healthy eating

Renee McGregor: “Orthorexia – When Healthy Eating Goes Bad” | Talks at Google

[Music] thank you very much for coming this afternoon and thanks to Louise and Google food talks for inviting me to speak so I'm going to talk to you a little bit about orthorexia and any of you have any idea what author X here is some of you nodding some saying no not so sure what would you what would you say 4x here was what was your kind of ID what's your kind of definite yeah pretty much you've pretty much hit the nail on the head that's exactly what it is so so yeah it is it's I think it's a really interesting topic it's a fairly new term it was only sort of brought to our attention in 1996 when Steve Brockman he's a physician in the States kind of identified it as a as an issue with a lot of his clients who were kind of trying to be healthy but it almost brought the point where it was obsessive so when you break down orthorexia it is basically the obsession with being pure of eating correctly is the exact term and I think it's come about because there are so many kind of ideas around what healthy is so kind of my one of my questions to you is what does it actually mean to be healthy in 2017 I mean what are your thoughts I asked this whenever I do workshops and I do workshops with schools with athletes with coaches with school nurses a lot as well because they do a lot of work around disordered eating and sort of poor relationships with food it's really interesting what comes back so I'd love to know what you think healthy eating is or what health what it means to be healthy in 2017 yep yep yep yeah I love the fact that you've picked up on the term balance we'll go back to that at some point anybody else want to add anything else yep yeah and I think one of the things I want to make really clear here is sometimes people get the wrong idea about what I'm trying to promote I am a dietician so I do promote a very healthy way of eating which does mean majority eating lots of fruit vegetables whole grains actually in line with some of the things that you do here at Google so it is it is what I promote what I want to bring to the attention here is that actually sometimes in some people we can get a little bit extreme and when it becomes extreme it starts to affect your health and your mental health that's when it becomes a problem and that's what I'm seeing more and more of and so that's kind of what I want to talk about today so yes so one of the challenges I have as a practitioner is that there are so many messages about food I'm sure every single day you pick up your phone you look at magazines and there's always something new what should we eat who should we follow what should we do and obviously while I'm a big fan of social media I think it can do lots of really positive things and gets really positive messages out there I'm also slightly nervous of it because I think it creates influencers that don't always give us the right messages so I mean these are just a few I'm sure you know all of these people and and I struggle with this because on that page on that slide there's not a single person who is actually qualified to give out nutritional advice so from my point of view when you are putting stuff out on Instagram or you're doing vlogs or you know you're writing articles writing books even actually you're kind of giving some misinformation and the problem comes not to a majority of us majority of us can read something and go yeah I'll take a bit of that but I'm gonna forget about that that's okay the problem comes when you are somebody that maybe is a little bit susceptible to developing a poor relationship with food and again I'll go through what that would look like so I guess some of the big trends that have come out over the last few years eat clean I think we all hear about that is always hashtag eat clean that's the big thing it's almost like a badge of honor I mean the number of athletes and clients that have come to see me and they're like I always eat clean and they're really excited about the fact that they're actually saying that to me and I'm like okay and they're then really a bit like well you don't seem impressed and I'm like well what does that mean what does eat clean actually mean because from my point of view if I don't follow your rules then somehow it makes me feel like I'm eating dirty which I know I don't so for me labeling and terms and hashtags while they're brilliant and useful these things can be really quite they can be quite detrimental to a lot of people so eating clean green juices superfoods these are all things we hear about all the time and I am NOT for one second saying that you shouldn't have a green juice and you shouldn't eat foods that are seem to be super although I don't ever believe in a particular one food being super it's more about your collection of foods that then gives you a balanced diet and all the nutrients you need in the same way I don't demonize any foods because I don't believe one food group alone or one food is what is going to cause you negative health problems so some of the common misconceptions sugar let's talk about sugar what do we know about sugar what do we hear about sugar anyone want to tell me what yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah really really really good answer and the thing is for me is that I think it's just been it's been blown out of proportion as well because again we have bloggers and influencers who talked about refined sugar-free and sugar-free cakes but then you look at the