MAKE SUCCESSFUL LONG-TERM WEIGHT LOSS A REALITY FOR YOU – WITH THE RIGHT SUPPORT. BY LARRAINE SATHICQ.
Deciding to get your weight under control isn’t hard, but making permanent changes for lasting results is far more difficult. Like any major project, shedding excess fat and maintaining a healthy weight forever often comes down to the expert advice and professional support you enlist. Here, we look at the three specialists you need on your side.
IF YOU THINK YOUR WEIGHT PROBLEM STEMS FROM OVEREATING OR POOR FOOD CHOICES, CONSULTING A NUTRITION EXPERT IS THE QUICKEST WAY TO A SOLUTION.
Dietitians are the ultimate nutrition professionals, qualifi ed to help you find a healthier, safer way to lose weight and keep it off , says accredited practising dietitian Themis Chryssidis. “The ‘quick fix’ promises of many fad diet programs not only do physical damage, they also set you up for a negative relationship with food,” he explains.
“Your dietitian can help you set realistic goals and make lasting changes – and the advice you get is backed by scientific cevidence, not anecdotal or based on what worked for your friends.”
How a dietitian can help you:
* An accredited practising dietitian will help create a personalised eating plan based on your likes, dislikes, goals, budget and medical history.
* To find a dietitian who can help you reach your weight-loss goal, check out the Dietitians Association of Australia’s website, daa.asn.au.
* Dietitians are also trained in counselling and will help you achieve sustainable behaviour change that will last a lifetime.
* Depending on your weight-loss situation, expect to see a dietitian for five to 10 sessions, some of which may be covered by your private health fund or even Medicare, if you have a referral from your GP.
The Personal Trainer
SO YOU’VE JOINED YOUR LOCAL HEALTH CLUB AND YOU’RE DETERMINED TO SWEAT AWAY THOSE EXTRA KILOS. BUT IF YOU TRY TO GO
IT ALONE, HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHETHER THE EXERCISE YOU’RE DOING WILL ACTUALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE ON THE SCALES?
The right personal trainer will help you get more bang for your exercise buck and teach you the tricks that let you burn fat and tone muscles without spending all day at the gym.
Fitness Australia, the national peak industry association, promises a qualifi ed registered trainer can help you with technique for effi ciency and safety, monitor your progress and adjust your exercise program to suit your changing fitness levels. A personal trainer also provides motivation, professional expertise and personalised
attention. Before you sign on for your local boot camp, remember that while fitness trainers are qualifi ed to help you drop kilos without getting injured, not all of them have the extra expertise to cater for the conditions related to being overweight.
“If you have a condition such as joint pain, incontinence or diabetes, it’s worth having a medical and physical condition assessment before you start,” advises physiotherapist and fitness educator, Lisa Westlake.
When choosing a trainer make sure you:
* Ask to see their Fitness Australia Registration Card which includes their level of expertise, or check their credentials at fitness.org.au.
* Feel comfortable with their training approach.
* Ask to see proof of their public liability insurance cover.
EVER NOTICED THAT SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT-LOSS CONTESTANTS ON TELEVISION SHOWS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE AN ‘EMOTIONAL BREAKTHROUGH’ AT SOME POINT? This is because weight loss often relies on addressing the underlying factors that caused the person to gain weight in the first place, says clinical psychologist and hypnotherapist Alex Caterjian.
A weight-loss psychologist can help you identify the issues that may be holding you back and give you a real chance of permanent weight control. “If you don’t find out why you gained weight initially, you may still lose weight but you’re less likely to make the changes needed to make it stick,” explains Caterjian. “And you’re more likely to find yourself on a constant cycle of losing weight and putting it back on.”
Some psychologists also offer hypnotherapy for weight loss. “This therapy bypasses the conscious thought processes that are holding you back, and helps you access the internal resources that make it easier to fight your bad habits,” says Caterjian.
You can also ask about the ‘virtual gastric band’, a type of hypnotherapy that can make you feel as though you’ve had weight-loss surgery. “There’s a lot of evidence that virtual gastric banding can be just as successful as invasive surgery for weight loss,” says Caterjian. The number of sessions needed varies from person to person, but about eight to 12 weekly sessions with a psychologist, including six sessions of hypnotherapy, will generally produce results.
Psychologists can help you deal with the following types of issues that can hamper weight-loss ef orts:
* Work problems
* Relationship issues
* Residual efects of a traumarelated event