Shaping up your body

Watching all those perfectly honed athletes taking part in the Olympics is enough to make anyone look in the mirror and start thinking maybe it’s time to get in shape.

Tuesday, 14th August 2012, 11:11 am

We all know that exercise is good for us, but what about diet

Catriona Paton is running a revolutionary weight loss course in Gainsborough challenging some of the big myths about what we eat.

The 48-year-old says calorie counting and eating low-fat everything is out. We need to think like cave men instead.

She said: “Our digestive system hasn’t changed in 50,000 years. Our body knows how to digest meat and vegetables, it doesn’t know what to do with manmade foods full of chemicals so it wraps them in fat and stores them.”

Catriona said that the five-a-day message was also misleading, because it should promote vegetables rather than fruit, which has sugar in it.

“Cave men ate fruit but only when it was in season in the summer, when days were longer and they were more active.”

“Eating a lot of fruit, or drinking orange juice, can cause a sugar spike and if the body can’t store it in muscle, it will store it as fat.”

She said that 80 per cent of dieters regained the weight within a year because most of it was lost through water and muscle. Once people returned to their old eating habits, the body rehydrated itself and, with less muscle, the metabolism dropped.

“You should never drop your food intake by less than 15 per cent of what you are currently eating because that will put the body into starvation mode and it will reduce its fuel needs,” she said.

Catriona, of Lound, near Retford, said the information she gave in her courses allowed people to understand how the digestive system worked and the effects different foods had on the body.

“It’s not prescriptive, I give people the information and then it’s up to them how they use it. It’s about losing weight gradually by changing eating habits.”

White carbohydrates, like white bread, cakes and biscuits, should be avoided because these could also cause a sugar spike.

“Spikes need to be avoided because your body has to deal with a sudden rush of insulin so the idea is to slow it down. Complex carbohydrates like those in wholemeal bread and whole grains take longer for the body to digest and break down, so they give a slower release of energy. If you’re eating white bread but add some cucumber or celery as roughage, this will slow the digestion down as well.”

Catriona’s five-week free course is called Mind Your Body Shape and the next one will start at The Foundry learning centre on 18th September. To book a place call 01427 677377.

She is also going to be running community classes with Lincolnshire Sports Partnership. Its operations officer Shane Ward said: “Catriona’s classes have had some really good results so we wanted to roll it out across north Lincolnshire.”

“I sat in on one of the classes and there was some good insight and points being made.”

Catriona also offers a month’s one-to-one coaching for £50 and is available to give talks to groups. To contact her call 07845 498700.