Updated: Nov 2, 2019
Where to Start...if you are feeling a little overwhelmed by it all.
Ok, so you’re motivated - you want to change things in your life, you know diet plays a huge factor in almost all aspects of your health, and you are ready to do this!! Cue Google searches and the confusion...don’t panic we’ve all been there! I still get blown away with all the information out there from so many different and often unreliable sources.
My goal, like many other Nutritionists, Dieticians and health advocates is to help you cut through the misleading and often unresearched claims all over the wonderful world wide web. I will only provide information I have thoroughly researched, because not everything you read on the internet is true, and you can always see references at the bottom of the posts. I look at who paid for the study, how many people were involved, when was it ran and for how long, where there randomized controls (1), among other criteria. This helps me and you to have information from a valid and reputable sources. It's hard to navigate all the articles out there and we often read the headlines and not about who created it.
Healthy mind, Healthy body - I believe this to be the core principle of overall health. It is possible to be healthy at almost any weight (this needs to be taken with a pinch of salt and common sense) and I want to help you realize that for yourself. Science is now on board and showing us how the delicate balance in our microbiome, also known as gut flora or microbiota can play an integral role in how our brains behave due to the relationship between the gastrointestinal tract and the CNS (Central Nervous System), among a few other key factors (see GBA - Gut Brain Axis post for more detail). However, if you are still as confused as most people on how to improve your health be it balancing or losing weight, gaining energy, clearing your skin, or getting rid of that bloated feeling then YOU are in the right place. This is where I want to help you get back to basics that work with real and simple sustainable lifestyle changes.
Diets don’t work - long term at least (see Changing Diets to Decisions). I know it’s a bold statement and I hope you’ve heard it before and might reconsider the weight this statement has...haha I made a pun! I hate to admit it but my mother was right about ‘everything in moderation’, which really does sound better than a diet aka “a temporary and highly restrictive program of eating in order to lose weight”(3).
After going Vegetarian at 15 with no idea about macronutrients (3,4) (ie. carbs, fats, proteins) or micronutrients (4,5) (ie. vitamins and minerals from food), I gained a lot of weight and didn’t manage to get it off for years. This was due to multiple factors, one of which was my mind set but I didn’t know that like I do now. So I tried diet pills, powders, shakes, excessive exercise and starvation...it all just resulted in a worse mind set and weight that went up and down even more.
Now I’m not just saying this just from experience and observation but from fact since Dieting psychology has been studied extensively over the years, as referenced in Changing Diets to Decisions. So hear me out, because if you want to make lasting changes for yourself, your kids, your family or whoever you love, then I want to help you do it right and in time. It took me awhile and a lot of trial and error but I am as happy and as healthy as I’ve ever been and I promise it was the small simple changes that lead to big life changing results.
**Disclaimer - science methods improve, tests evolve, results change and we gain new insight and information rapidly…Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, has been quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” So change for the better my friends!**
1. RCT - Randomized controlled trial: (RCT) A study in which people are allocated at random (by chance alone) to receive one of several clinical interventions. One of these interventions is the standard of comparison or control. The control may be a standard practice, a placebo ("sugar pill"), or no intervention at all
2. GBA - Gut Brain Axis
3. Macronutrients - “Macronutrients refer to carbs, fats and protein — the three basic components of every diet”.
4. Micronutrients - “Micronutrients are one of the major groups of nutrients your body needs. They include vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are necessary for energy production, immune function, blood clotting and other functions. Minerals play an important role in growth, bone health, fluid balance and several other processes”
1. (Shiel W, 2018) ‘Definition of Randomized Control Trial’ Published online by MedicineENet, 2018. Available at: https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=39532
2. (Cani P, 2018) ‘Human Gut Microbiome: hopes, threats, and promises’ Published online in BMJ Journals, 2018. Available at: https://gut.bmj.com/content/67/9/1716
3. (Selig M, 2010) ‘Why Diets Don’t Work...and What Does’ Published online in Psychology Today, 2010. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201010/why-diets-dont-workand-what-does
4. (National Academies, 2005) ‘Dietary Reference Intakes - Macronutrients’, Published online by the National Academies, 2000-2005. Available at: http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRI-Tables/8_Macronutrient%20Summary.pdf OR (Van De Walle G, 2018) ‘The Best Macronutrient Ratio for Weight loss’ Published online by Healthline, 2018. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-macronutrient-ratio#bottom-line
5. (Strite L, 2018) ‘Micronutrients: Types, Functions, Benefits and More’ Published online by Healthline, 2018. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/micronutrients