The 17 Day Diet. A favour!

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h1>The 17 Day Diet

  • What is it?

Ok honey
This diet claims that it is possible to lose 12lbs over just 17 days. But you have to follow the diet to the letter!

It is based on four cycles of 17 days with each cycle having a different meal plan and differing calorie levels.  Apparently this causes ‘metabolic confusion’, ie the body is confused about the amount of food it is getting and so it kicks the metabolism in to action?  There is no scientific proof of this and I think the actual principle of cycle one and two is based on a high protein, low carb, low fat diet and lots of exercise. Then a lot of alternating between differing carbohydrate options (a bit convoluted for my liking).

  • Based on 4 cycles.
  1. First 17 days: High protein, low carb, low fat. Unlimited lean protein, fish, meat, poultry and eggs: Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, small amount of good fats (fish oils, olive oil, flaxseed) and some probiotics. But quite prescriptive as to what fruit and veg can be eaten and when) and basically it is a low calorie cycle of about 1200 kcals per day. It’s effectively a detoxing diet.
  2. Second 17 day cycle: . Alternate between cycle 1 (low calorie) and cycle 2 (higher calorie) causing confusion and thus fat burning potential higher. You can add in some healthy starchy carbs, grains, pulses and potatoes
  3. Third 17 day cycle:  Add in some other healthy foods and you are allowed some ‘normal’ foods, like pasta, bacon and sausages and one glass of alcohol.
  4. Fourth 17day cycle:  Return to semi-normal eating habits,  but with your newly acquired healthy eating habits but you are allowed weekends off…otherwise you’ll die of boredom, confusion and pile the weight back on again.


  • How does it work?


It is claimed that the differing calorie levels and differing meal plans for each cycle of 17 days, cause Metabolic Confusion which raises the body’s metabolic rate and thus enhances fat burning.

I think the actual mechanism is based on the fact that your body gets most of its energy from carbohydrates, so because you are not giving your body enough carbohydrates for daily living it has to get its energy from you fat stores…hence rapid weight loss.  Also, proteins increase metabolic rate and are much harder for the body to metabolise, and therefore they make you feel satisfied for longer.  This means you are very unlikely to over eat if you stick strictly to its principles.




  • How does it compare to other diets (Atkins and Dukan)?


The difference between this diet and other well known high protein diets is that it includes a good quantity of high quality, complex carbohydrates, such as fresh green vegetables and fresh low fructose fruit such as berries and apples and citrus fruit.  This means that you will get a good level of fibre, vitamins and anti-oxidants, essential for wellbeing and good health.  It also includes only good omega 3 fats and some probiotics for good digestive health.

But it is quite complicated and convoluted and you do have to follow it to the letter to get the results it claims and for quite a long time. 68 days.  It excludes starchy carbohydrates for at least a month which are often the foods that people miss the most.  But it is not a bad diet given that it contains lots of healthy items and if it works it is probably worth giving it a try.



  • Are there any down sides to it?



  1. As it is basically a calorie controlled diet it can set the body into starvation mode which in actual fact can lower metabolic rate and thus encourage weight gain.
  2. It is quite complicated to follow as the meal plans change and it is very prescriptive so you must not eat carbohydrates after 2pm.
  3. High protein diets such as this and the Atkins diet can damage the kidneys, especially if the protein sources are animal fats, because  it increases the excretion of calcium in the urine, which leads to kidney stones and osteoporosis
  4. It can increase cholesterol levels.  Saturated fat found in meat can lead to an increase in the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which can lead to cardio-vascular diseases.
  5. Constipation is a very likely side effect, and that is why 1 to 2 spoons of oatbran is included on a daily basis.  If you suffer from constipation this diet is not recommended at all.



The simplest and safest weight loss programme involves a short term high protein, low carb, low fat diet, followed by a healthy diet for life which involves choosing low GI carbohydrates.


