A quick browse on the internet and you’ll be overwhelmed by the huge number of slimming pills and prescription drugs that promise the ultimate in fast and easy weight loss.
From fat-blockers and metabolism-boosters to pills that prevent hunger and beat cravings, there’s something for everyone – and more often than not it’s the unrealistic promise that we can get maximum results with minimum effort that encourages us to follow this route.
Unrealistic claims such as “Lose 30 Pounds in Just 30 Days”, “Lose Weight While You Sleep”, “Weight Loss of Two Pounds or More a Week for a Month – without Dieting or Exercise!” all help to pull people into a multi-million pound industry that often neglects to let people know about the health risks they may be taking.
Trying to lose weight and failing can be soul-destroying especially if you’re following these kind of false claims.
It’s not just as simple as jumping on the scales! Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of the relationship between weight and height. It is more highly correlated with body fat than other indicators of height and weight.
Individuals with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight, while individuals with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese.
The latest figures for the UK show that 42% of men and 32% of women are overweight (i.e. have a BMI between 25 and 30), and 25% of men and 20% of women are obese (BMI>30).
Excess body weight is a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.
Achieving your ideal weight can be difficult. Following a carefully planned nutritional programme for weight management helps to avoid pitfalls such as yo-yo dieting and weight regain. Smart Nutrition can take the guess work out of weight management and ensure you reach and maintain your ideal weight healthily.
Poor diet: the supermarket shelves are laden with cheap convenience foods and sugary snacks. With the fast pace of modern living, it’s easy to rely on these foods which are full of empty calories and hidden nasties.
Part of the key to breaking this cycle is finding quick, tasty and healthy alternatives. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be time consuming or dull! Smart Nutrition’s nutritional therapists are experts in putting together weight management protocols that are both tasty and easy to follow. You’ll be provided with with some simple meal and menu ideas incorporating healthy modifications of your favourite meals which will make the plan easy to stick to.
If your diet needs a reassessment, Smart Nutrition also recommend that you investigate possible nutritional balances with a NutrEval Test.
Lack of exercise: regular physical activity can help to build muscle and lower body fat in addition to giving other health benefits.
If you take little physical exercise, Smart Nutrition’s nutritional therapists can help you to put together an appropriate and enjoyable exercise regime as part of your treatment plan.
Blood sugar balance: insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. Most of its actions are directed at controlling how our body deals with carbohydrates, fats and protein. If you eat the wrong foods your blood sugar rises along with insulin levels. Too much tells the body to store fat. Your blood sugar then crashes leading to cravings for sweet and starchy foods – meaning high blood sugar and insulin levels again.
An Insulin Resistance Test can tell you whether this is a factor for you in losing weight. Some of the symptoms of a blood sugar imbalance are lack of energy, anxiety, poor concentration and mood swings. If you experience these, an Insulin Test is recommended.
Low thyroid function: the thyroid gland controls the body’s metabolism so it has a huge influence on how well we burn calories. Low thyroid activity can result in weight gain as well as other symptoms such as constipation, cold hands and feet and depression.
If you think hypothyroidism may be a factor in your condition, a Thyroid Test can give you this important information.
Stress: our physical response to stressful events is an increased secretion of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Research suggests that high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods inhibit the release of these stress hormones, helping to make us feel calmer. Therefore, chronic stress can lead to a constant urge to eat such foods, predisposing us to weight gain.
If you have a stressful lifestyle, an Adrenal Stress Test is a really useful way of assessing stress levels and identifying ways to support the body. Smart Nutrition’s nutritional therapists can then work with you to put together a specific diet, lifestyle and supplement plan to reduce your stress response and help you achieve your ideal weight.
Food allergies and intolerances: food sensitivities may cause people to crave those foods to which they are allergic, encouraging them to overeat. In addition, eating foods to which you are sensitive can cause your body to retain both water and fat.
Craving certain foods but then still feeling hungry after eating them can indicate food sensitivity, especially if this is accompanied by other symptoms such as digestive disturbance. If you suspect a food sensitivity, a Food Allergy or Intolerance Test can give you valuable information. And if you discover that you have an issue with a particular food, Smart Nutrition can help you to change your diet and find tasty alternatives.
Nutrient deficiencies: certain nutrients are essential for ensuring that the energy production process in the body runs properly. These include the B-vitamins and the mineral magnesium – the nutrients that most often lacking in our modern processed diets! Without sufficient nutrient supply we don’t have the energy to exercise and the body doesn’t have the tools it needs to burn calories.
The NutrEval Test gives a comprehensive overview of your nutrient status, which can be very helpful in identifying underlying issues if you’re trying to lose weight.
Psychological factors: many different psychological factors play a large part in weight gain or weight loss from cravings, emotional eating, eating out of boredom, binge eating and hidden unconscious fears of being slim.
Identifying these “hidden” factors, if they are part of your overall weight picture, is the first step. The next step is to do something about it. Smart Nutrition have found that working on these issues alongside a healthy weight loss plan can be the real solution to weight loss.