Tag Archives: obesity

Porridge that helps. Porridge that harms?

We’re into autumn and winter is looming, and once again many will be turning to porridge as a breakfast of choice (funny how so many think a hot breakfast is only for winter!)

Today I’m reading an article that suggests porridge will help lower your cholesterol…but is that true?

“Eating a simple bowl of porridge every day could transform the health of the nation, in one single step”, says Chris Seal, professor of food and human nutrition at Newcastle University.

Certainly oats contain beta-glucans, a soluble fibre, which HAS been shown to help lower cholesterol…as long as you eat 3 grams beta-glucans per. day… and that equates to a 70 gram bowl, according to this article. Actually most porridge portion sizes are way less than 70 grams! A typical portion size is between 30 and 40 grams only – so 70 grams is 2 bowls per. day. And that’s the first problem I see in this advice.

HOW we eat oats is crucial. The article states that oats are “virtually sugar free”. And that’s true – a bag of simple oats is about 1% naturally occurring sugar. But is that how we typically eat porridge? I suspect in most cases it isn’t.

IMG_20170928_102252The modern way of eating oats means a handy tub, just add water, eat on the go – or at least in a hurry. What’s in the tub, in most cases, bears no resemblance to a bag of simple oats. Full of sugar and additives, porridge in this way can simply no longer be claimed to be healthy!

We might sensibly expect the flavoured varieties to contain a few additives. Take Quaker’s Oat So Simple Caramel flavour as an example… we all know caramel means sugar, so it comes as no surprise that this product is more than 23% added sugar! Say goodbye to any health benefits in this product!

So, what about Quaker’s Oat So Simple Original? Just original porridge oats right? Wrong! It still contains a whopping 22%+ added sugar! Very little in it between the one we understand will have sugar and the one we might reasonably expect to be better – if we trust the appearance of the food label that is.

Ah, but, there are brands that proudly declare “no added sugar”! Take Moma – certainly less sugar than Quaker pots but which still contains over 15% sugar. No added sugar? No resemblance to mere oats!

By now you’re probably thinking I’ve got it in for porridge? No, in the right way oats are great! They are great cooked from scratch, preferably with water or full fat milk, and “sweetened” if necessary with a good quality cinnamon. Or the traditional Scottish way with water and a pinch of salt.

Prepare for winter. Prepare for a HEALTHY winter!

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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!

 

Losing weight on 3300 calories per. day – yes really!

Let me tell you a little about my new client’s weight loss. After just 2 weeks on a Rebalance programme, he’s lost 5lbs, has literally had to tighten his belt, and feels great. Here’s the best bit…he’s eating 3300 calories per. day!

It’s not – and never has been – about calories. It’s about what those calories are made of – and always has been.

Fad diets come and go. I read this morning that the 5:2 Fasting Diet is trying to re-enthuse dieters by offering 200 calories per. day more. All those poor folks who have restricted themselves to just 600 calories for 2 days per. week, are now being told they could have achieved the same benefits on 800 calories, according to this report. Dr. Mosley, the chap advocating this joyless approach for some 5 years now, admits it makes people feel cranky and irritable, and that, actually, he’s been wrong about just how restrictive a diet needs to be.

The problem with fasting, and long term calorie restriction is that it puts your body into a “starvation mode” that makes it hang on to fat. Have you tried to diet and found by week 3 or 4 it gets harder and harder to shift just a little weight? The fallacy of fasting is made clear in a new study at the University of Sydney in Australia. The research team confirms:

“Having a few ‘days off’ from a diet can help stop your body from going into starvation mode, where the body slows down its natural burning of kilojoules, desperate to survive what it believes to be a famine.”

So if 600, or even 800, calories are too restrictive to enable someone to lose weight without finding themselves entering into starvation mode, how many calories are right? There is no single answer to that. MemeThe number of calories right for an individual is the number of calories right for that person! There is no-one-size-fits-all where nutrition is concerned. This is where Rebalance excels. We help you identify your own unique needs, and develop your own unique eating plan to meet those needs. Every time someone does this properly it works – that’s 100%. My client’s body requires 3300 calories per. day: this avoids starvation mode; delivers all his nutritional needs; encourages his body to release 2 lbs of fat per. week consistently. How many calories are right for YOU?

