A Multi-angled approach to weight loss


Practice News

Stronger Together

We celebrated women’s day on the 9th of August. We used the opportunity to raise awareness for osteoporosis seeing that women have such a high risk of developing this condition.

Approximately one in two women aged 50 and older will break a bone as a result of having osteoporosis.

Consuming adequate amounts of calcium in your diet is one of the controllable risk factors to help prevent osteoporosis.

      Raising Awareness

In order to raise awareness for osteoporosis we gave staff members at Louis-Leipoldt Mediclinic, Durbanville Mediclinic as well as Cape Gate Mediclinic a calcium counter that can be used to asses if they consume adequate amounts of calcium.


A Multi-angled approach to weight loss

As spring approaches and the sun’s rays get a bit warmer many of us have got ‘getting into shape’ on our minds. Yet many of us fall into the same trap each year by approaching weight loss the wrong way. Either by over-restricting energy intake, or by jumping onto the fad-diet bandwagon. 

Quick fixes, fasts, juice cleanses and detox diets sure work well as very short-term solutions, but yet as soon as one starts to eat ‘normally’ again, the weight just pounds right back on. These restrictive, unscientific diets are wrong on so many levels, but in short – they promote loss of body water and muscle mass. Not fat loss. 

What then is the correct approach to losing weight (and keeping it off)? The calories-in calories-out principle is a good starting point but as with life…it’s just not that simple! 

The ”Traditional” Calories-in Calories-out approach 

This approach appears to be seemingly simple – eat fewer calories than you burn, and lose weight! The theory is that 500 g of body weight is equivalent to eating 3500 calories. So, if you want to lose 500g a week, you would need to shave 500 kcal (3500 divided by 7) from your daily routine – Either by eating less, exercising more or a combination of both. 

The idea is that as long as you stay within a calorie range that is in line with your body’s needs, you can eat what you want and still lose weight. 

However, you might have a history of struggling to lose weight despite eating fewer calories than what you estimate your body needs. This is because the calorie-in calorie-out concept, isolated and not integrated into a holistic weight loss plan, does not account for hormone imbalances, insulin resistance and other health problems that affect metabolism. 

If you have been considering shedding a few extra kg’s this spring, here are a is a peek at what our practice looks at when devising weight loss plans for our patients.

Factors that affect our energy ‘in’


Appetite Influenced by hormones that control our desire to eat and to stop eating
Amount of food eaten Influenced by availability, palatability, energy density, sleep quality, education, culture
Amount of calories absorbed Influenced by our macronutrient intake, food preparation techniques, age, personal microbiome, health status, energy status


Psychological factors Influenced by stress, mindset, perceived self-control, self-esteem, sleep quality

Factors that affect our energy ‘out’

Energy burned at rest Influenced by your age, gender, body size, muscle mass, hormone status, diet history, genetic factors, health status, sleep quality
Energy burned through exercise Influenced by exercise ability, intensity, duration, frequency and type. Also influenced by hormones status and sleep quality
Energy burned by non-exercise activity


Influenced by your health status, energy status, stress levels, hormone status, occupation, leisure activities, genetic factors
Energy burned by metabolising food Influenced by macronutrient makeup and by how processed the food is.

“….it is easy to see why so many people struggle to lose weight…”


When we look at the calorie-in calorie-out approach through this lens it is easy to see why so many people struggle to lose weight even when they ‘eat less and move more’.

To achieve successful weight loss, you need to be on a weight loss plan that not only provides you with a metabolic advantage, but also takes all of the above factors that influence your energy balance into consideration. In other words – you need a multi-faceted approach.

Additional to getting on started with a solid diet plan (developed with all of the above in mind) as ‘backbone’ to your weight loss journey, one should also consider the following:

  • Blood tests for simple (and not so simple) hormone imbalances
  • Genetic testing – finding the best diet and exercise ‘fit’ according to your genetic makeup
  • Pharmacological treatment – weight loss medication to regulate hormones responsible for appetite control and feeling of fullness
  • Resting Metabolic rate testing – Direct testing of your energy ‘out’ (no more guessing!)
  • Exercise prescription – finding a workout plan best suited for maximum fat-loss effects
  • Stress Management – reducing cortisol (stress hormone) levels to allow for weight loss
  • Sleep evaluation – to better regulate hunger hormones, reduce stress hormones

Sometimes the solution to weight loss is obvious, sometimes it is not. But the answers are there if you know where to look for them.

To achieve successful weight loss, you need to be on a weight loss plan that provides you with a metabolic advantage.

Contact one of our skilled dietitians to start your weight loss journey with us today.


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