Below is a more detailed overview of my key areas of focus and how this relates to your program.
When we think about optimising our health, our gut may not be the first organ we think of. And yet optimal health is almost impossible if we don't look after our gut function and the microbiome within it.
We used to talk about ‘you are what you eat,’ and that evolved to ‘you are what you digest and absorb’ but even more accurate is “you are what you feed your microbiome.”
Approximately 1/3 of daily caloric expenditure is used for digestion, assimilation and immune function while maintaining the gastrointestinal tract. With 70% of our immune system located in our gut, the health of our gut can be an accurate indication of our overall health.
The gut is a complex organ. It contains many more bacteria than cells in our body and if you stretched out our small intestine, apparently it would cover the size of a tennis court. It is the only organ system of the body with its own independently working lymphatic and nervous system.
Further there is bi-directional signalling between our brain and our gut. Our gut has been called our ‘second brain’ for good reason, which gives credibility to going with your ‘gut instinct.’
The gut also plays a crucial role in our immunity, both locally and systemically in the body, which is why it’s often one of the first places we focus on improving health.
Gastrointestinal dysfunction can have many causes including stress, low levels of stomach acid, food intolerances, lack of fibre, infections, bacteria or parasites to name a few.
Working through your daily diet and tracking any digestive symptoms that you may be experiencing is the first step. Functional testing allows us to explore digestive function more accurately giving us scientific evidence of possible bacterial dysbiosis, presence of parasites or pathogenic bacteria, inflammation, and other imbalances.
We then tailor your personal program according to your symptoms and test results, providing a comprehensive nutritional strategy, which may include food plans and a supplement protocol to support optimal gastrointestinal function
The program we present is about a lifestyle change. The food plan is based on scientific research proving benefits and focuses on gaining health in the process of losing weight. We don’t count calories; we improve nutrient density. We work with practical, flexible recipe plans that adhere to healthy principles.
We combine the eating plan with structured goal-mapping providing a clear path to where you would like to go and the steps to take you there. We incorporate tools to help motivate behaviour change to make sure those goals are achieved.
Fad diets may present a quick fix solution but are often unachievable and unsustainable in the long term and can result in regaining the same or more weight.
Weight loss programs are personalised and take into account the amount of weight you want to lose as well as your dietary and lifestyle preferences. We also take into account any physiological imbalances which can include hormonal, adrenal or thyroid function.
Functional testing helps us to uncover imbalances and informs a targeted approach.
This can include a detoxification program, reviewed dietary and exercise plans and well as lifestyle changes and stress reduction techniques.
Much more than just another diet
Our hormones are chemical messages that help to “turn on” or “turn off” cellular processes that control appetite, growth, stress, blood sugar, sleep cycles, sex drive, and sexual function, to name just a few. They are involved in some way in most bodily functions — from the basic (determining hunger and heart rate) to the complex (co-ordinating reproduction and emotions).
Male hormones are generally stable, but female hormones ebb and flow through the monthly menstrual cycle. It may feel like you want to fight your hormones for about half the month and then feel at more ease in your body for the rest of the month.
Major hormone-secreting glands in the body include the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, thymus, adrenal glands, pancreas, thyroid, ovaries, and testes and these glands make up the body’s endocrine system.
You could think of your hormone health as a well-co-ordinated orchestra with the conductors of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, but sometimes a few of the instruments (hormones) go out of tune (balance).
A number of factors can contribute to hormonal imbalances resulting in low or high levels of oestrogen, progesterone, cortisol and more. These can include nutritional inadequacies, stress, toxic exposure, inefficient detoxification to name just a few.
Hormonal imbalances may be experienced as irregular cycles, increased symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome, weight gain, problems with fertility or sex drive.
Foundational nutrition is the starting place for hormonal health. Balancing blood sugar, ensuring optimal intake of proteins and essential fats, colour and variety and fibre. Thereafter we need to dig a little deeper to consider lifestyle factors of sleep, stress, movement and support.
Functional testing provides further valuable information about hormonal health and can include blood, saliva and urinary profiles. They all offer different information about possible underlying cause of hormonal imbalances.
We can discuss the most appropriate option for you during your consultation.
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The Metabolic Balance ® program has 4 phases to achieve a metabolic reset.
It starts with 2 days of light eating to provide a gentle detoxification focusing on vegetables and fruit.
Phase 2 lasts for 14 days and provides the backbone of the program reminding the body how to use stored fat rather than sugar as an energy source.
Phase 3 re-introduces fats and oils, exercise and a weekly treat meal. And Phase 4 is the final maintenance phase.
The plan is based on '8 Rules' which are evidence-based nutritional guidelines for weight loss. They help structure your eating not only in terms of what to eat, but also when and how best to eat, as well as including optimal hydration.
The plan is generally low carb and balances blood sugar with a 5-hour gap between the 3 meals a day in order to control blood glucose and appetite; this helps to optimise insulin and cortisol, two of the most important hormones linked with weight management and well-being.
The plan provides structure with appropriate portion sizes (and doesn't count calories!). However there is also flexibility within the meal options providing a practical and sustainable weight loss solution.