It’s one of the most popular tools used in clinical practice and apparently schools are now sending letters home to parents if their child is tracking at a higher percentile (!) But is this a good tool?
For those unfamiliar with BMI, it is calculated by dividing your weight (kg) by the square of your height (m). The number given will then fall into a category - Underweight, Normal Weight, Overweight, Obese.
The limitations of this approach however are somewhat obvious, for example, we know muscle weighs more than fat, and therefore a sports person could be classified as overweight/obese according to this scale just due to their muscle/fat ratio. Also it doesn’t tell us the distributions of body fat, to assess whether it is therefore harmful to health.
The reason we started using this tool was to monitor trends in population over time, not actually as a measure of ‘health’ however it would appear that it is now being used to decide if people are he...
I have been working within the field of Eating Disorders for a few years now as a registered Nutritionist and have been alerted to the support there is available and the costs attached to them.
This is why I have decided to set up a food support group for individuals struggling with an Eating Disorder, to hopefully offer something accessible and long term, as well as allowing individuals to try and recover alongside their lifestyle.
I am starting with a 'Breakfast Group' in Brighton on Thursday mornings (9-10am) on the 10th, 17th and 31st of January. This is suitable for individuals who can't afford a treatment centre, or has just come out of a treatment centre and wants to feel supported transitioning into their home life, or for people who have recently been diagnosed and need some support.
The group is based in a commercial kitchen to allow individuals to have a similar set up to their home surroundings. There will be some basics provided: Oats, Cornflakes, Bread, Eggs, Bananas, Apple...
With the wellness world forever growing and the insane pressure on society to be ‘healthy’ and of a particular size, it is no wonder that what might potentially start as an innocent kick start to a healthy lifestyle, it can turn into something harmful. There are hundreds of different diets out there – Atkins, Paleo, 5:2, ‘clean’ eating, weight watchers… to name a few-so it’s no wonder it can be an absolute minefield as to what we should be doing, where to start and second guessing our own interceptive awareness to follow something that we might believe to have benefit to us. The word ‘diet’ can be an ever facing demon.
Although it is great to be mindful of nutrition and nourish our bodies with certain foods, it’s more beneficial to have a good relationship with food and by that I mean all food. Obsessive behaviours with food can spiral out of control and can take control of thoughts, emotions and behaviours. So what does a good relationship with food mean/look like?
It's something that I get asked about a lot, should I be taking supplements? Will they improve my performance? Will they make me feel better?
It seems to be an ever growing market, with huge stores dedicated to just selling the stuff, but how do you decide if you should be taking something and if so, what should you be taking?
Let me start by saying this is an overview of how to decide to take a supplement - I am a) not saying you 100% should be taking anything and b) everyone is completely different, you all take part in different sports and eat different diets.
So in terms of supplements, what are they? The purpose of supplements are exactly as the name suggests, they are there to 'supplement' the normal diet, in order to improve general health and wellbeing. There are a HUGE range on the market which all claim to do/improve various different things such as:
The concept of periodization when it come to a training program is well known and well applied within sport. The link between exercise and nutrition is also well known. However the concept of using the periodization model within nutritional practice appears to be very uncommon.
There is of course a lot of research and advice on nutrition to consume pre/post training, however consideration of the bigger, long term picture in regards to specific goals, physiological adaptations during different phases of training, is rarely put into practice-so much in fact that guidelines for practitioners are still lacking.
So what is periodization? When applied to exercise it is the long-term planning of athletic training designed to improve performance, reaching peak performance for the most ‘competitive’ part of the year (This might be a particular race, game or competition). It involves a variation of training throughout the year, variation of intensities and load and is typically broken down into c...
Sugar is very much a hot topic at the moment. Everything on the news and within the wellness/fitness industry would appear to brand sugar the 'devil' and thus, should be avoided at all costs. The growth in 'sugar free' and 'detox' diets is phenomenal, which I suppose isn't surprising given the well-established scientific view that removing sugar from any diet directly improves overall health.
However, I wanted to discuss why Sugar perhaps isn't necessarily the bad guy for athletes, or anyone who takes part in high intensity activity.
Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for any athlete. Their are limited glycogen stores in the body, which means athletes need to be consuming carbohydrates prior to exercise to ensure they have enough fuel to sustain the level of activity they're about to do. The reason carbohydrates are the main source of energy is due to the speed in which they can be broken down to create ATP (energy) because they can do so without the prese...
It gets to about the same time every year when people feel like they need to 'diet' to get in shape for summer/holiday. Yet these are the same 'diets' that are being promoted year on year... juicing/carb cutting/whole 30/calorie counting/5:2... etc. There is a reason they're heavily marketed and you have to do them every year for your 'summer bod' and do you know why? Because they're not sustainable.
Yes you might lose weight and feel great for a few weeks/months, however majority of people who lose all this weight in such a short space of time when dieting for their summer bodies put the weight straight back on. There is in fact a statistic that found 95% of people will in fact regain all the weight they lost in a year.
So why is that?
There is a lot of science behind dieting and how it can play havoc with your metabolism and your overall health, let alone your sanity. With so many rules and regulations around food it can become exhausting.
Firstly - when you attempt to lose weight, your...
I hear a lot of people talk about starting a diet or wanting to lose weight and their immediate first thoughts are 'I'm going to cut out carbohydrates' OR 'I'm going to stop eating bread'. As that is supposedly the reason behind weight gain.
This photo shows a comparison between 2 different types of carbohydrates - a banana and a slice of bread. As you can see, a banana actually has a higher carbohydrate content than bread, and also a higher sugar content - yet when people decide to embark on a diet, bread will be eliminated, yet banana/fruit consumption won't. That isn't to say bananas need to be eliminated too, it is to highlight how to help you make an informed choice. Fruit and vegetables are also carbohydrates.
Both bread and fruit are high in fibre and can therefore both help to contribute towards weight loss. But as carbohydrates, bread and fruit (not specifically a banana) are not the same in their composition. There are 2 types of carbohydrates - Simple & Complex which BOTH have...
If you're not familiar with the phrase 'iifym' it stands for 'if it fits my macros', a craze that started being used by people competing in fitness physique competitions who needed to be of a certain weight/size but now had been adopted by a lot of gym go-ers.
It is a calculated daily amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats based on your weight usually and sometimes activity level..and yes there is a lot of science behind it that it will help to lose weight however it requires daily weighing of food/packet checking and/or entering it into a tracking device to make sure the correct quantities have been met.
A lot of people will say this approach to 'dieting' allows them to have what they want to eat (e.g. A biscuit) as long as it fits into their daily allowance. Sounds great huh? Well, that means there would need to be some compromise throughout the rest of the day.
My belief is that all food is to be enjoyed in a relaxed way, with a mindfulness on eating things that have a benefit to...
I have decided to write a slightly different post today to my usual Sport Nutrition.
I have spent the last 6 weeks working at a clinic for girls suffering with eating disorders and it has really got me thinking about eating intuitively, what does being intuitive actually mean...as ultimately in regards to food and our relationship with food, is that one of the goals we thrive to achieve?
It has had me thinking about whether I'm 100% intuitive? How intuitive are all the clients I work with that don't have eating disorders? and how intuitive are all those 'foodie' people on Instagram?
I've decided to therefore list some contributing factors that I feel most affect being able to use the term 'intuitive eating' for you to look through and see if any apply to you.
Are you eating because you're hungry? Have you actually taken a minute to think about how your body feels before you eat a meal, or are you eating out of habit or because it's the 'right time' for lunch for example? Yes,...