Exploding the Diet Myth in Bantry

There is a lot of excitement in Organico this month because one of our favourite authors coming to visit and to give a talk in Bantry. Marilyn Glenville has written numerous books on women’s health and other health issues and is a hugely respected figure in the natural Health World. She’s coming to Bantry to give a talk in The Maritime Hotel on February 25, and you are all welcome! 

The reason Marilyn is coming to Bantry is thanks to our manager Elizabeth Ewing, who is a huge fan of Marilyn’s work and has put a lot of effort into arranging this event. Bantry is a little off the beaten track for this kind of event, but because we have such a dedicated community down here (and such dedicated staff!) it’s happening. 

One of the reasons Elizabeth was so keen on having Marilyn visit Bantry and give a talk is her strong focus on natural solutions for women’s health issues including weight management. In Organico we are frequently asked questions about women’s health, and about which diet and lifestyle is best for health and maintaining a balanced weight. There are so many diets in vogue at the moment, and many seems to directly contradict each other – keto vs plant based, for example – and it can be challenging to know how to decide which to follow. This can lead to confusion about food in general, with a lot of people reporting they don’t know what is ‘good’ to eat. 

The topic of Marilyn’s talk is Exploding the Diet Myth, and she’s going to cover a load of different aspects to dieting. Why, for example, dieting might actually cause you to gain weight. While researching this article, I read what Marilyn has to say about diets on her website:

“Yes, one of the main causes of weight gain is dieting. Dieting makes you fat. As you reduce your food intake to lose weight, your body put itself on ‘famine alert’. It gets the impression that food is scarce and therefore it slows down your metabolism to get the best use of the small amount of food it is receiving.”

This is not news, but I think it’s something many of us forget, when we think that if we simply found a way of being more disciplined and eating less we would lose weight. Marilyn goes on to say:

When you say you want to lose weight, what you actually want to lose is fat. If you lose weight rapidly, almost 25 percent of that weight loss can be made up of water, muscle and other lean tissue.

“The reason for this is that your body is actually programmed to hold on to fat. So in times of what your body considers to be a ‘famine’, it will actually go as far as breaking down muscle and losing water in order to hold on to its fat reserves. Faddy diets suggest that you can lose up to 10 pounds in a week, but remember this: it is physically impossible to lose more than 900g (2lb) of body fat in a week.

“Furthermore, if you lose weight quickly by restricting your intake and then go back to eating normally, a much higher percentage of the food you eat is laid down as fat. Why? Because your body wants to build up extra fat stores, in case this type of famine occurs again. There’s also the question of metabolism. When you crash diet, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy and make the most out of the small amounts you are eating. What happens when you go back to eating normally? Well, everything you eat is being dealt with at a much slower rate and more fat is stored.”

Instead of dieting, Marilyn recommends that we find ways of living that help us to be healthier. Her argument is that we should be Eating to Live, not Living to Eat. I have rarely followed a specific diet, as I’m not very good at following rules, but I do also worry a lot about what I eat and what my family eats – so this all sounds very sane and calming to me. I also want to eat for optimum health rather than to get skinny. So finding a balance; a way of eating and living that helps me to achieve and stay at a weight I am comfortable with but not stress over it, sounds great to me. 

Marilyn Glenville’s talk is being held in the Maritime Hotel on February 25 from 6.45 – 9.30pm. Tickets are €20 pp and are available from Organico Shop or from Eventbrite. Check out our Facebook Page as we will be raffling two tickets in February, and give us a call if you have any more questions. 

About Marilyn…

Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD is the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health. She is the Former President of the Food and Health Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine and the author of a number of internationally best selling books including Natural Alternatives to Sugar, Natural Solutions for Dementia and Alzheimer’s, Overcoming PMS the Natural Way, The Natural Health Bible for Women and Fat Around The Middle. For further information you can also go to marilynglenville.com – or come along on February 25!

Hannah Dare

Hannah Dare co-runs Organico, the café, bakery and health shop in Bantry, West Cork.

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