After working clinically in various hospitals and private practices, Gina Cleo completed a PhD in long-term weight loss maintenance, where she implemented habit-based interventions to help achieve sustained weight loss. She is now an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Researcher at the Center for Research in Evidence-Based Practice, at Bond University.
She says that one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy weight is to make small changes to daily eating habits – and creating habits that will stick. Dr. Cleo has partnered with Fresh Meals 2 U, a Queensland-based home delivery service providing deliciously fresh, nutritious and healthy prepared meals to customers that encourage healthy eating habits.
“Most diets show no long-term effects,” Dr Cleo says, adding that there’s a general trend of regaining about 50 per cent of your weight loss in the first year, and much of the rest in the following couple of years.
“Although I’m a dietitian, I wanted to take a different spin on things, so the programs did not prescribe specific diet plans or exercise regimens, they simply aimed to change small daily habits.”
Don’t let a diet be a compromise
“A lot of diets compromise your social life,” Dr Cleo says. She cautions against diets that make it difficult to go out and enjoy a meal or drink. Instead she insists that the success of weight loss programs comes down to subtly changing behaviour and creating new, positive habits. An example of such a positive change is to get healthy meals delivered to your door – this creates both a healthy habit and reduces the influence of unhealthy (eating) habits creeping into your daily routine.
The dietician is a self-proclaimed foodie and passionate about health and well-being. She hopes her ongoing research will help inform weight management strategies and health practitioners alike.