call 020 8668 3061 today


Author: Carol Driver

Lack of Exercise is a Greater Danger than Obesity

A 12 year study of 300,000 in Europe showed that a lack of exercise was killing twice as many people as obesity. Researchers followed the study group for 12 years assessing exercise levels and waistlines and recorded every death.

It showed that whilst obesity and inactivity often go hand in hand. Thin people have a higher risk of health problems if they do no exercise.

Obese people who exercise are in better health than those who don’t.

A 20 minute brisk walk , 5 times a week is all that is required to gain the benefits.

The best way to include exercise into your day is in your journey to work. This then becomes part of your routine. Alternatively take a walk at lunchtime or go for a 20 minute walk in the evening with your partner rather than sitting down and watching tv. It is important to get your heart rate up and improve the cardiovascular system. So whilst it is a great goal to try and make 10,000 steps per day you won’t gain the full benefits unless you sustain the effort by brisk walking for 20 mins.

The key is to find a form of exercise that you enjoy. When you are overweight exercise is harder because you are carrying several extra stone around with you. However you are burning up lots more calories so that is a great motivation.

Here are some ideas to encourage you to exercise more.

  • Exercise with a friend .  Agree a time and a place and you are more likely to do it as you don’t want to let each other down.
  • Plan exercise into your day ideally in your journey to work
  • Try and find an exercise you enjoy and has a great social life eg join a badminton club or a football or hockey club . Most sports clubs are keen to recruit new members and offer courses to encourage people back to a sport .
  • Try an exercise class. Most church halls have classes you can join for a weekly charge . This is much cheaper than a gym membership . Zumba is a great fun work out for all ages and sizes
Posted in Exercise
Read more

Personalised Diets

Personalised Diets

Experts now say that a personalised approach to dieting could transform the way people lose weight.

Many of us have tried the latest diets in January but by February have reverted to our old eating habits.  Scientists say that this isn’t just a lack of will power but is due to a persons make up their thinking patterns and habits, genes and hormones.

The latest weight loss theory is that individuals need a  diet programme tailored to their individual needs . This has been put to the test and over three months 75 dieters were put through tests and monitored for the BBC Horizon programme.

The study looked at 3 types of overeaters

  1. Feasters who find it hard to stop eating once they start
  2. Constant cravers who feel hungry all the time
  3. Emotional eaters who turn to food when they get stressed or anxious

Feasters it was shown by the research are driven by hormones that play a big role in their eating patterns. In particular they have low levels of hormones that are released when food travels to the intestines. They don’t easily recognise when they are full so they carry on eating .

They need a diet that makes them feel full for as long as possible. Such as a high protein low glycemic index ( GI ) diet. Foods such as fish chicken brown rice, grains and cereals .

Constant cravers always want to eat and they seek out fatty and sugary foods. Certain genes make people hungry by disrupting signals sent to the brain telling it to stop eating. Instead the brain thinks it needs to lay down fat stores .

As constant cravers feel hungry all the time the best diet for them is the 5:2 diet.   On two days a week they drastically reduce their calories to 800 on the other 5 days they eat healthily . This intermittent fasting diet shocks the body into burning fat.

Emotional eaters have established bad habits that are very difficult to change. As well as following a healthier diet , group support was important for them. In the study they had access to online support groups and attending weight loss monitoring meetings . They also had cognitive behavioral therapy to help manage emotions and the eating linked to these emotions .

Each of the three groups had a target of losing 5 % of their body weight but in fact lost 8  %. Constant cravers had the toughest test and festers lost the most

These evidence supports the Rubicon Weight Loss entering approach which is to tailor a programme and diet to suit the individual .  Call me for a friendly informed discussion on 020 8668 3061. 


Posted in Easy Diet Changes, Personalised Diets, Weight Loss Tips
Read more

Does eating late at night make you fat

Late Night Eating

This is a controversial area with many claims that late night eating can contribute to weight gain.

Recent research on mice suggests that late night eating might trigger weight gain. Even when given the same amount of calories overall, mice that ate around the clock put on more fat.

Fasting for at least 12 hours appears to switch on important fat burning mechanisms in the body.

In the study 400 mice were fed diets high in sugar or fat or both, or normal diets and over different time periods.

Overall, mice that were only able to feed for nine or 12 hours gained less weight than mice that could eat the same amount food but at any time they wanted in a 24-hour period.

When the restricted feed time mice were given days when they could eat when they liked, they still gained less weight, which hints that the diet can withstand some variations.

