Nutrition & Lifestyle

Weight Loss and Nutrition Q&A with Annelies of Key Nutrition

by Nikki Warren on Apr 10, 2024

Weight Loss and Nutrition Q&A with Annelies of Key Nutrition

How do you support sustainable weight loss in your practice with patients?

I approach sustainable weight loss by addressing the client’s mindset, relationship with food, and physiology. Reiterating that it is all about creating healthy habits, rather than restrictions.

We work on small steps, implementing small changes every week, making the weight loss approach always sustainable. We set up a realistic goal and work towards it in the most safe and sustainable way.

Weight loss has many facets. Nutrition is a huge component, but a lot of people forget about sleep, stress, underlying health issues, hormonal health, mindset and digestion.

At Key Nutrition, we approach and work with our clients from a functional perspective where we conduct dietary, lifestyle and overall health assessments.


What are some of the challenges your patients face when trying to lose weight?

  • Sustainability.
  • Time management.
  • Finding a balance between eating 80% whole foods, and treating yourself to foods you love 20% of the time.
  • Understanding you don’t need to restrict yourself to lose weight!

What do people need to consider with their diet when trying to lose weight?

  • Hitting protein targets at every meal is so important.
  • Ensuring you are eating at least 30g fibre daily.
  • Blood work analysis to correct nutrient deficiencies.
  • Digestive health needs to be functioning optimally.
  • Hydration + electrolytes are essential.
  • Being organised is key!

Other than nutrition, what are other key factors that impact someone’s weight?

  • Sleep. When you get insufficient or inadequate sleep, your body increases ghrelin (hunger hormone) and decreases leptin (appetite suppressant hormone). This contributes to insulin resistance which naturally makes you crave high energy/calorie dense foods. Lack of sleep makes you consume on average an extra 300 calories per day.
  • Stress. Elevated levels of cortisol over a period of time increases fat storage around your belly area. Prolonged stress stimulates increased food drive and food intake.
  • Exercise/ Resistance training. Moving every day not only helps you burn body fat, but it is the best natural medicine for mental health, increasing those endorphins. Building lean muscle mass helps to burn body fat and increases your basal metabolic rate.
  • Prescription medication. Some medications can have side effects such as weight gain so that's something else to consider when you trying to lose weight.
  • Hormonal dysfunction. Your thyroid hormones are key to controlling your body temperature and keep your metabolism functioning well. Looking into a DUTCH test will determine the root cause of your hormone concerns.
  • Other chronic health issues. Diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, serious gut health issues, etc. can all impact how your body functions and how you burn energy.

What are your favourite nutrients/supplements to prescribe to assist weight loss for your patients and why?

  • Protein – most satiating nutrient and helps to stabilise blood sugar levels.
  • Healthy Fat – satiates you + supports blood sugar control.
  • Magnesium – calming mineral, great for sleep, exercise recovery and most people are deficient in this.
  • Vitamin D – precursor for many hormone functions in your body, great for mood regulation.
  • Omega 3 Fish Oils – best anti-inflammatory.
  • L-Carnitine – assists in fat transportation in the body.
  • Cinnamon – great blood sugar stabiliser.
  • MitoQ – great for mitochondria energy.


What advice do you give to people who are thinking about getting professional help with losing weight?

DO IT! If you have been trying to lose weight yourself for years and nothing is working, then it's time for help from a professional who knows what they are doing and makes it easy for you. Quit fad diets and start working on a lifestyle long term change.


What mindset and behaviours can help create sustainable dietary changes?

Finding a balance between whole foods and processed foods. Understanding it is ok to treat yourself every now and again to particular foods you enjoy such as cakes, muffins, chocolate, chips, etc. This helps build a positive relationship with food.


We know balance is key to a healthy diet, what advice do you give patients to maintain a balanced diet that still includes their favourite foods?

If you are eating 21 meals a week on average, then 3 of those 21 meals can be whatever you like. This might be takeaways on a Friday night, going out for breakfast on the weekend and buying your lunch once throughout the week. This maintains balance and reduces restriction. You have to remember that one energy-dense meal of “fish and chips” is not going to make you put on weight like that one “salad” is not going to make you lose weight. Consistency is key!


What testing do you often use for your patients to assess their health and weight?

  • Skin fold sites where we measure body fat %
  • Functional testing like hormone, gut test, organic acid, heavy metals, methylation, etc
  • Blood work analysis 


Tell us a bit about yourself/clinic and why you chose to be a nutritionist? What does nutrition mean to you?

Nutrition is so much more than weight loss. We want to help you look and feel the best you can without fad diets or giving up foods you enjoy! We believe that health is your best investment, not an expense!

Annelies has been working in the nutrition and fitness industry for over 15 years now. Annelies is extremely passionate about helping others see the benefit of eating nutritious food and how small changes can make a difference to your well-being and lifestyle. Annelies believes in a sustainable approach where she works with you to create healthy habits, rather than restrictions and fad diets. Nutrition advice is ever-evolving so Annelies enjoys keeping up to date with the most recent research and clinical approaches to help you get the results you are looking for.

Annelies has a keen interest and vast experience in sports nutrition working with a range of individuals such as competitive or high-performance athletes, clubs, professional teams, and just the everyday gym goer. Whether you are a competitive athlete, training for an event, or just wanting to improve your day-to-day performance, Annelies can help you. Annelies has worked with a variety of individuals who engage in CrossFit, rugby, netball, rowing, swimming, endurance sports, bodybuilders, and much more.

Annelies can help you with:

  • Body fat loss
  • Muscle gain
  • Sports nutrition- performance, recovery, improving fitness times
  • Dietary requirements (e.g carnivore, vegan, gluten/ dairy free)
  • Hormonal issues/ fertility
  • Gut health
  • Concussions/ head Injuries
  • Fatigue
  • Other health issues (e.g diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, PCOS, endometriosis, etc)

Come see Annelies when you are done with diets and are ready to achieve your health goals in the most sustainable and realistic way.

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