For more information on the Food for Life Diet:  contact Heather Mountney 0115 9825018 or


Low carbohydrate High Protein Diets

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Heather Mountney Jan 2012

Proteins are converted into Amino Acids as part of the digestive process. Amino acids are the building blocks to all enzymes, most hormones and are needed by every cell, muscle and tissue within the body.
There are eight Essential Amino Acids (have to be provided from food sources) and 23 amino acids that are converted within the body, through digestive processes. This means that about 20% of amino acids must come from our diet and the remaining 80% are converted within the liver.
It is quite common to be deficient in some amino acids. This can be due to digestive problems or stress, food and drink choices, and organ dysfunction. For example, allergies can suggest a shortage of histidine, mood and sleep problems can suggest a deficiency of tryptophan and or phenylanine.
The branch chain amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, valine are especially important for alcoholics and athletes as they help with wound healing, muscle mass and liver support.
Why is milk a problem?

Main protein in milk is casein. Different structures of casein. Contains two types but one called A1 beta casein, acts like morphine and can make you very drugged, tired, distracted and constipated. Most of the cows we use for milk ie Jersey’s produce A1. Buffalo and goats do not, so whilst they contain lactose they maybe tolerated by some.
Big milk machine cows produce more A1 and are therefore more profitable. This kind of cows milk is often mixed with many other cows milk and so can contain many immunoglobulins, which stress the body and cause an auto-immune response. Glucogen, which is responsible for getting sugar into the blood, is released when you are hungry, but can be broken down by another factor in milk called DPPIV, which therefore leaves an abundance of A1 casein in the blood stream causing drowsiness.Can use goats milk contains less casein A1.
Additionally, milk contains IGF1 growth factors which can feed tumours in cancer sufferers and definitely doesn’t help if you have Insulin Resistance, because milk raises blood sugar.
Hard and soft cheese contains a lot of casein. Old cheese can cause a problem as it produces a certain type of protein and raises histamine so feels like a reaction.Whey protein contains casein, but egg protein is better immunologically.
When using protein shakes maybe better to use egg protein, if sensitivity to casein.

Low Carbohydrate High protein diet and milk avoidance

The Low Glycemic Index Diet

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Diabetes, Obesity, low blood sugar, Metabolic Syndrome All Need to use the Low GI dietBalancing Blood Sugar

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy. This is why it is important to choose the right kinds of carbohydrates, ones that don’t raise your blood sugar levels too high and therefore cause a blood sugar level spike. If your blood sugar levels are raised too quickly then your body needs immediate insulin to bring sugar levels down to a manageable level. If your body has to do this too often, say when you eat sugary foods and drinks too frequently, then your body loses its ability to administer insulin on time and in the right quantities or you become insulin resistant. When you suffer from insulin resistance, you will experience peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels. When you experience a blood sugar peak, you have too much sugar (glucose) circulating around your blood stream and so when insulin does eventually respond, it has a lot of excess sugar to remove from the blood stream and consequently lays it down as fat. It is at this point that you will begin to put on weight, especially if you do not use up the excess glucose through activity or exercise. When insulin removes the excess glucose, it begins to take more glucose from your blood than it should and it is at this point that you suffer a blood sugar trough and feel tired, irritable and crave more carbohydrates or other stimulants. Over time this can lead to Type II diabetes.
Type I diabetes occurs when the body has difficulty producing any insulin.
Glycemic Index
The glycemic index measures the effect that a given carbohydrate has on your blood sugar levels. The aim is to choose carbohydrates that release their energy over a longer period, keeping you satisfied for longer and ensuring that you don’t suffer blood sugar peaks and troughs. All carbohydrates are converted into glucose whereupon glucose is used as the fuel to give your body energy. This is why it is essential that all diets contain a good supply of carbohydrates. There are differing types of carbohydrates simple or fast releasing and complex or slow releasing and as the names suggest a simple carbohydrate needs little effort to convert it into glucose, whilst complex carbohydrates take much longer for the conversion to take place, thus staying within the digestive system for much longer than simple carbohydrates. Using the glycemic index (see diagram ) you can see that glucose is 100 ie it needs no conversion by the body and can be used immediately as fuel for energy. All carbohydrates are given a value between 1 and 100 depending on how far they raise blood sugar levels and how quickly the glucose enters the blood stream. For example; white bread has a rating of 100 and in effect needs no conversion, whilst an apple is given a rating of just 39 because it takes longer and does not ultimately raise blood sugar levels too high. The aim of following a low glydemic index (GI) diet is to ensure that the carbohydrate choices you make do not raise blood sugar levels above 50. This way you will manage you blood sugar levels, which means your energy levels will be maintained at a constant level and your weight can be stabilised or reduced. Additionally, by following a low GI diet you are helping to restore hormonal balance, reduce inflammatory responses and reduce the likelihood of becoming diabetic and or obese.

