Really?…. A new way to lose weight?

Mmmmmm I am reluctant to write this as I am not winning the battle against the nonsense, but lately and sadly, I have so many people sending me emails about new products, exercise, and new exercise fads and asking me what I think….This I promise will be the last time I ever write this (LOL sounds like another John Farnham’s last concert line doesn’t it?) and there will be no final concert, maybe just a re-post or two :)

If you “Google” weight loss the response I get in Australia is, 96,900,000 results. No wonder you are confused. Here are some statistics for you: 3 in 5 Australian adults are overweight or obese, that’s over 12 million people! 5% more adults are overweight or obese than in 1995, 1 in 4 Australian children are overweight or obese, Over 30% more people living in outer regional and remote areas are obese than people living in major cities, and coming in at 3rd place now is that Overweight and obesity is only beaten by smoking and high blood pressure as a contributor to burden of disease. (Australian Institute of Health and welfare Australian Government) So with over 96 million responses one must agree that these new and exciting ways to lose weight perhaps are not working so well.  According to scam watch global and local scams hit Australians’ pockets to the tune of 1 Billion dollars (this figure it should be pointed out involves other scams as well not just weight loss) (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission scam watch)

There does seem to be more of a glut on the market of these lose weight fast schemes or am I just noticing them more? I must also confess as a past lecturer in Health and Fitness that I am indeed saddened to see a very poor quality group of personal trainers literally on every corner, in our parks running obese and injury prone customers up hills and yelling at them with comments such as “give me another 10 push-ups” “go hard or go home”   or one of my all-time favorites said to overweight men… “ if you’re not careful I’ll send you to “FERNWOOD” Oh dear me….it’s a worry. I have stated on this blog before I am not a real fan of group exercise where people are not pre-screened, assessed as to their current capability and where allowances are not made for age, postural malfunctions and potential injury.

It is hard to find a common sense trainer who has a good understanding of anatomy and human physiology and basic nutrition. I would be happy if they just followed the Australian Nutritional guide lines rather than push: paleo, blood type, alkaline, lemon, detox,  Isagenix (which will apparently bring out the best in me!!) Herbalife (with the versatile shake made to suit me and my goals – whether I’d like to lose, maintain or gain body weight) or perhaps YOR Health( where: difference in quality begins with our philosophy that you are what you absorb.)   Mmmmmm Nah I think I’ll stick with good old tasty yummy food thanks rather than a chemical compound full of ingredients I can’t even say. A quick search of many of these ingredients reveals in some products substances that would be banned if we tried to feed them to our livestock!!

I understand that we live in a world of the “Quick Fix” however the alternative to these crazy and sometimes toxic compounds is good wholesome food. I am surprised that people reach for these products in tins and pill form when there is such a push now on eating more organically where foods are not bombarded with pesticides, yet these products still make an appearance. Apparently my wife tells me you are not all dills it’s just that you are nice kind people who believe everything you are told: (insert the voice of sarcasm here)


Did you know that the 10-20 kgs you piled on probably took about 10 years to get there yet by following a sensible eating plan you can lose ½- 1 kg a week safely? If you stick with it you would lose 10kgs in 10-20 weeks not bad considering it took probably 10 years to get in the first place Being consistent is the trick by eating a balance diet. This is what it still looks like by the way…

Guideline 1

To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs

Children and adolescents should eat sufficient nutritious foods to grow and develop normally. They should be physically active every day and their growth should be checked regularly.

Older people should eat nutritious foods and keep physically active to help maintain muscle strength and a healthy weight.

Guideline 2

Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five groups every day:

Plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes/beans


Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley

Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans

Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat (reduced fat milks are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years)

And drink plenty of water.

Guideline 3

Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol

a. Limit intake of foods high in saturated fat such as many biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips, crisps and other savoury snacks.

Replace high fat foods which contain predominantly saturated fats such as butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil with foods which contain predominantly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butters/pastes and avocado.

Low fat diets are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years.

b. Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added salt.

Read labels to choose lower sodium options among similar foods. Do not add salt to foods in cooking or at the table.

c. Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars such as confectionary, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy and sports drinks.

d. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit intake. For women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

Guideline 4

Encourage, support and promote breastfeeding

Guideline 5

Care for your food; prepare and store it safely.) will see you much healthy have more energy and live longer without disease. (Australian Dietary Guidlines)


Here is a few more pointers that may help you be healthier and keep the $$$$$ in your pocket and not in the ill-informed multi-level marketers pockets.

Avoid packaged foods where possible, they contain far too much sodium and preservatives, drink filtered water and lots of it, avoid alcohol (sorry about that) eat as fresh as you can get, keeping salads and vegetables high on the list, you only need two pieces of fruit a day so don’t go too crazy with the fruit, lean oily fish, eat good carbohydrates such as whole grain cereals, low GI rice, lentils, grainy breads, try making things from scratch including your breads leaving out the sugar and salt, eat small amounts of protein but include some red meat, chicken and fish, Move as much as you can, avoid too much caffeine (caffeine before a work out puts added stress on our heart and Blood Pressure so avoid energy drinks in some people this is extremely dangerous), avoid soft drink, biscuits, chips, take –ways and make sure you include a weight program along with some walking, bike riding, mountain climbing or Frisbee with the kids on the beach. I know I sound boring and you all want to try the latest and newest things but alas…. they don’t exist. When they do I’ll be there with you. Until then keep it simple and experiment with some amazing herbs and spices when making that creative meal.

By: John Hart

Master’s In Education” (Disability/Rehab) Newcastle University Australia

“Grad Cert Education “Newcastle University” Australia

“Diploma Fitness/Recreation”

“Diploma of Sport and Recreation”

“Cert 4 Personal Training”

“Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach”

Member of ASCA (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association)

Accredited First Aid Trainer



Australian Competition and Consumer Commission scam watch. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Australian Dietary Guidlines. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Australian Institute of Health and welfare Australian Government. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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