In his new book, Interval Weight Loss for Women, obesity researcher Dr Nick Fuller aims to cut through the noise and presents six key principles behind healthy and sustainable weight loss for women.
“Women are bombarded with information about the latest diets – from keto to Atkins, paleo to Dukan and more – diets that can paradoxically result in weight gain and aren’t grounded in scientific studies,” says Dr Fuller from the University of Sydney’s Boden Collaboration for Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders based at the Charles Perkins Centre.
“There are countless reasons women gain weight including previous dieting attempts, being on the pill, long hours at work, pregnancy, menopause and the general common effects of ageing.
“But there are also simple ways to overcome these common pitfalls and hurdles, to help you take back control of your body and stop yo-yo dieting for good.”
Here, Dr Fuller presents six key Interval Weight Loss principles to support women seeking to lose weight – and keep it off.
“Using the Interval Weight Loss method, every second month people take a break from losing weight and instead focus on maintaining their current weight,” says Dr Fuller.
This helps the body to recalibrate to its new lowered ‘set point’ – to welcome the lowered weight, rather than fighting itself and resisting weight loss.
Dr Fuller says the Interval Weight Loss approach teaches people how to overcome food addiction and the inability to say ‘no’ to all our favourite foods, and how to retrain their brain to rely on natures treats.
“These are foods found in their natural state, which release the same pleasure response in the brain as processed junk and fast food,” he says.
No foods are eliminated on the Interval Weight Loss plan, says Dr Fuller.
“You will eat more food than you are used to, focusing on consuming a variety of foods including those many have come to fear, such as carbohydrates, nuts and dairy.”
Dr Fuller advocates people sit down at the dinner table and use chopsticks for evening meals, to encourage eating more slowly.
Breakfast should also be your biggest meal of the day and dinner your smallest – and you should also endeavour to eat regularly.
Aim to incorporate activity into your daily routine, Dr Fuller suggests.
“Variety in the type of exercise you do is also encouraged, as well as working up a sweat during weight loss months.”
Use the evening to work on your ‘to do’ list or hobbies – constructive activities that prevent mindless eating – Dr Fuller suggests.
“Importantly, turn off all technology after dusk – including removing all forms of technology from the bedroom – good quality sleep is vital,” Dr Fuller says.
Interval Weight Loss for Women is published by Penguin Life.