Lesson 1.1: Metabolic Style of Eating and How to Stretch Properly

Module 1 Objectives
  1. Benefits of Losing weight
  2. Basic Rules of Weight Loss
  3. Diet: The Metabolic style of eating
  4. Exercise: How to measure heart rate
  5. Exercise: Stretching


Welcome to the Redefine™ Metabolic Weight Loss program. This program is a step by step 6 week approach to teaching you the eating and exercise principles of weight loss. Each module has dietary, exercise and psychological components which will help set you a solid foundation on evidence based medical weight loss. Each week you should read through the 1st lesson of the module and then follow the exercise and dietary plan which is labelled as the second lesson. As you progress through the modules, your knowledge should increase and your dietary and exercise skills will accelerate. Good luck. Make this 6 weeks, your passport to finally getting your weight loss journey in the right direction.

Dr Marlene Tham welcomes you to the Redefine™ Metabolic Weight Loss program.

Clarity and Direction

It is so important to know exactly where you are going. The most successful people in life are those who have clear directions and clear goals. We see this in Olympics athletes, successful CEO of companies, and those who have built something world leading from scratch. With an end point in mind, you can work backwards to create a daily plan that helps you make small and sustainable lifestyle changes in your weight loss journey. The Redefine™  Metabolic program is designed to give you that kick start, to get you started on that journey and to help you define and create your health and weight goals for long lasting success.

The Redefine™ Metabolic Weight Loss Program

2018 start

For many of us, we suffer from decision fatigue. Our brain hurts from thinking too much, from making decisions each day. Having to decide what to eat and how to exercise to give our bodies the best chance in health, fitness and weight, adds multiple the number decisions to our day. This program is designed to take control, to be the driver in your exercise, diet and health decisions. The aim is to give you a daily routine for the next 6 weeks where  you are guided on exactly what to eat, how to exercise, how hard you need to work and when to take a day off. Make a deal with me. Make today day 1 and by the end of 6 weeks, you will be a healthier, fitter and leaner you. My only request is that over the next 6 weeks, you try and put yourself first. Let 2018 be your year of success and change. Treat your body like a business. Give it good resources, surround it with good staff and spend time on it and you will see the rewards. Don’t let your body “go out of business” but instead give it the time, effort and passion it needs.

The Benefits of Losing Weight

Obesity Australia
World Obesity Levels

The WHO has released figures showing that we are indeed in a world obesity epidemic with more than 70%  of the population overweight. In Australia we have never been “fatter”. While advances in medical science means we are living longer, the quality of our lives is under threat. Being overweight makes you at greater risk of developing so many metabolic disorders such as

Statistically, you are more likely to drop dead in the street from a heart attack then to get hit by a car. Yet we always look twice before crossing. Why don’t we put the extra care into looking after ourselves.

My Basic Rules:

These are some of the rules I have established over time which I believe is the  right mindset for success. Making small 1% changes in 12 areas is more effective than making 1 big 12% change in 1 area. Look at making some changes across the board.

Basic Rules
  1. You cannot be a foodie. Food cannot be your hobby. Appreciate good food but it cannot be your focus.
  2. Give up degustation menus and 3 course dinners.
  3. Minimise your alcohol – 1 standard glass of alcohol has as much sugar and carbohydrates as a vanilla slice.
  4. Do not eat past 8pm (unless you come home late). It is ok to go to bed hungry.
  5. Always have breakfast (even if it is something small) or alternatively, healthy mid-morning snack.
  6. Think before you eat in between meals. If you are at a function or meeting where food is provided. Do you really need to eat? Are you hungry. Avoid falling into the habit of eating because it is in front of you or that everyone else is eating.
  7. You do not need to eat free food. It is not free if you have to spend money to work it off.
  8. Better wasted in the bin then on your waist. If you are full, or not hungry, throw it away.
  9. Just because you have access to airport lounges, or unlimited food and alcohol in aeroplanes, it does not mean you have to “use it” or “get your money’s worth”. Think carefully about how much you are eating or how much you have eaten that day. Use those luxuries to rest and relax rather than eat.
  10. Hang around healthy people  who do do not make food a hobby, and you will not be tempted. Those who’s hobbies involve knowing the food trends and getting a reservation at the hottest restaurants make your social life very hard.
  11. Only eat until you are 80% full. Get use to not eating until you are full to the brim.
  12. Just because you have “paid for it”, it doesn’t mean you have to eat all of it, or eat to get “value”. You will pay for it later in your health. Become confortable leaving food behind, its ok.

The Metabolic Style of Eating

dinner healthy

The most common question I get asked is “What is the best diet to lose weight?”. If I ate a piece of chocolate for every time I have been asked this question, my sugar levels would be elevated to unthinkable levels.

The Redefine™ Metabolic Weight Loss program uses a combination of two of the best diets for weight loss to create the metabolic style of eating. The evidence for the Mediterranean Diet and the Dash Diet for weight loss is medically proven to be effective for weight loss and health. In fact the Dash diet, has always been ranked the number one diet year after year and the Mediterranean Diet has strong evidence for diabetes, preventing dementia and cardiovascular disease.

In our program we focus on including a good amount of white meat such as fish and chicken as the WHO came out with a statement last year about the carinogenicity of eating too much red meat. You can read their findings here: We do include 2-3  serves of red meat a week as we need it for iron and it is good source of protein. Just ensure you buy good quality lean cuts.

There also is no presciptive fruit in this eating plan. It can be eaten from the snack list. You can get all your vitamins and nutrients from vegetables. However, if you like fruit and want to eat it, it can eaten as a snack. Just avoid all the tropical fruits such as bananas, grapes, mangoes and pineapples.