And when the overweight mice who had been eating when they liked were moved to limited eating times they lost 5% of their body weight even though they were eating the same number of calories as before.

This suggests that it may be important if we want to control our weight to eat only between say 8 am and 8 pm.

In the experiments, fasting at night had beneficial effects on blood sugar and cholesterol and reversed the effects of diabetes in the mice.

I advise clients who are trying to lose weight to try and eat earlier in the evening and certainly to avoid snacking at night. However, I understand that it can be difficult to sleep if you feel hungry so I would recommend that you eat a banana or a piece of toast before bed if you have hunger pains. However this should be anticipated as part of your daily calorie allowance rather than being additional extra calories.

Posted in weight loss mentoring, Weight Loss Tips
Read more

12 easy changes to Lose Weight Part Two

Weight Loss Croydon

12  easy changes can you make to your diet to make it more healthy.

Sometimes it seems as if eating healthily is really hard but here are some easy changes you can make.

7) Use what if planning

It can be difficult to eat well if your plans go astray e.g. you wake up late and miss breakfast . Try what if planning and work out your worst-case dietary backup plans right now.  Good examples would be: “If I miss breakfast, then I’ll grab a packet of ham and an apple, not a croissant,” or: “If I’m stuck at a service station, then I will have some cashew nuts, not a pork pie or muffin .” There’s evidence that having pre-programmed behaviours can keep you on track when you’re at your most vulnerable .

8) Use a smaller plate

If you choose a smaller plate you will serve yourself less and will deceive yourself in to thinking you have had a substantial meal. It’s a neat trick but it really works .

9) Add sweet potatoes to your diet

They’re potassium-rich and full of vitamin .

You can cook them like potatoes. Three options are: 1) prick them with a fork and microwave them; 2) cut them into wedges, brush them with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 20–25 minutes; and 3) peel, boil and mash them.

10. Take 48 hours off booze a week

Your body needs 48 straight hours to start undoing the damage to your liver caused by alcohol . Which is why you should have at least two teetotal days a week.

11 Eat real food not processed

Try and eat things that grew out of the ground or ran around . Avoid processed foods that often contain sugar, fats and salt.

12. Slow down and savour your food

Ideally try and eat sitting at a table with the TV turned off. If you concentrate on eating your body and mind will register that you have eaten and you should feel full afterwards. Avoid mindless eating whilst watching TV. It is easy to munch your way through a whole packet of biscuits or a whole bag if mixed nuts etc.

For friendly and private 1-2-1 support please contact me as soon as possible.  I’m based just outside of Croydon in Purley and will meet you in a convenient location to start our conversation.  If you feel you need some simple support and advice please don’t hesitate to contact me on 020 8668 3061. Thanks Carol

Posted in weight loss mentoring, Weight Loss Tips
Read more

12 easy changes to Lose Weight

12 easy changes to Lose Weight that you can make to your diet

12 easy changes to Lose Weight that you can make to your diet and eating habits to make them more healthy.

Sometimes it seems as if eating healthily is really hard but here are some easy changes you can make.

 1) Breakfast

 One of the easiest and most effective changes to make is to add protein and fruit or veg to your breakfast. This will make you feel fuller for longer and help resist the temptation to snack mid morning.  If you grab a croissant or cereal for breakfast you will feel hungry mid morning and want to snack. This is because most cereals and breads contain sugar or carbohydrates that release sugar and after this initial sugar rush the brain responds by sending hunger signals to the stomach.   Try to add protein to your breakfast such as scrambled eggs with a chopped tomato or some wilted spinach. Porridge is a great choice as the sugar releases slowly add a banana and some natural yoghurt .If you running late and don’t have time grab an apple or other fruit is a good choice maybe with a spoonful of peanut butter.

 2) Use a calorie counting app

 If you want to lose weight you need to be aware of how much food and drink you are consuming each week. Down load an app to keep a daily record of everything that you eat and drink .

 3 ) Cut out sugary drinks

 One of the easiest changes to make is to cut out fizzy and sugary drinks from your diet . A glass of fruit juice contains roughly 120 calories and a can of coke 160 calories. Instead try sparkling water with a dash of lime or lemon. This is really refreshing . Diet drinks are ok occasionally  but there is some evidence that they can keep you addicted to the taste of sugar. Tea and instant coffee with milk and fruit teas are great low calorie alternatives.

 4 ) Get a slow cooker

 It is a real treat to come home to a lovely meal bubbling gently in the slow cooker. It doesn’t take long to throw some chicken, carrots, onion  potatoes and stock ( from stock cube) to create a delicious chicken stew.

