Struggling with gut health or weight loss?

Michelle Ryan of BWELLHIVE looks at how making just one positive change can change your health direction, your gut health and support your 2024 weight loss journey.

Are you struggling with a slow metabolism, inflamed gut, bloating, and food triggers? Tried a low-fat diet or low-calorie diet with no lasting success? Feel like you lose some weight only to gain it back? Or maybe, despite your best efforts, you feel like you’re not making any changes to your body composition in recent months, no matter how hard you try?

When it comes to making any move or change in a new year the first thing you have to think about is where that change or adjustment could make the most impact on feeling healthier in body and mind.  What is going to do it for you? 

The idea of change can bring overwhelm to some and hope and positivity to others. The best way to overcome any challenge is to identify ONE big thing you would like to achieve in year ahead, then break it down into small tasks. Small and consistent actions can make that significant impact on your overall wellness and health: Committing to even a wholesome breakfast every morning could be just the beginning to a healthier you in 2024.

The most common stumbling block is setting yourself up for failure right from the start, having high expectations on yourself. The trouble is, when we stop doing the ONE thing we committed to at the start of year, we fall into unhealthy patterns quickly. You feel great for 30 minutes, yet an hour later you’re craving your favourite food and it keeps going on like that throughout the day. Sound familiar?

Prior to studying nutrition, I found that I was reacting to my trigger foods with symptoms like bloating, constipation, stress and fatigue. “Symptoms were on and off, and depending on what I ate, I would get inflammation, so I never knew what to eat. As a result my immunity was nearly always affected; I suffered many chest infections, with little or no energy most days. I know now that when I eat the right foods that work for me, my day is very different. Eating the right foods is non-negotiable to staying on track in my daily life.

Did you know that eating something high in sugar and high in processed fat triggers the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of reward and satisfaction? By falling into this trap, you train your brain to think ‘you need to eat this to help you feel better’. You might use these foods to regulate your mood and lower your stress. But in the long run, this sends you on a rollercoaster, especially over Christmas and at stressful times, and it can be challenging to get back into a healthy routine, especially with flu season setting in. 

You might ask, what causes you to crave sugar in the first place? You’re more inclined to eat these kinds of foods when you’re stressed or tired because your brain is looking for more fuel than it would be when you are relaxed and well-nourished.  That might not come as a huge surprise to you, or a food allergy might be the trigger.

If you have any of these symptoms – feeling bloated, reflux and increased acid – then you could try swapping highly processed foods for whole grains and root vegetables and increasing your protein intake. This helps to regulate the release of glucose into the bloodstream. Making the switch to a more wholesome and nourishing alternative may be a much more sustainable approach to healthy weight loss than the crazy diets you might be tempted to try.

A stumbling block is identifying if you have an intolerance to foods that you regularly eat, which can cause many symptoms and leave you feeling unwell even when you have eliminated sugar.  As mentioned above, my reactions to many foods triggered all sorts of symptoms like bloating, constipation, and fatigue. It was very on and off, never knowing which was the trigger that, combined with stress, was overload. Identifying that I had a food intolerance to dairy and gluten, and understanding the difference between intolerance and allergy and how it can seriously affect gut health and reduce disease was the turning point in my health and the reason I now work with a more holistic approach to gut health and weight loss. 

What are the main differences between an allergy and food intolerance? Allergies develop in infancy, whilst an intolerance can come on at any age. An allergy causes a reaction immediately or within 24 hours whilst an intolerance reaction can take up to 72 hours. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include wheezing, itching, diarrhoea, dizziness, breathing, swelling. Symptoms of an intolerance reaction include migraines, arthritis, anxiety, depression, psoriasis, tiredness, digestive symptoms such as bloating, weight gain and feeling low in mood.

If you have ever found yourself asking these questions, a nutritionist could really help with improving your gut health and achieving weight loss, coming up with a nutrition plan that is best for you.

One thing that is unique about the Food Intolerance Test and Nutritional Programme that I offer is that you can also have your own health goals and current health assessed. Every person’s reason for not losing weight is a little different. By working with a nutritionist, you will uncover those issues plus get support in the programme to stay on track.

What client’s have to say:

“I no longer have cravings, which is incredible for me. I now know what to cook and how to plan my meals, so I eat well for the entire week. I’ve been amazed by how relaxed I am about eating now.”

“So far I’ve lost 47 pounds and I will continue to follow the program to lose more weight. What’s so great about this program is that it’s simple!”

For more information on your Gut Health and Wellness Programme with an included Food Assessment, Intolerance Food Test, Food Plan, 1:1 Coaching and support, and what this involves, or if you would like to join, call Michelle on 087 6704930. Or just getting a food intolerance test might give the answers you’re looking for.

WCP Staff

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