“How long does it take to lose weight?” is a common question for those at any stage of their weight loss journey. It can be demoralising when you are putting in real effort towards a goal, but you feel like you aren’t seeing the results.
Looking after our physical health, which includes weight management, is important. It should be motivated by self-compassion and is a common goal not to be ashamed of. The key to successful weight loss is realistic expectations, following a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise.1
Realistic expectations are important in our weight management journey. Changes you make need to be ones that you can manage in the long term, these small steps are easier to achieve and will add up. We must also keep in mind that life can get in the way of anyone’s journey, and there are always bumps in the road.
Weight loss: simple & realistic ways to get started
Here’s a quick summary of some simple realistic ways to get started from Health Navigator NZ.1
- Cook at home more often. Include meals made from minimally processed ingredients such as vegetables, meat, eggs, fish, whole grains, and legumes
- Choose fruit or water instead of sugar-sweetened snacks or drinks
- Minimise the amount of sugar consumed in tea/coffee or sugar-sweetened drinks
- Aim to move daily. Start by walking at least 10-15 minutes per day
Tips & tricks to support your weight loss journey
A realistic weekly weight loss goal for most people is around 0.5kg per week.1 Generally to lose 0.5 to 1 kilogram per week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day, through a lower calorie diet and regular physical activity.2
We must work towards our health goals while being kind to ourselves, never giving up, and starting fresh the next day. Look to your whanau and friends for support, celebrate your achievements, and take things one step at a time.
The results will be worth it, even modest weight loss (approximately 5% of your body weight) can achieve huge health benefits such as:
- Reduce hypertension and cardiovascular risk
- Prevent, delay the progression of, or improve control of type 2 diabetes
- Improve your quality of life, self-esteem, and mood
- Result in improvements in chronic kidney disease and sleep apnoea
- Reduce symptoms of musculoskeletal problems, GORD (reflux), and urinary incontinence
Enjoy healthier foods
It can be difficult to avoid processed and takeaway foods.
“Processed” is a very general term. Some foods are minimally processed like roasted nuts, yoghurt or nut butters . Heavily processed foods, snacks, and meals are the “problem” processed foods – these foods can be high in fat, added sugar and salt, and are not part of a healthy diet.
It’s a lot easier to lose weight and keep it off with a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, grain foods (rice, pasta, bread, and cereals), protein (legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds, fish, poultry, and lean meat) and low-fat milk, and milk products.1
Cut down on foods high in fat, added sugar, and refined carbohydrates to lower your energy intake. You can combat hunger with foods high in fibre and low on calories.
Get active – make exercise part of your routine
You can lose weight without exercising, but regular physical activity can make weight management a lot easier, when paired with calorie restriction. Exercising will help burn off excess calories you can’t cut through diet alone.
Again, being realistic and fair on yourself is a must. Start gradually and build on your progress. Even 15 minutes of gentle activity each day is a great start.
You can also incorporate exercise into your day by making choices like taking the stairs or walking instead of driving short distances. Multiple short periods of exercise add up throughout the day. Think about ways you can increase your activity throughout the day if you can’t fit in formal exercise, it all counts!
Meal replacements for weight loss management
Meal replacement shakes can be a convenient and simple part of a weight management plan. Meal replacement shakes can be used to replace empty calories with all you need to nourish your body while you lose weight.3 They contain protein, fibre and essential vitamins and minerals to fuel your body.
Some people find that these meal replacement shakes, dessert or soups are an effective way to resist the temptation to indulge in highly processed foods. We lead busy lives and when you’re short on time to prepare a healthy meal this can be a quick alternative that is better for you instead of fast food or takeaways. They can be an easy way to feel full while consuming less calories.
Weight management support products
In addition to meal replacement shakes, there are further products that can support your weight management journey. ZOOM Pharmacy stocks products designed to complement your weight management plan and help you become a healthier eater. Identifying areas where you need help is important to find the product that will work best for you. Products are designed to bind to dietary fats, reduce calorie intake, or to reduce food cravings.
- Want to lose weight while still being able to occasionally indulge? SLIMFIT Fat Binder or SLIMFIT Calorie Reducer may be a good option for you.
- Feel like your diet can sometimes be too high in fat? SLIMFIT Fat Binder may be a good option for you.
- Is high calorie intake from carbohydrates, sugars and fats your concern? SLIMFIT Calorie Reducer may be a good option for you.
- Is managing your appetite and controlling portion size your goal? SLIMFIT Appetite Reducer may be a good option for you.
- Are you already using meal replacements but finding you just don’t feel full? SLIMFIT Appetite Reducer alongside your meal replacement shake, soup or bar may be a good option for you.
Tracking your journey positively
Tracking your weight management journey can be a disheartening practice. Spending weeks exercising and watching your diet, only to see the same number on the scale day after day… This is not something you should take to heart and does not reflect your hard work. The truth is that the scale isn’t the final say in if your making progress on your journey.
Scale weight is a useful number to know, but it can be considered too simple of a metric, so don’t let it discourage you. A better metric is body fat percentage. This measurement can be tracked at home using smart body composition scales. These scales use a technology called Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) to measure your body composition on the rate at which an electrical current travels through the body.4 These scales link to a smartphone app, which makes tracking your composition easier. It must be noted that these scales provide an estimate of body fat and should be used to track changes in body composition over time, not to provide an accurate assessment of your general wellbeing.
- Weight loss – a healthy approach – Health Navigator NZ
- Weight loss: 6 strategies for success – Mayo Clinic
- Can Meal Replacement Shakes Help You Lose Weight? – Healthline
- Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) Use a BIA Scale to Meet Fitness and Weight Loss Goals – verywell fit
- SLIMFIT helps reduce calorie intake and food cravings – SLIMFIT