As a counsellor specializing in weight management I am passionate about people not feeling deprived when they are trying to manage their weight. Considering life stage is vital when managing diet and exercise. There are many factors to consider when embarking on a weight management plan.It is also extremely important to take into consideration the special needs emotionally, psychologically and physically of each client.

Cooking and eating have different implications for people of different ages. Eating requirements change as circumstances change. For example there are many adjustments to be made when you go from cooking for a large family to perhaps cooking just for two or for one person each night. Appetites vary depending on physical energy output and also on ones psychological state. Too often weight loss or weight gain is seen as having, pardon the pun a “one size fits all” solution.

Often when people commence on a weight loss journey a chronic hunger and feeling of not being satisfied plagues them and consequently causes them to abandon their diets. If hunger is being satisfied while one is being nourished at the same time the task of losing or gaining weight seems less daunting.

One way of managing this is by eating filling healthy foods. I am concerned that with the trend in avoiding carbohydrates people are missing out on very important nutrients and fibre.  I have found being able to recommend cereals such as the GSF range and the new wraps really helpful as I know that they will help sustain people in a way that “diet foods” will not. The reason for this is due to the Barleymax grain which helps you feel full for longer. It is low GI for longer-lasting energy. It is 2 to 3 times higher in fibre than any other grain. It is also high in soluble fibre as well as resistant starch, a type of non-digestible starch that helps promote healthy intestinal function by acting as ‘food’ for the friendly bacteria in the bowel to promote the growth of healthy cells. Many available processed foods do not offer these health giving properties. So it is great to be able to offer such a nutritious alternative.

As a former caterer I am always creating new recipes and assisting clients with creative ways to eat to suit their individual taste preferences. I enjoy thinking of delicious fillings to go in the wraps and sharing these ideas with my clients. Also the cereals are fantastic for being adapted into recipes such as a topping for a fruit crumble which is great in the colder months.

Weight loss is really the easy bit it is keeping the weight off long term which is the challenge and even more of a challenge is staying well nourished and healthy at the same time. Starvation is certainly not the answer. Ideally, looking after ones health by eating well and staying fit in ways that provide enjoyment, is a more holistic approach to managing weight rather than focusing on weight loss alone.

Ginette Lenham

Weight Management Counsellor, B App Soc Sc (counselling) MACA


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