The onset of summer and the preoccupation with attaining that perfect beach body, prompts many young women to start dieting.
In fact, each year, three out of five 18-24-year old women say they actively try to lose weight. Yet only half succeed.
The failure rate of diets, particularly the extreme 'bikini-count-down' types, is something that concerns dietician and exercise physiologist Caitlin Reid.
Founder of the Health and the City program, Caitlin attributes failure rates largely to the restrictive and fatigue-inducing nature of summer diets.
"When you are low in iron, you can feel tired, unwell and unmotivated to exercise and eat healthily. A higher protein nutrient-rich diet may well be the solution for young women wanting to look good and feel good this summer," says Caitlin.
Caitlin says the protein-rich foods help increase satiety and provide critical nutrients including iron and zinc which are important for producing energy and fighting infection. Here are her diet tips for successful long-term eating.
Tips for diet success
Be calorie-wise when drinking
Guzzling down too much alcohol leads to excess kilojoules and poor food choices, both of which contribute to weight gain.
Choose drinks lower in kilojoules such as a shot of spirits mixed with soda water or diet soft drink.
Alternate your alcoholic beverage with water.
Boost your iron intake
Being low in iron can lead to feelings of fatigue and reduce your motivation to exercise and eat healthily.
Protein-rich foods also help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, reducing the likely hood of overeating
Cut 420 kilojoules each day
Trim just 420 kilojoules (a piece of chocolate or packet of chips) from your daily food plan and your brain won't realise you're eating less.
American Professor Brian Wansink calls this the "mindless margin" and by making this small reduction to your daily kilojoule intake can equate to more than 4kg of weight loss over the year.
Sit down to eat
If you eat while you're walking, watching television, sitting at the computer or driving, then this tip is for you.
Multitasking while eating makes you overeat, as you're not paying attention to your hunger levels or how much food you're putting in your mouth.
Vitamin D injection
Head to the beach for a soft sand run, go for a coastal walk or organise a game of tennis with friends.
Aim to get outside for an hourly exercise session every day and you'll not only lose weight, you'll also feel better for it.
Fill your plate with summer rich fruit and vegetables
As well as nutritional benefits, they add bulk to meals, helping to fill you up without providing too many kilojoules.
Add some fruit to your breakfast cereal and morning snack, and get your five serves of vegetables with salads and grilled summer vegies.
Go out for treats
Make your home and workplace 'treat free'.
The more hassle it is to access your delicacies, the less likely you are to eat them and the less damage they have on your waistline.
Wear your skinny jeans weekly
Throwing on a loose summer dress is hassle-free and cooling, but it also makes it hard to notice any changes in weight.
Keep your weight in check by trying on your skinny jeans each Saturday night.
Treat yourself one day a week
A sustainable weight loss program includes your favourite foods ... just in a controlled manner.
Allow yourself treats one day a week but do keep a check on the portion sizes.
Get your beauty sleep
With a full social calendar, it's easy to skip the slumber but cutting back on your beauty sleep will leave you hungrier the following day.
You'll eat as many as 1200 extra kilojoules the following day - that's equivalent to a Snickers bar.
For healthy tips and recipes you can stick to, visit healthandthecity.com.au.
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