Clare Dietitian

Clare's Diet Article West Australianback to my publications list

This article appeared in the West Australian newspaper, Mind & Body lift out on October 20, 2009.

Dietitian Clare Wood shows you how to shed excess body fat for the Big Walk

Weight management is all about energy balance. Balancing energy intake with exercise level can be tricky but the key is to understand the basics and learn how much fuel your body needs for your level of exercise.


  1. Start a food diary
    Writing it down will keep you honest and aware.
  2. Limit fat intake
    Fat is energy-dense, so it is difficult to use it all and leftovers are stored as body fat. Limiting fat will help to reduce unwanted storage. Include light dairy options, reduce oils and spreads and buy fewer takeaways
  3. Avoid excess intake of sugary foods
    Sugar is the "lesser of two evils" when you are active, because the muscles preferentially use sugar/carbs. Replace empty-calorie sweet treats like soft drinks, cordial and lollies, with dried fruit, frozen yoghurt or juice.
  4. Reduce the volume of food
    The key for some people is not what they eat but how much. Often extra training causes increased hunger, which leads to overeating, but of the wrong foods. Be wary, though, if you eat too little your energy levels may start to dwindle. Find balance but err on the side of less.
  5. Take the occasional treat
    If you need to treat yourself — and I advise you do occasionally — make wise choices and don't overdo it

Food for thought — sticking to healthy options makes it harder to exceed energy needs


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