Click here, and start working it out. Our programmes work, are easy to follow, and are free to you.

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!

 

Ready to change? (It’s OK to say no!)

Image result for who wants change memeI don’t do new year resolutions. I used to. But like most people I have never stuck to one. Even when I told myself things would be different this year I fell off the straight and narrow all too quickly.

So you won’t have seen The Rebalance Foundation jumping onto the bandwagon of promising a “new year, new you”. No new year promotions. No wanting to make the most of your “membership” for just a few weeks. No setting you up to quickly fail.

That’s because I understand that the best time to make meaningful change isn’t in the immediate guilt-ridden aftermath of festive over-indulgence. Rather, the best time to make meaningful change is when you are ready. Simple as that. Change will only happen when you are ready to make change.

I’m sure you’ve probably already seen the popular little cartoon I’ve shared above? Whoever penned that – good job! We all want change. We’re not all prepared to make change…yet.

At The Rebalance Foundation we’re on a mission to make sure that the best information is at your fingertips, ready and waiting for the moment the switch trips in your mind and you’re off on your own mission too! Take our information with pleasure. Take our advice when you’re ready. Take our support when you need it.

If you are one of the people reading this all ready to get started – fantastic! Let’s get going!!

If you’re not quite there yet I hope you’ll stay with us and just keep collecting all the great information we share. We’ll be here, ready and waiting. When you’re ready we’ll be here, ready and raring to go!

NHS deny obese patients surgery

The Rebalance Foundation was launched just 2 days ago, and already the BBC has highlighted exactly why we are needed, relevant, stepping up!

Obese patients will be denied surgery by the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group – either they must shed 10% of their body weight, get their Body Mass Index (BMI) below 30, or wait, the BBC reports this morning.

I note the report doesn’t say obese patients will instead be offered an effective nutritional and lifestyle programme tailored to meet their own individual needs. Of course not! Since attacks on the out of date, ineffective NHS dietary guidelines were mounted by The National Obesity Forum in May this year exactly nothing has changed! In fact the NHS website defends why their out of date, ineffective dietary guidelines will not be changed. Public Health England are equally, and in our view irresponsibly, defensive about inadequate official guidelines.

The NHS will not be revising their dietary guidelines to help prevent or treat obesity; our Government have sidestepped the crucial issue of childhood obesity in their much-criticised, overdue, “inexcusable” Childhood Obesity Strategy report; and obese patients will be denied surgery. The Royal College of Surgeons has described the restrictions as “some of the most severe the modern NHS has ever seen“. While this particular move has been taken in my own home area, The Daily Telegraph reports Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers, saying: “I think we are going to see more and more decisions like this.

So let’s get this straight:

  • food manufacturers continue to produce and promote low-fat foods that cause obesity
  • official NHS and Public Health England stick with dietary guidelines that recommend obesity causing low-fat foods
  • the Government fails to tackle either of these problems
  • having already failed obese patients, the NHS now punishes them by with-holding surgical treatments.

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The Rebalance Foundation cannot answer for the decision or actions of others, but we can provide realistic, effective, tried and tested advice – simply click here to get started!

Obesity – who deserves the blame?

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After Susan Jebb, the Government’s former diet tsar, said obesity is mainly caused by a person’s genes and the prevalence of junk food, other experts have hit out saying fat people should be told their size is their own fault. So just who SHOULD carry the blame for your obesity, asks a news article this weekend?

It comes down to the difference between ignorance and insanity.

It’s true that the food industry, Public Health, and the NHS in the UK have all mislead the public for years. Sadly knowingly for some time too. They ALL sold us the “low-fat myth” for decades. They ALL overlooked the fact that there was no real evidence against saturated fat. They ALL overlooked the weight of evidence against sugar for 40 years.

