fbpx

Author Archives: Katie King

Categories WEIGHT LOSS

Finding a Healthy Weight Range

Here at The Balanced Nutritionist, we see a variety of clients with many different health conditions. These range from conditions characterized by pain and inflammation, digestive disorders, mental health conditions, fatigue, and of course, reaching a healthy weight. Whilst many of our clients will come in and see us with a multitude of symptoms that they would like to see improve, the one that most place the most weight on (pardon the pun)… is their actual WEIGHT. In fact, even when there is a multitude of other symptoms that are having a very negative effect on quality of life… it still comes back to that one number on the scales….

Our Goal

Nicole and I, as the nutritionists here at The Balanced Nutritionist have spoken about the issue of ‘weight’ and what we, as a society, think it means, at length. Working in weight loss is hard…. Its like walking on a tightrope. We want to make it clear that our goal at The Balanced Nutritionist is to help people be as healthy and as happy as they can possibly be by choosing great, healthy whole foods that are good for their body most of the time. However, because some of what we do comes down to weight AND because it’s a big issue to many of our clients, we want to make it clear that: 

  1. We do not want to create or contribute to any fear that may surround food. 
  2. We do not want people to think that perfection, when it comes to food is the only path moving forward because this is certainly not what we advocate
  3. And we certainly don’t want people to have an unhealthy relationship with their bodies. 

For us, the weight conversation can be a tricky one. What we really want to help people with is ‘reaching a healthy weight range’, and this is a term that we often use during clinical consultations. We are NOT about having that thigh gap… or that six pack. In fact, its common for us to ask clients to remove influences that promote this thinking from their lives… as it can be unhelpful. We are however aware that weight and health are intricately linked. You can not ignore one and acknowledge the other. 

Sometimes clients sit across from us and tell us that they need to lose weight or that they feel uncomfortable with their bodies. From a professional perspective, we know that in all honesty, their weight isn’t a problem at all. They may already be at a healthy weight range.. But fixated on becoming a particular shape or size, that perhaps they just aren’t meant to be. Sometimes, we focus on a magic number that perhaps just isn’t right for our own bodies. Some of us will naturally be leaner than others and that is ok. Sometimes, reaching the ‘magic number’ might actually cause ill health. Sometimes, it would require such rigid and unreasonable eating / exercise habits that it would be extremely detrimental. So for us, we always come back to the ‘healthy weight range’ and focus our support on helping our clients reach and accept this. It is the place where health will be good… both physical and mental! 

What IS a ‘healthy weight range’

  • It is NOT about being a size eight, with 20% body fat, or having visible abs, a thigh gap or fitting into a little black dress. 
  • It IS a place where you minimize your risk factors for certain metabolic conditions. 
  • It IS where can move freely without pain and exercise without struggling
  • It IS a place where you feel comfortable in your own skin
  • It IS a place that you can maintain by choosing good, healthy wholefoods, eaten consciously with the occasional treat without guilt. 

Our preferred tool to assist clients to achieve a healthy weight is the Metabolic Balance® program.

We really need to change the conversation and make sure that we are striving for a healthy weight range as opposed to the so-called “perfect body” that is sometimes portrayed as ideal. Let me tell you that the so-called “perfect body” that is portrayed at times is FAR from perfect. There is, as we talk about without clients such a thing as being too lean. 

If you reduce your body fat too much:

  • You will compromise your hormonal health
  • You may compromise your aspects like your fertility
  • You may even compromise your muscle mass and your bone density particularly later in life. 
  • And it’s likely mentally, that you won’t be in a good place. 

It is so important to us that our clients have a balanced relationship with food. That eating healthy doesn’t become stressful or mean there is no room for variation or occasional indulgences. 

When the motivation or the mechanism to become healthy becomes too stressful, then the benefits are outweighed by the additional stress that this causes. 

Sometimes people come into our clinic, thinking that we will help them attain the perfect body. Or build the ideal booty. This is NOT what we are about. Having developed quite a reputation as a ‘weight loss clinic’ (even though we have never labelled ourselves as this) we walk a delicate line…. We believe that health is absolutely linked to a healthy weight… but that the concept of a healthy weight needs to be redefined.

Thanks for reading. It’s difficult to express our thoughts clearly on this topic, but we feel it’s critical we communicate our stance on this issue. And its critical everyone knows…. you are so much more than a number of a scale!

Categories Uncategorized

What’s Coeliac Disease?

As we close off this week, we say goodbye to the end of Coeliac Awareness Week in Australia so I thought it was fitting to right a post about this misunderstood condition.

According to the Coeliac Australia website, 1 in 70 Australians have coeliac disease… but 4 out of 5 of them are walking around undiagnosed. So far in clinic just this year to date, I’ve have 7 of my clients tested privately for coeliac disease (a cost of about $60) and 6 of these have come back with positive antibodies. You could say I have a good hit rate when spotting this condition and its signs!