20 minutes

GI 50

Apple or Porridge

Glycemic load comparisons

Glycemic Index : examples of some common foods

Sugars Fruit Grains Vegetables
Glucose 100 Dates 100 Baguette 95 Parsnips cooked 97
Sucrose 68 Watermelon 72 White Rice 72 Baked potato 85
Honey 46 Pineapple 59 Bagel 72 Chips 75
Fructose 19 Melon 65 Wholemeal bread 71 Sweet potato 61
Raisins 64 White bread 70 New Potato 57
Kiwi Fruit 53 Crumpet 69 Sweetcorn 54
Banana 52 Pastry 59 Peas 48
Grapes 46 Basmati Rice 47 Carrot 47
Apple 38 Wholemeal spaghetti 37

Glycemic Load
The glycemic load is a more precise way of managing blood sugar levels and is more effective for losing weight. The glycemic load measures not only the effect a carbohydrate has on blood sugar levels but it uses a quantity measurements to ensure that the total load on the blood is at a manageable level that will impact on weight and help you to lose weight.
Following a low GL diet is one of the most healthy and effective ways of losing weight and sustaining the weight loss. This is because the measurement is not about calories or the amount of energy within a given food. It is based on the impact that the carbohydrate has on your body and it has been proved in many studies that focusing on a low GL diet, and balancing it with right amount of proteins and fats, will allow consistent weight loss and a significant improvement in overall health.
Technically, following a high protein, low carbohydrate diet is a low GL diet, by definition, however, consuming too many proteins and not enough carbohydrates or the right fats can store up many long term illnesses and problems, which are induced by an increase in the inflammatory response. This can ultimately lead to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Using the Glycemic Load to control and lose weight.

Using the glycemic load will allow you to lose weight or control your weight whilst ensuring that you are eating a healthy diet that will help to control blood sugar, hormone balance limit your potential for becoming diabetic or suffering other very serious condition such as heart disease.
The Glycemic load approach is based on choosing the ‘right’ kinds of carbohydrates and balancing all the other food groups in a sensible way. As shown below:

Super Food : Beetroot, chocolate and carrots

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BBC Radio Nottingham Health Headlines; April 2013
1. Beetroot proved to lower blood pressure

Beetroot is truly a super food. Not only has it been used by nutritionists and others to help cleanse and detoxify the liver and it’s anti-oxidant properties which help to defend cells from free radical damage is also known because it’s rich red colour contains power full anti-cancer properties (betacyanin). There is now new research to show that beetroot juice can lower blood pressure too and thus help to prevent strokes and heart disease.

The nitrate content of beetroot juice helps lower blood pressure, research has shown.
A study in the US journal Hypertension found that blood pressure was reduced within 24 hours in people who drank beetroot juice or took nitrate tablets.
The higher the blood pressure, the greater the impact of the nitrates.
This research suggests there is hope of using a more “natural” approach to bring down blood pressure. Nitrates are found in a number of vegetables.
A previous study found that drinking a pint of beetroot juice lowered blood pressure significantly in people with normal blood pressure.
Amrita Ahluwalia, author of the study and professor of vascular pharmacology at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry said they had now proved why.

Amrita Ahluwalia
London School of Medicine
“We showed that beetroot and nitrate capsules are equally effective in lowering blood pressure, indicating that it is the nitrate content of beetroot juice that underlies its potential to reduce blood pressure,” she said.
The research shows that the inorganic nitrate content in beetroot is changed into the gas nitric oxide when eaten. This gas keeps the blood vessels open and relaxed and keeps blood pressure down.

