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 new kid on the block for successful weight loss

January 7, 2010

I’ve always found the topic of weight loss and the huge commercial industry built around it fascinating.  Why is there such an array of different diets, weird and wonderful meal replacements and other programmes that all promise to be the ultimate answer to the age-old question of ‘how do I lose weight in the easiest, quickest way?’

I think the simple answer is because different approaches work for different people.  Most of the diets claiming to be the ultimate answer to everyone’s weight loss problems are in fact the ultimate answer to the weight loss problems of a certain segment of the population, whose metabolic make-up the particular diet suits.

It really isn’t as simple as calories in versus calories out.  If calorie-controlled diets worked, we’d all be slim by now!  To understand weight loss, you need to look at metabolism, and not just fat metabolism but cellular metabolism – how the “engine” of your body will burn fat.  This metabolism is affected by many factors – your hormonal balance, the way you produce insulin, and any health problems you may have.

If you are reading this, with your new year’s resolution of the new, slimmer and healthier you in mind, here’s my top tip – get to work on your insulin metabolism.  Insulin is the hormone that helps transport energy from the foods you’ve ingested into your cells.  It’s also the hormone that helps convert any excess energy into fat.  Generally, if your insulin levels are consistently up, you get more cravings, are more likely to store incoming energy as fat and less able to access excess fat as a source of energy.

You are metabolically unique, and therefore the diet you follow should also be tailored to your unique needs.  For that reason, I was very excited to discover a programme called Metabolic Balance.  It’s been developed by German doctors and nutritionists, and is individually tailored to suit your body chemistry, based on a set of blood test results and other personal health information.  This diet is all about eating a good varied diet of ‘normal’ foods without starving yourself, or relying on some odd meal replacements.

The end result is exactly what it should be – healthy, sustainable weight loss.

You can find more information about the programme at our web-site.  If interested, do book in for a free call to work out whether this programme could help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Tummy loving

January 5, 2010

chew your food

I am almost always amazed when clients tell me how constipated they are, and I mean seriously constipated! Some have a bowel movement every five days, others ten days and these scenarios have been continuing for years.  They feel sluggish, uncomfortable and not very sexy. Every remedy has been tried from laxatives to soaked prunes in uneven numbers to fibrogel with no lasting results. However, many don’t think that their current diet or lifestyle has any role to play and I can obviously not wait to show them the light.

Let’s start at the beginning. Over the next few weeks I will be focusing on bowel health. Loving your tummy should be on the top of your list of priorities for optimal health.

If you haven’t heard this before, I will say it again….CHEW, CHEW, CHEW you food. I would like to see that you are the person annoying the waiter because you are eating so slowly and he is giving you the evil eye, waiting to clear the table. You’ll have the last laugh and will probably also be the last to reach for the Rennies after the meal – well, hopefully not at all!

Digestion of carbohydrates starts in the mouth. Good lubrication and masticated food is essential to combine digestive enzymes which is in saliva with the food in order for effective digestion and absorption of nutrients to take place.  Further enzymes are secreted by the pancreas and the liver to continue the process, but it is so much easier if the food is already well liquidised. Needles to say that waste material will also be passed much easier through the bowels.

Food which remains undigested can irritate the large bowel and cause other problems.

Remember…. your tummy doesn’t have teeth and don’t forget to choo, choo, choo your food.

Next week I will continue with advice on different types of fibre and why it is such an important ingredient for loving your tummy effectively.

Sweeten up your cuppa.

December 22, 2009

Sweetener, sugar or xylitol?

The best is of course without any sugar. However, if you are someone who loves a sweet cup of tea, but are worried about your current diabetes, developing Type II diabetes or like for most of us you’re not too keen on an expanding waist line, why not try adding xylitol to your food or drink.

It is a naturally occurring sugar substitute and is found in the fibres or berries, corn husks, oats and even mushrooms. It was first derived from birch trees in Finland in the 20th century.

Xylitol doesn’t have the same affect on insulin levels as normal sucrose and is therefore safe to use for diabetics and children as it won’t affect blood sugar fluctuations in the same way as normal sugar does. One teaspoon of sugar has 15 calories and one teaspoon of xylitol has 9.6 calories. It also has virtually no aftertaste so can be used to sweeten your favourite drink or dessert.

You know the saying: ‘too much of a good thing…..’

Well, moderation is still numero uno!

New Year detox retreat: only one month to go

December 20, 2009

With the New Year fast approaching, many of you may be asking yourself how you would like 2010 to be different from this year.  The New Year is a fantastic time to reflect on your diet and lifestyle and where you might want to make changes, so that you can start 2010 looking and feeling fantastic. 

