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Category: Easy Diet Changes

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
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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.

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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

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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


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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
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How to lose weight tips number 4

why is it so hard to lose weight

How to lose weight tips number 4

I am a 55 year woman why is it so hard to lose weight?

In middle age It is easy to put weight on and hard to lose it. Why is this ? The main reason we put weight on in our late 40s and 50s is that we are slightly less active and therefore are burning less calories. These small differences accumulate over time. For example, if you burn 100 less calories a day, and eat one extra biscuit of 80 calories then you will gain a pound of weight each month. When I put weight on in my late 40’s I struggled to believe this and was convinced my metabolism had slowed down. However, when I reflected on my daily routine I realised that now I was working from home I was less active. For example I no longer walked to the station or stood on the train for 30 mins etc . If you are putting on weight or struggling to lose weight it is helpful to increase your general activity levels during the day by standing where possible and taking every opportunity to walk.

Whilst it is great to go to the gym and work out often we can feel so tired afterwards that we rest the remainder of the day. Alternatively because we have worked hard in the gym we reward ourselves by eating an extra portion of lunch or by having a sweet treat. The result is that we may be fitter but we may not lose any weight . In fact being active throughout the day can burn more calories than going to the gym. For example a short walk in the morning , then taking the stairs not the lift during the day, a short walk at lunchtime to pick up some lunch, walking the dog in the evening, then preparing vegetables and some household chores will burn the equivalent of a good gym session. Standing burns 10 per cent more calories than sitting.

The best way to lose weight is to cut out snacks between meals and monitor carefully your portion sizes.

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How to Lose Weight Tips Number 3

Maintaining weight control for when working away from home

It is very easy to put on weight when working away from home for extended periods and living in hotels. It is then difficult to lose weight and keep it off whilst sticking to a healthy diet plan. It can be very lonely and we can turn to food as a comfort.  Also this can be compounded as when we are on our own we are not accountable to anyone else only ourselves. It is easy to slip into bad habits and then deny to ourselves what is happening . When living away the easy available food is likely to be high calorie food in fast food restaurants, curry houses and hotel restaurants and we may tend to drink more alcohol if we are eating out every night .

Here are some helpful strategies as part of a weight loss programme for men and women to lose or maintain a healthy weight when working away from home .


Always pre plan what you are going to have for breakfast so you are not tempted to overeat when faced with the amazing hotel breakfast buffet.

Good choices are scrambled egg on toast, poached egg on toast, porridge, yoghurt and fruit, omelette with tea or coffee. Avoid croissants, cooked meats, pastries, sugary cereals, full English breakfast and too much fruit juice.


Again per plan your lunch and ideally buy on the way to work so you don’t impulse buy when hungry at lunch time. Good options are soup, ready made sandwiches made from whole meal, fruit and sushi. Avoid cakes, sausage rolls, pasties, pasta salads ( often high in calories).

 Evening meal

It is tempting after a busy stress full day to choose fast food to reward yourself . Food is comforting and living away from home is often lonely and stressful. Decide to have fast food one day a week as a treat. Similarly it is easy to drink alcohol when on your own in a hotel and eating out every night. Again restrict this to say just one night. A good strategy is always to have soup as a starter as this is usually nutritious and low calorie ( unless full,of cream) this will fill you up and you will eat less calories overall. Then a main course of grilled fish or meats and vegetables.


It can be difficult to exercise when away from home. Some gyms such as virgin active allow you to visit all gyms in the group ( some restrictions apply) so this might be worth considering . You can then attend classes or go for a swim when away. Often hotels have a gym facility or swimming pool and it can be a real energiser to go for a swim before breakfast. Alternatively it can be great to go for a walk each day and explore the new area.

At Rubicon Weight Loss Mentoring, a weight loss mentor will work along side you to discover the reasons why your dieting hasn’t been successful in the past and will help you adapt and maintain a new healthy lifestyle to lose weight.


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How to Lose Weight Tips Number 2

Why can’t I lose weight ? Use a smaller plate

Clients say to me that they try healthily eating and they regularly cook at home and they expect to lose weight but instead they find they gain weight.  What is going on here? Are they following the wrong personal diet plan ? Often when we look closely together at what they eat the problem is portion sizes. It is great if you are cooking delicious healthy meals from fresh ingredients but you will still pile on the pounds if your portions are too big. This can often be a factor in the weight gain of an overweight teenage daughter or son.

The first step that will help in a weight loss program is really simple but very effective, use a smaller plate for your meals and you will serve yourself and your family less. You can trick you eyes and your stomach by eating from a smaller plate. The plate should be a contrasting colour from the food you are eating . If the plate and the food are the same colour you will tend to serve yourself more and eat more.

Secondly when serving your portion size for protein and carbohydrate items they should be no bigger than the size of your fist . The rest of the plate should be vegetables. Often I find that clients are filling a large dinner plate with home cooked chilli, spaghetti bolognaise or lasagne and not realising that the portion may contain 1000 calories or more.  This would be half or the daily calorie allowance for an active woman.  

Thirdly, it is also important to concentrate on eating and not be distracted by the lap top or television . Ideally meals should be eaten at a dining table and not on your lap in front of the tv.  If the brain registers that you have eaten a meal then it will send full signals to the stomach. You override this if you eat too quickly or eat without thinking about it .  It is easy to eat mindlessly absorbed in a tv programme and before you know you have eaten more than you needed or intended. Families with overweight teenage daughters and sons should try to reduce individual snacking and eat together as often as possible using correct portion sizes.

At Rubicon weight loss mentoring, a weight loss mentor will work along side you to discover the reasons why you haven’t lost weight in the past and will help you adapt a program for the best way to lose weight for you.  They will then work along side you to support and encourage you.

Please get in touch via our web site contact form to learn more about our successful mentoring that will help you or someone close to you, lose weight.


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New Series of great tips on how to lose weight

Super soup-  how to lose weight advice number one

We all know how difficult it is to lose weight and have a healthy diet. In this series I will be sharing some of the best kept secrets for how to lose weight and manage weight loss. It is amazing but it has been scientifically shown that eating soup as part of a meal will reduce the number of calories that you eat . The blended food and water in soup stays in the stomach longer and stops you feeling hungry. Everyone likes soup and it can be a great way of helping overweight teenagers to lose weight as well as being part of a weight loss programme for women and men of all ages.

The key to this useful trick to reduce hunger is a hormone called ghrelin. It is one of the major elements in the body’s appetite system.

Ghrelin is released by specialised cells in the stomach wall which produce ghrelin whenever the stomach is empty. The ghrelin travels in the blood stream to the brain which then tells us that we are hungry and to find food . However if the stomach wall is stretched for example when we eat soup the cells no longer produce ghrelin, and the hypothalamus responds and switches off the signal that demands food . They longer the stomach remains full, the longer you feel satisfied and the less you are likely to eat.

I recommend that clients include in their diets a bowl of soup for lunch with a salad or a bread roll. Everyone is pleased at how good this tastes and really surprised at how filling it is.

Rubicon weight loss mentoring offers weight loss programs for women and targeted  weight loss programs for men and overweight teenagers that achieve  great long term weight loss. With our  1 to 1 support from an expert mentor you can make changes to the way you eat and think about food.

Please get in touch via our web site contact form to learn more about our successful mentoring that will help you  or someone close to you, lose weight.



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