Walking to work in Leeds
Here’s an interesting statistic gleaned from the I newspaper: Leeds city centre boasts the highest proportion of residents in the UK who walk to work. Admirable though this is, I can’t help but think that while the government pays lip service to encouraging us all to be more active, its contribution to this particular healthy lifestyle choice has been no more than under-investing in our transport system.
I read that the food industry is fighting back against celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s campaign for a sugar tax on soft drinks to help combat the obesity crisis amongst the young.
Jamie wants a 20p levy on every litre of soft drink containing added sugar. That would mean paying 7p extra for a 330ml can of Coca-Cola – money that could be used to widen education on healthy consumption.
The Food and Drink Federation says parents are best placed to make decisions about their kids’ diets. So shut it, Jamie, they yell.
Sounds like Coca-Cola is wasting billions, then, on promoting its products to us all if we already know what’s best.
Clearly, Jamie deserves our support. When the corporate lobby enjoys the ears of our politicians, the rest of us have to shout a little louder to be heard.
Are you eating yourself towards developing diabetes?
Diabetes in the UK
The figures speak for themselves – and they’re alarming. The number of people being treated in the UK for diabetes is now more than 3 million – up 60 % in a decade. And the vast majority of the cases relates to Type 2 diabetes, a preventable condition. The main cause of Type 2 diabetes is obesity. It’s time to wise up and take responsibility. Prevention is always better than cure and Type 2 diabetes can be avoided by eating sensibly and taking reasonable exercise thus avoiding weight gain and over production of insulin. The condition can be reversed by adopting a healthy lifestyle and losing weight, though progress need to be monitored medically with blood sugar levels being checked regularly. It’s time to wise up; it’s time to Man Up Lose Weight in Leeds.
Well, you may or may not be a big fan of Jamie’s, but you can”t say The Kitchen Crusader doesn’t know how to stir up a heated debate. Personally, I like the bloke for having the dumplings to speak up for us all even as food industry bosses grind their teeth in anger (or at least those who have teeth that have survived all those sugary breakfasts).
The campaigning cook doesn’t hold his tongue in the Sunday Times interview: “Normally, the people who solve your breakfast problem are the biggest w*****s in the food industry. When you analyse what they’re selling it’s sugary shite. And they win.”
I think by w*****s he means waffles and by shite he means coco pops and stuff like that.
I also read in the I newspaper that 14 out of 50 cereals aimed at children contain eight teaspoons of sugar per 100g – equivalent to seven-and-a-half chocolate fingers.
So you can see why Jamie’s getting more than a bit steamed up about it all.
I like this quote from him too, as it fits in so well with the Manup ethos: “I want to get as old as possible and to do that you’ve got to live a certain way. That’s the rules of the game.”
Butter Better? – Weight Loss in Leeds
There’s a slight shudder runs up my spine whenever I read a newspaper article claiming this or that about a particular food or foods. They’re usually giving us information on the latest weight loss fad. Today, we’re told that research shows that butter isn’t that bad for us. The i newspaper’s report into the studies at McMaster University in Canada, now published in the British Medical Journal, reads: “prevailing health advice for the past half century to cut down on foods that are rich in saturated fats, such as butter and cheese, may have been misguided.”
The real danger is the trans fats that are still to be found in some processed foods.
To be honest, I thought this had all been established years ago. Well, anyway, now we know. The worrying factor is that the notion that it’s now OK to spread your butter that bit thicker might, er, spread. The boffins inform us that this is not their intention.
Researcher Dr Russell de Souza says: “if we tell people to eat less saturated or trans fats, we need to offer a better choice.
“Unfortunately, in our review, we were not able to find as much evidence as we would have liked for a best-replacement choice.”
You could, of course, just boil your eggs not fry them to ensure better health and weight loss.
Why Eric Pickles is glad he’s not on benefits
Therapists are among many others well aware of the benefits of “positive reinforcement” in helping people to help themselves.
Rewards – sometimes praise, sometimes something more material – are incentives for people to make useful choices.
Naturally, politicians like to get in on the act too – usually favouring a more “stick and carrot” approach to resolving problems.
And then along comes David Cameron, who seems to like those “stick and carrot” techniques more than most – except for the carrot bit. So, now, I read in The Daily Telegraph that our country”s headmaster is considering plans to threaten fat folk on benefits with a withdrawal or reduction of their benefits unless they lose weight and stop being a burden on the rest of society.
By creating more despair does he expect to produce a fair and healthy nation? Or is it that he thinks that folk who can’t afford to eat will soon lose weight? Or maybe he just feels the poor haven’t been kicked quite hard enough yet to quite understand his messages.
Much as I’m in favour of people following healthier lifestyles for their own good as well as the nation as a whole – measures that target the most vulnerable are not the mark of civilized society.