We became a fat nation! And I say obesity was encouraged because the organisations who should have protected us kept us in IGNORANCE. Ignorance about why we were really gaining weight. Ignorance about why  a whole host of chronic diseases have been burgeoning. Ignorance about the “unrelenting march” of diabetes reported last week.

But we know now! We know sugar is deadly. We know it has raised our levels of inflammatory disease to crisis point: diabetes, heart disease, vascular disease, some cancers and more. And we can no longer claim ignorance. We can no longer claim to being kept in the dark.

The food industry is showing very little sign of change. In the many months now since we lifted the lid on the nonsense that is “low-fat”, I’ve watched in near despair as more and more fat-free and low-fat products have been unleashed into the market-place – still claiming health-benefits. It sucks, it really does. But we are no longer ignorant to the truth. We can shake our heads in disbelief that they care so little. But we no longer have to fall for their dishonest hype!

I started speaking out against low fat as long ago as 2003 – and I have never knowingly put a low-fat-sugar-laden version of food into my body since. But I still do occasionally eat something with added sugar: a bite of chocolate, a slice of birthday cake, the occasional dessert maybe. And every time I do I know, and accept, that my behaviour is INSANE. Insane because there is enough information to enable me to make a better choice. Insane because I have enough knowledge to enable me to make a better choice. Sometimes I make insane choices, but I have to face the fact they are MINE!

I am at the point of awareness that any weight gain is certainly now my own fault, and I carry 100% responsibility.

Historically Susan Jebb is right – the past 40 years have largely been not our fault. But from here on in we are all responsible for our own food choices – as these experts suggest! And only when we accept our own responsibility, embrace our own dietary and behavioural change, take control over our own choices will things improve.

RebalanceDiabetes is ready and waiting to help anyone willing to help themselves. Give me a shout!

 

 

 

Whatever is next – RebalanceDiabetes is right here for you!

shelovesyork2December 1st 2015 and – with International Diabetes Awareness Month 2015 closed – I’m reflecting on what we’ve achieved and, crucially, what’s next.

I started the month calling for everyone affected by diabetes to #standtogether. And I ended the month repeating that call because, as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter whether you have Type 1, Type 2, gestational diabetes, take insulin, or not, are prediabetic, care for someone living with diabetes, or are just interested, there is an awareness mountain to be climbed.

Throughout November I’ve shared my awareness film The Silent Killer, shown on Times Square on World Diabetes Day; a fabulous offer to enable you to join The RebalanceDiabetes Programme (the first comprehensive diet and lifestyle programme for diabetes available online) at a massively discounted rate; brand new RebalanceDiabetes success stories to motivate and encourage; breaking news stories; and I shared a preview of the latest stats around diabetes. These latest stats are available for download today – get your copy of the Exec Summary of IDF’s latest Diabetes Atlas – click here.

The new diabetes years starts here. RebalanceDiabetes is ahead of the game, has always been ahead of the game, and I plan to stay there. You can be assured I’ll be doing everything I can to help YOU get the best from your health, feel great about yourself, enjoy life.

I genuinely don’t believe that diabetes has to win, I don’t believe the gloomy predictions have to come true, I do believe RebalanceDiabetes is the best solution. I’m with you every step of the way!

Here’s to a great year – starting NOW!

Elaine x

 

 

 

To tax or not to tax?

sugar writingToday marks the final day of International Diabetes Awareness Month 2015.

Today the sugar tax debate is hitting the media again in a big way.

Whether you are for or against a sugar tax it seems a fitting time to give more attention to this debate, and to turn the spotlight again on sugar: the dangers of sugar, the role of sugar on public health, the economics of sugar.

Is this the first time in living history that a Government has resisted such public calls for a tax? Resisted an opportunity to boost the chancellor’s coffers, with strong public support? The political stance is curious to say the least.

