Osteoporosis – Week Beginning Monday 16th September 2019

  • Osteoporosis is caused by a gradual loss of bone mineral – mainly calcium – making the bones fragile and porous.
  • 1 in 3 women develop osteoporosis or “brittle bone” disease and its’ effects can be alarming and life threatening.
  • 1 in 2 women (50%) over the age of 50 and 1 in 5 men (20%) over the age of 50 will break a bone mainly as a result of poor bone health.
  • Some of you will also be aware of the condition known as osteopenia. This condition indicates a lower bone density than normal and is considered the pre-cursor to osteoporosis.
  • The bones in our skeleton are made of a thick outer shell and a strong inner mesh filled with collagen (protein), calcium and other minerals.
  • The inside looks like honeycomb and osteoporosis occurs when the holes between the bone become bigger, making the bone fragile and likely to break easily.
  • It affects the whole skeleton but most commonly causes fracture in the wrist, spine and hip.

But what keeps bones strong?

  • The biggest contributing factor to having strong bones is physical activity and exercise.
  • The “pull” of the muscles across the bone when you are exercising increases its strength and stimulates increased bone formation, especially in young people.
  • The bone-building cells (osteoblasts) are forced to be the most prominent and if they are challenged with high levels of exercise you can ensure a high bone mineral density (BMD) from an early age.
  • Make sure your children are as active as possible – especially teenage girls.

So how do your bones change as you age?

  • From middle age onwards the skeleton gradually loses bone mineral and women are most at risk due to lowering oestrogen levels.
  • Men are better protected due the testosterone levels in their body but they can suffer from osteoporosis too.
  • If you have a low BMD before the menopause, often due to a sedentary lifestyle, then the risk of osteoporotic fractures is high.
  • The first sign may be a wrist fracture from a fall in middle age.
  • More serious in older women is the risk of a hip fracture.

So what can you do to avoid osteoporosis?

  • The best thing to do is to concentrate on your diet and exercise and it’s never too late to start.
  • The best exercises are those that give the greatest “pull” across the bones.
  • In the lower body that means some sort of jumping where the impact of the body weight dropping to the floor gives the greatest pull across the hips.
  • When it comes to diet you need to eat plenty of calcium to really boost peak bone mass.
  • You should get as much calcium in your diet in your teenage years and early 20s.
  • Adults aged 19 – 50 need 1000mg of calcium per day. Adults aged 51+ need 1200mg calcium per day. Three-quarters of a pint of milk will provide you with enough calcium for the day.
  • You also need to get Vitamin D into your diet as calcium and Vit D work together.
  • Sun is the best way to get Vit D or eat fish with small bones like sardines.
  • Good sources of calcium: yogurt, milk, cheese, salmon, rhubarb, spinach, tofu and sardines.
  • Good sources of vit D: yogurt, mackerel, tuna and egg yolk.

You can find out more at https://www.nos.org.uk/



  • Today I really want to talk about Fibre, we eat about 18 g, it should be 30g – as recommended by government guidelines.
  • They believe this may be why we are struggling to lose weight but at the moment there isn’t a lot of evidence. However, let me tell you why fibre is so important and how you can get it.
  • You could have less meat and more vegetables, your plate will look fuller and as fibre rich foods take time to chew, it helps slow down the speed at which we eat, and gives us time for the brain to recognise we are full. Fibre absorbs water, therefore swells in the stomach, and as its low GI, we stay fuller for longer. If we eat fibre, we are less likely to suffer with CV disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and bowel cancer.
  • Fibre is found in plant foods like cereals, pulses, fruit and vegetables.
  • There are 2 main types of fibre, soluble and insoluble.
  • Soluble is found in fruit, root veg, oats, barley, rye, beans, lentils and peas.
  • It forms a gel in the intestine which slows down the digestion and absorption of carbs. This in turn will keep your blood sugar levels steady and that in turn will stop you reaching for the hi fat snacks.       This is turn will lower your chances of heart disease and also controls your cholesterol levels.
  • Insoluble fibre in found in wholegrain cereals, wholemeal flour and bread, brown rice and wholemeal pasta, nuts and seeds (not golden linseeds as they are soluble fibre).
  • This is vital for your digestive system and helps to prevent constipation and cancer. It gives your food a SMOOTH passage through the body. It helps keep the lining of the colon healthy by feeding the cells and promoting blood flow. It also absorbs toxins and adds bulk to stools. When it’s bulky like this, this means waste products pass through the body more quickly.
  • Fibre stimulates the growth of good and bad bacteria in the gut; we need wheat, garlic, onions, artichokes and chicory for this.
  • Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in the UK and dietary fibre can reduce the risk, it may also lower blood pressure and fibre rich foods are low in fat, but high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are a key part to a healthy diet.
  • So make sure you have the following foods on your shopping list.
  • Granary bread, jacket potatoes, new potatoes in their skins, wholegrain cereals, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, beans, lentils, chickpeas, fresh/dried fruit, eat the skin if possible, vegetables, nuts and seeds.


