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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds HELEN TRUBY: We’ve been talking about how to engage people in weight loss. And that weight has often crept on over a number of years– maybe one or two kilos a year. And then by the time people get to their late 40s, early 50s, some of the metabolic consequences of actually holding that excess weight are starting to appear. Obviously people want to lose weight as quickly as possible. And it can be useful just to think about weight loss in terms of its energy content or energy density. And here’s a couple of ideas about how you might explain that to your patients.

Skip to 0 minutes and 37 seconds To try and get someone to lose a pound or half a kilo a week is probably a realistic target for most people, which means that you would need to get an energy deficit of about 500 kilocalories or 2,000 kilojoules a day. If we think about that in terms of food, you could say that that’s something like a full-fat latte and a couple of biscuits, a can of sweet drink or juice. That would actually be equivalent of approximately the energy that they would have to reduce every day in order to lose half a kilo during that week. Doesn’t look like a lot– an achievable amount.

Skip to 1 minute and 14 seconds Another way of looking at it if you’ve got someone who’s drinking– a couple of pints of beer less a day. A couple of large glasses of wine are also equivalent of that in terms of energy. So good ways of giving people tips about small changes that might actually impact on their weight. And finally, a product that we all eat so easily, which, because they’re so tasty, is, of course, crisps– or chips, as we would call them. And a packet of chips about this size– again, about that same amount of energy. So not snacking and using these kinds of products actually enables your patients to think about, OK, if I didn’t have that, I’d save myself all those calories or kilojoules.

Skip to 1 minute and 53 seconds And that would be a bit of a goal for them to aim towards to try and get that steady weight loss that we would try and achieve over the period of time.


Watch Helen talk about the role that energy consumption plays in weight loss.

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In the video, Helen discusses the role that energy content and energy density plays in weight loss and how you could communicate those concepts to your patients.

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Food as Medicine: Talking about Weight

Monash University

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