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Categories GENERAL HEALTH

Habits for Health and Happiness

Its approaching ‘that time of the year’ where we are inclined to sit down, reflect and set some ginormous goals to achieve in the first 2 weeks of January 2020.

Well, perhaps it’s not exactly like that, but by nature we do tend to consider that come January 1 we will morph into a completely different human capable of totally different things. And this is not all bad… but it’s also not entirely realistic.

The very term ‘new years resolution’ sadly reeks of failure and when it comes to setting ‘health’ resolutions its no different. A lot of gyms receive a new influx of regular ‘donors’ come January, don’t they?

Look, we don’t want to discourage anyone from wanting to be a kinder, more healthy, happier human year on year, BUT let’s do it in a way that will set you up for success and help you achieve your goals for 2020 day by day. And then above all else, maintain those ‘goals’ once attained.

So instead of worrying about another year and another new years resolution, why not sit down and think about some habits you could change come the new year to better your health and happiness. We love the definition of healthy habits put forward by Healthline. A healthy habit is any behavior that benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health. In turn, it improves your overall well-being and makes you feel good.

How awesome is that?

Perhaps the BEST thing about a healthy habit is the very fact that it has evolved into… a habit. A habit is something you do regularly, often without even thinking about it, that is really difficult to give up. So once a habit is created… it’s really hard to break!

How great would it be if we all ended up with a whole heap of new, healthy habits by the end of 2020?

Breaking habits is certainly hard so of course creating them can be a challenge and require a change of mindset. That’s why we created a little eBook to help you, step by step, to create some of your own healthy habits for next year. Download your healthy habits eBook to get prepared now.

Healthy Habits eBook

 

This is a self directed challenge. And what’s even groovier is that at the end of the month, you could simply print off a new copy and consider some different habits to build into your life for February. Think about where you might be at the end of the year? While you’re at it, we recommend you read a copy of Gretchen Rubin’s the Happiness Project because, in some ways, this little challenge was inspired by that book.

And if you do jump on board our little happiness challenge, make sure you give us a few shoutouts on social media ok? Use the hashtag #thebalancednutritionisthealthyhabits and tag us @thebalancednutritionist too.

And above all, remember, its all about the 85/15 rule. I.e. work on your habits and try to follow them 85% of the time. There are going to be times when the whole wagon falls apart…. not just the wheels! And that’s ok. Put it back together and get back into routine. This is called balance.

So, this is our completely non faddish, sustainable twist on ‘new years resolutions’ instead of the empty promises that are being shouted out to you from every other angle folks.

Who would love if being healthy becomes a habit… Not a chore?

Merry December folks and wishing you a ‘healthy habit filled’ January!

Categories GENERAL HEALTH

The Nutritionists’ Guide to Christmas

It’s certainly not as boring as you might think! We love Christmas, we love food and we love it when people feel happy and healthy.

Here are some simple tips for having a great festive season, without going overboard.

  1. Whilst we are all for a piece of plum pudding or a lovely dessert here and there, don’t let it slip into becoming an ‘every night in December’ type routine. There are some beautiful fruits around at this time of year – enjoy them. You can even blend up fruits like mango with a bit of yoghurt and make your own ‘nice blocks.’
  2. Just like the before mentioned point. Here’s a really bad idea. Ride the entire month on a sugar induced high of rum balls, boxed chocolates and chips on the side of every work lunch you attend for the next 3 weeks.
    OR continue to put in a little time each day to ensure you get some quality PROTEIN with each and every one of your meals and consciously choose to indulge a couple of times throughout the month instead. Protein will REALLY help you feel fuller and resist every little temptation that your little nose whiffs in the air this festive season.
  3. Water. Water. Water. Stay hydrated peeps. Less water leads to cravings, more alcohol and too much caffeine. Just drink the clear stuff. And for every champagne, wash it down with a glass of pure water afterwards.
  4. Don’t skimp on the green stuff. Most people seem to think vegetables have to be bland and boring. There’s a little eBook available to download below. It has a few little tricks in there to make salads and vegies just a little more interesting like…. did you know you can actually roast cauliflower? Also, how mindblowingly yum do fresh herbs make ANY dish taste? And you know there are other oils besides extra virgin you can use to dress a salad? Oh and don’t get us started on adding FRUIT to salad. YUM.
  5. Remember that its always OK to say no. This may apply directly to nutrition but it’s also a simple reminder that the holiday season is supposed to be just that… a holiday. Remember you can say no to gatherings that won’t serve you, another drink if you don’t want one, a party that you’re simply too tired for….no. Its a powerful little word and it can still be used politely.
  6. Try to keep up some form of exercise routine. And it doesn’t have to be the sweaty kind, it might be yoga, a gentle walk or even a paddle in the pool. Movement will assist you:
    -make better choices when it comes to food this festive season
    -may assist you to remain hydrated if exercise reminds you to drink as you feel thirsty
    -most importantly, provides a social outlet and some way to manage any additional stress you may be feeling. We know how important exercise can be for mental wellbeing.
  7. Breathe. Remember that Christmas is just 1 day. And the time between Christmas and New year is just a week. What’s more important is what you do for the rest of the year. Don’t punish yourself if you feel like you have gone overboard. Just get back on the wagon. Its what we do most of the time that matters.

