Tag Archives: lifestyle

Alcohol and your waistline.

accomplishMy mission this morning isn’t to debate the rights and wrongs of alcohol consumption. I’m not about to launch into a philosophical or psychological discussion about alcohol.

For some people alcohol is non-negotiable and it’s not my job today to try to negotiate that particular personal choice. If alcohol is non-negotiable for you then please save yourself a little time and trouble, stop reading now, and enjoy getting on with the rest of your day.

On 29th July 2013 an article appeared in my local newspaper about the remarkable effects of Rebalance. That morning the phone started to ring. And ring. And ring.

So many wanted to experience the benefits of Rebalance for themselves, and over the next couple of weeks my diary was full of appointments with folks wanting to know more. Most went on to become clients, and indeed they achieved success. I love those people, I love the results they achieved, but it’s not their success I’m writing about today.

In July 2013 I had to break the news to just a few people that I couldn’t help them – due to their relationship with alcohol. People like the chap who told me that he enjoyed 3 pints of beer 3 times a week, and wouldn’t be changing that. People like the lady who has 2 glasses of wine and a G&T every night to help her unwind, and doesn’t think she wants to change that. People like the lady who tells me all her friends drink, and that “it’s not my fault I have a social life“.

I’m not talking about alcoholism. This blog post is for people who stick within the limits of the recommended weekly units of alcohol, but for whom it is nonetheless a regular fact of life. It’s about helping you to understand why alcohol will likely hinder your weight loss and attempts to reach your wellness goals.

  1. Regular alcohol causes the levels of a stress hormone, cortisol, to become abnormally elevated. (As ever, at Rebalance we back up what we say, and if you’d like to read the research for yourself click here to make a start) Cortisol is especially significant for weight and health because chronically high levels are associated with a wide range of health problems, with metabolic changes leading to weight gain, with difficulty in losing weight: blood sugar imbalance, diabetes, obesity, immune system suppression, gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular disease, fertility problems, insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid disorders, dementia, depression, and other conditions. (Another useful link: click here)
  2. Even moderate alcohol leads to visceral fat (link available here). We all know that of course – one of the earliest names for visceral fat was ‘beer belly’ after all! It’s this kind of body fat that is linked with many serious conditions, including: impaired glucose and lipid metabolism, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes; colon breast and prostate cancers; heart and cardiovascular disease; infections and non-infectious complications, including death. (Another useful link: click here)
  3. Alcohol is high in ’empty calories’. Drinkaware tells us the calories in alcohol are “extra fattening“, and almost the same as pure fat itself. Worse, is that those calories, being empty, provide no nutritional value, meaning that alcohol contributes nothing that our bodies can put to good use.
  4. Drinkaware further advises: “Drinking alcohol also reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy. While we can store nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fat in our bodies, we can’t store alcohol. So our systems want to get rid of it, and doing so takes priority. All of the other processes that should be taking place (including absorbing nutrients and burning fat) are interrupted.”

So that’s 4 facts to help you understand how alcohol will interfere with your health and weightloss plans. The choice about what you do with that knowledge is all yours!

 

Keeping Pandora in her box

If Pandora’s Box is a proverbial phrase meaning a source of endless trouble arising from a single miscalculation it begs the question “what miscalculation”? From the point of view of our health I guess that’s about pushing our luck too far. We might live that unhealthy lifestyle just a day too long and then…?

Then we get tImage result for those who don't have time to eat healthily will have to find time for illness memeo find out just what Pandora has in store. And as the story goes, once we’ve allowed her out of the box, getting her back in there is a whole heap of trouble, even if it’s possible at all! All too often there’s a point of no return.
All very gloomy huh? So let’s turn Pandora into our positive!

Whether we like it or not, it’s highly unlikely that any of us can ride our luck indefinitely and that we will at some point have to deal with the consequences of our unhealthy diet
and lifestyle choices. So ask yourself, how far will you push your luck? What will be your own personal wake up call?

Will you take notice when the bathroom scales hit a certain number? Will it be when you get breathless? When you can’t do the things you could before?

Will you take
notice when you are told you are at risk of developing a lifestyle disease? When you are diagnosed with a lifestyle disease? When you develop the first complications associated with that disease?

The longer you ride your luck the more devastating Pandora could be. We already know that 12 million adults in the UK are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. We already know that women Image result for those who don't have time to eat healthily will have to find time for illness memeare facing a tide of cancer diagnoses due to obesity. With diet and lifestyle linked to
diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, some cancers, and more, we are gambling, literally, with life and limb.

Let’s leave Pandora in her box. Don’t give her the chance to get out to play. Enjoy our lives without looking over our shoulders for fear of her.

Good food actually tastes great. Feeling well makes life great. I can’t begin to tell you how great you’ll feel. But I really hope you decide to find out for yourself!

 

Will the new NHS report on Diabetes make any difference?

NHS call to action

A new report by NHS England, entitled Action for Diabetes, has just been released this month.

It’s a response to previous criticisms by the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee in recent years and consists of 32 pages packed full of aspirational ideas and measures for tackling the burgeoning diabetes crisis in England.  And that’s a great start for 2014.  But will it end like many New Year’s Resolutions?

You see, I can already feel my spirits alternately being raised and let down by this report – because we’ve kind of been here before.  Despite previous aspirational reports recommending measures to beat this disease, diabetes care isn’t providing really great results in this country.  The situation now is that:

  • around 3 million people in the UK have diabetes
  • an estimated 850,000 people have undiagnosed diabetes
  • by 2025 5 million people in the UK will have diabetes
  • 7 million people are thought to be at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • about 10% of the NHS budget is spent on diabetes – mainly in relation to complications arising as a consequence of the disease

Here’s my number one issue with this report.  Turn to page 14 and you will find that the top two recommendations by NICE are for structured education, and for personalised dietary and exercise advice for each individual patient.  I have no reservations or hesitation in saying that would be marvellous.

The NICE recommendation for structured education has been around since at least 2005, yet here we are in 2014 and the provision of that education has been dire! The figures below speak volumes:

Patients offered structured education:

  • Newly diagnosed:  2.2% Type 1, 12.0% Type 2
  • All people with diabetes: 1.6% Type 1, 4.5% Type 2

Patients having attended structured education

  • Newly diagnosed – 0.6% Type 1, 3.1% Type 2
  • All people with diabetes – 1.0% Type 1, 1.4% Type 2

That’s a far cry from the NICE recommendation of 2009 that structured education should be an integral part of diabetes care, and “should be offered to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review”.

So what exactly will be different this time around?  That’s the part that the report doesn’t make at all clear.  Let’s hope this isn’t another case of NHS style over substance – time is running out for empty promises!