So yesterday was another successful clinic, helping people with all sorts of diet related issues – as usual there were a variety of problems – IBS, weight loss, weight gain and low mood.
As always, I have picked up a couple of recurring points from yesterday which I feel are good to share and may help others.
- If you can’t lose weight and you are eating healthily then it is likely you are actually eating a lot more than what you think. When I first qualified I was no where near as confident as I am now and occasionally people would come back to me reporting they had followed the advice I had given and yet their weight either stayed the same or went up. Whilst I tried to make up excuses as to what may have happened, inside I was thinking OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I MISSED. However, several years later I now realise – I missed nothing. Actually when we eat, it naturally isn’t a very ‘mindful‘ process and so in a clinic situation it is likely to be inaccurate when you recall it. The other issue is portion size- if you aren’t weighing out, how do you know if your ‘normal’ is actually normal? So, going forward (regardless of your health goal) try keeping a food diary, which your write as you go along and weigh your food out.
2. The low FODMAP diet – a relatively new concept which works wonders for people with IBS. Unfortunately though, as with many diets, a little knowledge is a bad thing. Recently, I have had people coming to see me solely for this diet which their GP has advised them to follow. This diet is NOT appropriate for all types of IBS and if you have problems with constipation, it will make things worse, not better.
3. Bowels – the two harmony components of any diet when it comes to bowels are fluid and fibre. There is no point improving one without the other. Please don’t get to caught up in what type of fibre just increase your intake of wholegrain foods (e.g. cereals and wholemeal bread/pasta) and fruit and vegetables (you may need more than your 5 a day). Equally – all fluid counts (no not alcohol), just be careful with your caffeine intake.
3. Sugar and low moods – whilst there are many causes of low moods and depression which are not diet related, a high intake of sugar will not help. Sugar gets absorbed by the body very quickly and gives a very short burst of energy, followed by a crash. So to help improve your mood, avoid higher sugary foods such as some cereals, fruit juice, sweets, cakes, honey and dried fruit. Instead have whole fruit, nuts, whole grain cereals and sugar free squash. These foods will give you longer acting energy.
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