If you wish to read the evidence and benefits of these diets, you can read it here:

Mediterranean Diet
  1. Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet
  2. Mediterranean Diet and Weight Loss: Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (Abstract only)
Dash Diet
  1. Results of the Diet, Exercise, and Weight Loss Intervention Trial (DEW-IT)

Focus on Good Quality Proteins

The harsh reality is that to lose weight, you must reduce caloric intake, unfortunately, there is no way around it. However, focusing on protein, specifically high-quality protein has very strong evidence as shown by the two diets above.  If we do not get enough protein, we will go for sugars, and carbohydrates. Protein-rich foods are more satiating, keeping you feeling fuller for longer by keeping your sugar levels more stable. It also encourages you to consume less, or even eliminate high GI and highly processed foods, which contributes to more cravings after the sugar high finally drops. Please remember that carbohydrates are not poison, but knowing which are the good carbohydrates and good fats are the right ones to eat is essential. This program will guide you through this.



The biggest problem people make with exercise, is not working hard enough. Some of us are scared ofthe “pain” that comes with exercise. Sweating and feeling out of breath is perfectly fine and necessary for cardiovascular benefit and manipulating your metabolism. Learn to exercise harder and increase your intensity and you will see the benefits in health, fat burning and fitness. We will help you slowly build your level of intensity each week whether you are a beginner or an advanced exerciser.

Maximal Heart Rate

It is important to know how to measure your maximal heart rate (MaxHR) so you can determine what intensity to exercise. We have divided the exercise program into beginner, intermediate and advanced exercisers so it can cater for everyone.
Your heart rate is measured as the number of times your heart beats per minute (bpm). Your resting heart rate is the measure of your heart rate at rest, which decreases as you get in better shape. Your max heart rate, on the other hand, is the maximum heart rate that you can attain that is based on your genetics.

Blood pressure manometer

Why is knowing your maximal heart rate important?

If you have a reasonable estimate of your Max Heart Rate, then you can create target training zones to help you improve your cardiovascular capacity and progress the intensity of your workouts.

One way of monitoring physical activity intensity is to determine whether a person’s pulse or heart rate is within the target zone during physical activity.

For low intensity physical activity.

Beginners need to start with low physical activity, at which a person’s heart rate should be about 50%.
For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 – 50 years = 170 beats per minute (bpm).  50% level: 170 x 0.50 = 85 bpm

For moderate-intensity physical activity

A person’s target heart rate should be 50% to 70% of his or her maximum heart rate. This maximum rate is based on the person’s age.For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 – 50 years = 170 beats per minute (bpm). 70% level: 170 x 0.70 = 119 bpm

Thus, moderate-intensity physical activity for a 50-year-old person will require that the heart rate remains between 85 and 119 bpm during physical activity.

For vigorous-intensity physical activity

A person’s target heart rate should be at or greater than  80% of his or her maximum heart rate. To calculate this range, follow the same formula as used above,

  • 80% level: 185 x 0.85 = 148 bpm
How to Measure Your Pulse

To check your pulse at your wrist, place two fingers between the bone and the tendon over your radial artery — which is located on the thumb side of your wrist. When you feel your pulse, count the number of beats in 15 seconds. Multiply this number by 4 to calculate your beats a minute.

Female hand measuring pulse

To check your pulse over your carotid artery, place your index and middle fingers on your neck to the side of your windpipe. When you feel your pulse, look at your watch and count the number of beats in 10 seconds. Multiply this number by 6 to get your heart rate per minute.

Young sportsman measuring pulse and heart rate during workout.


It is essential to warm your muscles up before stretching and cool them down afterwards. By stretching, you can protect yourself from stiffness, reduce injury and improve flexibility. Erica, our physiotherapist, will introduce the concept of stretching.


Erica will now teach you some basic stretching exercises which will train your muscles for exercise. It can be done before any planned exercise session.


It is so easy to let the pace of our lives overwhelm us. It is essential that we make it a priority over the next 6 weeks to:

  • Plan your grocery shop. At the beginning of each week, have a click through the recipes and work how what you need to buy and the quantities to last you for the week. It has been stated that weekly food preparation should take 1-2 hours a week.
  • Prepare some of your meals ahead of time. Have a look ahead of time at the recipes and see what you can make ahead of time Some ingredients taste better when they have been marinated overnight.
  • Uses spices and home-made marinades to flavour food. We will help you become a master of flavour.

Diet and Exercise Plans

Part of the reason why we have a world obesity epidemic is that we have stopped cooking. The world, especially the developed nations have relied too much of take-aways, pre-packaged meals and eating out. The leaders at the World Obesity Federation have attributed a lack of education and encouragement of cooking at all levels (schools, work places and at home) as a large reason why we are becoming “fatter”. Part of the program’s aims is to empower you to cook and increase your knowledge on what sort of things you should be preparing and what you should be eating on a daily basis. This will become an excellent foundation to your tools in managing your weight and keeping your weight off. We need to be encouraging home cooking to our children, in our work places and in our families. Be the role model.

Go on to the diet and execise plans for week 1 in the next lesson

Each recipe will have serves for either 2 ort 4 people so they can be designed to cooked for a family or a couple. Please either halve, or quarter the recipes depending on your numbers. Also, you can cook the double amount for your leftover lunch the next day. The plans will indicate in your need to. Also, you can substitute ingredients if you do not like them. This will also be indicated on each recipe. There is also a shopping list you can download each week to help you plan your shopping.

If you have egg allergy or intolerance, click here for a guide on how to substitute egg out of the recipes.

Good luck! Keep aiming for better health and a better you.

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