A slow cooker costs from £22.

5) Eat soup for lunch

Soup for lunch is a great way of eating nutritious food and it makes you feel full and satisfied. Watch the salt content on some varieties.

 6) Watch your Carbohydrates

There is conflicting advice given about eating carbohydrates. However a great rule is to vary your carbohydrate intake according to your activity level. If you are very active and cycle or run regularly you can probably get away with eating rice, potatoes and bread regularly . If you have a sedentary job and are office based you may need to restrict your carbohydrate intake.

Part 2 next week


Posted in Easy Diet Changes, Weight Loss Tips
Read more

My Fat Story

my fat story

I watched Katie Hopkins programme ” My Fat Story ” on TLC channel .

Katie Hopkins came to fame through the Apprentice and she is now a features writer for The Sun. She has outspoken views on fat issues and believes if everyone ate less and exercised more we wouldn’t have a fat problem in this country . She is concerned that the obesity problem could bankrupt the NHS as type 2. diabetes and other weight related problems place increasing strain on the health service. She believes that we are too soft with the issue and doctors and other professionals should be more direct with people who are overweight in telling them they are overweight and recommending they take action to lose weight. In her documentary she deliberately overeats to put on 3 stone in 12 weeks and then loses the weight to show how easy it is to lose weight . She started out weighing 8 stone 13 which is borderline underweight . She put on 3 stone and then lost 2 stone so her final weight was 9 stone 12 lbs .

Whilst I enjoyed watching the programme I don’t think it taught us much about losing weight. Katie Hopkins is not really interested in food and eats in a functional way. She is the sort of person who might well forget to eat . I am always amazed when I hear that people forget to eat as this rarely happens to me. She is also a very keen runner and runs for an hour, 3 times a week and trains for marathons.

The most interesting part of the programme for me was when Katie visited a psychologist when she was 3 stone heavier . Through this discussion she realised that it was an important part of her identity to be slim and fit and now overweight she felt vulnerable and was often tearful . She came to understand that she had little compassion for herself and was very tough on herself and drove herself hard. She also had little compassion for other people as a result of her outlook on life .

In a way Katie is right if we all eat less and exercised more we wouldn’t be overweight . However, if it was easy to lose weight then everyone would do. The fact is that it is very difficult to lose weight and keep the weight off and the majority of people in this country and many over the whole world are now overweight . The reasons are complicated and much discussed but are largely due to the over availability of food in our society and a reduction in the amount of exercise we do as a result of using cars instead and modern technology.

Posted in Uncategorized
Read more

Tom's Story Part 3

Spinning for Weight Loss

Part 3 of a 5 part blog that looks at how Rubicon Weight Loss Mentoring works .

Tom aged 45 was 5 stone overweight when we met and wanted to lose at least 3 stone. So far he has lost 17 lbs in 2 months.

I met Tom face to face fortnightly and we had a Skype meeting every other week. One week we met at the golf driving range and hit a bucket of balls as Tom wanted to get back to playing golf now that he could walk more easily. On another occasion we tried a spinning cycling fitness class together. I recommend spinning for weight loss to clients as it can be a great idea as it is great exercise, fun and social but is not taxing on the knee joints as the bike takes your weight.  It is important to try and increase your exercise because of the health benefits. However the absolute key to losing weight is to reduce your calorie intake.

Tom lost 17 lbs in weight in the first two months but then weight loss slowed. Through  our discussions Tom identified that he had been drinking more recently . Whilst he had been sticking to his diet quite well he and his wife had been to several work corporate hospitality events recently. Also Tom has been feeling stressed at work and finds it helpful to wind down by drinking half a bottle of wine most nights. He hadn’t realised that he had been drinking this much and thought that the “odd glass of wine wouldn’t hurt”. Tom and I discussed strategies to deal with this but in the end Tom decided that he would cut out alcohol completely at home except for special occasions as he found he could not limit himself to one or two glasses.  This approach suited Tom but other clients choose other strategies eg to limit alcohol to say one night per week . In the third month Tom lost 2 lbs but he was back on track. It is common for clients to have a crisis time when they don’t follow the diet and this is when the support and discussion we offer in Rubicon weight loss mentoring  is really valuable .

Posted in Uncategorized
Read more

Tom's story Part Two

Healthy Breakfast

Part two of a 5 part blog that looks at how Rubicon Weight Loss Mentoring works in practice.

Tom aged 45 was 5 stone overweight went we first met.

By the end of the first month Tom had lost 10 1bs.

