The word 'diet' sends a shiver of misery down most spines. I know this because I spent many years locked in a cycle of diet, binge, diet, binge, which in turn led to feelings of guilt and made a serious dent in my self-esteem.
If the change of season has put a spring in your step, you may already be motivated to get healthy and energised for summer - only to get frustrated and give up after the first couple of weeks! Here are three mistakes to avoid when setting up your health and weight loss goals.
We all know losing weight is a challenge and diet, exercise and patience are key. Making lifestyle changes are difficult and you have to be motivated and driven to sustain them and even more driven to keep the weight off.
It's no surprise that we're often unwilling to talk about our bowels, but if we were more open about the number of trips we take to the bathroom or spoke freely about changes in colour, odour, and texture then it could be truly life changing. Important health issues could be diagnosed and addressed much sooner.
I'm no stranger to fasting: I've tried hippyish water fasts in Thailand, juice fasts in Devon, and the Mayr cure (yogurt and copiously-chewed bread) in Bavaria. But I've never experienced this degree of thoughtfulness and support, and that's what makes the Buchinger Wilhelmi the natural choice for first-time fasters.
As a dietitian, the challenge is to educate people on healthier food choices, activity and lifestyle changes. Doing this in clinic on a one to one basis is excellent and, provided you have enough time, you can really drill down and identify the changes that need to be made.
Balance is that word that we all aspire to, but rarely seem to achieve. Almost as soon as we gain a feeling of being 'balanced' it slips through our fingers and we're back to takeaways for dinner and a glass, ahem, bottle of wine after the kids go to bed.
IBS is a common condition and it affects approximately 4 million people in the UK. It is a chronic, relapsing and often life-long condition and people suffer from significant symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating and an overwhelming sense of lethargy.
Each time I would order different remedies, supplements and special ingredients: cranberry powder, various teas, herbal 'detoxes' etc. I stocked up on the latest superfoods. I had lymph drainage massage and colonic irrigation.
People follow quick fix diets which are designed for body builders, weight category athletes or physique athletes, but these are not sustainable long term. People do not consider the context for which diets, or pieces of research are intended.
Exercise wise, I didn't put any pressure on myself to start doing big lengthy gym sessions. I done little workouts in the house when I had a second and I made sure I eased back into it slowly.
The great irony of Easter, a time of new life, is that we celebrate it with death; our culinary traditions at odds with spring's blooming plants and wildlife, lambs being born and chicks hatched. Society has normalised eating eggs. Very rarely do people question what they really are - hen's periods. Unfertilised menstruation. Not for me, thanks.
Here's a funny thing about drinking: You can drink bottle after bottle of beer, or glass after glass of wine, without a second thought about their sugar or calorie contents. And then, perhaps when having a night off the sauce, you can get very preoccupied with the sugar content of the soft drinks you're having instead.
When I first started getting interested in healthy eating, lots of bloggers were advertising themselves as nutritionalists. As someone who had seriously considered taking a degree to become a registered dietician, seeing these nice shiny qualifications was reassuring.
Elements that are essential for brain health include B vitamins, folate and zinc. People who get these micronutrients may have lower risk of depression, and have what they need to restore a chemical imbalance in the body. Foods that contain these components elevate our mood instantly.
We're constantly told to watch what we eat, keep as active as we can, have a healthy lifestyle and manage our weight. But why are these messages so important and what are we all striving to achieve?