The Programme, week 1: Nutritionist's comments on Simon Manley

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Antony Haynes: Simon is hardly what you'd call walking wounded. He leads a relatively busy life, plays squash, eats pretty well, and enjoys a drink like any other 29-year-old. He is essentially well.

However, when we dig deeper we discover some lack of function. He has a poor memory and concentration, a few extra pounds of body fat, a higher-than-ideal intake of caffeine, a family history of cancer, likes a drink and smokes socially. Simon suffers from poor energy first thing and a 4pm dip in energy. There is also a lack of variety in Simon's diet, with a predominant intake of wheat, which he sometimes eats three times a day – this simply reflects the lack of variety in his diet. Simon also eats out once or twice a week, when he may not make the best choice.

We can improve Simon's functional state of health.

To improve mental clarity and functioning, all caffeine is banned and alcohol intake will be reduced to two consecutive nights a week. More water and a higher vegetable intake should improve cognitive functioning. An improved breakfast should sustain mental energy levels during the day: instead of a couple of bananas or toast, Simon should try sugar-free muesli, poached egg on toast, or porridge oats. It is expected that the 4pm dip should level out and Simon's energy first thing in the morning should improve by the start of the second week. Simon should also eat more regularly and avoid large meals to help with brain energy levels and body fat loss.

What he drinks is damaging Simon more than the food he eats. Both caffeine and alcohol steal energy and nutrients and can readily upset cognitive function. Both are addictive and can result in withdrawal when avoided.

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