recipes and they're full of maple syrup and coconut sugar and that it somehow is deemed healthier but actually the end of the day sugar is sugar whether it is molasses honey white sugar maple syrup and one of my biggest kind of challenges to some of the bloggers and I have been on stage with one but I won't go there and is that actually the end of the day you say that white sugar is processed well it's no different to removing the sap from coconut to make coconut sugar it's exactly the same process there is no difference so you cannot say that sugar you know white table sugar is processed and coconut sugar isn't because of the same thing biggest thing about all of it though is that they all give you the same amount of energy per hundred grams and they all I used in the body in exactly the same way the body cannot do you know cannot kind of go oh this is coconut sugar it's better for me so I'm going to use it in this way it doesn't it just literally breaks it down uses it in the same way if you eat any product to excess any product to excess of what your body needs it will get stored as excess the only thing I would say potentially in kind of kind of in defense of some of these other sugars is that things like maple syrup honey they are sweeter so potentially you could use less potentially but that's probably the only thing I would say so otherwise that for me whether you're using table white table sugar in in your cake or whether you're using honey it makes no difference it's still a cake enjoy it embrace it because actually there's nothing wrong with having cake or dessert every now and again and that's kind of what I want to get across I don't have I get really cross when I see people using having a brownie and they'll be it's brilliant it's really healthy for me because not only is it sugar free it's also gluten free and it's like it's still a brownie it still gives you the same amount of energy it's still going to use in the body in exactly the same way actually from my point of view if I want a brownie I'm just going to eat a brownie simple as that similarly plant-based milks now I get a lot of grief about plant-based milks because people seem to think that I'm like you know a real a real Nazi against them the only reason I struggle with plant-based milks is because they are promoted in the wrong way there is nothing wrong with using almond milk or oat milk or hemp milk or whatever you want to use if you prefer the taste but don't kid yourself that you're going to get the same nutrients as you would from cow's milk that's the only thing I would say so I'm not anti any of them you know I you know I would probably say that achieved for some people the taste of almond milk is better than cow's milk they prefer it great but don't kid yourself that you're going to get the same nutrients this is particularly I find with with athletes because obviously when it comes to working in within the performance athletes that I work with milk is such an important recovery drink because it's the right composition of carbs and protein so if they then think they can recover in the same way with almond milk they don't and you can see from the kind of table that if you look at 200 mils of almond milk versus 200 mils of skim milk almond looks just pretty much expensive water so what I say to people is by all means use it but don't kid yourself in thinking it's got the same nutrients a lot of the milks like I say milks I have to do this because it's not really milk is it but a lot of the the the plant-based milks are fortified with calcium now which is a benefit I did a talk two days ago in Belfast and there was a professor who's very big on her bone health research and one of the things that she came what she was talking about is that actually the intake of calcium is so important for our bone health and it doesn't matter how you get it but it's really important if you are below par even especially when you're you're sort of in your early late teens early 20s it can have a real negative impact on your health in your sort of 60s and 70s so it's a really important area gluten I've already mentioned gluten again I don't have an issue if people want to be gluten free that's entirely up to them what I find interesting is that when I first qualified as a dietician many many years ago nobody wanted to be gluten free like celiacs hated being gluten free because actually if there wasn't an awful lot of choice out there and the foods out there they were provided were really high in fat really unpalatable and really high in salt and nobody wanted to do it and now it just amazes me that we've got so many different options that people want to be gluten free because they totally believe it's healthier there is no evidence in any article you will read a proper credible scientific article that is that glute being gluten free will benefit you if you don't need to be obviously if you have a medical reason then of course you have to follow a gluten-free diet and I think what again I find really interesting is that the athletes and the clients I work with who do have to be gluten free they really moan they don't like it they still don't think it's fair but at the end of the day you know I think it's just been highlighted as a kind of a cure for immune problems and sort of digestive problems often the reason why somebody who goes gluten-free feels better is because actually when you change any aspect of your diet when you sort of decide you're going to follow a new thing you become more mindful of what you eat if you