Here is a selection of the articles I’ve come across this morning:

MPs back sugar tax and ban on junkfood ads during X-factor

Jamie Oliver’s right! MPs say it’s time for a 20% tax on sugary drinks to tackle childhood obesity

Ban Junk Food Ads And Tax Sugary Drinks – MPs

UK MPs seek tighter measures on sugary drinks to tackle childhood obesity 

MPs back sugar tax endorsed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver

Breakfast Briefing: Pressure grows on Gov for sugar tax

Tax sugary drinks and restrict TV adverts for sweets, MPs urge

MPs to call for ‘sugar tax’ and tighter controls on junk food ads

Introduce tax on sugary drinks, say MPs

MPs call for sugar tax to combat obesity

Radical Overhaul Needed To Beat Obesity – MPs

MPs demand 20% levy for fizzy drinks and blitz on junk food deals

Sugar tax: MPs join call to cut £5bn a year cost of obesity

Commons health committee puts weight behind UK sugar tax

Commons chiefs to demand ‘sugar tax‘ and tighter controls on junk food ads

Despite all those calls for the sugar tax, there is an “against” view point also reported this morning. It’s a minority of the British people who believe such a tax would be effective in combating obesity and disease – including diabetes:

British public unconvinced by soft drinks tax

I am throwing my hat onto the side that says there probably is a better way – regulate the food industry, restrict the amount of sugar permitted in processed foods, education, more transparent food labelling…

I am grateful this topic is working its way up political agendas. Let this debate rage!!

 

Innocent Type 1s? How divisive!

are-you-an-angel-or-a-devilI found an article yesterday. You might already have seen it by now. It’s entitled, “Call for healthy eating and exercise on World Diabetes Day neglects innocent Type 1 patients“.

I hate, actually hate, that title. “Innocent Type 1 patients” says what about people living with Type 2 diabetes? That they are not innocent it can only be assumed.

This awful article, published in the Inquisitr, and penned by Dawn Papple goes on to say,

Type 1 diabetics are innocent sufferers of an autoimmune condition. These patients haven’t necessarily eaten too much sugar or failed to exercise.

True on the one hand. The problem being that on the other Ms Papple alludes that people living with Type 2 diabetes are guilty sufferers? Guilty of having eaten too much sugar or failed to exercise?

Well I am writing today to inform Ms Papple, and anyone who has applauded her article, that not everyone with Type 2 diabetes has overindulged in sugar or sloth either. Whether through ignorance or intention she fails to show any understanding of Type 2 diabetes, or to represent Type 2 patients with the same consideration she demands for people living with Type 1 diabetes. Her article laments the lack of understanding about Type 1 diabetes, whilst showcasing her own acute lack of understanding of Type 2 diabetes!

She writes:

Many people have come to associate diabetes with obesity, but as this new campaign shows, people who appear physically fit can be fighting for their lives against Type 1 diabetes.

Well here’s the shocking truth – people who appear physically fit can be fighting for their lives against Type 2 diabetes!

Research shows there is a genetic aspect to Type 2 as well as Type 1. Like it or not, research shows there are some food links with Type 1 as well as Type 2. Research also shows that it’s such a common phenomenon for older people with Type 2 to be lean (estimates suggest 20%) that another recent article proposes a new label – Type 4 diabetes. One of my own clients is a lady, aged 61 years and weighing just 55kg, or 120lbs, or about 8 and a half stones – HbA1c 45 and heading north in consecutive tests! Not yet diabetic, but on her way. On her innocent way!

Furthermore, a new test is being developed to distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes at the point of diagnosis – precisely because the boundaries between the two are not so clear cut!

All this highlights is the uselessness of labels. Type 1 and Type 2 and, potentially, Type 4 are all man-made constructs of language. They should not be used divisively, discriminatingly, or to the detriment of anyone with diabetes.

Mahatma Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. May I suggest that if you want understanding and compassion for yourself, it would be appropriate to first show those same considerations to others?

I am thoroughly sick and tired of “diabetism”. Sick of any notion of innocent Type 1 v. self-imposed Type 2. The issues of pathogenesis are far more complex than this – for all types of diabetes.

At the start of November, I called for all people affected by diabetes to #standtogether. As we approach the end of International Diabetes Awareness Month 2015, I am again asking for ALL PEOPLE AFFECTED BY DIABETES TO #STANDTOGETHER!