Coeliac Disease is an extremely serious condition and early diagnosis is ideal as it can have serious consequences if left untreated.  It is very different from gluten intolerance because it is autoimmune in nature, meaning that its a condition where the body essentially turns on itself. In the case of coeliac disease, the body begins attacking its own villi, which are tiny projections lining the small intestine allowing us to absorb nutrients from our food. When these start being destroyed, absorption is severely compromised. For this reason, early signs include a lack of energy (because fuel can’t be extracted efficiently from food), unexplained low iron levels, low B12 levels, depression and a visible lack of vitality. In some cases, bumps or rashes on the body may be present because having coeliac disease is a bit like being allergic to gluten. Gastrointestinal symptoms may range from generalized bloating, to ‘constant pins and needles’ in the gut, to full blown cramps and pain in the belly particularly after ingesting gluten. IBS like bowel motions may also be present. When its left untreated for a long time, the gut can simply become overactive to lots of different foods  because its so inflamed.

Coeliac disease can also be silent (symptomless), making it even more tricky to spot!

Long term, if left undiagnosed, we know that bone health will be affected (due to impaired nutrient absorption) and this condition has also been linked with infertility.

Coeliac disease does have a genetic component so anyone who relates to this symptom list who also has a relative with an autoimmune condition should discuss the possibility of coeliac disease with their health professional or book an appointment here.

Gluten free eating has become incredibly trendy in recent years and in part, I do believe this has contributed to less people being properly tested for coeliac disease. Firstly, some people simply remove gluten from their diet without being properly tested. I believe in the importance of diagnosis by your GP / a specialist because it generally equates for a much stricter approach to ‘gluten free’ plus you need to warn relatives as they may also need to be tested.

Secondly, i believe some people aren’t being tested because some health professionals  may be a little frustrated with everything being blamed on dairy or gluten! This is sometimes the feedback i get from clients anyway, when they have requested testing. I do think its important we ‘screen’ with lots of symptoms and test genuinely likely cases. I find it fairly easy with a few leading questions to determine if there may be a real problem with gluten or if its simply being avoided for other reasons.

Finally, we all need take ownership over our health by booking in with a health professional to thoroughly discuss any changes in symptoms as opposed to simply relying on Googling  information.

There are cases where testing for coeliac disease does come back negative but a person’s health may improve when they remain off gluten and this is typically coined as ‘non-coeliac gluten sensitivity.’

There are also cases when the dietary culprit for health problems, particularly gastrointestinal have nothing to do with gluten at all so again, its critical to seek professional health.

Gluten is not always the devil, but when it is, it can be the stuff of nightmares.

Think you may have a problem with gluten, be a coeliac or just have a really reactive gut and no idea why? Drop me a line and we can organise a time to sort it out.

 

Categories Advice, Health

Business and Health…. Same Same?

I was asked just the other week to write down the top 3 things that have assisted me to build a successful nutrition practice and after I wrote them down I realized the same principles can be applied to getting healthy. So business and health… not that different after all!

This should come as no surprise. When I’ve met highly successful business people in the past (I mean, ones with much bigger businesses than my own) many of them have a really healthy and balanced lifestyle. They KNOW that eating well, moving regularly and looking after their mental health as well, has a profound effect on the way they can perform in their businesses. Now let’s look at some of the principles to apply to business and health.

1. Consistency: forget about starting a health kick for a week or a month or because you want to look a particular way for an event and instead focus on making it a lifestyle, because you will realise that ‘choosing health’ will benefit your life every minute of every day. If your health journey encompasses weight loss, this point is crucial as i will help you to enjoy the entire process of change. This is a much better way to track your journey than simply watching the kilos drop on the scales (because they may not drop each week!).

In business, this applies too because you have to consistently show up and be present to your clients; you have to consistently work on your own education to better your product or service and you have to consistently produce great content to attract your clients and customers.

On an important, side not, consistency is different from perfection. Hail those who never drink, never have sugar, never eat anything bad… that is so not me and that’s OK (see point 3 below!). Consistency means making good choices most of the time AND even more importantly, getting back up, dusting off the icing sugar (😂) and reverting to a healthy routine when you do fall off the bandwagon. And as far as business is concerned… well, we all have those days when we convince ourselves we are going bankrupt!

2. Caring: I really care about my clients and anyone who wants to make consistently healthy choices needs to care about themselves. This is far from selfish, because the more you look after you, the better shape you will be in to care for others. I also ask people to care about the food they put in their mouth and the people that have provided it to us. Too much of what is eaten is mindlessly consumed. How often do we stop to be grateful to the farmers and primary producers that produce all of the lovely food that makes it into our kitchen each week?

In business, you have to care for the product or service you are creating and you have to belief that it fulfills a need. I’d even go so far to say that you really need to be governed by a ‘higher purpose’ to really visualize and subsequently create a great business.

3. Being ‘me’ or in this case being ‘you’: in health, this means that 2 people can eat differently, exercise differently, relax differently, respond different to certain foods, like or dislike different things etc. It doesn’t mean one is better than the other – it just means we are all individuals. Whilst there are some key principles to ‘health’ there are certainly differences that will also set us apart. For example, I can eat gluten and dairy is a regular part of my diet, but for many of my clients this can not be the case. 