become more mindful of what you eat you get a balanced diet and actually that's what makes you better that's what makes you feel better it's not in a throw that you've gone gluten free or sugar free or you know all dairy-free it's actually you just become more mindful and that's something that I hope you know is a message I really want to get out there so what is the impact of this kind of hashtag eating clean or you know what where does it come into how do they become orthorexia so author X as we said is kind of it's the obsession with eating correctly it's with eating pure and the problem is what might start off as a really innocent I'm just going to try and make myself feel a bit better I'm just gonna eat just kind of try and cut out maybe you know cut out the takeaways or cut out the biscuits and cakes everyday or whatever is that's fine we all do that I have weeks where I go oh my goodness I've eaten so much chocolate I really need to have two weeks where I don't eat very much that's normal that's not me being obsessive when it becomes obsessive is actually when you cannot deviate so when you start restricting and you you basically cannot deviate and it starts to have an impact on things like your social life so sadly I see lots of people that come into clinic and they think they're fit and healthy they think that you know they're doing everything right but when they can't join in with their friends and I personally find that really really sad because for me food is more than just fuel food is about relationships it's about networking it's about bringing people together and it's so important it's kind of you know when I sit at a table I can often spot someone who's got food anxiety because they're not joining in they're so fixated on whether they can eat this one or eat it they kind of miss out on that real kind of connectivity time with that you know with the people you want to be with I know when I'm my my job takes me all over the country and actually in different to different countries as well and I really miss out on that time with my friends so use the first thing I do when I get back into the UK or back home is kind of organize a meal out with some friends I don't care what we're eating I'm just there because I actually want to spend some time with my friends but it's just nice to do it over food and wine so for me that's a really important thing so the problem we have is once you've got somebody that's following these very strict food rules they follow it because it makes them feel very safe and controlled it gives the think to you to fixate on and focus on but it can also then start to create things like vitamin mineral deficiencies so if you go dairy free and you don't replace it correctly you will end up with maybe a deficiency in calcium and also potentially phosphorus these are really important for bone and teeth and also muscle contraction so that can be a problem you might if you decide to go gluten-free you actually might find you don't eat as much whole grain actually whole grains are really important for the gut biome and we all are hearing loads more about how important the gut biome is and how that can help your mental health and how that can also help the digestive system but again people don't realize that these things are really important so from my point of view what people set out to kind of think they're going to be healthier actually makes them more unhealthy and this is what author X series and the problem is they can't step away from it they find it too difficult so I guess the question is why why do some people like if you if what you know we're in it we're in a room here full of people not everybody in this room is ever gonna have any issues like often people like we said earlier will no know you'll read all these new things you think I'll take a bit of that but I'm not bothered about that like if somebody said to me that you can never eat chocolate again I'd be I'd be completely and utterly kind of distraught so you know but that's just that's just me so why do some people look for food for the answer well it's really about your personality type and again I'm not saying that everybody's got this personality type it's going to develop an eating disorder because if I when I was writing the presentation I thinking that's actually me and then I said people I need to be really careful about that but but yeah we know from studies that generally speaking it tends to affect people who are high achievers that they're very determined they're very self-critical they do have an obsessive streak in them that's kind of the biggest element of it and they're very sensitive so what happens is that they have that kind of that that perfect framework for where things can go wrong and like I said not everybody will and I think it's really important that I highlight that you know you could have all those like I said you can overwork comercio traits and actually completely fine a lot of it is to do about your experience so as we go through life we all experience different situations different circumstances and we interpret that in our own way it's our perceptions and it's those perceptions that can then start to create this very negative mindset and that's where you then find that people are looking for something to help them make them feel better and it's much easier to look at food training you know some other element it's much easy to focus on that and go well if I control that I'm going to feel so much better when actually what they don't appreciate is that a lot