Oh and finally, for your healthiest and happiest 2020, you might want to consider jumping on our healthy habits challenge for January. Keep an eye on Facebook for how to go about joining in.

And here’s a little Christmas gift for you – our Christmas recipe eBook for some festive inspiration. Click on the button to download  A Merry Balanced Christmas eBook

 

Categories Diabetes, Uncategorized

Case Study: Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

This is a synopsis of the journey of a 50 year old male client of The Balanced Nutritionist who presented with Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension and raised liver enzymes on July 5th 2019. This client wanted to release 25kg of body weight to return to a healthy weight range. In addition, he wanted to minimize his need for medication and better manage his conditions with nutrition and lifestyle. For privacy reasons, this client will be referred to simply as ‘D’ throughout this case study.

The purpose of this report is to draw attention to the power of individualized dietary interventions and professional support in the presence of chronic health conditions. Between the 5th of July and the 12th of October, D released 25kg of body weight, was taken off all diabetes medication (as directed by his GP), significantly lowered his blood pressure medication and improved his overall wellbeing. For the full journey, see below:

Initial consultation July 5th presenting concerns:

  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, diagnosed more than 10 years ago. Oral medication (metformin) in use,. Most recent HbA1c* was 11.6
  • Blood pressure issues for close to 15 years.
  • Triglycerides were 3.2 on latest blood tests despite cholesterol medication.
  • Minor reflux
  • Occasional muscle cramping particularly in feet
  • Uncomfortable with current weight
  • Unable to exercise due to shoulder and hip issues
  • Energy not ideal particularly in the afternoon
  • Family history of blood pressure issues and diabetes type 2
  • Motivated to change nutrition and lifestyle to release weight and improve blood pressure and diabetes management.

Initial consultation July 5th Medications and stats:

  • Diabetic medication twice daily / blood pressure managed with 2 separate medications taken twice daily / cholesterol medication
  • Weight: 124.9kg / waist measurement 114cm

Initial consultation July 5th nutritional and lifestyle habits:

  • D was not a big drinker; a couple of nights per week
  • Rarely drank soft drink
  • Water intake was around 1L
  • Plenty of protein in the diet, but perhaps a little too much mindless snacking as a habit – this was most likely driving up blood sugar and making weight loss challenging.

Initial consultation July 5th Initial recommendations:

  • Advised to bring in some low impact exercise
  • Reduced size of breakfast and asked D to eliminate snacking altogether, focusing on just 3 quality meals
  • Increased hydration
  • D began logging BSLs* regularly
  • D began keeping a food diary which generally helps with more mindful eating by default

Second consultation 3rd August Medications and stats:

  • D had followed recommendations to a tee
  • BSLs had initially ranged from 8 to 11mmol/L in early July. By the middle of the month they were more often sitting between 5.5 and 7.5mmol/L (readings taken at various times through the day).
  • Diabetic mediation reduced and evening blood pressure medication reduced as directed by GP
  • Weight 118kg; a reduction of 6kg.
  • Waist circumference 110cm; a reduction of 4cm

Second consultation 3rd August Recommendations:

  • D embarked on structured Metabolic Balance® program*
  • Foods and quantities matched to D based on extensive blood work, medications, medical conditions and physical statistics.
  • GP aware and supportive of this dietary approach

Third consultation 23rd August Medications and stats:

  • Under direction of GP, metformin (oral diabetic medication) was stopped after 10 years of being mediated for diabetes.
  • Fasting BSLs consistently sitting between 4.8 and 5.
  • No issues with hypoglycaemia* although blood pressure dipping low at times hence further changes to blood pressure as per below
  • Evening BP medication no longer used (as directed by GP)
  • Weight reduced to and waist
  • Energy fairly consistent, rarely feeling hungry.
  • Hamstring pulled unfortunately so not much chance of introducing structured exercise into lifestyle at this point

Third consultation 23rd August Recommendations:

  • Continue with structured food plan, addition of more healthy fats
  • Keep consulting with GP and keep recording daily blood pressure to ensure medication adjusted accordingly to ensure no low blood pressure episodes.