2. Does Chocolate give you spots?

There are several conflicting reports about whether chocolate is health providing or harmful and whether it can give you spots or not. From a nutritional perspective, chocolate is neither an absolute super food or a totally naughty food because it depends on the quality and of course quantity eaten.
Chocolate or rather the cocoa solid that makes up the chocolate bar contains helpful plant sterols and flavonoids which have a powerful anti-oxidant effect that can help to protect cells from damage. It has also been shown that chocolate can in fact, help to lower cholesterol levels, and the powerful flavonoids it contains help to stop blood from becoming sticky, thus helping to reduce the incidence of heart disease.

However, it is the other ingredients and additives in chocolate that can cause health problems. Many commercial chocolate bars contain high levels of sugar, fat and other additives that not only contribute to raising blood sugar levels, and contribute to weight gain, but these ingredients can effect hormones such as testosterone which can become elevated leading to increased sebum production and thus encouraging spots.

So the rule with chocolate is to try to choose brands that contain higher levels of ‘active ingredient’ cocoa solid, less milk and less sugar. Dark chocolate will contain the highest levels of healthy flavonoids, and some brands are reported to contain 4 times the levels of anti-oxidants than tea.

There is also some new research that has used fruit juice in place of fat which has been shown to be just as velvety and tasty as the high fat chocolate but will have a less detrimental effect on blood sugar levels and weight gain.

3. Can eating more fruit make teenagers calmer?

Eating more fruit and vegetables may make young people calmer, happier and more energetic in their daily life, new research from New Zealand’s University of Otago suggests.

A total of 281 young adults (with a mean age of 20 years) completed an internet-based daily food diary for 21 consecutive days. Prior to this, participants completed a questionnaire giving details of their age, gender, ethnicity, weight and height. Those with a history of an eating disorder were excluded.

On each of the 21 days participants logged into their diary each evening and rated how they felt using nine positive and nine negative adjectives. They were also asked five questions about what they had eaten that day. Specifically, participants were asked to report the number of servings eaten of fruit (excluding fruit juice and dried fruit), vegetables (excluding juices), and several categories of unhealthy foods like biscuits/cookies, potato crisps, and cakes/muffins.

The results showed a strong day-to-day relationship between more positive mood and higher fruit and vegetable consumption, but not other foods.

“On days when people ate more fruits and vegetables, they reported feeling calmer, happier and more energetic than they normally did,” says Dr Conner.

“After further analysis we demonstrated that young people would need to consume approximately seven to eight total servings of fruits and vegetables per day to notice a meaningful positive change.
She adds that while this research shows a promising connection between healthy foods and healthy moods, further research is necessary and the authors recommend the development of randomised control trials evaluating the influence of high fruit and vegetable intake on mood and wellbeing.

4. Could Carrots reduce the risk of Type II diabetes?

Stanford University School of Medicine investigators have found that for people harboring a genetic predisposition that is prevalent among Americans, beta carotene, which the body converts to a close cousin of vitamin A, may lower the risk for the most common form of diabetes, while gamma tocopherol, the major form of vitamin E in the American diet, may increase risk for the disease

In 2010, Patel, Butte and their colleagues published the results of the first-ever EWAS, in which they combed large public databases to compare people with or without high blood-glucose levels – a defining marker of type-2 diabetes – in pursuit of differences between the two groups’ exposures to myriad environmental substances. The analysis fingered five substances, including both beta carotene, found in carrots and many other vegetables, and gamma tocopherol, which is relatively abundant in vegetable fats such as soybean, corn and canola oils and margarine.

The research suggests that the protein in a gene called, SLC30A4, may play a crucial role in the disease. Indeed, that protein is relatively abundant in insulin-producing islet cells of the pancreas, where it aids the transport of zinc into those cells. This, in turn, triggers the release of insulin, whose adequate secretion by the pancreas and efficient uptake in muscle, liver and fat tissue counters the dangerous buildup of glucose in the blood and, in the long run, the onset of type-2 diabetes.

