Free online course: Science of weight loss

Interested in learning the science of weight loss?
This free online short course by Laureate Professor Clare Collins at the University of Newcastle will have you curious as she dispels diet myths.


Arm yourself with the knowledge and tools to make healthy eating decisions as you learn the science behind weight loss and dispel diet and nutrition myths.

Whether you are trying to lose weight yourself, or are supporting others, this food and nutrition course will dispel common myths about weight loss and teach you the science behind healthy eating for a healthy weight.

This course is not a diet plan – there are plenty of diet plans out there to choose from. Rather, we will take you through the science behind weight loss and arm you with the knowledge and tools to make the right decisions.

Based on the latest research, you’ll learn to develop a healthy eating plan to achieve a healthy weight. You’ll also discover more about the definition of a healthy weight, the nutritional composition of foods, how to cut calories or kilojoules, proper portion sizes, and how to identify and avoid fad diets.


  • Key weight management concepts including measuring body composition, calories and kilojoules, energy density, portion size, and metabolic rate
  • The nutritional composition of different foods
  • How to use dietary assessment tools and calculate energy requirements
  • How to identify features of fad diets and healthy diets
  • Key behaviours for successful long-term maintenance of lost weight


  • Topic 1. Assessing weight status and setting weight loss goals
  • Topic 2. Dietary guidelines and introduction to energy
  • Topic 3. Macronutrients and portion control
  • Topic 4. Dietary assessment and food and exercise tracking
  • Topic 5. Fad diets and risks of rapid weight loss
  • Topic 6. Self-reflection and key strategies for successful weight loss maintenance


Date: Wednesday 6 October – Wednesday 17 November (2-3 hours per week)



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