Fourth consultation 14th September Medications and Stats:

  • Current medications consisting only of ½ dose of morning blood pressure pills plus cholesterol pill.
  • Still consistently releasing over 1kg of body weight a week, with minimal loss of lean body mass*
  • Had introduced a few meals off the plan and noted a fast response to ‘white carbs’ i.e. white rice – a good lesson to learn moving forward*

Fourth consultation 14th September Recommendations:

  • Advised to start trialling some foods outside of original plan and monitor blood sugar response particularly to other low GI carbohydrates
  • Avoid ‘white’ cabohydrates and high wheat carbs at all costs due to effect on BSL
  • Prescribed multi mineral formula to support nutrient status whilst still releasing weight

Fifth consultation 12th October Medications and stats:

  • Current weight is 100kg, and according to VLA, body fat is now ideal for frame size. An overall loss of 25kg.
  • Waist measurement down to 97cm*, an overall reduction of 17cm.
  • D wanting to discuss remaining BP medication and cholesterol medication with GP

Fifth consultation 12th October Recommendations

  • Relaxing some aspects of the program with a view of maintain wellbeing and blood sugar readings. Review again in 6 weeks.
  • Bring in some exercise with a view for this to become habitual once received the all clear on injuries.

This synopsis of D’s journey so far has been written based on the CARE case report guidelines to ensure the synopsis is as objective as possible. This summary was prepared in consultation with clinical notes taken during consultations. D has read this report in full and confirms it’s accuracy as well as providing consent for it to be published.

The take home points for the reader of this case study include:

  • Comprehensive and individualised nutritional prescriptions are a truly powerful solution to chronic and debilitating health conditions
  • Food groups don’t necessarily have to be excluded. Exclusions of any whole foods should be based on an individual’s reaction to them – not on a societal level.
  • Professional advice and support is critical particularly where medical conditions and medications are involved. D benefited from the support of Katie King, nutritionist as well as his General Practitioner to monitor his medications closely.
  • This is not individualised advice. Consult a professional if you want results like this.
  • These results are proportionate to effort. We can guide, support and advice but ultimately D had the right mindset to make changes to his nutrition and he deserves these results.

*The term ‘diabetes reversal’ is used in medical literature and the exact criteria for reversal is still debated. However, according to the World Health Organisation, most agree that a HbA1c under the diabetic threshold of 6.5% without the use of medication does qualify. More here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520897/

*HbA1c: a test which gives an average of the previous 2-3 months blood sugar results)

*The specific instructions given to this client have been deliberately excluded from this case study as they suited this particular person. The same interventions applied to someone else may not have the same outcome. For safe and effective results, you should work with a suitably qualified practitioner. Book your consultation here.

*BSLs: blood sugar levels

*Metabolic Balance® program is a German medical program that we have received extensive training in and offer at The Balanced Nutritionist. The exact foods and quantities of foods ideal for a person (based on extensive blood work, medications, medical conditions and physical statistics) are prescribed to a person and a structured program follows. Meals are clean, but balanced. Each meal contains protein and fibre rich vegetables as well as fruits and even starch are generally included in a Metabolic Balance® program.

*Hypoglyaemia: low blood sugar (to the extent that it may lead to disturbing symptoms like dizziness, feeling faint, weak or shaky.)

*Lean body mass: the difference between total body weight and fat mass; ideally you always want to preserve lean body mass as it accounts for muscle mass.

*VLA: a scientifically validated test we use in clinic to accurately monitor changes in body fat, lean body mass, hydration and cellular health.

*White carbs: please note that each diabetic is unique. Some, for example may respond fine to fruit others may find it spikes blood sugar. Part of the journey of any diabetic who wants to manage their condition as best as they can through diet, is discovery which foods are most problematic for them. They should then be avoided at all costs.

*Waist measurement: according to the World Health Organisation and the Australian Heart Foundation (https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/know-your-risks/healthy-weight/waist-measurement) , a waist measurement is an important measurement of overall risk of chronic disease, particularly cardiovascular disease. Men should strive for a waist measurement below 94cm and women under 80cm.

 

Categories Uncategorized

What is lipolysis and how does it happen?

The metabolism is a fascinating thing. Our bodies have evolved to do all kinds of cool things in order to guarantee our survival. Look after the body optimally, the way its supposed to be nurtured and chances are it will be behave as it should in return. But in this crazy world we live in, with more stress, more food, less movement, more technology and less nature than ever before…. things can get a little confusing.