The review discusses and identifies the following important nutritional factors that have been shown to be beneficial to the maintenance of muscle mass and the treatment and prevention of sarcopenia:
Protein: Protein intake plays an integral part in muscle health. The authors propose an intake of 1.0-1.2 g/kg of body weight per day as optimal for skeletal muscle and bone health in elderly people without severely impaired renal function.
Vitamin D: As many studies indicate a role for vitamin D in the development and preservation of muscle mass and function, adequate vitamin D should be ensured through exposure to sunlight and/or supplementation if required. Vitamin D supplementation in seniors, and especially in institutionalized elderly, is recommended for optimal musculoskeletal health.
Avoiding dietary acid loads: Excess intake of acid-producing nutrients (meat and cereal grains) in combination with low intake of alkalizing fruits and vegetables may have negative effects on musculoskeletal health. Modifying the diet to include more fruits and vegetables is likely to benefit both bones and muscles.
Emerging evidence also suggests that vitamin B12 and/or folic acid play a role in improving muscle function and strength.

Can we eat Processed Meat any more?

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BBC Radio Nottingham Why does processed meat cause premature death.
Recent research seemed to prove that those who ate more than 160g or equivalent to 2 sausages and a slice of bacon, each day, were 44% more likely to die earlier than those that ate less than 20g or ½ a sausage per day.
This was widely reported in the press and media and BBC Radio Nottingham Mark Dennison Show asked me to comment on why and what then should we do about it.
What is processed meat?

Processed meat is anything that has been altered, added to and adulterated. So sausages, bacon, turkey twizzlers are obvious examples, but so is cured ham and meat and pre formed meat such as chicken, turkey and ham meat in pies and pasties. Any kind of meat that does not look like it’s original form is likely to have been adulterated in some way. It is the additives, preservatives and fillers that can cause problems for health. Some processed meat can contain additives and preservatives that are known carcinogens. For example; nitrates and phosphates found in some sausages and other meat products. These have been found to cause cancer in animal studies. Additionally, some meat products can in fact, contain very little pure meat and lots of other things such as cereal fillers, fats especially harmful saturated fats and sugars. They may also contain mechanically recovered meat, sometimes known as white slime, which can include lots of non meat substances, like bone, grisle and fat.
Does this mean we should never eat processed meat again?

No the study did show that those consuming less than 20g per day were less likely to suffer the ill effects of it’s consumption. However, 20g equates to one bacon rasher or ½ a sausage, which is just not a realistic expectation.
So how should we consume it in the future?
My recommendation, as always, is to eat it in moderation. If you eat well and healthily 80% of the time ie fish, chicken, eggs and meat with lots of fresh vegetables and a little grain, such as rice and pasta, then for other 20% we can choose to eat the not so healthy stuff, with out it necessarily causing too much long term health damage. This could mean you have a fry up only once a week.

Nutritional Benefits of Exotic Fruit, Fizzy Drinks make you fat

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Health benefits of Persimmon and other exotic fruit

Exotic fruit like persimmon, kiwi, papaya and others tend to be very good sources of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals all of which confer some potent health benefits for example, Persimmon is
• low in calories (provides 70 calories/100g) and fats but is rich source of dietary fiber.
• Full of health benefiting phyto-nutrients flavonoid anti-oxidants like catechins which are anti-infective and anti-inflammatory .
• Fresh persimmons contain anti-oxidant compounds like vitamin-A, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin. Together, these compounds functions as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
• Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions; thus, helps prevent “Age-related macular related macular disease”(ARMD) in the elderly.
• They are also a very good source of vitamin-C, another powerful antioxidant (especially native Chinese and American persimmons; provide 80% of DRI). Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
• The fruit is good in many valuable B-complex vitamins such as folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), thiamin…etc. These vitamins act as co-factors for numerous metabolic enzymatic functions in the body.
• Fresh Persimmon fruits also contain healthy amounts of minerals like potassium, manganese (15% of DRI), copper (12% of DRI), and phosphorus. Manganese is a co-factor for the enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese, and zinc). Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.

These benefits apply to many exotic fruit but also to the more common fruit. Such as berries, apples and pears.

There is an official Anti-oxidant rating for most fruit called ORAC which means oxidant radical absorption capacity or how much a given fruit holds anti-ageing properties.
Highest on this list are berries such as Goji, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, cranberries all of which are packed full of anti-oxidants (vits ACE, selenium) carotenoids and flavonoids and anti oxidant regulators that help to prevent cancer, cardio-vascular disease and improve immunity. The more brightly coloured the fruit the more anti-oxidants they tend to contain.


