Ashleigh Feltham

Ashleigh is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and owner of Feed Your Future Dietetics. She holds a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Bachelor of Human Nutrition. Ashleigh is also a qualified personal trainer and group fitness instructor and has been working in the fitness industry for over 15 years. Ashleigh was an elite gymnast as well as an elite rock climber where she represented Australia for five years. She believes everyone deserves to live a life of health and wellness. Ashleigh is passionate about helping people achieve their highest quality of life through nutrition, mental health and exercise. For more info: or follow her on IG or FB @FeedYourFutureDietetics.

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    The science to help you maintain weight loss.

    The science to help you maintain weight loss.
    Have you ever been on a diet? Most people have tried more than one and the bottom line is they do not tend to last. The restriction phase followed by the rebound of weight which can leave you back at where you started and more than likely with a bit more weight added on. So why don’t fad diets work and what does the science say to what does help keep weight off for the long term? If you want to know the answer, then read on.

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    The list of quick-fix diets are never-ending, and it is human nature to want the quick fix.

    This is also a product of our society, so when a new diet comes into trend, then it is very tempting to give it a go.

    Losing weight comes down to one factor, calorie deficit.

    This means if you are eating less than the energy you are expending you will lose weight.

    Keeping this weight loss off for the long term is where diets tend to fail.

    One meta-analysis of over 22 thousand participants, separating the diets into 3 groups low, moderate, and high carbohydrate and a low-fat group. The control group stayed with their usual diet but had dietary guidelines material and some had support from a Dietitian of general healthy eating. After 12 months weight loss improvements disappeared except for the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol on the Mediterranean Diet. Bottom line is diets are not effective in reducing weight for the long term.

    There is good news as there is grade A evidence in nutrition science which does show a way to reduce weight loss for the long term.

    Weight loss following lifestyle intervention is successful 6-12 months after dieting. The intervention, which is lifestyle adjustments needs to continue, it cannot cease if you want long term weight loss and keep this weight off for life.

    The guilt which is associated with the diet cycle of failure to begin again just to fail again and the waves of this cycle continues.

    Your body deserves love, and this includes love for your mind.

    To achieve weight loss while not feeling hangry and starved is possible but requires support from an appropriate professional.

    It is important to know that weight is not tied to health and is not a direct measurement.

    Your health is determined by many things above weight like cholesterol levels, mental health, bone health, organ function just to name a few.

    Try to focus on:

    1. The feeling of joy of movement or other reasons exercise makes you feel happy beyond food.
    2. The feeling of making healthful choices on your mind after you eat a well-balanced meal.
    3. Creating a positive food environment when you eat e.g. eating at a table without distractions with family or friends.
    4. Focus on what foods you can enjoy daily as part of a balanced diet to meet your health needs. I love to enjoy a delicious smoothie bowl made from Australian Natural Protein Company Pure Vanilla Bean Whey Protein with ½ cup of granola, 200g Greek yoghurt, and a sprinkle of coconut flakes.
    5. By doing number 4 then this one becomes easier because you are not depriving your body of its basic needs. When you do have your sometimes food, stop and enjoy the moment. Have a ‘relationship’ with it. Savor eat bite or sip. Mindfulness is key to moderation.
    6. Make your goals short in duration and achievable to fuel positive behavior and long-term change.


    Take home message: You are more than your weight. Health is not solely determined by weight, and you deserve to feel good from the inside out. Therefore, seeking the professional support of an Accredited Practising Dietitian to guide and support your individual needs throughout life as it changes.



    BMJ 2020;369:m696


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