Weight Loss Advice by Nutritionist Vanessa Belvedere

5 expert tips for Weight Loss

Our expert Nutritionist Vanessa Belvedere gives you the top 5 tips for weight loss!

Here are the top 5 tips to lose weight and feel great by working smarter not harder. Now let’s get started!

1. Make happy hormones
When we feel good we are more likely to stick to a healthy diet that fuels and nourishes our body. Exercise increases our uptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate our mood, appetite, digestion and sleep (1). Additionally, exercise increases our basal metabolic rate (BMR) moving us closer to an energy deficit which is required for weight loss (2).

2. Portion control
To supercharge your weight loss, combine calorie restriction with your exercise. A reduction of 500-1000 calories per day is recommended for weight loss and to maintain weight loss (3). The easiest way to restrict calories is to practice portion control. Follow these 4 simple rules to perfect your portion control, stabilise your blood sugar levels, keep you full and reduce cravings:
• Fill ¼ of your plate (around ½-1 cup) with carbohydrate-based foods
• Fill ¼ of your plate (around 100-200g) with lean protein
• Fill half your plate (around 1.5 cups) with vegetables and salad
• Consume 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats with most meals

Choose whole grains that are low GI and high in fibre (oats, brown rice, wholemeal pasta/bread). These foods provide a steady stream of glucose in the blood, keeping you fuller for longer and avoiding low blood sugar leading to sugar cravings (4).

Protein assists with appetite control and requires energy to be converted into fuel raising our BMR, which can contribute to weight loss (5). Aim for around 20g or one palm’s worth of protein with each meal (5).

Vegetables and salad
Vegetables are low in calories and contain dietary fibre (6). They are a powerhouse of antioxidant, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which add bulk to your meals keeping you feeling full. Try to add 1.5-2 cups of low starch vegetables to each meal.

Healthy fats include nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, avocado. Try to add a portion with most meals.

3. Pause the processed foods
Processed foods are high in salt, fat, sugar and calories (7) which contribute significantly to your overall daily caloric intake leading to weight gain. Avoid foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce, long ingredient lists, preservatives and colours. Reading food labels is the best way to avoid eating unnecessary calories. Try to eat foods low in sugar with no more than 15g per 100g and aim for foods with less than 120mg of sodium per 100g.

4. Eat every 2-4 hours
Eating regularly spaced meals throughout the day is important for regular protein consumption and may prevent overeating. Pre-plan your meals for the day, ensuring you are fuelling your body at least every 4 hours.

5. Keep hydrated
Dehydration can cause a decline in concentration, exercise performance and be mistaken for feelings of hunger (8). To avoid eating when you are thirsty, make sure you consume enough water by drinking 35-45ml/kg/day (9).

More about Vanessa – Sports & Spinal Nutritionist

Vanessa is a qualified Nutritionist, with a Bachelor of Human Nutrition Degree majoring in Public Health. Vanessa is a member of the Nutrition Society of Australia and a certified Sport and Exercise Nutrition Coach.

She specialises in nutrition coaching that teaches the foundations of building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the art of weekly meal prepping (so you’ve got more time for the fun things in life) and weight loss.

Vanessa can provide nutrition advice that is based on the individual’s lifestyle and belief system, as she is a huge believer in one size does not fit all.


1. Wipfli, B., Landers, D., Nagoshi, C., & Ringenbach, S. (2011). An examination of serotonin and psychological variables in the relationship between exercise and mental health. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 21(3), 474-481. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01049.x

2. Singh, M., Dureha, D. K., Yaduvanshi, S., & Mishra, P. (2010). Effect of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on basal metabolic-rate. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 44(Suppl 1), i26-i26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2010.078725.87

3. Jakicic, J. M., Clark, K., Coleman, E., Donnelly, J. E., Foreyt, J., Melanson, E., . . . Volpe, S. L. (2001). Appropriate intervention strategies for weight loss and prevention of weight regain for adults. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 33(12), 2145-2156. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00005768-200112000-00026

4. Bazzano, L. A., Hu, T., Reynolds, K., Yao, L., Bunol, C., Liu, Y., … & He, J. (2014). Effects of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets: a randomized trial. Annals of internal medicine, 161(5), 309-318. doi: 10.7326/M14-0180

5. Symons, Sheffield-Moore, Wolfe, & Paddon-Jones. (2009). A Moderate Serving of High-Quality Protein Maximally Stimulates Skeletal Muscle Protein Synthesis in Young and Elderly Subjects. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(9), 1582-1586. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2009.06.369

6. Eat for Health (2015). Vegetables and Legumes/Beans. Retrieved from https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups/vegetables-and-legumes-beans

7. Stuckler, D., McKee, M., Ebrahim, S., & Basu, S. (2012). Manufacturing epidemics: the role of global producers in increased consumption of unhealthy commodities including processed foods, alcohol, and tobacco. PLoS medicine, 9(6), e1001235. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001235

8. Stand, A. P. (2009). Exercise and fluid replacement. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 39(2), 377-390.

9. Australian Government, Department of Health. Fact Sheet – What are the benefits of healthy eating? Retrieved from http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/sugar-drinks-toc~sugar-drinks-3-fact-sheets~sugar-drinks-factsheet-3-1-benefits-healthy-drinks