate Professor Amanda Salis, from University of Sydney’s Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders.
Research shows combining dietary energy restriction combined with exercise will speed up weight loss and fat loss in particular, she said.
“It’s almost impossible to keep weight off without exercise,” she added.