Healthy weight management

What does weight management mean?

For many people, weight loss, slimming, dieting, shaping up (whatever you choose to call it) is a life-long struggle and involves a lot of disappointment, negative body image and, often, worry, feelings of hopelessness and damage to self-confidence.

Yet, being in control of your weight and managing it in a controlled, healthy and long-term way (weight management) is central to ensuring long-term health, fitness and even happiness and confidence. Contrast this with “yoyo dieting”, crash diets and seasonal dieting, which are bad for the body and much harder to both achieve and maintain.

Overweight people are at increased risk of numerous ailments, which range from heart disease and high blood pressure, to type-2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing difficulties and many more. Luckily, it is not actually as difficult or confusing as perhaps you might think to get your weight under control in a healthy way – so hang in there!

Recent trends

Weight has been one of the leading health concerns of the Western world in recent years (not least because of COVID-19). Obesity in Britain, for example, is swiftly approaching the chart-topping statistics of the United States. And it is not just adults that have been getting larger – children’s weight is a broadening concern.

How to reduce body-weight in a healthy way

Healthy weight loss is certainly not about extreme dieting or weight loss fads.

Effective weight management is about much more than just focussing on the numbers, like your weight and calories. It is about shifting the way you think about food, starting with a healthy routine which involves permanent changes in daily eating and beneficial exercise habits.

Essentially, healthy weight management is a combination of:

  • optimum nutrition (a well-balanced diet) and
  • a realistic exercise routine.

This doesn’t mean having to live on greens, without treats. Nor does it mean having to go to the gym 7 days a week.

It could possibly mean eating and/or drinking certain things in moderation, while increasing the volume of health foods. And, in terms of physical acitivity, it could mean doing as little as 15 minutes of exercise (such as walking or jogging) every other day – whatever meets your needs, taking into account your own particular health issues and circumstances.

Why so many people give up

One of the hardest things about introducing any lifestyle change is the ability to make that change last for the long term. We have all had the experience – every year, we make promises to eat more healthily, to drink less alcohol, to do more exercise etc. We start off well and, even with the best of intentions, in the majority of cases we slowly revert back to our old easy and ingrained habits.

One of the key causes of this is that the change was either put in place too fast and in a drastic way, and/or it was an unrealistic aim for the long-term.

A very common example is that, nearly all people attempt to completely do away with all treats from their diet. It’s naive to think that you are not going to have, for instance, a chocolate bar or packet of crisps ever again – and the reality is, that is not even necessary for healthy weight management. This approach usually end in binging.

Similarly, very few people are going to be able to sustain going to the gym seven days a week. Again, this is not necessary and, in fact, is not even constructive. Your body needs rest in between exercise.

So, people set themselves up to fail and lose morale when they do.

How to lose weight successfully

To introduce long-term lifestyle change (which is the key to successful weight loss), it’s important to think of a range of physical exercises that you really enjoy and can pick from to keep your routine interesting.

Furthermore, one of the many common fallacies about losing weight is that the meals / foods you can eat are very restricted. That is simply not true. While you will certainly need to cap your consumption of certain foods (especially those high in saturated fats and sugar), you are not automatically barred from enjoying the treats you like every now and then.

A nutritionist or personal trainer can help you to better understand precisely what varieties of food you should eat on a regular basis for a healthy, well-balanced diet and healthy metabolism, and which you should view as treats, to have on the odd occasion. Meal plans can be helpful in the early stages, while you get used to the new regime and break old eating habits.

The key is to understand that no two people are identical and so their is no “one size fits all” diet that will magically make you lose weight. Instead of a diet, you need a meal plan and exercise programme that are specifically tailored to you and your body.

Variety and moderation are the keys to your success!

A little extra support – health supplements…

If you find that you want a little additional help, you may want to think about including weight management supplements in your programme.

Not only can these help you to top-up on additional vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients that will support your body through the weight management process (including support for energy levels, metabolism and immunity etc), they can also assist with resolving any underlying health issues that may be hampering your weight loss efforts. Common examples include digestive problems and hormonal imbalances. 

