Bust the dieting myth

Adele Stickland Adele Stickland

Nutrition and the latest diet are a consistent and prominent topic within the media – social and otherwise.  With headlines that scream ‘fats are bad’, ‘you’re eating too much protein’ and ‘coconut oil is poison’, it is no wonder that so many women struggle with knowing what they ‘should’ be eating or understand the effects of what they are currently eating. The article will guide you through macros and bust the common myths associated with them.

Nutrition has become sensationalised – tabloid headlines are our daily digestive intake. It is time for a commonsensical, down to earth and factual approach. With the misconceptions of the healthy heart diet and the population’s current high-carb predisposition, your diet is anything but balanced. Going back to basics and examining the ratio of your macronutrients – your carbs, proteins and fats – is your first step. Don’t worry about what milk to put in your tea – almond, cows or soya. That is introspective and too detailed. Instead, take the time to assess the bigger ‘macro’ picture of what you are eating every day.

The predominance of carbohydrates in the western diet has coincided with an explosion in ill health, of the type that leads to a slow and painful death.

“Almost nothing that we commonly believe today about fats generally and saturated fat, in particular, appears upon close examination to be accurate,” wrote Nina Teicholz in The Big Fat Surprise.

Nina spent 10 years investigating and systematically reviewing every piece of research, and I consider her to be meticulous and pragmatic. The Big Fat Surprise was the book of the year in 2014 for the Times, Wall Street Journal and the BBC Food Programme. It was described in the

British Medical Journal as “a remarkable job in analysing how weak science, strong personalities, vested interests and political expediency have initiated this series of experiments.”

What are macros?

Macros are your fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Each type of food is broken down by your body in a unique way. Your body will favour carbohydrates, they are easy for the body to digest, they are taken up and turned into energy in a fast and simple manner.  Fats are harder for the body to digest, they are metabolised differently and take a little longer which can have a very different effect on your body composition.  These two pathways don’t work in unison, they work separately and compliment each other.

Carbohydrates come in two main forms – green and beige.  Green carbs are all veg and fruit whilst beige carbs are pasta, rice, bread and otherwise known as starchy carbs.  Your body will use the glucose (from carbs) before it even begins to use fat in your love handles as fuel. Vegetables contain carbs, fruit contains carbs and biscuits contain carbs, as do bread, oats, and bananas

If you are exercising daily for over 2 hours a day then you are probably consuming an appropriate amount of carbs. However let’s be honest if you are going to the gym 3 times a week, following the same or similar exercise routine each week and spending most of the day behind a desk then the chances are your carb intake is too high.

Comparing the macro recommendations of the most popular diets you can quickly see the staggering range of carb intake that is dieticians speculate.

  • Low-fat diet: 60% carbs, 20% fats 20% protein
  • Low-glycaemic-index diet: 40% carbs, 40% fats, 20% protein
  • Low-carb diet: 10% carbs, 60% fats, 30% protein

The carb and fat ratios vary widely, however, the protein recommendations are generally in keeping.

Where do women start?

Your exercise level and your body type will determine how many carbs you can tolerate. If you are a tall, slim, athletic Swedish type who sea bathes daily and plays tennis every evening – then carry on your body can cope with the regular ‘carb’ fest that most adults are consuming on a daily basis. You are eating an appropriate amount of carbs for your ectomorph. If however, you are small, swarthy, a bit of belly and like sambuca every weekend whilst eating carbs for breakfast, noon and evening, then you are incrementally on a carb crash diet which will lead to exhaustion and future illness.

The way we all try to eliminate the belly is using a diet, which underestimates the long term affect your emotional self and physical self.

Most women diet. Whenever the pounds have piled on you can reset your body by basically starving for a few days, weeks or months.  There are three problems with this the psychotic teenager which is the psychological effect of dieting comes out to play, the biological effect and hormone disruption which leads inevitability to reset failure.  It doesn’t work forever, your body becomes less resistant and the inner teenager turns into the middle age, grumpy, stressed out ogre with low self-esteem.

The false belief that fats make you fat and that cholesterol causes heart attacks, which we have been living with for the last five decades, has become entrenched. For whatever reason, whether that is vested interest or ego or the inability to look at the bigger picture, dissident frustrated voices are being heard in both the US and UK. What began with science researchers and medical journalists has trickled into the arena of fitness and the ‘subversive’ world of alternative medicine, but hasn’t yet hit the mainstream.

Busting Macro myths

Low fat diets are based on carbs which are lower in calorie.  The diet culture is based on the simple belief that 10g of carbs contains fewer calories than 10g of protein or 10g of fat. If you eat carbs you are consuming fewer calories. When your body is young and resilient it has an amazing ability to right itself using insulin. Normal cells are highly sensitive to insulin, which is one of your body’s inner guidance systems.  Over a prolonged high carb diet where your body is constantly using carbs as a source of energy,  insulin becomes exhausted. Your body is no longer insulin sensitive.  Insulin is a storage hormone.

