weight loss diets

The best diet for weight loss

(May 26, 2017) - It’s that time of year where social and traditional media are full of articles on weight loss – getting a ‘beach body’ or ‘burning fat’ and ‘toning up’ and ‘getting ripped’. In many cases, sadly, it’s about getting ‘ripped off’ (!) and there is truly very little evidence to justify buying creams and pills to help you lose weight. This article from Authority Nutrition has an excellent summary on the latest dieting supplements. The general consensus is that the benefits, if any, tend to be modest and there currently is no weight loss supplement or pill which truly works for weight loss. Mince alors! So what diet does work for weight loss? Weight Loss is complicated We-ll, says the no nonsense nutritionist in Paris, weight loss is complicated and certainly not as easy as ‘eat less and move more’ as many, many people will testify. Weight loss can seem like a hard, relentless and frustrating slog. And, the statistics indicate that *90% of people regain their weight within 3-4 years. Deep sigh. So if diets don’t work, what can you do instead? Here are a few thoughts and ideas which might help – a kinder, more realistic and effective way […]
depression blog

Does diet help depression and anxiety?

(January 30, 2017) - There’s increasing interest in nutrition and the link with mental health.  What we know so far is that nutrition is associated with being protective for certain diseases, such as dementia and possibly supportive for anxiety and depression. The word to underline here is support, not a cure or an alternative.   Despite ‘Dr Google’ and thousands of articles on the internet, clinical anxiety and clinical depression are serious and complex conditions which require multifaceted solutions, medications and support. What causes depression and anxiety? We don’t really know what causes depression and anxiety and these two conditions often go hand in hand. Its causes are complex, linked with genetics, neurotransmitters and life events. Fear and worry can trigger anxiety and in turn cause depression, feelings of sadness and hopelessness.  It becomes clinical when the symptoms become so overwhelming that an individual struggles to function.  Telling someone with clinical depression to get a ‘perspective’, ‘go for a walk’ or ‘eat more kale’ displays a staggering lack of understanding.  It’s like telling someone with a compound leg fracture to put a plaster over the wound. Clinical depression and anxiety require kindness, support and understanding Some of the confusion might stem from how the labels […]
Strength and resilience for 2017

New Year’s Resolutions – No.1 How to detox your social network!

(December 30, 2016) - I can’t quite believe I’ve got to my ripe old age and I’m still having to fight back tears when dealing with some typical ‘toxic personalities’ in my social network. Hence my New Year’s resolution. I’d like to detox my social network. Not by avoiding people, but by coming up with strategies to neutralise their stings. I want to develop a super hero protective shield to stop myself and people around me from being hurt from the barbed and cruel comments which are thrown our way. If this sounds strange, let’s just remind ourselves of what a rollercoaster 2016 has been. It’s been a divisive and poisonous year politically and socially. Strong opinions have polarised my social network. People’s thoughts and actions have made me despair at certain points this year and feel overwhelmed with misery. After this ‘cauchemar (nightmare) ’ of a year, more than ever I need to toughen up, move on and bounce back. I’ve wanted to ‘stop all the clocks, cut off the phone’ (and internet) and just get away from everyone. But, I also recognise that I need people. An active social network is as much a necessity as breathing. While some people have made […]
fad diets and nutrition myths

An insider’s guide to detecting nutrition myths and ‘foodoo’ in a ‘post facts and post truths’ era

(November 27, 2016) - Nutrition myths are bad science! It’s been an ‘interesting’ year!  A dawning realization of the powerful role social media is playing in sharing information and opinions. Sadly, this information is open to bias and manipulation and the responsibility falls on each of us to develop the ability to critically analyse and assess the ‘evidence’ we are given. We have particularly seen the impact of this in politics and I am also seeing this increasingly in the field of nutrition.  We are flooded with ‘clean, raw, detox, juicing, low carb and paleo diets’.  There’s an army of ‘experts’ quick to share there their stories on what we should be eating to experience a life changing transformation, have a squeaky clean digestive system and the ‘ripped’ body of a professional athlete. ‘Foodoo’ definition – ‘the inappropriate promotion of diet and nutrition myths’ I am passionate about the role nutrition can play in promoting health but this white magic or ‘foodoo’ overload makes me despair. It is full of rules and contradictions. It is humourless, bullying and smug. It promotes restriction, pain, hunger and guilt. It confuses people so much that they are no longer know what ‘a balanced and healthy diet is’. […]
stress and emotions

How to manage stress and weight gain

(October 21, 2016) - A second post by the wonderful Angela Stathakis Porisse which looks at the effect of stress on our weight. We know stress has many negative effects on our physical and emotional health. And most of us are aware that stress also has a significant effect our weight. There are many reasons why we gain weight when we are stressed. Let us look at some reasons why it can cause weight gain, and some strategies for determining and dealing with stress or emotional eating. Although acute stress can initially eliminate our appetite, studies have shown that chronic stress regularly leads to weight gain. There are some physiological reasons chronic stress causes us to gain weight. Elevated cortisol levels in our blood over a long period of time affects our metabolism, slowing it down. Not only can stress cause us to gain weight, it also has an effect on where we gain weight. We tend to store ‘stress fat’ around the mid-section. This is known as visceral fat. This fat type of fat storage poses the greatest health risks as it covers our internal organs and can lead to many illnesses such as increased blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and hormone imbalances, to […]

Seven tips for reducing stress and improving your health and vitality!