Metabolism is a very complex concept, but let’s focus on 2 terms only for this blog. These are ‘metabolic flexibility’ and ‘lipolysis.’ These are two terms we speak with our clients about quite regularly so we thought we’d share them on the blog today. Let’s start with ‘metabolic flexibility.’

Our bodies utilize two different forms of fuel for energy and survival and ideally, switch between both as required. The first fuel source is glucose and the second is fatty acids – essentially stored fat. Metabolic flexibility is essentially a fancy way of saying that the body can efficiently and comfortably switch between both as required. Consider that shortly after you eat a meal, carbohydrates will be more readily available thus the body will utilize glucose for energy. However, many hours later or say overnight, provided that meal was not too large, the body may switch into a fat burning mode instead. If we consider the evolution of human life, metabolic flexibility makes a lot of sense. Thousands of years ago, food availability varied with the seasons. There were times of feast and famine. The ability of the body to switch between these two mechanisms would have been a must for survival of the species.

Now a days, things aren’t so. Consume a diet of wholefoods, not in excess and you can loosely recreate a similar pattern – switching the body between fat and carbohydrate burning. However, overeating, the over consumption of highly processed carbohydrates, high cortisol, little or no movement, consistent snacking…. well all of these factors may mean the body is rarely forced into a fat burning state because instead, it has a steady supply of carbohydrates to keep it fueled.

Here at the Balanced Nutritionist, we are ‘pro’ metabolic flexibility. We think it makes sense on many levels – particularly when we consider human evolution. Many engage in debate over whether carbohydrate burning has any validity and instead believe our fat burning pathways should be constantly ‘on’ but we take a more balanced view on this. However, that debate is not the main purpose of this article.

Instead, let’s focus on our second concept, ‘lipolysis.’ Lipolysis is the fancy term to describe the mobilisation and break down of fatty acid cells for energy. Put simply, some degree of lipolysis is important for healthy weight management and certainly for fat loss. Yet, some find it difficult, even when they drastically reduce their food intake, to activate lipolysis, which essentially means they can’t seem to shift body fat.

This brings us to the crux of today’s article. You see there are two main conditions that need to be met in order for lipolysis to take place:

  1. Blood sugar, or glucose levels need to be relatively low. If blood sugar levels are high, the body will continue to use this as a fuel source instead and fat burning will not take place. So if someone has higher than normal blood sugar levels, say because they are prediabetic or insulin resistant, their capacity to burn fat for fuel will be low.
  2. Insulin levels must also be low. Insulin is one smart hormone. It is actually capable of blocking the enzymes responsible for making fat burning happen. Once again, prediabetes or poorly controlled diabetes or anyone with insulin resistance is likely to have high insulin levels fairly consistently, thus posing another challenge to fat burning. (note: fasting blood sugar levels can appear well controlled on blood tests, but corresponding insulin levels may still be elevated. It is possible and sometimes indicated, to have both fasting blood sugar levels and insulin levels tested to obtain a full picture).

Now, these hormones can be elevated for obvious reasons. Overeating, the consumption of junk food, consistent snacking between meals etc. will all drive both blood sugar and therefore insulin levels up as well. But, for those with insulin resistant conditions, these two hormones can be triggered extremely easily, even by seemingly healthy meal choices. Crux of the story? Lipolysis can be incredibly challenging for anyone with blood sugar and insulin regulation issues. You may even consume a seemingly perfect diet and not overeat, but still have difficulty achieving lipolysis and metabolic flexibility.

We wrote this blog because many of our clients find that understanding this concept really helps them understand fat loss better. We hope it brings some clarity to you as well. If you are concerned about your perceived ‘lack of’ metabolic flexibility, here are some tips that we’ll close on:

  • Make sure your meals contain protein. That they aren’t purely carbohydrates on a plate. E.g. a sandwich with vegemite? Note going to cut it for lunch.
  • Make sure you eat proper meals, with a break in between of at least 4 hours to allow time to digest and time for blood sugar and insulin levels to decrease.
  • ensure that breaks are actual breaks; remember anything with flavour (including tea and coffee) has the ability to trigger a hormonal response in the body i.e. stimulate blood sugar levels.
  • Move more. Exercise does stimulate lipolysis. But its also natural for us to move. We are designed to eat and move not eat and be sedentary.
  • Don’t eat a really large meal at night especially one with dessert. The overnight ‘fast’ we naturally attain when we sleep is a good opportunity for fat burning.
  • Drink water. Not sugary crap. Plus, being hydrated increases the efficiency of the body on all levels.
  • Finally, if you are still struggling with weight management or fat loss to a healthy range, consult a professional as insulin resistant conditions require tailored advice.
Categories WEIGHT LOSS

Finding a Healthy Weight Range

Here at The Balanced Nutritionist, we see a variety of clients with many different health conditions. These range from conditions characterized by pain and inflammation, digestive disorders, mental health conditions, fatigue, and of course, reaching a healthy weight. Whilst many of our clients will come in and see us with a multitude of symptoms that they would like to see improve, the one that most place the most weight on (pardon the pun)… is their actual WEIGHT. In fact, even when there is a multitude of other symptoms that are having a very negative effect on quality of life… it still comes back to that one number on the scales….

