Nutrition and Healthy Eating tips from the Experts

Disclaimer: Please note that this article is research based and some of the views and findings do not conform with the CSN Diet.

We reached out to South Africa’s nutritionist to hear what they have to say about the health questions we get on a regular basis.

Here is what the experts have to say about your burning questions on weight loss, portion sizes and biggest mistakes.



Elrike Theron

What is your best advice regarding knowing your portion size?

Our bodies are naturally intuitive when it comes to portion size.

When eating according to physiological hunger, fullness and appetite the body gets what it needs without feeling deprived or uncomfortable.

Eat slowly without distraction, enjoy your meal and listen to natural fullness ques – no external, restrictive measuring of portions needed!

Find out more about Elrike at


Ashleigh Caradas 

What is your top nutritional tip for fast and easy weight loss and why?

“I don’t really believe that weight loss should fast, or easy. But if someone wants to speed up the process, I generally suggest cutting carbohydrates and/or intermittent fasting.”

What is your best advice regarding knowing your portion size and tips on controlling portions?

If the meal cannot fit in your 2 cupped hands, its probably too big. Its also about knowing which foods need to be eaten in small quantities and which foods can fill up more of your plate (and stomach)

Ashleigh will help design an individualised diet and lifestyle plan suited to your needs you can contact her at

Lidia de Klerk 

What is the biggest mistake you see people make when it comes to eating healthy?

People want a quick solution and it often means that they go on crash diets that excludes one or more food groups.

Healthy eating is all about including a wide variety of foods as part of a balanced diet and just making sure that you eat them in the correct portion sizes.

Excluding food groups are not maintainable for the majority of the public and often means that you can be missing out on important nutrients or components of a healthy diet.

Key rules to live by is: have everything in moderation and make sure the right foods are available. “If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food. (Errick McAdams)”

You can get hold of Lidia via her LinkedIn Profile HERE.

Nicole Mans 𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐭 4𝐤𝐠 in 10 days 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐂𝐒𝐍!

Dominique Breakey

If you could only choose one nutritional tip for fast and easy weight loss what would that be?

My number 1 tip would be to look after your gut. This can be done by eating enough Fibre found in Fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and legumes and avoid very processed foods.

Drink at least 1.5L of water per day and get your daily dose of probiotics through some yoghurt.

Approximately 70% of your immune system is located in your gut, therefore, a healthy and happy gut leads to a healthier and happier you.

What is your best advice regarding controlling portions?

I believe that many weight issues have a lot to do with portion distortion. By controlling our portion sizes we can drastically reduce our calorie intake while still making sure we are getting in all the necessary food groups and nutrients.

This can be accomplished by following the “Healthy Plate Model”.

Try dishing up a 1/4 of your plate (Or fist size) of a Low GI starch, 1/4 of your plate (Or palm size) of lean protein and the other 1/2 of your plate with as many colourful veggies as you want.

What is the biggest mistake you see people make?

The biggest mistake is probably people being too restrictive and falling into a binge-diet cycle.

Many of us try to follow a very strict diet, we fall off the wagon on the weekend, feel bad about this and as a result binge due to feelings of guilt and failure.

We then tell ourselves we have to follow a very strict and restrictive diet once again to rectify the binge. Life is about balance and moderation.

You can get hold of Dominique  at

Yvette Viljoen

What would your top nutritional tip be for fast and easy weight loss?

Study foods that cause inflammation in your body. When you limit or cut out foods that cause inflammation you will soon see your weight dropping and your energy climbing

What is the biggest mistake you see people make when it comes to nutrition?

They don’t know sizes, what foods are in what categorise and what their bodies can tolerate to use it sufficient

Yvette is fascinated with Nutrition and psychology. Studies BSc consumer science, BSc nutrition and psychology. Human Nutrition (UK) and Animal nutrition USA. Currently working with animals, while doing public speaking in both animal and human nutrition and health. Contact Yvette here.

Hannelise Rademan

What would your Nr.1 nutritional tip be for fast weight loss that works and why?

There is no quick weight loss gimmick, but my top tip would definitely be to cut down on refined carbohydrates and starchy carbohydrates this includes: white and brown bread, white pasta, white rice, anything that contains more than 5g/100g sugar (including drinks).

This will help you use your stores to produce glucose which forces your body to use some of your reserves (extra fat). Your body is amazing and keeps homeostasis.

What is your best advice regarding knowing your portion size and tips on controlling portions?

For carbohydrates you need your hand, if it’s a fruit the size of your fist is usually 1 portion, if it’s a vegetable then 1 cup is usually a portion, except for potato, pumpkin, sweet potato and mixed vegetables then it’s half a cup and that also goes for pastas, rice, porridge and cereals. For bread, a small toaster loaf slice is one portion and a small bun.

For proteins, it’s the size and thickness of your palm and cheese use one matchbox for 1 portion. For milk 1 cup and yogurt 1/2 cup.

For fats use the rule of thumb- the amount should equal the size of your thumb for 1 portion.

What is the biggest mistake you see people make when it comes to eating healthy?

The biggest mistake people tend to make is to drink the wrong drinks.

Firstly weight loss shakes in between meals, this just adds to your energy consumption which creates a positive energy balance which decreases your chances of losing weight.

Another mistake people make is to drink juice/ sports drinks because they think it’s healthier options, but these drinks are loaded with sugar almost equivalent to sugary carbonated drinks- this will definitely not help you lose weight.

Contact Hannelise via

Thank you to all the dietitians above for your time and effort to share with us a piece of your knowledge. 

If there is any further questions you are welcome to contact them or even comment below, I believe the contributors would not mind answering otherwise I will do my best to do so.



Hi, my name is Karien Nel and today I’m 37kg lighter than the day I started my weight loss journey with CSN Diet.

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