The Nutrition Coach Blog London Nutritionist The Nutrition Coach offers advice on healthy living, nutrition and diet issues such as IBS, bloating, gluten intolerance and more.

The Nutrition Coach at The Spirit Of Summer Fair, Olympia, London

May 21, 2010

We have just had a really fun week doing an event at Olympia in London – We were at the Spirit of Summer Fair – and we were there to talk to the public and to do a series of workshops on Getting a Summer body!  At The Nutrition Coach we have two different approaches to Weight loss – One is our Dump The Diet Programme, which is for those of you who are sick of yo-yo dieting and want to get off that treadmill forever.  It is about knowing what to do, and having a coach (usually me Kate) taking you through it.  I love delivering this course (by the way we do it one on one and also in groups) – it covers what I call “dieting metality” too – ie the “head” reasons as to why we dont apply something we know would really improve our lives.  It is more of a broadbrush stroke approach and we deliver it over a time span of three months so as to make new habits a part of daily life.  I call it a Forever Diet!  Our other approach, The Metabolic Programme is a based on a blood test and is more precise in terms of how you apply it (weighing food for example) it is great for those of you who have seriously tried to lose weight but cant whatever you do!

At the Fair – Sanna and I gave a number of talks on our two different approaches!  Here is Sanna on the podium delivering her stuff!

Metabolic Programme -Sanna doing her stuff at The Spirit of Summer Fair

Metabolic Programme -Sanna doing her stuff at The Spirit of Summer Fair

Metabolic Balance, the perfect bikini diet

May 20, 2010
Sanna Anderson talking about the Metabolic Balance

Sanna Anderson talking about the Metabolic Balance

Last week we were asked to come and talk about the Metabolic Balance programme at The Spirit of the Summer Fair in Olympia.  Amidst the loveliest beach wear and sandals it was great talking to people about their weight loss goals.  The warm weather brings with itself less clothing, and more attention the extra curves often accumulated over the winter months.

I have spoken to so many women who have been frustrated by various different weight loss programmes that haven’t helped them achieve their goals.  Or worse still, they’ve achieved their goal, only to put the weight back on in a very short space of time, plus some!

The difference with Metabolic Balance programme is that it is not only tailor made to your individual needs, but it also addresses many of the underlying biochemical and hormonal issues that can have an impact on weight loss.   For me as a nutritionist, the best part of the programme is the fact that it teaches the participants how to eat healthy foods that suit their individual metabolism.  I’m not a great fan of meal replacements or overly restrictive diets.  Once you’ve achieved your target weight after these types of diets, it’s often really difficult to integrate back into real life and work out how to eat to sustain your weight loss.

Metabolic Balance makes the re-integration easy, and therefore is much more successful for sustained weight loss than many other programmes.  If you’d like to find out more, get in touch and book in for a free consultation to help assess your suitability for the programme.

Food, mood and mental health

May 14, 2010

What we eat very much affects how we feel and our state of mind.  The importance of eating enough food, and the right types of food, is clearly demonstrated by a study carried out by Keys et al back in 1950.  In the study, 32 healthy male volunteers were put on a semi-starvation diet for three months.  The diet included an intake of 1,600 calories per day and was high in carbohydrates, but low in protein and low in fat.  In addition, the volunteers were asked to undertake lots of exercise over the course of the three months.

The findings of this study showed that the volunteers not only developed the physical changes that were expected with the restricted diet, but they also developed psychiatric symptoms similar to those of patients with eating disorders.  This highlights that eating sufficient quantities of food, and the right foods, is essential for optimal mental health. 

More recent research indicates that prolonged dieting may be a trigger for developing disordered eating patterns.  This study by Keys backs up the idea that restrictive diets could indeed be a trigger in the development of disordered eating, as normal thought processes and mental health may become impaired.

If you suffer from disordered eating patterns, please do contact us to discuss your personal situation, or book a nutrition appointment to see us in one of our London clinics.

Julia

Eating disorders and the zinc link

May 10, 2010

The idea that nutrient deficiencies could play a part in the development and treatment of eating disorders was first put forward in 1979.  Of particular interest was the mineral zinc, as researchers noticed that the symptoms of anorexia and zinc deficiency were very similar in a number of respects.  The symptoms of both zinc deficiency and anorexia for example include: loss of appetite, amenorrhoea, nausea, mal-absorption, weight loss, depression and anxiety.

Since that time, a number of double-blind trials have shown that those with anorexia are at a high risk of zinc deficiency and that zinc supplementation may be beneficial in treatment.  Zinc supplementation has been shown to help decrease depression and anxiety and trials by Dr Carl Birmingham have demonstrated that the rate of increase in body mass of anorexics supplementing with zinc is greater than that of anorexics supplementing with a placebo.

These studies show the important role that nutrition plays in the treatment of eating disorders, and the importance of assessing the intake of micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as the macro-nutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) in restoring health.

If you suffer from an eating disorder, or disordered eating patterns, feel free to contact us to discuss your personal situation, or book a nutrition appointment to see us in one of our London clinics.

Julia

The link between low serotonin and eating disorders

May 1, 2010

A number of studies suggest that those prone to anorexia or bulimia nervosa have a special dietary need for tryptophan, which is an amino acid precursor for the neurotransmitter serotonin.  Serotonin is essential for good sleep and mood as well as appetite control. 

One can develop a sub-optimal level of serotonin for a number of reasons.  For example, there may be a lack of the raw materials in the diet for serotonin to be made (including protein, zinc and vitamin B6); inherited deficiencies; seasonal variation; lack of exercise; or altered tryptophan metabolism. 

In order for tryptophan to cross the blood brain barrier to make serotonin, secretion of insulin is needed.  The quickest way to raise insulin is to eat simple carbohydrates, such as dried fruit or unfavourable refined carbohydrates such as chocolate.  This may go towards explaining why those suffering with an eating disorder, particularly during a binge, frequently eat simple carbohydrates.  The simple carbohydrates provide sugar which triggers insulin secretion and this in turn increase tryptophan and serotonin levels in the brain, which elevates mood, reduces cravings and satisfied appetite. 

A key step with nutritional therapy is therefore to look at correcting a serotonin imbalance and to elevate mood using nutrient rich foods and sometimes supplements.  For example, supplementing with 5-HTP, plus zinc and B6, may be useful, together with changes to the diet.  Ideally the diet should include easily assimilated foods containing good quality protein such as quinoa, fish, eggs, ground seeds and sprouted legumes. 

If you suffer from an eating disorder, or disordered eating patterns, feel free to contact us to discuss your personal situation, or book a nutrition appointment to see us in one of our London clinics.

Julia

Constantly low energy levels

April 23, 2010

Do you have less energy now than you used to? Are you finding it hard to fall asleep, and wake up feeling tired in the morning? Or are you falling asleep in front of the TV in the evenings and don’t have much energy left for life outside work? Are you frequently feeling bloated, or suffering from IBS-like symptoms?

Any of the above could be a result of changes in your body caused by long-term stress. Many vital nutrients, such as magnesium, get reduced by stress hormones. As magnesium is a vital part of energy production in the body, restoring your nutrient balance can make a really big difference to how you feel.

Stress maybe a fact of life, but feeling drained and not having enough energy to spend quality time with your friends and family shouldn’t be. If you think you could benefit from a nutritional assessment to help your body better deal with the effects of stress, contact us for a free no obligation chat to find out how nutritional therapy can help manage the effects of stress.

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