Our Goal

Nicole and I, as the nutritionists here at The Balanced Nutritionist have spoken about the issue of ‘weight’ and what we, as a society, think it means, at length. Working in weight loss is hard…. Its like walking on a tightrope. We want to make it clear that our goal at The Balanced Nutritionist is to help people be as healthy and as happy as they can possibly be by choosing great, healthy whole foods that are good for their body most of the time. However, because some of what we do comes down to weight AND because it’s a big issue to many of our clients, we want to make it clear that: 

  1. We do not want to create or contribute to any fear that may surround food. 
  2. We do not want people to think that perfection, when it comes to food is the only path moving forward because this is certainly not what we advocate
  3. And we certainly don’t want people to have an unhealthy relationship with their bodies. 

For us, the weight conversation can be a tricky one. What we really want to help people with is ‘reaching a healthy weight range’, and this is a term that we often use during clinical consultations. We are NOT about having that thigh gap… or that six pack. In fact, its common for us to ask clients to remove influences that promote this thinking from their lives… as it can be unhelpful. We are however aware that weight and health are intricately linked. You can not ignore one and acknowledge the other. 

Sometimes clients sit across from us and tell us that they need to lose weight or that they feel uncomfortable with their bodies. From a professional perspective, we know that in all honesty, their weight isn’t a problem at all. They may already be at a healthy weight range.. But fixated on becoming a particular shape or size, that perhaps they just aren’t meant to be. Sometimes, we focus on a magic number that perhaps just isn’t right for our own bodies. Some of us will naturally be leaner than others and that is ok. Sometimes, reaching the ‘magic number’ might actually cause ill health. Sometimes, it would require such rigid and unreasonable eating / exercise habits that it would be extremely detrimental. So for us, we always come back to the ‘healthy weight range’ and focus our support on helping our clients reach and accept this. It is the place where health will be good… both physical and mental! 

What IS a ‘healthy weight range’

  • It is NOT about being a size eight, with 20% body fat, or having visible abs, a thigh gap or fitting into a little black dress. 
  • It IS a place where you minimize your risk factors for certain metabolic conditions. 
  • It IS where can move freely without pain and exercise without struggling
  • It IS a place where you feel comfortable in your own skin
  • It IS a place that you can maintain by choosing good, healthy wholefoods, eaten consciously with the occasional treat without guilt. 

Our preferred tool to assist clients to achieve a healthy weight is the Metabolic Balance® program.

We really need to change the conversation and make sure that we are striving for a healthy weight range as opposed to the so-called “perfect body” that is sometimes portrayed as ideal. Let me tell you that the so-called “perfect body” that is portrayed at times is FAR from perfect. There is, as we talk about without clients such a thing as being too lean. 

If you reduce your body fat too much:

  • You will compromise your hormonal health
  • You may compromise your aspects like your fertility
  • You may even compromise your muscle mass and your bone density particularly later in life. 
  • And it’s likely mentally, that you won’t be in a good place. 

It is so important to us that our clients have a balanced relationship with food. That eating healthy doesn’t become stressful or mean there is no room for variation or occasional indulgences. 

When the motivation or the mechanism to become healthy becomes too stressful, then the benefits are outweighed by the additional stress that this causes. 

Sometimes people come into our clinic, thinking that we will help them attain the perfect body. Or build the ideal booty. This is NOT what we are about. Having developed quite a reputation as a ‘weight loss clinic’ (even though we have never labelled ourselves as this) we walk a delicate line…. We believe that health is absolutely linked to a healthy weight… but that the concept of a healthy weight needs to be redefined.

Thanks for reading. It’s difficult to express our thoughts clearly on this topic, but we feel it’s critical we communicate our stance on this issue. And its critical everyone knows…. you are so much more than a number of a scale!

Categories Gut Health, Gut Health

All I Want For Christmas Is… A Good Poop!

