Nutrition today ain’t what it used to be. Do you agree?
As science starts to prove the things naturopaths have been talking about for decades, the essential link between good nutrition and good health is finally being recognised. Here at PerformancePro we say, ‘Not a moment too soon!’
We all know that the obesity epidemic and metabolic disease are amongst the biggest health concerns in the UK, as well as the increase in depression and other mental health issues.
Nutrition today is playing a major role in tackling these head on and often holds the key to helping people change lifestyles that are literally life-threatening.
PerformancePro Nutritionist and Naturopath Cathy Williams has worked extensively with people suffering from weight and gut-related illnesses. Informed by her experience in practice, Cathy is able to focus in on some of the key areas that underpin these health issues and the healing role of nutrition today.
The four key areas when addressing the UK’s health epidemics:
By helping people with these 4 key areas, all of which are interlinked and often the root of ‘modern diseases,’ Cathy knows we have a real chance of really improving the long term health of future generations.
The number of people still relying on fad diets and unhealthy weight loss practises is concerning. If any of these methods actually worked in the long term, then we would see rates of obesity and weight-related health conditions coming down not going up!
Studies show that long term weight loss is difficult to obtain through any means, but restrictive, intense and unrealistic diets can cause more long term damage than benefit. The yo-yo dieting pattern can have lasting effects on gut health, metabolism and hormone regulation, not to mention our mental health and attitudes toward food.
Generally these approaches cause a decline in health status by depriving the body of essential nutrients, causing imbalances in hormones and gut health or affecting mood, the ability to manage stress and poor sleep. If people do see results, more often than not, they gain the weight back because they haven’t truly changed their internal health, or their daily habits. The body is always striving to return to its version of ‘normal’ until you can reset these ‘set points’ and slowly move into a healthier routine, you’ll almost always find yourself caught in a vicious cycle.
Cathy saw this ‘see-saw’ happening too often in clinic and wanted to help people find a healthy balance that was sustainable, moderate and balanced,
“When it comes to weight loss, we should never be focusing on short term changes. We want to lower body weight for good, not just for the short term. With this in mind, our approach needs to address long term changes to the way we eat on a daily basis. But first, it can be useful to shake things up a bit!
“I love shaking things up and showing people they don’t need to restrict and deprive themselves to be healthy and lose weight. They don’t need to spend a fortune or have a degree in nutrition to eat well and nourish their body.
“We generally know what’s good for us and what’s not. But the problem is so many people struggle to DO it. From my experience with patients, daily coaching, habit and behavioural change are truly the way forward to resetting the mindset people struggle with thanks to media, food advertising, life stresses and self esteem/societal pressures.“
We asked Cathy for her three top tips to help people start to take control of their nutrition today:
Watch sugar intake – sugar is everywhere. Even in places you wouldn’t imagine. And unfortunately it is more than just empty calories. Sugar is inflammatory and provokes your insulin response (high insulin and insulin resistance is a key precursor to many conditions including obesity, metabolic disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s). It can also cause disruption to your neurotransmitters, as well as being linked to cancers.
No food is inherently good or bad and sugar is a naturally derived substance. BUT in the processed form and amount we consume it in on a daily basis, it truly has to be one of the biggest focuses when it comes to improving the health of our population and future generations.
Get your gut right – so many people live with digestive symptoms thinking they’re just normal. But these should be the first red flags that something isn’t right. If your digestive system and the balance of bugs that live within it aren’t healthy, it doesn’t matter if you’re putting the healthiest possible food in your mouth, you won’t be getting the most benefit from it. Processed foods, medications (including NSAIDs and Oral Contraceptives), stress, poor sleep and many other things can impact your gut. As the majority of your immune system and a whole raft of hormones and neurotransmitters are produced there, a robust, healthy gut can positively impact your entire health and performance.
Go whole over processed – if you’re doing this, you’ll naturally be making a lot of other good choices by default. When you’re buying whole, fresh ingredients, the meals you’ll make from them will be much more nutrient dense and you’ll naturally eat less. You’ll also be avoiding all the chemicals and fake foods that mess with your metabolism and impact your natural. Many of us are overfed and undernourished. Moving to a wholefood intake is a key step in improving the nutritional status and reducing the obesity epidemic we face.
Good nutrition is the cornerstone of any health, fitness or performance training regime. With PerformancePro’s nutrition services including Nutrition Coaching and Nutritional Therapy (Functional Health), we help you with a strategy that will achieve your goals and suit your lifestyle.