1. Roll back the years – it’s not all about the scales!


      Do you know your Metabolic Age?

       Whilst bathroom scales can be a useful indicator of your health and wellbeing, they don’t necessarily tell the whole story. Most people know roughly what they weigh, but how many know their Metabolic Age, and the importance of that for their health?

      In clinic, and particularly with my weight management clients, body composition scales are a far more useful tool for tracking progress and achievement. They can quickly give an overview of different health markers including fat mass and fat percentage, muscle mass, hydration levels and Base Metabolic Rate (or BMR; ie the amount of calories your body needs to function at rest). They also show levels of visceral fat; the dangerous sort stored around vital organs which isnt always apparent from the outside.

      Lean muscle mass is an important part of the equation since it demands more energy of the body than fat to function; so doing some physical exercise and building lean muscle helps keep the body engine working and can help burn off the fat more quickly.

      If a client is following a programme including exercise, and sees slow progress in the pounds coming off, it is helpful for motivation to be able to demonstrate muscle mass increases (and then a corresponding drop in fat percentage), which might not immediately translate into net weight loss. Toning and reducing the inches can just as easily get you back into those jeans. It is also a great incentive to be told your body thinks it’s years younger than your chronological age!

      If your Metabolic Age is older than you are, it might be time to make some simple lifestyle changes! If you want to find out, I will have my Tanita body composition scales at my free nutrition workshop next Thursday (22nd January) in Hove. Come along and find out how you shape up. Click here on Events for more information.

      Is your New Year diet falling apart already?


      food on scales hove nutrition

      The majority of us start the New Year resolving to lose weight and kick bad habits from Christmas over-indulgences. Two weeks in and the majority have almost certainly given up by now. Why?

      There’s the temptation to eat up the leftovers, a few straggling parties we couldn’t fit in before Christmas, and the stresses of going back to work in the New Year; not to mention lousy weather which makes us reach for the comfort foods. Crash diets and drastic eating plans can also mess up the metabolism and make it harder to stick to a sensible eating routine. Far better to make small sustainable changes which then become part of a new habit rather than raise unrealistic expectations and feel like a failure when they don’t work.

      Patience really does pay off! By just cutting 500 calories out of your food choices each day (or burning 500 extra by walking further or moving around more), that’s 1lb a week which could be nearly 2 stone by the time you need to fit into your summer wardrobe. More importantly, pay attention to your sugar intake as well – not just from sweets and chocolate but bread, pasta, potatoes and alcohol; all of which metabolise to sugar which, if we don’t burn off,  we readily store as fat.

      By mid January, the mince pies and chocolates will be gone, and normal routines are starting to kick back in again so there’s far more chance of sticking to a new and more nourishing eating programme.

      Here are a few tips:

      • Serve yourself smaller portions – or use smaller plates for your main meal. Side plates work well if you put the protein (meat, fish or grains) on one and the vegetables or salad on the other.
      • Resolve to drink more water to help your digestive system. At least 6 large glasses (2 litres a day) is ideal
      • Keep a food diary – you will be amazed what you are eating without thinking. Even better, take a photo of each meal on your smart phone for indisputable photographic evidence.
      • Avoid thinking about ‘losing weight’. If we lose something normally the impetus is to find it again…which is why so many ‘diets’ fail!

      This month I will be running two free workshops to explore the difference between well known diets to understand the pro’s and con’s of each; and another on the myths are realities behind detoxing, and how to undertake a healthy detox to kick start your new regime and improve your overall health. Click here or on my events link for more information. The are free to attend but please do RSVP so I know you are coming.