We just could not resist a Christmas countdown post…. But, seriously… constipation is no laughing matter. And we know for many, a good reliable poop is the stuff of dreams. 

Constipation is the inability to pass stools regularly or empty your bowels completely. Some people who suffer from constipation may pass stools less than three times per week, they may be hard or dry stools, there may be straining, a feeling of incomplete evacuation or complete inability to pass at all.

Pooing at least once per day up to 3 times per day is normal.

You’ll be relieved to know that most cases of constipation can be successfully resolved by eating a diet high in fibre, drinking more fluids and exercising daily.

Here are our top tips for keeping things moving… and achieving a good reliable poop. ⠀

  • Eat a whole food diet with a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Many people hear this advice, but simply do not know how to put it into practice – this is where we come in. Book your appointment here
  • Increase your fibre intake – add chia or flax seeds, leafy green vegetables, and fruits like pears, kiwi, prunes and apple. (Tip – do this slowly… and pay attention to the next point below).
  • Keep hydrated – drink at least 2 litres of water per day. Minimum. When did we all forget about water? 
  • Exercise daily. Go for a walk. A light jog if you can. These things can help stimulate ‘movement’ down there…. Ask any runner, and one of the benefits they may cite is ‘it also keeps me regular.’ 
  • Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge – don’t wait! Psychologically, you will keep telling your brain this over and over and over again until… it will do all of the holding for you! 
  • Use a footstool or ‘squatty potty’ to elevate your feet when on the toilet. Other cultures don’t sit to poop. And to be honest, squatting is an easier position to eliminate from. Squatty potties are much more common these days.
  • Give yourself an abdominal massage. 

Tried all of these things? Embarrassed about it? Still not getting a good reliable poop? LOTS of people have problems down there, Nicole has even shared her story about this very topic. Read it HERE.

Maybe you aren’t sure where to start? Give us a shout at The Balanced Nutritionist so we can gradually help you ease the discomfort through your nutrition and appropriate gut supplementation if necessary. 

Categories Health, Uncategorized

Breaking news: research confirms ‘processed food’ is bad for us

So. Breaking News…. “ULTRA PROCESSED FOODS CAUSE OVEREATING AND WEIGHT GAIN

Ok. In all seriousness, our initial response was ‘seriously, did we really need a study to prove this but….’

The really interesting thing about the research here was that the subjects receiving the ultra processed foods versus those receiving the minimally processed foods, received the exact SAME number of calories and macronutrients… initially.

Participants were instructed to consume until they were satisfied and what the research found was that those receiving minimally processed foods simply ate less. Those receiving the ultra processed foods ate more – carbohydrates and fat in particular. The ultra processed group gained weight, whilst those receiving minimally processed foods lost it.

Take home points:

-processed food is completely unsatisfying for the body. Its nutrient devoid; you will go looking for more because the body is simply not getting what it needs. We discuss this with clients. All. The. Time. You have to get off the bandwagon of addictive snacks, sauces, sugary cereals and drinks.

-processed food completely highjacks the appetite. You will have not appetite control on a diet of ultraprocessed foods. You will not stop. You know… the pringles saying? Its the truth!

-eat whole foods… good thing happen.

-Finally, in the same week, we have also heard that Weight Watchers have released a new app for kids in the US for kids to track their food intake, weight ad physical activity. Oh no. No no no. From someone who also deals with adolescents with eating conditions this is NOT good news.

Doesn’t this research prove that resources would be better directed at removing said processed food from kids’ diets because that is a major underlying cause of the childhood obesity crisis. Instead of allowing another generation of humans with eating disorders to evolve?

We are PASSIONATE about simply moving people to a wholefoods program here at The Balanced Nutritionist because even THAT can see some magic happen.

If you are struggling with too much ‘packet’ convenience food creeping in to your diet, feeling sluggish, heavy and yuck as a result book online here because our Back to Basics wholefoods program is perfect for you.

Anyhow, what we would like to see from here in the research world:

-we would have loved to see the result if both groups had to consume exactly the same amount of calories but in 2 different forms still – ultra processed and minimally processed. This would prove the point that its beyond calories and macros. Processed food interferes with the body on a cellular level. It results in vastly different hormonal and neurotransmitter reactions and that is how the damage is done…. providing excess energy is only half the problem.

These principles are exactly why our current wholefoods program is working well – the Back to Basics protocol I mentioned above.

Its a ‘no counting,’ ‘eat to your own appetite’ ‘wholefoods’ based 4 – 8 week program which just takes it back to basics, supporting you with the structure and accountability to do so.

Guess what happens as a result? You gain energy, clarity, happiness, health and released unwanted weight. Without math. Without stress. Without packets. Genius.