  • Does your skin lack its usual glow?
  • Have you been suffering from the winter colds and bugs doing the rounds?
  • Are you feeling run down and exhausting from the busy festivities?
  • Have you put on a couple of extra pounds with all the wining and dining?
  • Is the rich Christmas food causing havoc with your digestion and you’re constantly bloated?
  • Have you had too many sweet treats over the winter months and need to get your eating habits back on track?
  • Are you confused about your aims for the year ahead?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions then our New Year detox retreat will be a perfect way to kick-start your health.  It is exactly a month away and is perfect for anyone looking to discover how to invent a new and exciting 2010 and the many health benefits of detoxing. 

The retreat is being held in Dorset from Thursday 21st January to Sunday 24th January, and combines nutrition and life coaching to leave you feeling cleansed and revitalised for the year ahead.  We still have a couple of spaces available on this wonderful weekend, so book now to avoid disappointment.  The all inclusive price is £490 per person.  Find out more about our New Year detox retreat or contact us to book a place.

Julia

5 Habits To Help You To Change Your Life.

December 18, 2009

habits

New Year always brings new hope, new ideas and aspirations. We all set resolutions to change our habits. It could be weight loss, smoking, exercise, charity, work ethic….

Sadly over 90% of us fail to achieve our best intended ideas – So here are just a few tips and habits that might help you create some other habits that will help you not just in the New Year – but all year.

“Practice does not make perfect – it makes permanent. We are what we repeatedly do. Success and excellence can be habitual”. – Ian Dickson

How to Develop the Habits

  • Concentrate on one habit for at least one month.
  • Write it down and display it clearly
  • Tell as many people as you can about your new habit
  • Set yourself a reward for stages along the way.
  • If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again.

1. Develop a habit of being a positive thinker. I put this first because I think it’s the keystone habit that will help you form the other important habits. Focus on this habit first, and you’ll have a much easier time with any of the others. Start by becoming more aware of your negative self-talk

2. Exercise. It makes you feel better about yourself, and more confident. That leads to better success with other positive changes. It reinforces the positive thinking habit — you need to think positive in order to sustain exercise. It relieves stress and gives you time to think — this leads to better mental well-being in your life overall.

3. Focus on one goal. Just as focusing on one task at a time is more effective, and focusing on one habit at a time is more effect, so is focusing on one goal at a time. While it might seem very difficult, focusing on one goal at a time is the most powerful way of achieving your goals. When you try to take on many goals at once, you’re spreading thin your focus and energy — the two critical components for achieving a goal.

What if you have 5 goals you want to achieve? Pick one to focus on first. Break it into a mini-goal you can accomplish this month, if it’s a longer-term goal. Pick an action you can do today.

4. Eliminate the non-essential. First, identify the essential — the things in your life that are most important to you, that you love the most. Then eliminate everything else. This simplifies things and leaves you with the space to focus on the essential. This process works with anything — with your life in general, with work projects and tasks, with emails and other communication.

This will change your life because it will help you to simplify, to focus on what’s important, and to build the life you want.

5. Kindness. Yes, kindness is a habit. And it can be cultivated. Focus on it every day for a month and you’ll see profound changes in your life. You’ll feel better about yourself as a person. You’ll see people react to you differently and treat you better, over the long run. It’s karma.

How do you develop the kindness habit? First, make it a goal to do something kind for someone each day. At the beginning of the day, figure out what that kind act will be and then do it during the day. Second, each time you interact with someone, try to be kind, be friendly, be compassionate. Third, try to go beyond small kindnesses to larger acts of compassion, volunteering to help those in need and taking the initiative to relieve suffering.

More information about me can be found here and here

Can nutrition help you sleep?

December 17, 2009

Are you finding it difficult to sleep?  During stressful times, it can sometimes be difficult to get good quality sleep.

Looking at how you eat can really help you get a better night’s sleep.

The first thing I would check is caffeine consumption.  It’s sometimes easy to forget that all those cups of tea and coffee and cans of Coke do add up.  Adding the teas, coffees and colas up can quickly amount to levels of caffeine that could definitely contribute to keeping you awake at night.

Start eliminating your caffeine drinks from later on in the day, and just leave your morning coffee or tea if you can.

There are also some natural sedatives that can be helpful.  Lettuce in particular contains a substance which encourages deeper sleep and some people find a banana an hour before bedtime helps them sleep better.

Calcium and magnesium are also natural tranquillisers.  These minerals can be easily depleted through stress, so it can be helpful to find a supplement to take in the evening to boost the levels. Nuts and seeds are also a good source of many minerals, and can be used as healthy snacks.

If you need some more personalised advice on better sleep, book in for a nutrition consultation!

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