Ashton Kutcher rushed into hospital after cosuming only fruit and seeds and nuts diet. Very high in sugar and thus would make the pancreas work overtime.

Can be ok if for a short time to help identify foods to which you are allergic eg wheat and dairy, otherwise:

Can’t get a good balance of nutrients from just fruit. Especially amino acids, which are the building blocks to every cell in the body and are mostly available from protein sources such as fish, meat and nuts.

Calcium shortage leading to problems with oestoporosis broccoli, protein sources milk, cheese etc

EFA;s essential for lubricating all cells in the body and helping to reduce inflammation. Found in oily fish, seeds and nuts.


Yes it might help to limit the consumption a bit depending on the tax level. Though I fear that many children are just addicted to them and would buy them at any price. So education must go hand in hand.
The problem with fizzy drinks is that they encourage obesity because they contain High Fructose Corn Syrup which has the effect of turning of the body’s natural signals that tell you are full and thus encourage over eating. Also contain vast amounts of refined sugar.

Eating Lunch Late makes you Fat

It is far more to do with what is eaten, how much rather than timing. Though eating late at night would not give your metabolism a chance to born of the consumed calories. But there is now quite a lot of research to show that missing breakfast or any other meal is not necessarily a bad thing. This goes back to our hunter gatherer days when we only eat when we were truly hungry and thus did not make the pancreas work over time, which it generally has to these days, do to the amount of refined carbs and quantity of food we eat. This means that we are much more likely to become what is termed Insulin Resistant, whereby our body finds it much more difficult to utilize insulin properly and thus we are unable to distribute our energy source glucose to cells and muscles and instead lay it down as fat.

So eating lunch late makes no difference it’s what and how much we eat that matters.

FAT LOSS Group Courses at the Riverside Health Centre on Trent Bridge Include body composition analysis, diet assessments, health assessment, to achieve weight loss goals, safely and effectively.

Fat Birds 5:2 Fasting Diet.try it and see

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I have been on BBC Radio Nottingham today, chatting to Fran Finn about the 5:2 diet.It’s principle is that you eat normally for five days ie 2000-2500 calories for five days and then you eat only 500 calories or 600 if you are male for two non-consecutive days.  ShOuld you try it? Is it safe? Will it work? Well, based on what I understand and have experienced, I would say, yes, yes and yes.

Given that Dr Michael Moseley of Horizon Fasting fame, who became the human guinea pig for this diet, lost a lot of weight and improved some very important health markers. I would say it is really worth a try. The health markers are based on the Insulin like hormone growth factor IGF1 being reduced and therefore less likely to cause a proliferation of cells which can lead to the inflammatory cascade and in turn lead to disease states such as Diabetes, Heart Disease and Cancer, to name just a few.

The key, in my view, however, is to ensure that on your ‘fasting’ days you eat very healthily. This will not only mean you are less likely to feel totally ravenous throughout the day, but I think it is this that will be contributing to the improvement in health markers. When i say healthily, I mean, for example: first meal should be protein based eg scrambled eggs with tomatoes, then later, good quality protein like fish, cod, haddock, mackerel all of which are healthy and low calorie. But add about 5 portions of vegetables, especially green veg. On average, a portion of these equals only 15 calories per spoonful of veg though choose mainly leafy greens. So you can have loads, without exceeding your calorie quota of 500 for the day. Watch out for drinks though, as milk can add a further 20 cals per cup. Go for black coffee or herbal teas.

On the following four days, you can eat normally, then go for the 500 day again. This diet, is proving to be a winner, with many men, especially. Contact me if you would like a diet sheet. And good luck.

Nutritional Advice for Marathon Runners

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Nutritional Advice for Marathon Runners

The aim of your eating plan should be to keep your blood sugar levels balanced, and your energy reserves high before the race, during and after.  The reason is that if your blood sugar levels fall too quickly then your will begin to feel fatigued and may have difficulty completing the run.  You need to try to maintain energy stores for as long as possible throughout your running

Eating plan for training:

v  Eat 3 good meals per day and three healthy snacks. You should be aiming to eat about every 3 hours. This will help to maintain your energy levels and prevent blood sugar dips.

v  Each meal should consist of good quality protein, slow releasing carbohydrates and a small amount of fat.  Ie your plate should contain 30% lean protein, 30% starchy slow releasing carbohydrates 30% vegetables and 10% fat.