(October 4, 2016) - This week we are looking at stress. What is stress? What causes stress and how can we manage it?!  Thank you Angela Stathakis Porisse for this wonderful article! The stress hormones – cortisol and adrenaline There are two types of stress, ‘immediate stress’ (acute stress), and ‘every day stress’ (chronic stress) which trigger the release of two hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. The role of adrenaline is in the short term to • Increase heart rate • Increase blood pressure The role of cortisol is in the long term to • replenish lost energy stores • organise bodily systems (immune, circulation, lungs, heart, metabolism…) Our bodies need a steady and predictable daily secretion of cortisol in our blood to function. Cortisol works as an anti-inflammatory, it mobilizes white blood cells (our little infection fighting soldiers) and positions them in the body where there may be a perceived threat of infection. These stress response hormones were critical in prehistoric times when our ancestors were faced with immediate threats in the wild, and the brain activated a ‘fight or flight’ response.  We still require these hormone responses today, for example, when faced with a life or death situation. Being faced with an immediate threat, […]

Intuitive Eating to nourish your mind and body – Why diets don’t work part 2

(September 23, 2016) - There’s a new wave coming my friends, where we finally start to say ‘Enough is enough, and I love myself exactly the way I am‘.  While it’s hard to get clear numbers, the success rates of diets (measured by  looking at weight 1-2 years after dieting)  is an abysmal 10%, so  why do we do this to ourselves, over and over and over again?!  When did food stop being fun and become an instrument of torture? Another wonderful post by Angela Stathakis Porisse Can you imagine a life free from diets? Free from obsession with what you can eat, when you can eat, how much you can eat? Can you imagine feeling at peace with your body and with food? A life where you are able to nourish your physical hunger with food, and care for your emotional needs appropriately? After many years of yo-yoing, I wanted to get off the diet roller-coaster and learn how to tune into my body. This is what I discovered on the journey to prioritizing my health over my weight. Weight is not always an indicator of health Our weight or our BMI (Body Mass Index) is not always a true indicator of our health, even […]

Why Diets Don’t Work

(September 16, 2016) - This is a guest post by Angela  Stathakis Porisse and the first of a series of blogs on dieting and weight loss.   Are you fed up with yo-yo dieting?! Do you rush to try every new trendy diet that will finally get you to that perfect weight, where you will finally be happy?  Are you tired of feeling constantly disappointed with yourself when you don’t manage to stick with the diet, or you have great success, get tons of compliments about how good you look only to put all the weight back on (and sometimes more) after the diet is finished? Did you buy that great new outfit that is still sitting in your wardrobe, because even though the scales say you are thin, the weight loss didn’t change how you feel about your body? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you are just like me. We spend too much time worrying about our weight and trying the latest diet craze…. One of my earliest memories of my mother is of her and her friend in their 1980’s gym clothes, talking about their pursuit of thinness. Even in the last days of her precious life, I was […]
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UK Childhood Obesity Plan – A plan of ‘inaction’ or a start?!

(August 27, 2016) - The UK Childhood Obesity Plan was released on August 18 2016 to address the concerns around increasing levels of childhood obesity as well as recognizing the heavy governmental cost of overweight and obesity related disease. To read the full report, click here   It has been slammed as ‘weak’, ‘ineffective’ and a ‘disaster’ ! It terms of addressing childhood obesity the plans focuses on 3 key areas: sugar reduction, sugar taxes and physical activity A voluntarily reduction of the added sugar content of foods of 20% over the next 5 years with the initial focus on a number of commonly consumed food categories such as breakfast, cereals, yoghurts, cakes, puddings and ice-creams. A sugar tax on soft drinks, levied on producers and importers, rather than consumers, though no details are yet given of the amount of this tax. The details of this tax will be refined in 2017. It also sets outs plans to ensure primary school children have an hour of physical activity a day, involving schools as well as parents and carers. It leaves out legislation on advertising and fast food promotion In terms of what’s triggered the howls of outrage is the omission of any plans to restrict […]

The 7 habits for effective and long term weight loss!

(May 24, 2016) - It’s the season of ‘regimes’ and the two month count down before hitting the beach and enjoying the sun but in the rush to lose weight, it’s easy to ignore the uncomfortable fact that long term weight maintenance naturally requires a strategy, a game plan and a long careful look at existing dietary habits as well as our relationship with food. The statistics are depressing; only 20% of people manage to maintain their weight loss with the majority going up and down like a yo yo, increasingly desperate to try the latest diet and the latest magic cure. Unfortunately, there is no magic involved, it’s all about finding an approach which works for you and,  I’m going to add that it needs to tick the box for long term health too, as the two things don’t necessarily go hand in hand. It then involves sticking to it – pretty much for life! It involves focus, effort, determination and resilience (the new ‘in word’) and before you groan that this all sounds like too much effort, I’m going to underline that it is an investment which truly does pay off. A healthy diet and lifestyle can reduce our risk of chronic […]