In business, this means that your message or your product or your service may be different from others in a similar field but it works for you, because you are showing up as your authentic self and offering something that is different from everything else out there. 

METABOLIC BALANCE
Categories GENERAL HEALTH, HORMONES

Asthma, Metabolic Balance and One Women’s Journey

Case Report: Asthma, Metabolic Balance and One Women’s Journey

This is a synopsis of the journey of a 41 year old, mother of 2, lifetime asthma sufferer who began her Metabolic Balance journey in November 2018.

The purpose of this report is to draw attention to the power of individualized dietary interventions in the presence of chronic, debilitating symptoms. This client presented with very low energy, severe asthma that had her relying on a puffer multiple times per day, recurring chest infections and an inability to lose weight. In just 10 weeks following her individualised Metabolic Balance program this client has regained energy, is no longer tied to her preventer medication and as a result has released over 10% of her body weight. In this synopsis the client will be referred to as ‘P’ for privacy reasons.

Presenting Concerns at initial consultation (November 2018): P has suffered from debilitating asthma since the age of 21. In the last 12 months, possibly as a result of significant stress, her asthma symptoms had become even worst. Without a puffer literally within arm’s reach, P would feel panicked and stressed. Her breathing struggles meant a good night’s sleep was impossible. Her condition added to the physical stress on her body and she felt exhausted all day long, everyday. Her asthma meant she was fearful to exercise too much because she was left so breathless. Despite trying multiple dietary changes, including the elimination of all dairy and gluten at times, her asthma symptoms had not improved in the past. Despite trying lots of different interventions, P had also struggled to maintain a healthy weight range for most of her adult life. P suffered from multiple chest infections a year and some mild bloating as well.

Based on initial, comprehensive blood work and measurements, health conditions and symptoms an individualised Metabolic Balance program was formulated, which P began in early November. In contrast to some of the popular trends that are emerging now P’s plan:

-Did not exclude all dairy! Although no cow’s milk products featured on her personalised program.

-Did not exclude bread! A small amount of non-wheat bread was actually recommended with each meal.

-Did not exclude coffee or tea, although this was to be drunk sans milk and sugar and in sensible quantities (maximum 3 per day)

-Did not exclude white potatoes!

-Did not exclude legumes.

-Did not exclude fruit, with 2 fruits allowed per day with meals (although the types of fruit were individually determined to suit)

Did:

-Ensure adequate hydration (individually based on body weight)

-Ensure 3 quality meals were consumed daily featuring protein / carbs as vegetables, fruit and starch / healthy fats

-Not allow snacking. Outside of the 3 nutritious meals, there was nothing else. Does the average, sedentary Aussie really need to graze constantly?

Follow-up and Outcomes:

Just 1 week into the program, all digestive discomfort including bloating had resolved. The biggest struggle was remaining hydrated with adequate water, having not been consistent with water intake in the past.

By 5 weeks into the program, P described her asthma symptoms as noticeable less severe despite some significantly wild, hot, dry weather, which would normally worsen symptoms. At this point, a 10kg total weight loss had also been noted. Hydration levels were good.

At 8 weeks into the program, P reported the program being a part of her routine. Despite Christmas and a family holiday, P had followed the main principles of the plan easily, no longer having issues with cravings and motivated because the way she felt. Easy to hit water intake; feeling like the body needed it and thirsty if she starts to slacken off.

At 10 weeks into the program, P was not experiencing any breathing difficulties at all and had not used any medication to manage asthma for weeks. With the burden of this condition off her shoulders, P was looking to bring in a regular exercise routine. Total weight released at this point was over 14kg, more than 7% of P’s total body weight.

P, for the most part, has felt satisfied on her program, only struggling with hunger sporadically.

P is now at the 11 week mark in her Metabolic Balance journey and has just completed her first week of consistent exercise, with 4 brisk walking sessions accomplished! Unfortunately, her asthma symptoms did return during her exercise sessions. However, she will persevere with these sessions consistently over the next 3 weeks. As her fitness improves, it’s likely the asthma will be less of a problem. Having literally always dreamed of being able to run, stepping the intensity up will be the next step on the journey after this first month of focusing on brisk walking sessions.

This synopsis of P’s journey has been written based on the CARE case report guidelines to ensure the synopsis is as objective as possible. This summary was prepared in consultation with clinical notes taken during consultations. P has read this report in full and confirms it’s accuracy as well as providing consent for it to be published.

The take home points for the reader include:

  • Comprehensive and individualised nutritional prescriptions are a truly powerful solution to chronic and debilitating health conditions
  • Food groups don’t necessarily have to be excluded. Exclusions of any whole foods should be based on an individual’s reaction to them – not on a societal level.
  • When underlying health issues are resolved, the physical body is less stressed and inflamed, and true weight release occurs
  • This was a supported journey and it wasn’t just about food. Long term health changes will only come when someone’s thoughts and feelings around food are also changed. New habits, a new lifestyle and new goals have been created which are only possible as a result of these health improvements.

The next information evening about the Metabolic Balance program is this Thursday the 7th of February, from 6pm here at the clinic. Please phone or email to register your attendance.

Read more about Metabolic Balance here.