Sugar drinks are now a no no in Tesco
I’ve no wish to be a Tesco blogger but for the second day in a row I’ve read with interest a newspaper article about the superstore giant. Tesco bosses have banned sugary juice drinks such as Ribena, CapriSun and Rubicon from its shelves in response to outcries over child obesity. It’s the lunchbox cartons and small bottles with added sugar that they’ve targeted. Such drinks will no longer be sold at Tesco from the beginning of the next school year. No-added sugar alternatives and cordial bottles will continue to be available. Tesco says it wants to help shoppers make healthier choices. A pat on the back for Tesco then.
Weight Loss- Replace White Rice with Cauli-Rice
Usually, I’m a bit sceptical about diet food claims. So I raised a weary eyebrow when I read in today’s Independent that Tesco is about to launch Cauli-Rice – that’s packaged “grained” cauliflower that you can use in place of rice. It cooks like rice, tastes like rice, is one of your five-a-day and it boasts only 25 calories per 100g (compared to the 140 calories contained in 100g of cooked white rice). As it’s natural rather than processed and allegedly tastes like the food it replaces, what’s not to like? The price maybe? There was no indication, in the article, what the healthy shopper might expect to fork out. You could, of course, just buy a cauliflower and reduce it to grains in the food processor. (There are instructions to be found online). But Cauli-Rice sounds like the easy option. Plus it will help with your weight loss goals.
How bad is sugar for your health?
Two separate BBC reports on weighty issues caught my eye this week. The first was on the fact that too many people are eating too much sugar and the second highlighted the lack of success experienced by a lot of slimmers.
Both reports were based on scientific research, which invites the observation that scientists are experts on stating the bleeding obvious.
That, in itself, doesn’t invalidate their points, though.
According to the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, which advises Public Health England, people should restrict their sugar intake to no more than 5% of their recommended calorie intake. I remember when I was aged about 6, having a cup of tea for the first time and adding 12 lumps of sugar ie about twice the recommended daily amount, which I daresay most folk would agree was a bit over the top. One of the problems nowadays, though, is that so much sugar is “hidden” – in other words it’s far too easy to ignore that most processed food is packed with the stuff.
On my weight-loss programme, clients are taught to be aware of what they eat and to hold a preference. Sugar intake can be like an addiction and adjusting attitudes through hypnotherapy is fairly straightforward, especially when a client recognises that his or her tastes have been conditioned over the years. And over the years their bodies have demanded increasing levels of sugar to satisfy their expectations. We can alter those perceptions.
The second report must have made depressing reading for many as it stated that the chances of obese men returning to a normal weight was one in 210 ( for women the figure was one in 124). These figures came from research conducted by Kings College, London. Lead researcher Dr Alison Fildes concluded that current weight-management programmes conducted by GPs are not working for the vast majority. Really? Well, that’s exactly what my friend and fellow hypnotherapist Steve Miller and I have been telling those in authority who choose to listen for years.
Reading more of the report, it seemed to me that the sentiment was that there was little to be done for those already obese because the figures proved that most were beyond help – which I know to be entirely wrong. It added that resources should now be focused on stopping people becoming fat in the first place. This, at least, is a laudable objective, though it remains to be seen how those in authority will approach it. In the meantime, all those who are overweight and wish to slim can be assured that I and fellow members of the ‘Association of Weight Loss Hypnotherapists’ (which is opening in September 2015) will not be abandoning them.
On a lighter note, if you pardon the pun, I had to smile at one of the posts on the BBC website responding to the latter report, which reads: “I had a great start in life in combatting obesity because my mother was a dreadful cook.”
Sadly, what more often seems to be, the reality is that because so many people don’t cook, they turn instead to too many takeaways and unhealthy ready-prepared meals.
Look out, then, for my healthy, sugar free easy recipes which I’m planning with French chef Raphael Ganet.
Reading the i newspaper today, I noticed an article about weight-loss surgery. Next to it was a case study of a nursery nurse Pauline Boyle, 52, from Middlesex. Two years after she’d had a gastric band fitted privately, at a cost of £6,250, she needed an operation on the NHS as the band slipped and she suffered the onset kidney failure.
This case study accompanied a report by journalist Sophie Goodchild after warnings by a top doc of the traumas suffered by some weight-loss surgery patients. Ms Goodchild quotes Ray Shidrawi, of London’s Homerton Hospital, who thinks that only in people who have a BMI above 40 – in other words those who are morbidly obese – does any benefit of weight-loss surgery outweigh the dangers.
Of course, there are others who think that everyone who is overweight should be offered surgery.
In my view it needs to be remembered that all invasive surgery carries a risk and there are other issues to note too.
Mr Shidrawi is quoted as saying: “I’ve got patients who haven’t eaten solid food for years.”
Apparently they survive on soup as anything else makes them vomit.
There is another way, of course.
And as a hypnotherapist, I’m keen to get out the message that surgery shouldn’t be regarded as a cure-all or some easy-fix solution and that people have it within their own power to change. It means that losing weight is not the impossible task they fear. It can be achieved with ease once an individual is helped to see the value of grasping responsibility for their own health and weight-loss.