The nutrition science for weight loss in 2023 has started with a bang! Weight loss is always a popular topic at the beginning of the year as most decide yet again that we must do something about it once and for all.
Diets for weight loss are out there two a penny, but they don’t work for most of us in the long term because they are often too hard to stick to or they are restrictive and will involve removing food we really love!
With the diet industry flooded with new methods that promise you weight loss from keto, fasting, 5:2, weight watchers, slimming world, they all have there downfalls and mostly don’t work for us in the long term because they are hard to stick to but their biggest downfall is that they don’t help with our biggest obstacle…us! Our mindset has to be switched on with a clear goal in mind of what we are trying to achieve and why we want it so much. We must approach any new habit with an understanding of why it will be good with us and how we can make it stick to prevent falling into a cycle of yo-yo dieting.
Then there is the dreaded thought of having to count calories! I am actually a fan of understanding how much energy my food will provide and can use the calories as a rough guide but it isn’t an accurate tool for weight loss (and is a very boring exercise) and I will tell you why…
The science of weight loss has come a long way in a relatively short space of time with a new approach that promises a much bigger success rate that will involve adding rather than removing food from your diet! Now, that sounds like a way of eating I might enjoy and actually stick to!
Gut health for weight loss
The great thing about what I am going to share with you is that this way of eating will also improve your gut health and we know that is a health goal for longevity and avoiding disease. Our gut microbiome weighs approximately 3lb’s that is around the same weight as your brain! This makes sense when you consider that the enteric nervous system host to our gut microbiome is also known as the “second brain”. The gut bacteria have a profound affect in how we digest and metabolise food we eat and affects how we feel. The link between gut and brain is often relatable when we say we have a “gut feeling” or “gut instinct” and when we experience butterflies and feel emotion in the pit of our stomach.
Our gut bugs are nourished by plant-based food that are rich in fibre. They ferment the soluble fibre and produce short chain fatty acids and some vitamins which help to nourish the cells lining the gut. Evidence exists that correlates a disordered gut microbiome with weight gain and obesity however, it could be that someone who is overweight or obese are eating bad diet resulting in changes to the gut microbes leading to a deranged gut microbiome. Either way, looking after our gut microbes can be a helpful tool in anyone’s weight loss journey and should be ALL of our health goals for 2023.
Calories in/out is so yesterday!
Calories are the unit of measurement for energy in food and historically counting calories was our best way of measuring energy intake. However, all calories are not equal. Eating 100k/cal of blueberries is not equal to eating 100k/cal of chocolate. The blueberries contain calories but also provides us with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and fibre. It is the fibre content of food where we need to pay more attention when it comes to successful weight loss.
By complicating the digestive process by including fibre rich foods, we can reduce the amount of energy we absorb from food. For example, if you eat a tin of sweet corn and check the toilet next time you can clearly see that you haven’t digested and absorbed all of the corn. We can poop out lots of the calories therefore calorie counting isn’t an accurate way of tracking your energy intake. Additionally, the protein content of a food makes extracting energy even more difficult. Protein is a complex molecule and requires lots of steps to break it down and extract the energy. We need to chew it lots of times, mixing it with saliva and enzymes. It then reaches the stomach where our stomach acid and enzymes attack the protein, breaking it down for the small intestine to absorb each amino acid. This takes a lot of energy, in fact, of 100k/cal of steak, it will take your 30 k/cal in energy to digest so you aren’t always getting 100% of the calories you think you are. However, if you eat 100 k/cal of carbohydrate in its simple form i.e. sugar, you will get the full amount of energy as it is so easy to digest and absorb. We find the simplest sugars in all kinds of every day foods from cereal, bread, pasta, fruit juice, cakes, biscuits, sweets, fizzy drinks, and snacks.
What do we need to add in for weight loss success?
Quite simply we need to make calories more difficult to extract from food by including more protein and fibre and we need to move away from the snacking culture that is feeding us rubbish with ultra-processed foods.
I had the pleasure of meeting Prof. Tim Spector recently and got the chance to ask him my burning question so that I can pass this on to you and my followers and clients. I asked him “if you could give one piece of advice that you feel would solve most of the UK’s obesity problem what would it be” and he replied; “stop snacking and eat unprocessed food”.
This is the ethos and foundation of my Eat Better Feel Better online programme which so far has helped over 800 men and women lose weight and keep it off because it is a realistic, achievable way of eating we should all implement for our health. I will be your guide throughout the programme and give you amazing, simple recipes that will tantalise your taste buds and keep you satisfied whilst providing you with the science and exact steps to take for weight loss success without dieting. You will become part of an amazing online community that becomes a source of support, energy, enjoyment and fun. I think you will love it. Making changes alone is hard, come and join us. We start very soon!! Save your place today.
If you would like to find out more take a look: https://www.evienutrition.co.uk/healthy-eating-and-weight-loss
Key take aways:
- Feed the gut microbiome plenty of plant-based foods
- Increase fibre rich foods
- Include quality protein
- If you need a snack choose one high in fibre or protein
- Eat clean – unprocessed food as close to nature intended as possible
I would love to hear from you with your questions. Get in touch email firstname.lastname@example.org
Content Disclaimer The information contained is provided for information purposes only. The contents are not intended to amount to medical advice and you should not rely on any of the contents. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents without first seeking individual advice through privately consulting with Evie Whitehead registered, qualified, Nutritional Therapist. dipION, mBANT, CNHC.