Solution No.2: Nutritional Therapy
My dietary advice 2018
The advice I give my clients has changed quite a bit from from the 1990s, when I first qualified as a nutritional therapist. The official UK dietary advice at the time was based on the US Food Pyramid -see below- which was later shown to be controversial.
I focus on encouraging people to eat a varied diet of food which is as close as possible to its natural state. But more than anything my goal is to remove ‘food stress’; over the years, there has been too much confusion about 'what to eat'. If you are in doubt, just keep your food as natural as possible and you won't go far wrong.
I still recommend supplements when necessary, but these days I tend to recommend ‘food based’ supplements, avoiding the synthetic supplements that line the shelves of most health-food stores.
A healthy gut is key to being slim and healthy. In the last few years, the importance of the balance of microbes in our gut -the microbiota- is finally being recognised by mainstream medicine. 80% of our immune system is in our gut, and our gut is being hailed as our 'second brain'. The latest research also highlights how clever the bugs in our gut are. In fact certain microbes are so clever they can influence our food preferences so we choose food which makes them thrive, e.g. some bacteria and fungi thrive of sugary, sweet food.
Because of poor food choices and stress, many people these days have a condition called 'leaky gut'. Leaky gut often goes hand-in-hand with food intolerance, and the latest research shows that hidden food intolerances are an under-recognised cause of weight gain and many chronic illnesses. Transforming eating habits, repairing a leaky gut, treating food intolerances, and ensuring a healthy microbiota are key elements in my Finally Slim Forever approach to weight-loss.
The 10 weekly sessions needed to treat all food intolerances has proved to be the perfect timeframe to transform peoples’ eating habits. The eating plans I have devised are based on tasty, healthy food. The focus is on increasing the variety of natural, healthy food you are eating. There is no calorie-counting, and I encourage people to experiment with foods they have never eaten before [don't worry, you won't be asked to eat anything most people would find disgusting!]. Taste is paramount; no-one likes to eat bland food, so I share as many naturally delicious ways to 'taste up' your food:).
My goal is that by the end of your 10 sessions, not only will you be much slimmer and healthier, your taste buds and eating habits will have transformed so much that you won't want to go back to your old way of eating.
Once you have reached your goal weight, I will advise you -as I advise all my clients- to indulge yourself now and again. My clients don't feel guilty about these indulgences as they are very happy to revert to their ‘new normal’ way of eating the next day.
Finding the truth
There has been much confusion about what we should be eating in the last few decades. For a considerable time, nutritional guidelines in the UK reflected the guidelines that came out of the US: Lots of carbs. Low fat. Moderate protein.
Spiralling weight problems
Before these guidelines were introduced, only 6% of Britons were obese; obesity figures had been had been stable for decades. However, in the next 20 years that figure has skyrocketed; 66% of Britons are now overweight or obese.
As nutritional therapists in the 1990s we followed the official dietary guidelines. However, when my own weight began steadily increasing, I began questioning those guidelines, and one of the goals I set myself, during my 4-year sabbatical was to uncover the truth about what we ‘should’ be eating to be slim and healthy.
Be wary of ‘official’ advice
My eyes were opened after discovering the degree to which powerful food industry lobbyists influence government food recommendations. I discovered -from one of the Nutritionists who created the original draft of the 1992 US Food Pyramid - that the experts' recommendations were altered to appease various sections of the food industry. For example, nutritional advisers recommended 5-9 daily servings of fruit and veg. In the published 'food pyramid' this was changed to 2-3. Advisers recommended 2-3 daily servings of bread, pasta and cereals: this was changed to 6-11. The most alarming change, she said, was that while the advisers placed baked goods made with refined flour at the top of the pyramid -meaning they should be eaten sparingly- in the published pyramid, these refined baked goods were at the base of the pyramid, suggesting they should be eaten in large quantities.
The power of this food pyramid cannot be overestimated: all nurses, doctors, schools; indeed, anyone giving dietary advice at the time, based their advice on the official food pyramid guidelines. Many other countries, including the UK, also based their recommendations of the US food pyramid guidelines.
Dietary myths and powerful influencers
Trying to make sense of the conflicting ‘evidence’ about what is and isn’t healthy to eat was, and still is, confusing. For every publication which claims one thing, another publication claims the opposite; certain foods are demonised in one article and lauded in another.
A few decades ago, the confusion came from people with powerful influence. Ancel Keys was a very powerful influencer. No-one knows for sure who, or what motivated him, but he had a very definite agenda against dietary fat. For years, the myth of saturated fat and cholesterol as ‘dietary villains’ prevailed [many still believe it]. Key's influence was powerful and his rise meteoric. For years, his mission against saturated fat and cholesterol held sway. Food manufacturers seized on this as carte blanche to add cheaper sugar to foods to replace the ‘taste element’ missing after the more expensive saturated fat was removed. Key's was so powerful that few dared challenge his opinions.
Fast forward a few decades, and researchers are no longer in thrall to Keys. In the late 2000s, one Europe-wide study conducted by researchers at Oxford University found opposing evidence to that put forward by Keys; France, the country with the highest intake of saturated fat, had the lowest rate of heart disease, while Ukraine, the country with the lowest intake of saturated fat, had the highest rate of heart disease. Also, when British obesity researcher Zoé Harcombe carried out a study of 192 countries, she found more heart disease in people who had lower levels of cholesterol.
Then there is the ‘salt myth’. Salt has had a high value throughout history, yet began being demonised a few decades ago. One researcher warned that salt was “the single most harmful substance in the food supply”. Unpicking through scores of articles I began to realise that the ‘demon’ was not natural salt, which contains 84 trace minerals, many of which are deficient in modern diets. The demon is so-called 'table salt', which has been ‘refined’ and stripped of all but two minerals: sodium and chloride. Again, newspapers seized on the widely published misinformation. Today we still see articles appearing about the ‘dangers of salt’.
During the 4 years I spent uncovering the real reasons for the steep rise in weight problems since the 1980s/90s, I uncovered many myths about 'what we should eat'. However, like all myths, they cannot suppress the truth forever. My approach to weight loss works because it is grounded in truth.
NB: If you would like to lose weight faster and healthier than you thought possible, call me on 07925261616. If I can’t answer, please send me a text, and I will call you back ASAP.