  • Starchy slow releasing carbs provide instant /medium term energy,
  • protein helps to maintain energy levels throughout your run
  • Vegetables and fruit provide vitamins and minerals and antioxidants
  • Fats provide lubrication for joints and cells.

v  The rule of thumb is for every Kg of body weight you should have at least 1g of protein.  For an average person this equates to  2 eggs,  one piece of fish, 1 chicken breast, one medium tub of hummus, a small packet of mixed nuts and half a pint of skimmed milk. Per day.  Research suggests that we need to eat a good quantity of lean protein to help stabilise blood sugar levels and provide essential amino acids, which are the building blocks for every cell of the body and especially muscles.

v  Eat healthy snacks.  Fruit is excellent but always eat some protein with it.  Eg Banana and a handful of mixed nuts.  Hummus and crudités.

v  Drink at least 2 litres of filtered water per day. Try to avoid alcohol it’s dehydrating and fizzy drinks disturb the electrolyte balance of your cells.

v  Try sports drinks before the event, to ensure you tolerate them well.  They can cause diarrohea.

Eating plan for the day:

v  Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy and so plenty of slow releasing carbs, such as porridge, rye bread, brown rice, wholemeal pasta and beans are good to stock up on, but always include at least 30% protein on your plate.  Protein helps to stabilise blood sugar, helps to maintain energy stores over a longer period and provides essential Amino Acids, which are the building blocks for every cell of your body and in particular muscles cells.

v  Don’t drink too much liquid too quickly.  Ie  Sip filtered water before the race but do not drink too much otherwise the bladder will be full and your electrolyte balance will be disturbed, potentially causing dizziness and fatigue or worse. The key to staying hydrated is to drink on the run.

v  Use sports drinks to provide electrolytes and good hydration.

v  Do not over consume coffee. Whilst it is known to be an ergogenic  aid( increases adrenaline and pumps energy to muscles) it is a diuretic and can cause dehydration.

v  During the race try to drink regular sips of water or sports drinks and if flagging take a sports gel tab.  This provides instant energy.

v  After the race  it is essential to replenish all lost nutrients and energy stores.  Drink plenty of fluid either as a sports drink, water or a protein shake.  Vitamin C is a precursor to the production of many amino acids that help to build and preserve muscle to so eat lots of fresh fruit.  Then lots of slow releasing carbs, for instant energy, a good portion of protein to help restore amino acids and in particular glutamine for muscle recovery,  glutathione to limit tissue damage and several  other AA to ensure cells are replenished.  A fillet steak or salmon steak will do the trick as they contain all the essential amino acids.  If you’re a veggie then lentils and quinoa are good sources of amino acids.


Try our Weight Managment Course

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In January I will be running some 12 week Fat Loss courses at the Riverside Natural Health Centre at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

Each course will be a group session with approximately 6 people and each week will include a Body Composition Analysis, diet analysis and Food For Life Guide.  The course will be very informal but clearly aimed at helping you to lose weight in a sustained and healthy way.  In fact, the method I use has been clinically applied to ensure that it reduces fat safely whilst improving many of the important markers that determine your overall health.  This means that if you follow all the guiding principles for the full 12 weeks then the incidence of degenerative diseases, such as, diabetes, heart disease and strokes are dramatically reduced as a risk to your health.


Either contact me through the contact form here or speak to Sue at the Riverside.  0115 9864990. Or call me on 07941 430928.


Look out for the posters and special rates.


Looking forward to seeing you all in the New Year


Do we really need to take fish oil supplements?

No Comments BBC Fish Oil Feature Nov 2012

Fish Oils: Why do we need them?

What is so good about Fish Oil

There is an abundance of research that shows that fish oil can help to prevent a whole

range of inflammatory conditions including, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, alzheimers,

skin diseases, eczema, psoriasis, and even cancer. The reason being that fish oils contain

the essential fatty acid Omega 3, which is a long chain fatty acid that is converted by

enzymes into hormone like substances called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are

responsible for the signalling and control of cells and their interactions.