Plant-based protein powders and tasty light meal shakes can also provide a quick, easy and healthy snack substitute, that keep you feeling full and away from unhealthy treats in-between meals.

For more information, visit our main website

Why do I have bad breath?

What is bad breath?

Bad breath can come in many forms, levels of severity and can even be triggered by many a wide range of factors.

Simply speaking, it is an unpleasant odour eminating from the breath of a person. Chronic bad breath is referred to as halitosis. Less commonly, it is also called fetor oris, ozostomia or stomatodysodia.

What causes bad breath?

Often identifying the cause of bad breath is the first step towards treating this entirely preventable condition. As mentioned above, it can be caused by a wide variety of things. For example, smoking, dry mouth, a medical condition (such as diabetes) or diet (for example, a diet high in protein or other acid-forming foods, eating garlic and onions or drinking too much coffee or alcohol).

The most common causes of bad breath are preventable and easily treated. However, in some cases, chronic halitosis may indicate an underlying problem in the stomach or digestive system. It is this potential cause that will be considered below.

The digestive system

The digestive tract extends all the way from the mouth right through to the anus. It therefore makes sense that any problems in the digestive tract (such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, for example – see below), can result in bad breath. As such, it is possible for anyone to suffer from halitosis (including both vegetarians and those who eat meat).

Stomach, intestinal and bowel problems may all be a contributing factor to bad breath. Digestion begins in the mouth. Saliva has digestive enzymes which begin the digestion process, and the type of food eaten can affect the food chemistry of the mouth. Saliva will also pick up odours from food within several hours after it has been eaten. Odours are strongest from carbohydrates (sugars, starches and cellulose), less strong from proteins and non-existent from fats. Bacteria in the mouth react with the decaying food and drink residue and can be the source of foul odour.

Digestive enzymes and nutrition

Digestive enzymes become more important as we get older, because their production by the body decreases as we age. A high level of the naturally-occurring digestive enzymes in foods is also destroyed when they are cooked.

If our bodies are enzyme deficient, they must divert nutrients to manufacture those digestive enzymes, which would otherwise be used to make intracellular enzymes such as catylase and SOD, which protect cells as antioxidants. Lower levels of digestive enzymes can also potentially lead to excess gas formation and putrefaction in the intestines. For some, this can contribute to bad breath gases travelling through the bloodstream and to the lungs, where they are exhaled.

Dairy allergy, lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity

A dairy allergy or lactose intolerance could also be the cause of bad breath. If you think that this could be the case, you could try eliminating all dairy products from the diet temporarily to see if they are the culprit.

Even if you do not suffer from a dairy allergy or intolerance, some people find that the elimination of dairy products can nonetheless help with the control of bad breath odours. This is because dairy products can thicken mucous in the mouth and contribute to the anaerobic environment bacteria thrive in, leading to the production of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). It also supplies lots of protein used in the breakdown by bacteria to form VSCs.

For those individuals who are intolerant to gluten (a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related cereals) and are also suffering from halitosis, it is important to ensure that you are drinking a great deal of water to wash away thick mucous and bacteria and to keep the mouth flowing freely with saliva. This decreases mouth pH and increases oxygen, both of which help control halitosis.

Candida albicans

Candida is an overgrowth of yeast (referred to as candidiasis), which usually starts in the gastrointestinal tract and then gradually spreads to other parts of the body. It is a resilient and invasive parasite, which usually attaches itself to the intestinal wall and can (if left untreated) become a permanent resident of the internal organs. One of the known symptoms of candida is bad breath. This is because an abnormally high level of fungal organisms in the intestines may result in increased fermentation of the carbohydrates you eat. This produces a variety of toxins and gases.  

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder, which results in unusual sensitivity and muscle activity. It is sometimes referred to as spastic colon, spastic colitis, mucous colitis or nervous stomach and is a functional disorder, where the function of the bowels may be abnormal, but no structural abnormalities exist.

