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Condition - Weight Management - A Case Study

By Emma Mihill ND NT DipCNM MBANT

Background

Mrs K is 51 years old. She is 5’ 3” and was overweight at

10 stone and 11 pounds. 

Health concerns

Mrs K’s concerns were an unhealthy weight, tiredness, decreased energy, dullness around her eyes and catarrh.

Strategy

Mrs K was asked to send a three-day food diary in advance of her consultation. Her diet included:

Breakfast:

Orange juice and aloe gel drink or Coffee or Nothing

Mid-morning:

Banana with  a cup of coffee

Lunch:

Nothing or Cereal

Mid-afternoon:

Pack of sweets

Evening meal:

Vegetables in oyster sauce with

mayonnaise and two packs of mini

Cadbury’s buttons, with 2 glasses

of Prosecco or Nothing

Mrs K led a busy life, generally only making time to eat if she was socialising with friends. All of her meal choices were last-minute and unplanned. For this reason, I needed to ensure that the changes I made to her diet and lifestyle did not leave her feeling that they were unachievable.

Rather than focusing just on weightloss, it was important to educate her about her current food choices and why they would have a big impact on her current health issues. Her food diary gave room for a certain amount of improvement for increasing and encouraging a nutrient-dense diet, but most importantly, she would need to understand why.

Dietary recommendations

Mrs K’s diet was high in sugar and incredibly low in protein, vegetables and essential fatty acids. She was having sugar in almost every meal. Her first goal was to have proper meals instead of grabbing food on

the go. I explained to her that the weight gain around her middle

could be stress- and sugar-related

and that there were plenty of other food options.

1.         Eat proper meals – make sure you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner

            Protein was non-existent in Mrs K’s diet, which would explain her tiredness, low energy and skin dullness. I made certain she understood about the importance of essential amino acids acting as the building blocks for every single cell in the body and how they can help to sustain blood sugar levels. She understood that reducing her sugar snacks and increasing protein every time she ate would encourage weightloss, as she would feel more satiated and have more energy without the stimulants.

2.         Eat protein at EVERY meal

            Mrs K was a “glugger” when it came to fruit juices. She thought the only healthy part of her day was the orange juice in the morning! She was surprised when I explained that fruit juice counted towards her sugar intake because of the lack of fibre and high fructose content. Sugar is also very mucus-forming, and may have been contributing towards her catarrh. She was advised to reduce all forms of sugar and opt for wholefoods:

3.            Eliminate orange juice

4.            Eliminate white, refined foods:

            a. White bread

            b. White pasta

            c. White rice

Mrs K needed something quick to eat for breakfast that included protein.

I suggested a breakfast shake in the morning that contained B vitamins to support energy metabolism, alongside sunflower, sesame, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, rice protein and white beetroot to provide protein and fibre.

I also asked her to add two tablespoons of cold milled flax seed powder for additional protein and important essential fatty acids.

For lunch, she was to eat protein with salad/vegetables. She often passed food chains that had healthy options:

  • Mackerel with superfood salad
  • Miso soup, hummus with carrots and Ryvita
  • Vegetable soup with protein (chicken, fish, lentils)

For her evening meal, I advised her to make half of her plate a rich, variety of colourful vegetables, cooked in any way, with her source of protein.

I also advised her to drink two litres of water every day and carry good protein-rich snacks in her handbag. I told her to reduce her dairy consumption to see if the mucus improved. This was a six-week plan, which involved only the breakfast shake and flax seed as important additions to the diet. Although exercise is great for weight loss protocols, even though I broached the subject, I could see that already the changes were enough for her to manage.

Duration

After six weeks, Mrs K revisited me a changed woman. She informed me her weight had fallen off, which she thought was largely from just cutting out the fruit juice. She said her clothes fitted her properly again and she was on the verge of buying a new wardrobe. Her dullness around her eyes had been replaced by a smooth, shiny complexion and her energy levels were better. The catarrh issue had significantly improved.

Her diet now consisted of:

•            Breakfast: Either breakfast shake with flax seeds and soy milk or blueberries and Brazil nuts

•           Lunch: Raw food salad with sprouted seeds and beans or a superfood salad with mackerel

•            Dinner: Lots of vegetables and salad with some protein in the evening

OUTCOME

Mrs K had followed the plan remarkably well and had felt huge improvements as a result. She struggled with her protein in the evening and this was because of a lack of preparation. However, I advised her to stock up on easy protein sources, such as hummus, prawns, mussels, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and tahini, to save her time.

COMMENTS

The lack of basic nutrition in Mrs K’s diet was a definite health issue. By giving her simple rules to follow and opening her options for quick, healthy food, she was able to not only lose weight, but also to enjoy her food again and be mindful of the fact that she knew what she was doing was an educated choice.


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