In our regular meetings we looked together at his life style and Tom realised the main problems were that eating gave him comfort and also his portion sizes were far too big. For example, he would have what he thought was a healthy breakfast of fruit juice and Greek yoghurt, banana, nuts and muesli but because it was so large this would contain nearly 1000 calories . His dinner portions were also twice as large as they should be . I suggested that Tom use a smaller plate for his dinner. He found this really helpful as it which prevented him from giving himself too much food and it also tricked his brain into thinking he still had a good meal . Tom also made an effort to sit down with his wife and eat dinner together and turn off the television .It is always a great idea to eat consciously and slow down our eating this helps the brain and stomach to register that we have eaten and for us to recognise that we feel full . If we eat whilst distracted or too quickly we can continue eating for longer without feeling full.

Tom responded well to a diet plan and substituted porridge for his previously over-large breakfast . He also cut out fruit juice and instead had fruit tea . He also managed to find time for walking several days per week. He enjoyed the occasions when his wife or daughters joined him on the walks as this was time to chat about the day . He found that the walk helped clear his mind and helped him sleep better. As he lost weight the walking became easier. He found that our regular meetings offered him support and helped to keep him motivated and on track . He lost a further 7 lbs in month 2.


Posted in Uncategorized
Read more

Christmas Calories - Be aware of what you eat

Christmas Calories

Why do we eat so much at Christmas?

Over the Christmas period we are faced with so many more choices . Every where I go I seem to be offered a mince pie.  I love mince pies so I am tempted every single time. The average person puts on at least 2 pounds over the festive holiday. I usually put on 4 pounds even when I am being really careful with the Christmas Calories.

The main problem is that are all designed to be curious about food and taste the range of dishes available. Our brains also tell us  to stock up when we see calorie rich food .From our history as “hunter gatherers ” we are programmed to eat a wide range of foods from fruit ,seeds and leaves to a whole range of different animals fish, birds and insects.  When faced with a range of dishes we want to try them all. It has been scientifically proven that we will eat more if presented with a choice of dishes than if we are given just one option . Great examples of this are a box of chocolates where we want to try each variety. If we are offered sweets that are all the same eg the same colour jelly bean we will take and eat less than if we are offered 10 different flavours of jelly bean . We are likely to try each flavour.

The same applies when we are choosing what to eat from a Christmas buffet. We want to try some of everything. Half the battle is to recognise this instinct and then we can try  strategies to resist our natural tendencies. A great strategy is to fill half your plate with salad and this cut down the space for fatty foods. Try and avoid foods that are brown in colour as this is often an indicator of processed food that is high in calories. Choose a colourful selection of foods and eat slowly so that your stomach can recognise when you are full. Have a great Christmas .

Posted in Uncategorized
Read more

Tom's story

Rubicon Weight Loss Mentoring

If you are overweight or know a close close friend or teenager you may be interested in how the service at  Rubicon weight loss mentoring works in practice . I worked successfully last year with Tom (name has been changed) aged 45 . He was 5 stone overweight when I first met him. He had put on significant weight in recent months  as he had been feeling very upset as his sister had been very ill. Also he had also been working away from home and had got into bad eating habits. I met Tom at his house and saw for myself the foods he had in his fridge and cupboards. He lived with his wife and daughters and so did not have much control over what was bought in the weekly shop . His wife and daughters were not overweight and so were able to have biscuits and sweets and cakes in their diet and eat them in moderation . There were plenty of healthy food such as vegetables and fruit .  I asked Tom to keep a food diary and  I found out that his portions were far too big and he regularly bought large coffees and cakes from coffee shops which he often used as an office base when he was away from the office. We agreed a diet plan that suited his lifestyle and we discussed this with the whole family. They agreed to support Tom and limit the biscuits and sweets in the house and go walking with him.

We held one of our meetings in a coffee shop and looked at the hidden calories in lattes and cappuccinos . Tom hadn’t realised that a large latte could contain 275 calories . He decided in future to switch to a breakfast tea or a skinny latte. A slice of lemon drizzle cake has 375 calories.

There aren’t really any low calorie snack food items offered at Costa so Tom agreed in future to just have a drink. If he was hungry and it was lunch time he could choose to eat a sandwich ( which have the calories displayed on the packet) and a fruit salad. ( The fruit salads at  Costa are particularly expensive in my view do this may not suit everyone) .  By the end of the first month he had lost 10 lbs.


Posted in Corporate Weight Loss, weight loss mentoring, Weight Loss Tips
Read more