Oxford Personal Trainer - Simon Reeves - Personal Training, Nutrition & Well-being for Oxford.

Simon Reeves
Personal Training, Nutrition & Well-being for Oxford

Who can benefit?
Britain's Health
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Weight Management
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Weight Management

        Tired of diets that dont deliver?

        Want to lose weight but cant face the rabbit food?

        Say goodbye to charts, calorie counting and point systems!

        There are sensible ways to achieve weight loss without sacrificing the joys of eating.

        Together we can discover a whole new way of looking at the food you eat and getting the results you want.

Weight loss, or more accurately fat loss and improved body shape, is one of the most common goals for my clients - it is also the area where there are a number of commonly held misconceptions.

The first thing anyone thinks of in relation to weight loss is that dreaded word diet. Most diets get good initial results that decline as the diet progresses, all too often, when the diet finishes the weight comes back, sometimes with a vengeance. Ironically the last thing you should do if you want to lose weight is make yourself hungry which is good news I think.

It is important to draw the subtle, but important distinction between weight loss and fat loss. Many of us say we want to lose weight, when more accurately we want to lose fat - this may sound picky, but it is an important distinction. Many 'quick fix' diets may help you lose weight, but they often achieve this by encouraging your body to lose muscle mass and/or water whilst leaving your fat deposits almost untouched. When the diet finishes, your body is often in a worse state of health (balance) than it was before, and the weight very quickly returns, much of this new weight gain will be fat. Now your body may be a similar overall weight, but will have a higher proportion of fat content than before. This change of body composition in favour of fat is a very common side effect of dieting and leads to reduced energy levels and poor body shape. It also makes it easier for you to gain further weight in the future by slowing down your metabolic rate. More importantly though, an increase in body fat levels affects your health prospects.

Many of us return to the same or similar dieting processes again in the hope of success second, third or fourth time around, often blaming ourselves for the failure of a deeply flawed dieting process. Be very wary of any diet or supplement that claims to allow you to lose more than two to three pounds a week, if you lose weight quickly, it is very likely that not all of this weight loss will be fat, much of it is likely to be water and lean tissue - water is essential to good health, dehydration (lack of sufficient water) is already estimated to affect over 60% of the UK population, and is directly linked to many chronic diseases - the kidneys are particularly susceptible to damage by low hydration levels. I will check and monitor your body composition (hydration, fat levels and lean mass) when we work together.  

A cycle of weight loss, followed by weight gain is often referred to as yoyo dieting. Yoyo dieting usually results in a higher and higher proportion of body fat with each yoyo. The body systems become strained and tired and you can feel low on energy and enthusiasm as the body becomes more and more out of balance.

When you deprive your body of the nourishment it needs, your metabolism (the processes and systems that sustain the body) adapts to ensure you can survive. As a hunter-gatherer, we were biologically designed to cope with periods of time when food was scarce. Our bodies do this using two methods: Firstly our metabolism slows down, so we burn less fuel not a good idea if you want to lose fat. Secondly the body prizes its fat stores very highly as these are our precious energy reserves and would have contributed to our survival ability. Because our fat reserves are highly prized, the body will not burn them unless it really has to, instead it will start to break down other body tissue to provide fuel for the body. It is no wonder you may feel weak and listless on a very low calorie diet.

Finding a way to sustainable weight (fat) loss

I do not recommend very low calorie diets to my clients for the above reasons. The best results for sustainable weight loss are obtained from making changes to your food choices and eating habits and looking at any nutritional imbalances that may be triggering cravings for inappropriate food.
As with so many things in life, balance is essential for long term success, in this case balance refers to the composition of the body, which should be balanced between water, fat and lean. When our body is out of balance we often experience low energy levels, and can find it difficult to lose weight. When our nutrition and bodies return to their natural balance, energy and vitality are often restored and with this comes the improved body shape and weight loss we have been seeking.

If weight loss is one of your goals, I will almost certainly ask you to complete a Food Diary for a fortnight so that we can look at your food intake and make sustainable changes for the better
  I promise I will not make you go hungry!

Most of us know about the calories in verses the calories out balance. Traditional dieting adjusts this balance by reducing the calories coming in, but an equally important factor is the calories being used by the body. Getting more regular exercise and raising our metabolic rate can be as important as following an appropriate diet in the battle for good health.

For many people their underlying calorie burn each day (Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR) has been lowered as a result of lean tissue loss from previous low calorie diets. This muscle atrophy (loss) needs to be addressed to promote optimum health and make fat loss and improved body shape sustainable in the future.

To hear about metabolic rate as discussed on the BBC Radio Oxford Breakfast Show, click here.

"Many of my clients come to me after struggling with their weight, food, self-image, energy levels or well-being. It is always a joy to me when my clients start to bloom, to develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies again, to gain image confidence and a revived sense of aliveness.
Combining appropriate exercise and good nutrition delivers amazing results for the majority of my clients - I see myself as an enabler or catalyst and it gives me great joy."

Copyright 2005 to 2013: Simon Reeves, Personal Trainer & Nutritional Advisor, Oxford UK
01865 862800 or 07977 098818
Email: simon@oxford-personal-trainer.co.uk
Last modified: 29 December, 2012