Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist, Laura Clark
Regular readers will know that nutrition and following a healthy diet is one of my greatest passions.
I love creating healthy recipes for all the family and we’re a sporty family, loving nothing more than getting outdoors in the Yorkshire countryside where we will…
So it is with absolute delight that I introduce a new monthly feature on the blog ‘Live Smart & Be Healthy’ (#livesmart) which will see registered Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist, Laura Clark BSc RD PgCert, provide expert advice on all things food, nutrition, health and diet.
Laura is a registered dietitian passionate about diet and nutrition and dedicated to making it accessible and tailored to people’s individual lifestyle needs.
With food and health constantly in the media spotlight, it can often feel a challenge to know what is best for you.
Through evidence based nutrition expertise Laura aims to educate, motivate and inspire people to lead healthy balanced lives. Laura has a wealth of experience having worked in the health service in the UK and abroad for 14 years. Her private practice and consultancy, LEC Nutrition was established in 2005. She is a media spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association and also enjoys contributing to mainstream press, television and radio.
This month sees Laura tackle the subject of how to lose weight as a busy mama.
Over to Laura…
Losing weight successfully, especially when you’re a Mum can feel like a real battle – but unlike the battles we often have with our off spring, weight is something you absolutely can control and a battle you can win!
Weight loss advice is swarming the internet and the contradictions and misinterpretations leave me feeling frustrated so I’m so pleased to have hooked up with Vicki to share my thoughts and hopefully talk some nutrition sense!
Here are a few tips to get us started:
Have a think about who and what ultimately controls the portion you eat – is it the food manufacturer, the chef, the size of your plate or the appeal of the free upgrade at the coffee shop?
We are so often governed by things outside of our own body and less on our physiology – whose got time for physiology when there’s so much to do I hear you say! True – but if you respect that your body also has a job to do then it’ll make for a happier outcome.
My advice: Tune into your own body (whilst the children are tuned into something else perhaps!) – it’s hard with competing priorities and other mouths to feed but if you slow down, take five and focus on what your chewing it all helps to allow the appetite centre in your brain to do its job. This allows you to ultimately control what you actually need to eat, rather than what is potentially on offer.
BEWARE OF THE BULLET
Yes you can blend almost anything but the truth is so can your stomach and that comes free of charge!
Whilst ‘juicers’ provide the opportunity for a nutrient kick and can help get your day off to a healthy start, just take a moment as you merrily whizz away, to clock everything that goes in – could you eat everything in its ‘whole’ form as easily or would you feel quite full?
My advice: As a good guide your bullet creation should be no more than 150-200mls. Great if you’re not likely to get the fruits and veggies in any other way but everything has a calorie value assigned to it and your body doesn’t distinguish where that calorie has come from! And remember if you take chewing and texture out of the equation, then you’re making it harder for your body’s fullness signals to kick in.
IS IT FREE?
We all love something for nothing and food labelled as #freefrom seems no exception. This is a rapid growth area for the food industry but why? Are we all becoming more intolerant to dairy or gluten? The answer is no, but do we feel these foods perhaps hold the secret to our weight challenges?
Remember what alters weight is a change in calories consumed. By limiting whole food groups or a significant number of foods, it does make you think twice about what you’re eating – and in reality is this what actually facilitates the weight loss?
My advice: If consuming something #freefrom genuinely makes you feel better than go for it but ensure you’re not missing out on any essential nutrients or over complicating things for yourself in the process. It’s always a good idea to seek advice from a registered dietitian if you’re unsure.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
The hype of the latest miracle diet can be hard to ignore – following a set of rules imposed on you by someone else can at the start feel quite empowering – especially if the weight begins to fall off.
I often find though that fads are associated with a lot of carpet sweeping – shoving everything that represents ‘normal’ life and the practical challenges you might have with food, out of sight – a little bit like throwing everything in the cupboards before guests arrive and pretending the house is organised!
My advice: As appealing as it is to head down the motorway at top speed, consider taking the scenic route – yes it takes longer, and yes they’ll be some challenges as you face your habits head on but it will be so much more satisfying.
Plus, you can look back at the view and give yourself credit for how far you’ve come on the days that get tough.
Wise words from Laura, what a fab start to the series. I can’t wait for more fitspiration next month!
Copyright of photo Laura Clark.