EFA’s (omega 3 and 6) are needed for keeping cells lubricated, allowing energy uptake

and allowing waste removal. If these processes are prevented from happening efficiently

then it can lead to chronic inflammation, which is the starting point for many diseases,

such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer and others.

So do we need to add more Omega 3 to our diet?

The reason why we are being encouraged to add more fish oil to our diet is because of

what we now eat and how that effects the balance of fats in our body. A western diet is

much more weighted towards fats other than fish oils, and there is a lot if data to show that

many if us have an imbalance of the essential fatty acids, omega 3 and 6 and an

abundance of trans fats, all of which can contribute to causing inflammatory diseases.

As hunter/gatherers we would consume a ratio of omega 6/omega 3 of 4:1, it is now more

like 20 :1.

These days we eat a diet rich in omega 6 and trans fats, when we eat vegetable oils and

processed, high carbohydrate food sources such as pies, cakes, biscuits and bread and

we no longer eat as much oily fish, offal, wild animal meat and green leafy vegetables.

The important factor here is an imbalance, in EFA’s. Both omega 6 and omega 3 EFA’s

utilise the same enzyme to convert them to prostaglandins. Some of the omega 6

prostaglandins are inflammatory and some are anti-inflammatory, but because we

consume much more omega 6 then we are much more likely to cause an inflammation

cascade, that can lead to diseases. Omega 3 oils DHA and EPA are anti inflammatory, but

their conversion is sometimes prevented due to the abundance of omega 6. The two

omega’s compete for the same converting enzyme and omega 6s generally win. This is

why we are encouraged to take fish and fish oils (omega 3’s) to help by pass this

conversion and ensure that we are receiving a good level of anti-inflammatory substances.

But are fish oil supplements effective or necessary?

Currently, there is a great debate about whether fish oil supplements actually work and

some recent research has begun to suggest that supplements are not effective in reducing

the incidence of disease, especially heart disease. It is true that in order for our body to

convert EFA’s to anti-inflammatory substances, we also need a whole range of vitamins

and minerals, in particular, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6 and B3 and vitamin C and it is

true that oily fish not only contains a high quantity of omega 3’s but also these vitamins

and minerals that allow the conversion process to take place. And so the best advice

would be for us to consume less omega 6 foods, such as processed carbohydrates and

more oily fish, to ensure this conversion happens effectively. But there are many people BBC Fish Oil Feature Nov 2012

who for one reason or another just cannot consume high quantities of omega 3 and for

whom a supplement, is really the best alternative.

There are masses of well researched papers that confirm that omega 3 supplementation

really does help to slow the ageing process and the incidence of disease. One of the

recent studies shows that supplements help to protect cell chromosome, telomere’s which

get worn as we age, leading to degenerative disease. By protecting the telomeres, we are

effectively slowing down the ageing process. Many studies have shown that omega 3

supplementation has helped with brain function. 60% of the brain is fat and 35% is EFA’s.

EFA’s are essential for the functioning of brain synapses and of brain cell repair and have

been shown to help with memory and brain function problems including Alzheimers and


Research shows that EFA’s help to support cell wall structure and help to prevent the

release of plaques that can lead to stroke and heart attacks. They help with blood flow

and blood pressure and can help prevent the hardening of arteries, which can lead to heart


So what is the best way of getting the right balance of Essential Fatty Acids?

1. Eat at least 2/3 portions of oily fish per week, salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna.

2. Eat at least 1/2 portions of green leafy vegetables per day: cabbage, broccoli, kale,


3. Eat a handful of walnuts, flax seeds per day

4. Reduce the amount of processed carbohydrate to one portion per day. Ie pies, cakes,

biscuits, bread. Or give them up completely

5. If you don’t eat a lot of processed carbs then ensure you get your omega 6 balance

from sunflower or safflower oil, sesame seeds or soya.

6. If you can afford it try to eat lean free range organic meat 3 times per week

7. Eat plenty of free range eggs

If you can’t get the right balance of omega 3 and 6’s then take a supplement.

WARNING. Pregnant, lactating women and people taking drugs for heart conditions

should always check with their GP, before making changes to their diet or adding

supplements of this kind.