of the issues are going on with inside them because they're high achievers because they're people that are always want to do the best they never know when that's enough they never know when that when they've hit that ceiling and actually they're very very bad at accepting failure and this is why actually I see this a lot in athletes because they are that very driven personality type they hate failing obviously because obviously to be Olympic or Paralympic athlete you have to to kind of you don't need you don't want to fail but actually the way I interpret it with my athletes is but you know what doesn't matter you learn from every experience so if you didn't do that well this time let's let let's kind of let's reflect on it and work out what went wrong and then we try and fix it for next time and these are things I'd love to be seeing in schools more because this sort of mindset will develop in a school this is you know when you're you're in you think about teenage boys teenage girls and the bullying and the kind of chastising and stuff that can happen this is when these things can be set up so while that might not be the time you develop your problem if you are somebody that struggles with your sense of self and your sense of self-confidence and all of these things will be happening a lot younger and it's only when you get to a certain point there'll be one particular thing that will trigger it but actually the the process has started very early on and that's why it's such a difficult condition as well to help because sometimes the the feelings and the emotions are so deeply ingrained it's really hard to step away from it and it's much easier to focus on trying to eat clean and be purer then actually deal with that real negative kind of emotion that's going on inside you because that makes you feel uncomfortable so already said author Eckstein obsession with being pure and Steve Bratton was that was that was the MD that kind of identified it so what I wanted to do was give you a little bit of an idea of what goes on in the mind like how it works because none of this is intentional that's the other thing is that nobody goes out to develop an eating disorder because it's really a very miserable place but a lot of it is about just not feeling that you're doing enough you know you kind of like you know I don't feel like I'm performing my best well we could probably also that at some point we could we could probably all think we could or done better but it's when you start acting on it's when you think I need to do something to change it you know everybody else around me is so great it's when you do that constant comparison and I always say to again people I work with especially the younger teenagers that I tend to work with this a lot of comparisons and that's another way social media can really come into play is that well they're prettier than me they're they're more successful than I am they're you know they've got it looks like they've got it all I'll tell you a funny story in a minute because actually I went through something like that very similar yesterday but I'll tell you about in a minute but um it was them but the problem is you can never compare yourself to anybody else because we are all unique we are all individuals and there is nobody else there's nobody else like me out there but I don't think there is but there's nobody else like me there's nobody else like yourselves out there so comparing yourself to somebody else is just a futile way of making yourself feel worse you can only actually compare yourself to yourself so whenever I start to doubt things which is quite often I will think well compared to a week ago I've now achieved this compared to a month ago I'm on a par and that's a much more kind of acceptable and mourn self-compassionate way I guess of looking at it so the problem is that when you don't feel good enough you're searching for something to make yourself feel better and often it there's you know in orthorexia it's very much about well if I eat better I'll feel better we've all heard Emily and we see all the books you know eat this and your glow or do this and your your cab loads of energy we all see it and of course we buy into that because we're looking for an answer the thing is the answers within us because until you accept yourself and be comfortable with who you are it's really difficult to move forward from this and this is why when you if you do notice these traits or these symptoms or these kind of these emotions in people you care about or even in yourselves please try and get some help early on because actually the longer you stay in this cycle the more entrenched these food rules become and the more impact they start to have and the harder it gets to step out of it the harder it gets because the anxiety of stepping out of it it's just too difficult to bear so the way I tend to kind of describe it is that you're almost sitting on a box of emotions it's like you're sitting on it so that you don't let any of those negative emotions come out you don't want to deal with them it's like absolutely when you soak go through recovery you do have to jump off that box and you have to let the emotions out which does mean you spent 10 to start to feel very uncomfortable now I suffer with anxiety massively the anxiety I felt as I came off the tube and walk to the Google offices I cannot tell you i i'm i you know i do really struggle with anxiety but i have learnt to manage it because i know that it will pass because it does pass but it's really hard if