Is there such a thing as the right diet for you?

on Friday, 30 January 2015. Posted in N21 Experts


The recent three part Horizon documentary explored just that.


As a Nutritional therapist I am always looking for the key element that will ensure good results with my clients and after 15 years of continued lectures and seminars, and having seen thousands of people faced with nutritional challenges I was excited about a TV programme supporting all the clinical and anecdotal studies. this being that diet and nutrition is personal.


One diet does definitely not fit all!


The old fashioned theory that less calories in more calories out equals weight loss is fast becoming a myth. If this was the case the diet industry which is worth millions would cease to exist. Eating a chocolate muffin laden with fat and sugar may be the same calories as a piece of baked salmon, baked sweet potato and steamed vegetable but the body will process these calories in very different ways. High levels of sugar spike sharp rises in insulin in an attempt to get the sugar out of the blood stream. Unless we are about to use up all our readily available glucose stores in our muscles and liver by doing over 60 minutes worth of cardiovascular activity, insulin will initiate the formation of fat to store the energy for use later.


In this fast no time lifestyle that we tend to find ourselves in, so many of my clients fall in to the category of skipping meals and over eating in the evening once home from work, even my athlete's struggle with evening training and then eating too late at night. Little and often seems to be the way to go with the majority of people, spreading three meals over five sittings, sitting being the operative word. Meals should ideally be eaten sitting down with a knife and fork; however as I mentioned diet is personal and for those people where breakfast is just not an option at 4.30am or afternoon school runs make that mid-afternoon meal more of a stress than a pleasure, the wonderful use of the juicer proves invaluable.


In the Horizon programmes people were divided into three group's dependant on their answers to a very detailed questionnaire. At this point it is important to add that it is worked out on a percentage basis, so even if you fall into one category you will find there is a lot of crossover into the other two. So to the categories:


A feaster, once you start eating it's very difficult to stop, there is a lack of hormone to tell your brain that you are full.

The constant eater; similar to the feaster but an inherited gene is responsible here for the lack of ever feeling full.

Finally there is the emotional eater, the person who reaches for food to feel that empty space when life just doesn't go your way.


The three groups were put on different regimes, the feaster given a high protein low glycaemic index programme. The constant eaters the very popular this year 5 and 2 diet and the emotional eaters could choose a slimming club of their choice together with cognitive behavioural therapy.


The weight loss between the groups was extremely good; however we as the viewer never discovered was which group fared the best or whether the average weight loss was skewed due to some losing a lot more than others, we also never really got behind everyone's motivation which in my experience is the key. It is truly amazing what can be accomplished when motivation is at the forefront of any challenge, whether it be completing a marathon, getting into that dress for your wedding or learning that your lifestyle is threatening your life.


In my opinion it's all about looking at who we are and what we want to achieve and then realistically working out how we are going to achieve it. Whether you are one of the above or a mixture of all three there is a unique programme just for you. You just need the motivation to find it.


If you want to find out more, my details are on our website Come in and have a chat. If you bring the motivation I can journey alongside you with everything else.


Kim Knight


That is the £m question and hte holy grail of the 'diet industry'

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