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Have you ever noticed how many diet books there are in the book shops these days?

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Have you ever noticed how many diet books there are in the book shops these days?

Have you ever noticed how many diet books there are in the bookshops these days?

I should know having worked in sales for Penguin Random House for 4 years! One of the consistent genre earners for the publishing industry are books that are health related, in particular, diet books. From 5:2 to Joe Wicks (who I have plenty of time for), to the older Atkins stuff, to fad diets from Celeb’s that you didn’t even think looked that healthy before the book appeared!

An important element of diet book publishing is making sure your product is fresh, has a new voice and a potential market. This means that a moderate, adult and consistent approach to diet and exercise is often unattractive because it won't catch the attention of the media or a quick fix. Now that’s not to say there aren’t great books out there, there certainly are.

I’m a big fan of Hemsley and Hemsley, The Real Meal Revolution, Joe Wicks, and Grain Brain amongst many others.

But if we take a look at the purchasing behaviour associated with these books, it's evident that they are often stocking fillers and don’t really provide long term solutions or even a consistent message on health, they certainly don't tend to assess the individual and provide a method of evaluating what would work for the reader.

To be frank stocking fillers aren’t normally 'presents' that you buy for yourself, so the message is often ‘this will make a very good present because I saw my wife/husband/daughter/mother watch a tv show with this person…. they'll want to be healthy in January’

The market’s flooded, and what sets a book apart from the competition is often a marketing budget, author profile, a ‘faddy/fresh’ approach and a tv show. A good diet should be timeless, proven and repeatable, like every day of your life!

You’re probably wondering how you cut through the marketing noise? Why even pick up a book, will they even work and can you actually see yourself following Nick Knowles nutritional advice in 10 years?

I’m not even sure Nick Knowles will be following Nick Knowles advice in 10 years….

I meet a lot of people wanting to find some kind of solution, any kind of solution to their lack of progress and ability to keep a stable weight. It’s my duty to provide the best information and the most up to date thinking I can. The one thing that diet books can’t offer or at least the majority don’t offer is the ability to individualise a nutrition plan based on how their body responds to food.

A diet is so much more than food. Perhaps that seems a bit trite or obvious. But from my experience, most diet books talk about what foods are good for you and what is bad for you in terms of their plan not in terms of YOU and your LIFE!

In the traditional sense, a diet is merely a set of predetermined rules that have been set and established, all in absence of the person it'll affect most - YOU! I’ll admit unless you're an alien you will have a human body that obeys a set of rules, and you’ll put weight on if you eat the wrong foods, or become malnourished without sufficient vitamins etc.

The truth remains that what will work for someone else might not work for you. Finding a long term workable system is more important than sticking to a diet.

Diets are often 'backed by science' but don’t feel very scientific. If you’re a test subject then how do you know which end of the spectrum you are?

I think we can untangle and navigate the issue with the following approach:

  • Prioritise healthy habits
  • Don’t fetishise a particular diet
  • Make time for food
  • Make time for yourself
  • Learn to cook
  • Plan your meals and shop for ingredients
  • Establish what your body responds to and construct your meals around these unique rules - the hard part
  • Add healthy food in
  • Exercise start by looking to strength training to tone and build muscle
  • See food as one aspect of wellbeing, approach with consistency and mindfulness
  • Be adult about your expectations, be patient
  • Set boundaries at work and make time for health - it'll make time for you if it fails

As you can see from the above points, these aren’t a diet. They constitute an approach to wellbeing that is not rigid, but instead organic and tailored. Your rules and your habits will need to adapt as your life changes. Your body will change as you age and you’ll need to accept that, but it doesn’t have to change for the worse…. it could just end up being the best version of your for that time in your life.

Some people get better with age (hint their usually the ones that take the time to care for themselves - no this doesn’t mean being selfish!).

What we’ve found is that the fastest most effective way to guarantee fat loss in the long term is to work on your habits and build a bespoke nutrition plan suited to your life.

A recent client of ours made fantastic progress over the last few months, losing inch’s across all measurements. But a sticking point was scale weight (she'd made fantastic progress with fat loss and she’d built muscle and bone density), as a consequence of working hard on her training and building strong habits around food, I felt that we could ‘optimise’ her nutrition. With our guidance, she lost 2.5kg in two weeks safely and discovered a few other surprises along the way.

She worked with us to establish a personalised set of rules that apply to her body and no one else’s. She knows that with this information, which she supports by the new habits she built prior (food prep, shopping, planning meals) if she strays off track she can get back to the straight and narrow.

With our system, we will work with you to establish your own unique habits and food needs. Building a framework for a sustainable and effective approach to fatloss.

Call us on 0203 723 7223 or email us at info@houndsofhealth.co.uk, let's sit down establish what your goals are and make a plan to achieve them!

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