Weight loss is a journey so tackle it in stages

Some may get there very quick whilst others may take ages

Weight loss is a journey, some take the stopping train

They get off at every station and then get back on again

While other lucky people seem to travel by express

With no apparent effort each week they weigh in less

For some of us the journey too often seems uphill

We never seem to get that far though struggle as we will

Weight loss is a journey, anyone can go

But as you travel on your way there is something you should know

Losing weight’s a journey that’s different for everyone

Some are happy to stroll along while others need to run

If you want to complete the journey then forget about the rest

Each of you must travel in the way that suits you best

As long as you believe in eating healthy you’ll get there some day

And so what, does it matter if you’ve gone the scenic way

Weight loss is a journey that certainly is true

And each of you must travel in the way that suits you

You’ll make much better progress if you go at your own pace

Because weight loss is a journey and never a race


Barbecues – Week beginning Monday 12th August 2019

  • With summer upon us, and the bank holiday looming, I know many of you are enjoying the opportunity to have a barbeque.
  • We have spoken about barbeques before but some of us are still making the same old mistakes so this is just a friendly little reminder.
  • If your first thoughts are high-calorie, high-fat sausages and burgers - don't fret! Chicken, fish, vegetables and even fruit are delicious cooked on the barbeque.
  • Barbeques are a great way to cook as all of the fat from the meat drips into the coals below. Just avoid adding extra fat with sauces and cheese after they’re cooked.
  • Buy reduced fat versions of burgers or sausages or if you’re feeling creative then make your own.
  • Have lots of salad and accompaniments; beetroot, pickles and bean salads.
  • Limit yourself to one plate of food.
  • Have a lighter lunch if you know you’re going to a barbeque in the evening.
  • Use a marinade to add flavour rather than adding sauces and cheese.
  • When it comes dessert have sorbet with lots of fresh fruit.
  • Try to add some sort of activity to your barbecue so you burn off calories – a game of rounders is always fun.
  • Kebabs - Halloumi is a popular vegetarian substitute for meat, which is very easy to cube and ideal for kebabs! Alternatively look out for cubed chicken breast, prawns or lean meats. The beauty with kebabs is that your imagination is your limit - most vegetables, and some fruits too, are delicious combined with tofu, poultry, seafood or meat.
  • Try cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, peppers, courgette or aubergine (cut into ¼ inch cubes), pineapple chunks, apple slices... whatever takes your fancy!
  • Simply put your chosen combination onto skewers, brush with a little olive oil, or find a reduced calorie marinade, and grill over the BBQ until the meat is cooked and tender and the vegetables are roasted and charred around the edges.
  • Note: If using wooden skewers don't forget to pre-soak them for 30 minutes to avoid the ends burning whilst cooking!
  • Salmon - This is excellent alternative to meat and ensures you are getting one of your portions of oily fish.
  • Mushrooms, Sweetcorn, Asparagus, Aubergines and Potatoes – these don’t have to be served in salads; they can all be cooked on the BBQ too.
  • Bananas – these can be cooked on the BBQ too to produce a yummy pudding.
  • Remember to watch out for - salads covered in dressings/mayonnaise; white bread rolls/baps; anything with pastry; using alcohol to quench your thirst; high fat and high sugar desserts!

Are you Pooh, Tigger or Eeyore? – Week beginning Monday 5th August 2019

 Winnie the Pooh

  • is a fun, loving, warm and friendly, chubby little bear. Although not the smartest of individuals, he has charm and charisma.
  • However Pooh has an uncontrollable obsession with his honey and how much he should eat at all times.
  • This shows Pooh has an eating disorder.
  • He is without doubt, an over-eater, obsessing over honey and living with the irrational fear that one day he may not have all the honey he needs.
  • Hopefully none of us are quite this obsessed with food – it’s on our minds a lot maybe but obsessed? NO!


  • is constantly gloomy.
  • He has low self esteem and little confidence in himself.
  • When he is praised he can’t accept that he has done something right and when he is criticised he blames it on life being terrible and not on his own actions.
  • We all of us have a bit of Eeyore in us. How often have we attributed responsibility for a weekend blowout to someone’s birthday or a bad week at work?
  • Usually the blame is light hearted. We know what we have done and can put it right.
  • Only when we find it hard to face up to the inevitable result of these misdemeanours do we begin to lose our way and become a bit like Eeyore.
  • Like Eeyore many of us are not very good at accepting praise and tend to shrug it off and become slightly embarrassed.


  • is an engaging character and some psychiatrists say he shows signs of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
  • Tigger is slightly out of control but his charms are obvious – he is incredibly happy and very energetic and has very high self esteem.
  • Tigger’s song clearly shows his self belief: “The wonderful thing about tiggers is tiggers are wonderful things. The wonderful thing about tiggers is I am the only one!”
  • A person like Tigger dreams about successes but doesn’t beat himself up when they don’t happen every time. Tiggers just dust themselves off and start again.

Which one would be most likely to succeed with a long term weight loss and exercise programme?

  • Pooh? His obsession with food is too great. But he is proof you can be loved whatever size you are.
  • Eeyore? He always expects to fail and would constantly find reasons for not succeeding.
  • Tigger? He has the energy and self confidence and is game to try anything. He may well succeed.
  • If we become a bit more like Tiger and less like Eeyore we will raise our self esteem and confidence and in turn increase our chances of success. You’ll certainly have more fun being a bit more Tigger-ish!
  • Whenever you feel down think of Tigger’s song – feel wonderful about yourself and believe you will succeed.
  • We can and will all do it. We just need to change our mind set slightly and believe.

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