In addition, the diet hypothesis ignores your gorgeous body’s chemistry – carbs provide quick energy burst and you will become hungry again a few hours later. The hunger cycle.

Fats and proteins sustain your feeling of fullness and allow you to use ‘fatty’ deposits in your body to sustain your energy levels for longer.

An alternative to counting calories is examining your macronutrients. If you are analytical, you can use ratios on your smartphone with apps such as My Fitness Pal.

Count ‘nutrients’, not calories

Counting nutrients are where I spend my time. How many mung beans can I eat in a day?

Eat more fat to burn more fat

Simply put, your body can’t burn fat if glucose is circulating in your body.  Breast milk is 54% saturated fat. Coconut oil is saturated fat. Avocado is monounsaturated fat. Dietary fats do indeed have more calories and your smartphone diet app is going to go off the scale when it reads ‘duck’ on your macronutrient balance, which is why you are asked to eat lean meat, such as chicken. Apps and dietary guidelines are following the redundant theory that a healthy heart is derived from whole grains. You need dietary fat to assist the function of your heart, head and every cell in your body.


Improve your relationship with your body

Gorgeous! is the perfect read for anyone looking to revolutionise not only their relationship with food and movement but also their relationship with themselves.

“With Adele’s reassurance and expert guidance, any woman will feel inspired and empowered to begin their journey to prioritising themselves and their health – every body is perfect and every body is gorgeous!” Sandra Business Owner and Gorgeous Girl x




Get Gorgeous is a journey together – yours and mine.

PS. Don’t forget the gorgeous book – your insight into great health and vitality Gorgeous! how to look and feel fantastic every day.  Click here to find out about your Gorgeous book

Find out what other gorgeous girls have to say…

I retired from the NHS in March 2018 after almost 40 years service, first as a nurse but for 35 years as a medical secretary, nursing had to go due to a back injury.   I felt very fat and uncomfortable! By following the Adele links I thought I would take the opportunity to book a call to have a chat with Adele.  Little did I know how this would change my life.  Sounds dramatic, but it absolutely has.

I don’t think I had thought about how committed I would need or want to be, I just thought Adele would help me to lose weight and get fitter, but at the end of that first call when I cried, sobbed and was an absolute mess, I realised I was on a path to a better way of life which I knew Adele would help me get through.

I was in the process of selling the family home which was taking a horrible amount of time and which was traumatic as the decision to move had been a hard one in the first place.  It was where we had lived for 20 years and where my darling husband Stuart had died in my arms after a short cruel illness but one he had fought so hard against.  On that first call, Adele helped me realise I was still grieving even if I believed I was fine although I knew the mask was still evident a lot of the time, safety net rules.

I signed up to the Get Gorgeous programme and got going with wholehearted commitment.  Within a short space of time, I was completely hooked on what the process was about and the possible end results.  Even though I was committed it was the support and encouragement of Adele that kept me going.  I was doing the workouts set out in the modules I was following.  I found doing the workouts on a daily basis easy to follow and enjoyable.  I was doing these on the suggested three times a week but as I progressed through the modules I was able to mix and match them through the week and so I was doing something every day, as well as walking and golfing.  Great strides.  I was also losing weight and feeling so much better for it.

The weight loss was becoming noticeable and I was receiving compliments from family and friends, which was a great morale booster for me.  I was starting to believe in me! Alongside me all the way was Adele whose encouragement, positivity and commitment to me (she made me feel as if I was the only person she was doing this for and so made me feel very special) was endless and worth so very much and to whom I will be forever grateful.  With the zoom meeting calls, Adele was able to see the changes in me and obviously my weekly submitted adherence sheets.  It was obvious it was working for me and I felt so incredibly positive and excited by what I was achieving.

Before I started the programme I was very sad, even though I believe I covered it well, I missed Stuart so very much and although I was busy in my life he was missing.   Since becoming a part of this journey I believe I am a bit more outgoing, although probably still feel more comfortable with those I know well and happy to be a part of the background.  I don’t think that is a negative thing but will change as I continue to grow in confidence.   I cannot tell you how much seeing and talking to Adele has done for me in self-belief and confidence.

Adele is one of the most positive, encouraging, committed people I have met.  She is so obviously knowledgeable about her subject and is keen to share this and help anyone achieve whatever they want,  can’t wait for the book.

She is so exuberant and delightful that I just want to do my best for her and myself.   For me the benefits are endless and although I have completed the modules the journey continues and becomes a positive way of life.  I feel that I am more forward-looking than I was before and that is a massive plus and I feel very proud of myself.

Along the journey of Get Gorgeous I have lost a stone and a half in weight and lost lots of inches and have become much fitter and so I think I have achieved what I set out to achieve.  Overall I feel so much lighter in mood and positive in my outlook which is a massive achievement and which is ongoing.    Adele Stickland is a most extraordinary woman who I adore and feel I can call a friend.  Thank You Adele.

Gill Fenwick Retired nurse Get Gorgeous 28th October 2018



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