Summary

  • Eating and drinking foods that are high in fat and sugar, eating large serves, drinking alcohol, some medications and not being very active all contribute to weight gain.
  • Eating fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, lean meat, chicken and fish can help you to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Many foods have hidden fat and sugar.
  • The more active you are, the easier it will be to lose weight and stay healthy.
Foods high in fat and sugar, large portions, sugary drinks and not enough physical activity can cause people to gain weight. Exercising along with eating a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meat, chicken, fish, legumes can help you to maintain a healthy weight. Beware of food with hidden fat and sugar.

Things that make people put on weight


Things that can contribute to making people gain weight include:
  • Eating foods that are too high in fat and sugar
  • Eating too much of any food (too much energy for what your body needs)
  • Eating large serve sizes
  • Drinking too much soft drink, cordial, sports and energy drinks
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Not doing enough physical activity
  • Some medications.

Foods to eat if you are watching your weight


Some foods can help if you want to maintain a healthy weight or get to a healthy weight included:

Wholegrain breads and cereals – low in fat and the high-fibre varieties like porridge will fill you up more

Plenty of vegetables – fat-free, high in fibre and containing many other nutrients that keep you healthy

Fresh fruit – a healthy alternative to other snack foods and better to consume than fruit juice

Lean meat – lean cuts are best (trim the fat off meat and take the skin off chicken before cooking)

More fish – grilled, not battered and canned tuna is cheap and convenient

Try some legumes – include lentils, split peas, chickpeas and baked beans because they are cheap, low in fat and high in fibre and protein to help make you feel full.

Many foods have hidden fat and sugar

  • Fatty meats can have up to six teaspoons of fat per serve.
  • Kangaroo is low fat with only one teaspoon of fat per serve.
  • Sweet drinks have 10 teaspoons of sugar per serve.
  • Water has no sugar.

Fatty meats can have up to six teaspoons of fat per serve.

Kangaroo is low fat with only one teaspoon of fat per serve.

Sweet drinks have 10 teaspoons of sugar per serve.

Water has no sugar.

The more your move, the more you lose


The more active you are, the easier it will be to lose weight and stay healthy. Tips to help you get started include:
  • Try to be active in as many different ways as you can throughout the day.
  • Any form of movement is good – not just ‘exercise’ or ‘sport’.
  • Try to do at least 30 minutes of activity every day.
  • Your 30 minutes doesn’t have to be done all at once. You could do it in three lots of 10 minutes.
  • Have a check-up with your doctor first if you have not been active for a long time.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Victorian Aboriginal Health Services Tel. (03) 9419 3000 or 132 660 (after hours)
  • Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Tel. (03) 9411 9411
  • Dieticians Association of Australia Tel. 1800 812 942

Things to remember

  • Eating and drinking foods that are high in fat and sugar, eating large serves, drinking alcohol, some medications and not being very active all contribute to weight gain.
  • Eating fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, lean meat, chicken and fish can help you to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Many foods have hidden fat and sugar.
  • The more active you are, the easier it will be to lose weight and stay healthy.
References
  • Tucker talk tips – tucker for your ticker, 2010, Tucker talk tips: healthy eating and physical activity tip sheets, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. More information here.
  • Koolin Balit: strategic directions, Strategic directions for Aboriginal health 2012–2022, 2012, Department of Health & Human Services, Victoria. More information here.

More information

Weight management

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Department of Health and Human Services - Aboriginal health

Last updated: April 2015

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