you're somebody who never allows herself to feel it because you're constantly worried about what what won't we're gonna be all for it's gonna catastrophic because that's what the the anxious mind does it captures captured yeah catastrophize does everything and so you don't want to do that but actually the only way to move forward is to be comfortable with the uncomfortable similarly when you challenge negative behavior with the havior that's when you change but it's all very it is difficult it's a long long process so obviously when it comes to orthorexia if when I'm working with people is trying to help people understand that healthy eating is not just about what you put into your body it's not just about what's on your plate at one time it's actually about the collection probably over two to three weeks so you know you have a few bad days it's alright it's not the end of the world it doesn't mean you failed it doesn't mean you're a bad person it's just you know it's a bit busy it's Christmas or it's birthdays or actually you've gone on holiday that's okay it's fine to relax because the norm is that you normally probably eat really well most the other times and then it all balances out so I try and actually really educate a healthy attitude to eating rather than healthy eating is actually a healthy attitude to eating and I just think again when we're teaching in schools and and kind of even in universities where this is a really big problem that's what we should be teaching and educating people it's not always about you know the kind of the wheel and this is what healthy eating is actually about that attitude because that's what is going to help people move forward so my final slide really kind of is that the biggest thing is trying to be comfortable with who you are and it really is about self-acceptance and for some people that takes time and actually takes a lot of input so majority the people I work with I work alongside a psychologist or a counselor because the two things need to go hand-in-hand some people can do it themselves some people can can make it can turn it around but majority I'd say probably 90% of the cases I work with it definitely needs both kind of nutritional and a psychological element and sometimes more psychological than nutritional any questions thank you very much that was really interesting um I'm gonna kick off if that's okay oh so you touched on it earlier about the younger generation now as sort of adults I feel that we can make a bit ever better informed choice and kind of research in the median things but with children and kind of I don't know secondary school age for example how do you think the best ways to talk to about their diet and to make sure that they can make those educated choices and then they're not being influenced by the media I think one of the biggest things is teaching them through through food so you know one of the problems we have is that when you're in it like you look at secondary school menus and things and they're not very good or they're not the sorts of company not foods that maybe they're familiar with and that can be a real problem because I mean I've done workshops with young athletes and we've done practical workshops where I've brought things like mackerel and avocado and things that and and some of them are like wow I've never seen that before what is it like literally had no idea and you know you make them into things that are palatable and easy to you so I would never get somebody who's never had mackerel to eat mackerel because I think that's just quite harsh but actually what we did was we blended it up and we made into a macro pate and interestingly for all the all the children that had never had it probably only two were like no I definitely don't like it but the rest of them were really like oh and they went home and they were like I want to have this again so I think food needs to be quite a big part of Education in schools because I think there's there's a lot of it's kind of sometimes it's like something is you just have to do just have to give the kids but if we feed our kids properly in schools they'll also concentrate better we'll get better productivity because again we know that if they don't eat at lunchtime because they don't like what they see then they're either eat loads of sugar which is going to make them kind of peak and trough or they'll just skip it and the problem then is these are the things that then start to create this kind of negative relationship with food because if you do have somebody who's very vulnerable and they start skipping lunch because they don't like it becomes a behavior and that becomes an acceptable behavior to them the problem you then have is that can then kind of go into their other aspects of their life and before you know it you do have somebody who's who kind of doesn't really know about food so I think education is really important but not just what you teach in the classroom actually getting in there and and kind of getting the kids to work with food taste food try different things but equally I think as I said there needs to be a lot more on your sense of self especially as a teenager I mean God it's wrong one of the worst times ever when you're a teenager isn't it because everything's changing you don't feel great you don't look great and we all know that you will get through it and you do you know you do eventually look fine but at that point it's really really hard and you're so self-critical and I think that's that's something I would love to do more of in