It is widely accepted amongst naturopathic practitioners and other complimentary and alternative health therapists that bad breath can be a sign of long-term problems in the colon. They believe the health of the gastrointestinal system is integral to overall well-being, and support for IBS (and bad breath symptoms) often involves seeking to restore gut health (including a healthy balance of bacteria).

Dysbiosis

In adults, bad breath is often one of the first signs that normal bacteria levels in the gut are imbalanced. Dysbiosis (also sometimes called dysbacteriosis) refers to a microbial imbalance on or within the body; in other words, an imbalance of “good” versus “bad” bacteria. When levels of friendly bacteria in the digestive system are low, partially digested food decays, producing foul gas and toxemia.

Certain health foods, organic products and food-based supplements (such as herbal colon cleansers, high-strength multi-strain probiotics, digestive aids and cleanse and detox supplements) can offer support in resolving bad breath, particularly where this is linked to digestive health.

For more information, visit our main website

Benefits of organic food

Discover the benefits of organic foods

When it comes to shaping your daily diet, organic foods have a great deal to offer you. If you are trying to understand the ways in which they can be beneficial, keep reading.

The modern world

Choosing organic food, using organic products and supplementing your diet with organic vitamins, herbs and food supplements is a great way to support the general health and well-being of you and your family in these modern times, in which mankind has unfortunately had a negative impact on the natural environment and the food chain.

Exposure to toxins

We are exposed to more toxic chemicals on a daily basis than ever before and the number keeps increasing. This places a significant burden on the body and, in particular, the liver and other detoxification organs.

It is therefore important that we take action by avoiding as many chemicals as possible (particularly in our diets) and ensure that we are keeping as healthy as possible in order to cope with this toxic world.

Live a life without toxins wherever possible

Globally, the awareness of the environmental harm and potential threat to human and animal health caused by deadly toxins (such as, for example, DDT, dieldrin and other insecticides), along with the excessive use of chemical fertilizers, has boosted the interest in organic farming and produce.

In recent years, health and the environment have become primary concerns for many people across the Western world, and consumers have become far more proactive in taking their health, and the future of the planet, into their own hands. As a result, organic products are now very much in demand, because living an organic lifestyle benefits both of these things.

Health benefits

Research has indicated that food produced using natural means typically has considerably lower quantities of nitrates and residues of toxic chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides than non-organic foods.

What’s more, recent research* showed that crops grown using organic farming methods are of a much higher nutritional quality than their non-organic counterparts.

If organically-grown produce contains higher levels of nutrients than their non-organic counterparts, the same goes for organic health supplements.

Organic supplements

Organic food supplements are natural products, which are produced from organically grown fruits, vegetables, plant-based foods etc.

They are not processed or synthesized and they have had no chemical compounds (including additives) introduced into their plants at any point – even at the time of harvesting.

Why are organic supplements needed? Is a balanced diet enough?

Given the realities of modern farming methods, manufacturing processes and diminishing soil quality, organic foods are helpful in terms of increasing your daily nutrient intake and keeping your toxic load down. However, sadly, even organic foods tend to require transportation, refrigeration and shelf-time; all factors that have an impact on nutrient content.

Organic supplements can therefore offer peace of mind, when it comes to ensuring that food nutrients are preserved. It is also possible to access a far higher number of ingredients (and therefore nutrients) in powder form, compared to whole food form. For example, organic superfood blends can cram in as many as 42 ingredients – not something you are likely to replicate in a salad!

Provided they are in raw, food form, such supplements can offer a clever way to boost your daily nutrition. And for some people, who are short on time or money, it is as close as they can get to enjoying the benefits of fresh, home-grown produce. These supplements offer excellent value for money, taking into account their ingredients and nutrient to calorie ratio.

*Information on the study sourced from the Soil Association website at https://www.soilassociation.org/organic-living/why-organic/its-nutritionally-different/
https://research.ncl.ac.uk/nefg/QOF/crops/documents/BJN%20Baranski%20et%20al%202014.pdf
https://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/archive/2015/10/organicvsnon-organicfood/

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