This case study illustrates how the combination of simple, targeted nutritional advice and client commitment and dedication can lead to substantial results.
Mr. P, a 59 year old man, arrived at clinic with a variety of symptoms. His main priority was to lose weight – he was 14 stone 9lbs but felt his ideal weight was around 13 ½ stone. In addition, he wanted to improve flexibility and muscle tone, particularly around his middle. He complained of digestive discomfort after eating, including aches and pains, bloating, excessive wind and diarrhoea. He suffered from migraines typically every couple of months. He also found his stamina and energy fluctuated throughout the day, he was increasingly irritable and easily became angry. His sleep quality was poor – he sweated a lot during the night and was disturbed by the need to visit the toilet.
He had tried a variety of diets before but always found the weight crept back on. He found diets hard to stick to, he always felt hungry and lethargic. He ate healthily at home in the evenings, but during the day at work he drank lots of tea and coffee, lunch was always a sandwich, burger or baguette and he needed sweet treats to keep going during the day.
The nutritional strategy for Mr. P didn't involve any form of "diet" or "calorie counting". Its key aim was to balance his blood sugar by changing what and when he ate. The new approach introduced small, frequent meals and snacks, with a balance of complex carbohydrates and protein at each meal. By balancing blood sugar levels, energy is sustained throughout the day, avoiding the pre lunch and mid afternoon energy dips. In addition, different lunch suggestions were provided to decrease the amount of wheat in Mr. P's diet; variety was increased and healthy snacks were introduced, for example, nuts and seeds instead of the sweet treats. Mr. P decreased his tea and coffee and increased his water consumption. A couple of good quality supplements were recommended to boost specific nutrient levels to help with bone and muscle health. Finally, lifestyle recommendations included yoga and Pilates both of which improve flexibility.
After three consultations, four months later, Mr. P had achieved tremendous results. His weight had dropped by over a stone to a maintained 13 stone 7lbs. He felt he had achieved this without "dieting" and that the changes were now simply his normal way of things. His energy levels were better and constant throughout the day. He felt much better in the evening and his family commented how far less irritable he was. His bloating and digestive discomfort had virtually gone, he had no sweet cravings and he felt in control of his appetite. He had had no migraines since changing his eating pattern. His sleep quality had vastly improved – his night sweats had gone and he could sleep through without needing the toilet. His muscle and joint aches were gone, his flexibility and muscle tone had improved and he had returned to playing tennis.
So, nutritional therapy can result in long term success because it combines nutritional expertise with commitment and buy-in from the client.
This case study was conducted as part of the Raworth College, Nutritional Therapy Clinics, which are run regularly throughout the Dietary Therapy and Nutritional Therapy training programmes.
By Emma Stiles BSc
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