schools is really kind of look at how we promote a positive sense of self because I don't feel there's enough of that going on if I'm honest what is your opinion on every diet that is based on calories meaning I've been there like a year ago I spent three months on having a certain amount of calories I could eat everything I was waiting everything that I was cooking and I could only cook I could not go outside nah it was with like feedback and when like taking a step back on it it sounds awful but I've been there and I'm wondering like what is as a decision your perspective on this there's like so many ways this can go wrong yeah actually so I actually very rarely talk about calories when I work with my clients because you're right it becomes obsessive again if you're working with somebody who is obsessive as soon as you give them a number or something to fixate on it it's what happens and and at the end of the day the body is really quite it's quite an amazing it's very good at regulating if you if you if you let it it will work for you really well and that's again another big message I will say to people is if you just listen to your body it actually does tell you what you need when you need it it's just that we've lost the art of doing that because there's so much there's so much information you know it like for example that the sugar stuff everybody is trying not to eat sugar because we've heard how bad it is for us but actually there are times when the body and the brain can only work on sugar and so if you deprive yourself if you start to restrict yourself the body will will kind of work against you so what I often find is when people severely restrict their calorie intake less than what they need now everybody in this room will have a very different requirement but when they restrict their carry out less of what they need the problem you then have is that when food becomes available the the body will try and eat to excess because it will say well hang on a minute I don't know when you're gonna feed me again so I'm gonna take on as many calories as I can that then then set up this real negative cycle of oh my god I've just eaten so much I'm going to restrict again and and and actually what you need to do in these situations is regulate your eating so I tend to educate people on getting the correct balance of carbohydrates proteins whole grains fruits vegetables at mealtimes and snacks I'm not anti snacks I always have to eat every three hours otherwise I fall apart so you know I'm not anti any of those things um but it's right for you as an individual because if you are somebody that say doesn't exercise an hour a day your requirements are going to be much higher than somebody that just sits there desk all day long and I think this is where we do get some problems because we as dietitians we talk very much about moderation and balance and of course that's really boring it's not sexy it's not exciting it's just a dull word and and it is but balance is about what's right for you now I have to be careful because I don't get people saying yeah but I don't need to eat sugar than ever because that's what balance is for me but that's not what I mean balance is when I say that it's actually about giving your body what it needs but also allowing yourself to have the things you want because when you suddenly go I do want that but I have it you set up a whole new mindset going on almost like a deprivation cycle so it can go one or the other way you can either you end up people who would just want that food and that's all they can think about and they're going to just eat loads of it or the opposite side to that is where it becomes it causes anxiety so I think in your case from what I hear is that it became quite an accept even one calorie over what you were meant to have it became became a problem or cause you anxiety should we say not made a problem now this is why also I don't like I don't like trackers I don't like the online food trackers because one it's really difficult to get the right thing of what you're eating and kind of make it work the other thing is how does that track her know that actually today it might be that actually depending on on what's going on for you hormonal e depending on what's going on for you mentally actually that day you do need a bit more the tracker can't tell you that but your body can so when I react eight people it really is about helping them to see that eating is should be fun and enjoyable and actually the balance is kind of very much my principle is very much 80% the time I try and eat as well as I can which does mean that if I then want to have a glass of wine or pudding or chocolate then I can and I don't worry about it at all and that I would use for anybody whether they're doing read loads of exercise or whether they're not because you can it it's proportional to what you do does that answer your question I have a question about what you talked about too earlier you kind of made the reference to sugar and how your body doesn't actually know if it's coconut sugar white sugar but is there something in this science and I'm asking you as it can contribute us is there something in the science of how your body actually metabolize that because you do see that some sugars are processed by your body differently such as raising your glycemic index for example yeah could you speak more to that yeah so yeah I mean obviously some some do have a slightly different glycemic index but if you look at all the sugars that we've been exposed to the difference