Ask The Expert

Fiona Kirk: Diet Secrets Uncovered

Fiona Kirk is a nutritionist and author of a number of weight loss books including the newly released Diet Secrets Uncovered series. She told SLOAN! Magazine:

“Understanding just how dramatically our nutritional needs change through life and tailoring our diet, exercise programme and supplement strategy accordingly is key to unlocking the secrets to successful weight loss. The diet that worked when we were in our teens and 20s is unlikely to achieve the same results when we are in our 50s, the nutritional requirements of a single man with a demanding work and social life are far-removed from those of a women who is trying to lose post baby weight etc. The ‘one shoe size fits all’ approach to weight loss doesn’t cut it for everyone which is why I have devised a series of diets that pinpoint more specific requirements. Once you find the one that suits you, weight loss becomes a delicious and nutritious experience rather than a frustrating daily drudge of discipline, deprivation and hunger!”

Fats are not fattening!

Don’t fall into the trap of avoiding fats when you are trying to lose weight – they are essential for heart, brain, nerve and hormone health and play a vital role in boosting energy levels and accelerating fat loss. Concentrate on saturated fats in meat and dairy from pasture-fed animals, mono-unsaturated fats in extra virgin coconut and olive oil and the Omega 3 fats in oily fish, seeds and walnuts. Not only are they good for all-round health but they are also filling and satisfying. Avoid heat-treated and processed vegetable oils in clear plastic bottles and all the hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils used in the manufacture of many ready meals and the majority of junk and fast food.

The Magic of Magnesium!

Regular insulin spikes which lead to weight gain are well-documented. A sugar and/or starch-rich diet allows glucose to literally pour into the blood stream un-policed so the general advice to eat a little protein and/or fat with every meal and snack to ensure that the release of glucose is slowed down and blood sugar stays balanced throghout the day is well-placed. There is, however a very important mineral which is crucially-involved in ensuring that as much glucose as possible is efficiently utilised to provide energy rather than being stored as fat and that is magnesium. Spinach, Swiss chard, pumpkin seeds and almonds offer excellent levels but you can also use a powdered supplement (4g-5g per day of magnesium citrate) which can be dissolved in water and sipped thoughout the day and consider adding Epsom Salts to your bath a few times a week, allowing good levels of magnesium to be absorbed through the skin.

Breaking Through a Weight Loss Plateau

For 5-7 days, reduce your carbohydrate intake to 50-100g per day, leave a minimum of 5 hours between each meal and don’t snack. This type of diet provides a platform where insulin production is reduced and fat metabolism is fired up. A typical day. Breakfast: 2 eggs, scrambled with 2 rashers lean bacon, 1 large tomato, halved and 2 large mushrooms, all grilled. Lunch: A mug/carton of vegetable soup (no rice, pasta, potatoes), 2 cooked chicken legs, a mixed bean salad, a small carton of natural live/bio yoghurt with mixed berries and a handful of toasted flaked almonds. Dinner: A skinless salmon or cod fillet baked in a parcel with fresh spinach leaves, fresh dill and sun dried tomatoes, peppers and/or artichokes in olive oil and if you are still hungry, 2 celery sticks filled with 30g creamy goats cheese.

Friendly Bacteria For Fat Loss

The blue-green algae, spirulina is very effective in promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria which is essential for counteracting the growth and proliferation of harmful bacteria which not only causes a range of debilitating digestive issues but also causes inflammation and where there is inflammation, there is unlikely to be fat loss. Add it to smoothies or make spirulina guacamole – mix mashed avocado with a little of the powder, some lime juice, chopped spring onions and tomatoes and spread it on chewy brown toast.

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About Fiona Kirk – fionakirk.com

When it comes to healthy eating and finding a route that suits, it’s all about giving the body what it needs to sharpen the brain, lose weight, sort out digestive problems, reduce inflammation etc. But, getting it right can be complex; the phrase ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison’ may be overly-used but is never truer than when it comes to diet. Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk’s goal is to cut through some of the confusion and provide the knowledge and tools to enable us to make a few small changes that can reap big rewards. By writing articles for the press, books (7 to date), giving talks, taking part in foodie events, blogging and contributing to numerous diet and health websites, Fiona has discovered that her somewhat cynical take on some of the nonsense being promoted has struck a chord with her readers/listeners/viewers allowing them to take control of their diet and long term health.

Fiona Kirk’s new book Diet Secrets Uncovered: Single Men and Women is out in June 2015 and can be purchased from www.makeyourdietworkforyou.com

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