Weight Management

Welcome to our updated Weight Management page. We have revised the energy density page and created three new pages covering food addiction, satiety and low-fat diets. This incorporates much of the material we present in the weight management section of our one-day seminars. Click here to see upcoming seminars.

A whole foods, plant-based diet will enable you to lose weight and keep it off without portion control. It’s first and foremost a health supporting diet so you will feel yourself getting healthier as you lose weight, unlike Atkins-Paleo style low carb diets which have many side effects and are dangerous to health in the long term. There are no special products required – it’s food-based and you can buy everything you need from your local supermarket and fresh produce store. Going plant strong is not difficult or expensive.Going Plant Strong

Energy density is the key concept for understanding how the type of food we eat determines our body weight. It’s also the key to managing your weight – whether your goal is weight loss, keeping weight off or avoiding weight loss. Check out our simple calorie density chart – it may surprise you to see that some of the carbohydrate-rich foods for which we have a natural affinity are moderately low in calorie density. You can use the principal of energy density to build meals which are full-sized and satisfying yet modest in calorie content. And you won’t have to worry about nutritional deficiencies because whole plant foods have a higher overall nutrient density than animal-derived foods or processed plant foods. People who adopt a plant-based diet for weight loss often express joy and relief at breaking free of portion control, often after years of unsuccessful dieting. Energy Density

Two thirds of Australians are overweight or obese. This is not the result of a design flaw in the human body, lack of will power or declining physical activity. The problem is that we are eating the wrong type of food for our species. Calling ourselves omnivores does not change the fact that our anatomy and physiology suggests that humans are herbivores. Modern processed foods and animal products provide a hyper-concentrated source of calories which goes beyond the operating range of our weight regulating physiology. The failure of our appetite and satiety regulating mechanisms to fully compensate for the richness of this food results in systematic overeating and gradual weight gain.
Appetite and Satiety

Eating food is pleasurable. We have dopamine-based brain reward systems that are designed to respond to high calorie food and other experiences that improved the chances of survival and reproduction for our hunter-gatherer ancestors. But modern foods like cheese and processed foods are ‘hyperpalatable’, leading to a temporary state of enhanced pleasure followed by addiction. Moderation keeps you trapped in this state. Once you break free from addictive hyper-palatable food, you will find it easier to resist comfort eating.
Food addiction

There is a lot of debate about low carb vs low fat diets. We prefer to think in terms of food rather than nutrients – i.e. a diet based on whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits. In nutrient terms this is a high carbohydrate, moderate protein, very low fat diet. There is a physiological basis for the saying, ‘the fat you eat is the fat you wear’, but the best evidence for this approach is the real world observation that people who eat low fat, plant-based diets are always leaner. Low-fat diets for weight loss

Our tips for maximum weight loss will help those who are still having difficulty losing weight even after changing to a whole foods plant-based diet.  We also give advice on how not to lose weight for those who are at or below their goal weight.

Resources

Books:

General weight loss:

Calorie density and the ‘Pleasure Trap’:

When weight loss has stalled:

Food composition tables:

Peer-reviewed articles:

Success stories

Page last updated 14 February 2016