Counting calories is not the way to deal with childhood obesity

When it comes to eating better, one of the very least useful things you can do, in my opinion, is count calories.

Counting calories, and specifically reducing calories might seem like a great way to become healthy and to lose weigh. But the simple fact is that calories alone are not a good way to place a value on a food.

In this podcast – number 5 (whoop whoop!) – Lisa Beasley, the amazing mindful eating coach and I, a slightly ranty nutritional therapist, get stuck into the latest campaign around reducing calories for children to reduce childhood obesity.

We do get a little bit feisty about this one – probably because my experience as a nutritionist is that dieting, and counting calories as a child never works and Lisa remembers being worried about foods when she was younger, and realises that it simply didn’t help.

Read more

Alternative New Year Resolutions

I mentioned in my last podcast that New Year Resolutions are rubbish – especially ones relating to fitness and health.

Which is why I feel a tad hypocritical writing a post for New Year with some alternative New Year resolution suggestions for you.

But there you go.

I wrote these in a hurry: based on conversations I’ve had with family, friends and clients over the past few weeks, and also influenced by some of the craziness of life that inevitably happens around Christmas time.

Read more

Do not put your kid on a diet

I don’t care what anyone else says: if your child is overweight, do NOT put your kid on a diet. Not now. Not ever.

(disclaimer: I’m guessing there might be some cases when a diet is the only and urgent answer to an issue, but I’m putting myself out there by saying I believe those times are probably a lot less than you might imagine.)

And by ‘kid’ – not only do I mean the important child in your life. I’m also talking about your pre-teen. Your teenager. Your grown up kid. And, dare I say it, your own wonderful self.

Read more

On admitting the scary stuff

It was World Escape Day – you know, the amazing day organised by the fab people at Escape the City, and I was asked to be a speaker.

Which was cool – yay me – but also a bit strange because rather than prepare a talk on nutrition or health or food, I was asked to inspire the people at the event in their quest to quit their jobs and go do something amazing instead.

I dutifully (because I’m a very good person) prepared my notes and planned on talking about:

Read more

This is not the time to go on a diet

Now (ie, any time between now and Spring) is not the time to go on a diet.

I know how much you want to.

You’ve eaten loads.

Pretty much non-stop.

The biscuits. The crackers. The cheese. The After Eights. The flatbread with red onion. The sausages (little and big ones). The mince pies. The jelly. The pate. The sausage rolls (big and little ones). The tubes of sweets. The chocolates. The crisps. The nachos. Oh the nachos with all the dips.

Read more

The best way to keep a food diary

When I work with a client, I often ask them to keep a food diary for me, either as part of the pre-consultation process or as part of working with them.

The reason that I ask for a food diary is that it is, as far as I’m concerned, one of the easiest ways to get an understanding of food, habits and health.

But there’s something you need to know if you are going get any good use out of a food diary.

The trick is to not worry too much about portion size or calorie count (although, obviously it is useful to know if you are eating 2 chocolate biscuits or 22 of the suckers).

Read more

Too. Much. Chocolate.

I’m Claire, a nutritional therapist who likes eating chocolate.

Why am I confessing this right at the start?

Well, I don’t want you to think that:

a) I’m a food dictator;

b) That I only eat pure, clean and 100% perfectly all the time.

No matter how much we know about food, or nutrition, or healthy living, we all slip into cheeky habits. The odd nibble of chocolate becomes a flood of Easter Eggs at this time of year. And the occasional social glass of wine easily becomes a whole bottle after a hard day.

Read more

A little rant about willpower

(I was going to write a lovely post today about my seasonal Reboots and why you should join, but that’ll have to wait.)

I’m going to have to have a little rant instead about willpower.

(and why hoping that it will save your skin as you try a new diet, or as you try to quit something for January is a really bad idea.)

I was prompted into having this little rant by something I saw at the petrol station today.

Read more

Why Autumn is a bad time to start losing weight

After a Summer of ice-creams, holidays and chilled wine, our thoughts often turn to that important date in December, and more specifically, to the glamorous events that we might be lucky enough to go to, and we wonder how on earth we are going to fit into a slinky (maybe even short) little black number or smart suit.

We tend to slightly regret the extra burgers we had at the BBQ, or the double cone ice cream we had at the beach, when we realise that our bellies are ever so slightly rounder than they were at the start of the summer.
I know exactly how it feels, because I’ve been there, and am there!

Read more