is minut because at the end of the day they are all simple sugars so they all affect your your your blood sugars in the same way so so yeah things like honey for example might have a slightly less glycemic load than table sugar but we're not talking enough to make the difference that we're being were being told that I think that's the thing that is really important to understand is that the the messages we're getting about being sugar-free and only eating honey and only eating maple syrup etc etc actually then they're not significant enough for it to be that to make that change question sorry going back into your 8020 rule which you just spoke about is there a danger and people creating morality around food then being like oh this is part of that xx or oat this is part of that eighty I can eat freely for it like do you see that that could also be a kind of session or something like a trigger in itself and it's a really good question I've never seen that because I don't ever really spell it out it's kind of how I tend I don't sit there going oh well I've eaten really well for 80% of the day today so now I can have my piece of chocolate I don't do it like that I kind of look at it overall so I tend to sort of know that actually I do that naturally I don't have to think about it it's kind of just what I do so when I work with people I very rarely use percentages or numbers because I know that then that becomes obsessive and we kind of move away from that it really is about it's actually more about that attitude to food that I try and really work on that kind of behavior change I think just to go back to your question about calories like what I find really interesting about calorie restriction is that my flatmate does it and it's the whole thing but she will have her certain amount of calories for the day and then but she'll eat whatever she wants to make up those calories so I might eat way way way more calories than she way more but more calories but it'll be you know through you know lean protein and whole grains or whatever whereas somebody else might you you know way less calories but it could all be crisps so I what I find really interesting is like the idea that when you restrict yourself you know we talked a lot about the stuff that you're not getting the nutrients you're not getting but is it does it also work the other way that you might be getting too much of something like people who aren't eating you know any sugar dairy or grain you know they're obviously not getting those things but are they getting too much protein and too much you know other nutrients that because they're trying to make up for what they're not eating like I'm not too much of the good stuff is that kind of absolutely I think I think the whole thing about balance is that obvious if you if you increase your intake of any other food group you displace something else so one of the things I really struggle with when I'm working with athletes is because they're trying to be healthy and they're eating loads of vegetables they don't get enough carbohydrate they don't get enough energy in to be able to perform because they're trying to be good and so you I mean like you know it's kind of trying to get that balance for everybody as an individual so yeah you're quite right because the thing is that again everybody's body will always be trying to reach energy balance so no matter where you're at whether you are the weight you want to be or whether you're not the weight you want to be your body will always be working towards getting energy balance to basically maintain where you're at so that's why often when you do decide to go on a very restrictive diet you can probably do it for two or three days unless you're very extreme and obsessive and then you suddenly go oh I can't do anymore cuz I'm just exhausted and I'm hungry and I'm gonna eat that burger or whatever it is and you almost go the opposite extreme because the body is always working against that it's trying to keep you alive remember that that that's what the body's innate thing is it's trying to keep you alive so when people do restrict calories it will slow down other processes so the thing I see a lot is it's those silent things you don't see so for example when somebody's on a very restrictive diet and they restrict their calories the body slows down the digestive system so that can have a really a real impact on how your body works in that respect it will in females it will reduce estrogen so menstruation will stop because the body's going well hang on a minute I can't there's no way I can fall pregnant and reproduce now because there's not enough energy in the system so it it doesn't necessary or wait and that's what's really interesting is because the body will actually slow everything else down to keep you alive so it will you'll find that you can't concentrate you get cold you know you can't you you you can't really think straight it was all those different things you can't sleep that's a big one and that's something that people don't always realize that actually when you restrict your intake the body is doing everything it can to to kind of work against it so quickly one thing to pick up on though is really interesting is that you're right some people don't change in weight and they they stay the same and they might not eat the best way they might literally make up their calories through mcdonald burgers or whatever their choice but that's not good either and that's not what I'm promoting either you know it really is about if you eat the right