There are many factors that contribute to a person’s weight: Diet, physical activity,genetics, environmental factors, medications and illnesses. Each of these factors affect weight in different ways and to varying degrees, but health professionals most often stress the importance of diet and physical activity above all other factors because they can be affected by conscious behaviour modification.

Exercise is an important element of weight maintenance as it increases energy used and builds lean muscle raising our metabolic rate. However, total physical activity accounts for only about 15‒30% of daily energy expenditure and it is unrealistic to expect significant weight loss through increasing activity levels alone. Our food intake accounts for 100% of our energy, hence total food restriction, switching to nutrient-rich foods and blood sugar management (i.e., increasing fibre, avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks and alcohol) is the most successful weight loss management strategy.

Foods to include
3 meals daily.
Protein at each meal and snack.
At least 6 glasses of water spread throughout the day.
Oily fish 2‒3 times a week.
Healthy fats at lunch and dinner.
Whole foods: Beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Low GL carbohydrates.
At least 6 servings of vegetables and 2‒3 portions of fruit daily.
Flavour food with herbs, spices, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, lemon juice and lime juice.

Food to avoid / limit
Sugary foods and drinks.
Refined, processed foods especially snack foods.
Ready meals.
Grains especially white refined grains and cereals. Limit 
wholegrains to 2‒3 portions a day.
Foods high in saturated fat, hydrogenated and trans fats.
Limit yourself to 1 coffee or 2 cups regular tea daily.
Limit red meat to 1‒2 times a week