Categories GENERAL HEALTH, WEIGHT LOSS

Why Am I Gaining Weight but Barely Eating?

Firstly. Let’s just say that writing a blog that is so blatantly about ‘weight loss’ isn’t really our cup of tea. We prefer to focus on ‘health’ because weight release will naturally follow ‘health’ but this precise question is quite literally coming at us from many new clients of late.
The answer is probably going to vary from person to person, but here are a few things to consider in the journey to a healthy weight.
Firstly, weight loss is not easy. Please don’t be fooled by reality television shows that make us believe losing weight just ‘happens’ overnight because it doesn’t.
Second, you need to change your thinking. Stop. Re read the third line of this post again. Know that ‘health’ comes before ‘weight.’ You just can’t have a long list of symptoms and health concerns but only want to ‘lose weight.’ You have to tackle the whole package. A healthy body will find its natural, healthy weight. And maintain it. Is a ‘starving body’ a healthy body? Unlikely.
In addition to not eating much food, some or all of the following might be part of the problem.
1. You could be incredibly stressed. Which could mean very high levels of stress hormones and not a lot of sleep. Both of these are going to make releasing weight a lot more difficult.
2. You are possibly drinking a lot coffee… and / or not a lot of water. This is a recipe for dehydration. The metabolic process of ‘burning fat’  (lipolysis) is much harder for a dehydrated body. In addition, dehydration puts extra strain on the kidneys, which means its harder for the kidneys to do their job – essentially, too eliminate waste. And weight loss is essentially… the elimination of a lot of waste. So you really want your elimination pathways to be working really well.
3. Not eating enough food=probably not getting enough fibre from plant based sources like whole fruits and vegies. This, along with dehydration will probably block the pipes… not the water pipes, the other ones! Then you’ve got a situation where all that ‘solid’ waste hasn’t got anywhere to go either. Translation: healthy poos help with weight release.
4. Less ‘excretion’ of waste products as well as less fibre means those friendlies in your gut are going to suffer. We’ve linked just about everything to the health of our guts and guess what? That includes weight! Having a healthy gut is part of the picture when it comes to finding a healthy weight range. This does not mean you should go out and buy a probiotic and all of your problems will be fixed by the way… its just part of the picture and it can be altered without a pill.
5. Food is so much more than just macronutrients. The micronutrients i.e. vitamins and minerals that are found in healthy foods are critical for so many processes in our bodies. Like enzyme production for digestion, maintaining the thyroid health, neurotransmitter synthesis for happy, balanced moods and building our hormones… and lots more. So good food keeps… all of the parts of our bodies working really well. This leads to health which leads to a healthy weight.
6. When you are eating… the choices might not be great. Food is confusing right now. Far more confusing than it should be. And our addiction to ‘diets’ leads to some pretty crazy eating styles. Like only eating meat or fat but no vegetables… or going for something really processed like a ‘diet bar.’ Sorry. But we just don’t believe in that rubbish. Have you looked at the ingredients on those things? If you can’t pronounce it… your body ain’t going to know what to do with it, we guarantee!
7. Starving all day but then eating anything and everything by the afternoon. Because you are just. so. hungry. Wouldn’t it be easier to just eat well, giving your body

what it needs from the morning onwards… and watch as things fall into place over time?

We could go on… but this is a blog not a book. We just like to help people get healthy, reduce their requirements for medication, eat without stress, learn to love healthy nutritious foods, get comfortable preparing quick, wholefood meals…. and feel great as a result for a lifetime. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.
Our favourite tool to use to achieve the former is personalised nutrition using the Metabolic Balance® program. It means we work with our client long term, they get to know the foods that will nourish not punish their bodies and we have the best chance of long term success.
Book online if you need us in your life. 🙂
Categories GENERAL HEALTH

Welcome Nicole

Hello, I’m Nicole. I’m a Clinical Nutritionist, certified Metabolic Balance® Coach, and lover of avocado, coffee, chocolate and the beach and I started here at the Balanced Nutritionist in early July 2019.

My food philosophy is simple: eating nutritious, whole, real foods will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to be healthy and vibrant.

I also believe that healthy eating is not about deprivation. It’s important to give ourselves permission to indulge in the foods we love, without guilt, because good nutrition and good health is also about having a healthy relationship with food.

My Story

I’ve had tummy troubles for as long as I can remember. My gut has always been unpredictable and a bit ‘sluggish’. As a child, I remember going days without, you know, going and taking a book to the toilet (because I’d be sitting there for a while!). As I got older my symptoms got worse – bloating almost every day, abdominal pain (which sometimes felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach), and difficulty going to the toilet alternating with diarrhoea.