things if you base your meals around whole grains and complex carbs and lean proteins you will feel full you will feel better but that also means there is then room for those little indulgences if you want them I think that's kind of the message you're trying to get across hi only we talk about alternative milks what about something like goat's milk is that as good as cow's milk or is that yeah I mean goat's milk is is fairly similar in composition to cow's milk so if I'm honest when I work with somebody that can't really realistically can't have milk just just has a lactose intolerance or a dairy intolerance or dairy allergy then you have to find them something because you need to get the calcium in some people goat's milk will work it comes down to the protein although all the sugar in the milk depending on on what the problem is so for some people goat's milks find sheep's milks good for other people even those there's so much crossover with the proteins that if they are if it's that particular protein that they can't digest then you have to find another alternative so in some cases it's soya but we also know there's 40 percent it's for people with severe dairy allergies there's 40 percent crossover so a lot of people that can't have dairy can't have soya and that's where it comes problematic because also then you're looking then you do end up looking something like almond or oat um and I said I don't have a problem with people doing that but what annoys me is the man marketing that it's on par because nutritionally it's not so you just have to make sure that you get your nutrition from somewhere else that's all hey I have a lot of friends who swear by intermittent fasting just eating two meals a day and then starving for fifteen hours and that's something that I don't believe in and I like don't feel in the right place to tell them that they're starving themselves but do you have any specific advice for this area I you know a lot of the ideas you say kind of contradict that this is good for you say yeah just means again intermittent fasting is one of those ones that's been really it's been around for a long time but it became its heyday probably a couple of years ago with the 5:2 and you know and that kind of thing I'm gonna say I do use intermittent fasting in some athletes but not in the five – because I don't believe in two days a week where you eat only 500 calories because your body is just not in a happy place at all but what I do sometimes do for athletes the way I need to hit a particular body composition or weight and it's just giving it is giving them a rule unfortunately but it helps them you do it for a very short period of time but what we would do is is actually the intermittent fasting where they eat for eight hours a day so we say between twelve and eight and then they'll have fifteen you know there happens like the sixteen hours of fasted because we know scientifically that's quite a useful way of helping athletes meet weight but with anything I do like that it's monitored it's supervised and it's only done for a very short period of time so with your friends doing the kind of if they're doing sort of two meals a day and that's all they're doing for a start that's not intermittent fasting that's just fasting because intermittent fasting would mean they do it intermittently so they'd have some days where they eat well and other days where they eat very restrictive I think what's interesting is that when you look now at the data that's coming through the people that were very big advocates of the five-two are struggling to maintain it it's not sustainable because you then have two maybe three days a week where you can't actually focus you can't actually concentrate you can't be productive and that because your body won't be on 500 calories a day so it's hard when you've got friends and you're watching them and you want to say something and I think the only way you can sometimes do things is is is give them some sort of tangible data like you know did you notice that you made a mistake there or did you notice that you haven't got you're really tired or you're actually really irritable and it's not much fun to be around it's it's I mean you have to be careful how you say that obviously but it's that kind of it's that kind of thing I mean with I mean they're often the opening conversations I have with a lot of my clients I don't go straight in there and go you've got a problem with food it's very much about asking those open questions like what's going on for you like why are you following that what where where's that come from because it's really important to hear why because that's something that they feel really passionate about and you don't want to sort of kind of belittle it you want to encourage them to open and talk to you so as a practitioner building trust with my clients is the first step and then after that you can start to then kind of really tackle some of the kind of what's going on for you because you're probably fine but again there's a reason why your friends are doing that if they are trying to maintain a certain weight or be a certain way or look a certain way where does that stem from what's that about that's kind of how it go about it any more questions for anybody No thank you so much for coming in we really appreciate it wienies going to be staying in signing copies of her book as well and also joining us up in the cafe so if you'd like to purchase a book please do let us know and she'll sign it for you thank you very much for coming you