The Programme, week 3: Nutritionist's comments on Rachel

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The Independent Online

Antony Price: Rachel's new course (TEFL) has largely been responsible for an immediate inability to change eating habits. As a consequence there has been minimal change in her health. However, due to the busy schedule, Rachel has eaten less food overall, and exercised more. Having said that, she has eaten less sugar and chocolate than usual.

Rachel has gone to bed earlier than usual, probably because she has been continually challenged by creative mental processes in the new course. Like so many of us, when Rachel is really interested in something, there is no problem with concentration and memory.

Rachel has already made a few observations that can help to steer her food choices and they lie in the timing and quantity of eating, not only the quality of what is eaten. Firstly, when Rachel eats breakfast "it makes a massive difference to her energy levels in the day", she told me. Secondly, she identified that "when I eat a smaller evening meal I awaken with better energy". These are two very useful tips for anyone who wishes to improve their overall energy and especially their energy first thing. As we have seen with previous participants in The Programme, if you can spread your food intake more evenly throughout the day, energy balance (and fat burning ability) improves.

Now that Rachel is a few weeks into her course and into The Programme, the ability to make the necessary changes to achieve her goals is somewhat easier. We agreed on a four targets for next week. Rachel will:
1 eat breakfast every day and include eggs about half the time, which should help sustain her energy;
2 reduce and then avoid all caffeine for a trial period;
3 eat a healthy snack in the afternoon, which she will take in if necessary;
4 avoid all refined sugar.
Not that Rachel consumed a lot of coffee or sugar beforehand, but simply avoiding this small amount is expected to contribute to improved energy and "brain" power.

So, a slow start due to lifestyle constraints that so many of us face, but Rachel is now in a position to make changes and I look forward to finding out how she gets on.

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