My digestive issues were compounded by overseas travel and several bouts of ‘Bali Belly’ (in Bali, as well as Africa, Turkey, Bosnia and Fiji), taking the OCP (oral contraceptive pill) for 10 years (which I now know can impact on your gut microbiome and increase your risk of gastrointestinal conditions, such as IBS and IBD), poor dietary choices and a stressful job.

In my mid-twenties, desperate to get to the bottom (excuse the pun) of my digestive issues, I visited numerous doctors and specialists, only to be told that I “probably” had IBS.

No one tested me for food intolerances, talked to me about how stress can affect our digestion, considered that the pill may be contributing to my digestive woes or recommended that I make dietary changes. That was until I went to see a Natural Health Practitioner for a different health concern. She suggested that I make some dietary changes and I felt better, almost immediately!

While that wasn’t the end of my journey (it took years of self-discovery to restore my digestive balance), it was the start of my journey to becoming a Nutritionist.

Fast forward to today, and my tummy is much happier – I seldom experience stomach aches or bloating (unless I choose to eat something that I know won’t agree with me) and I go to the toilet easily, every day. My overall health has also greatly improved – my weight has stabilised without me even trying (or worrying about how many calories I’m consuming), I now have more energy, consistently throughout the day and, most importantly, I feel really good both physically and emotionally. This lead me to want to help other people to feel better too!

Helping clients to optimise their health, sort out their digestive issues, improve their skin and release unwanted weight is a real passion of mine. And, thanks to my own health journey, I have a genuine appreciation of the struggles that many of you are living with day in, day out.

Before life as a Nutritionist, I worked in a demanding corporate job, so I know that it can be difficult to prioritise your health and eat ‘right’ when you lead a busy lifestyle, juggling work and family commitments. My goal is to provide you with individualised nutrition strategies that fit you, your lifestyle and your health goals.

A few more things about me

I live with my husband, Greg and fur-child, Billy the Westie.

I was born in Sydney, but my family moved to Brisbane when I was 2. I have two younger sisters and four beautiful nieces, a handsome nephew, and another niece or nephew on the way.

I am not ashamed to admit that I am slightly obsessed with my dog (Billy). He’s treated like a human in our house, my personal Instagram account is mostly photos of him and I usually greet him before my husband when I get home. I’ve always loved animals and once wanted to become a vet when I grew up.

I am a multi-tasker. I am usually doing multiple things at once and always have numerous tabs open on every device. 

I look forward to going to the farmer’s markets on a Sunday morning to pick up fresh produce for the week ahead.

I love pouring through home magazines and buying homewares.

My go-to outfit is jeans and a blue and white striped top (I have at least 10 in my wardrobe).

I am a self-confessed neat-freak and actual enjoy organising things, especially my pantry. 

I start every day with a cup of tea.

Categories Uncategorized, WEIGHT LOSS

Do You Eat Consciously? Or on Autopilot?

We’ve all been there … you walk past the communal lolly jar at work and dip your hand in without thinking, automatically grab a few biscuits from the lunch room while making a cup of tea, or mindlessly eat from the cheese platter at a party.

It’s easy to consume less healthy food when we give in to impulsive eating, by pushing aside conscious decisions and automatically saying “yes” to food, without stopping to consider what we’re actually eating.

On the other hand, when we make deliberate and conscious decisions about food, we’re more likely to choose real, whole foods that nourish our body and make us feel great. This is conscious eating.

“Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body.”

Conscious eating is the practice of thinking about what you put in your body, before you eat it.

Do you eat consciously or on autopilot?

Try this: Whenever you are presented with the option of a less healthy food, give yourself the space to stop and make a conscious decision about whether to eat the food or not.

Before you mindlessly shove it into your mouth, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I really want to eat this food right now?
  • Is it especially delicious?
  • Will this food nourish me (my body or my soul)?
  • How will I feel after eating this food?

When we stop to make a conscious decision about food, often we realise that the food we’re about to eat isn’t particularly special or delicious, we’re not really hungry or we don’t really want it right now, and it won’t make us feel great.

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t choose to enjoy less healthy foods that we really love on occassion.

When you do choose to indulge, savour the food and enjoy it fully. Don’t eat too fast – really taste what you’re eating. And, be kind to yourself – don’t deprive yourself and don’t feel guilty for enjoying less healthy foods in moderation.

Because when you consciously chose to enjoy less healthy foods occasionally, and you really enjoy it, you are choosing to nourish your soul.

Written by Nicole Bence. You can book with Nicole here

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