Calories On Menus: Will It Help Us Lose Weight?

Calories On Menus: Will It Help Us Lose Weight?

The next time you dine out at a restaurant you may notice a change – calories listed on menus.

 

63% of adults in England are overweight or obese. The cost to our already struggling NHS is an estimated £6.1 billion a year, according to Public Health England. There is no denying that we need to support people in leading healthier lifestyles and achieving good metabolic health.

 

The government’s response so far has been largely calorie focused. It is a basic, somewhat outdated, approach to weight loss. But it’s a start. Most recently, restaurants, cafes and takeaways that employ more than 250 people are now required to display calorie counts on their menus.

 

CALORIES IN RESTAURANT MEALS

 

The food we eat outside of home makes up between a fifth to a quarter of an average person’s total calorie intake. Typically the portions of food or drink that we eat out (or eat as takeaways) contain twice as many calories as their equivalent made at home.

 

Just last weekend I met a friend at Joe & The Juice. I considered ordering a healthy-sounding smoothie. However, the calorie count (over 500) made me think twice. I had already eaten my breakfast. I wasn’t hungry. Did I really fancy the smoothie? Not particularly. I’d have been just as happy with a green tea. I ordered the tea. Seeing the calorie count made me think twice and make a more conscious choice in that moment.

 

CALORIES AND WEIGHT LOSS

 

Calories are far from the be all and end all of weight management. Where those calories come from is a more important consideration. But what calorie labelling does do is raise conscious awareness. Someone going into a bakery chain every day without a second thought as to the amount of calories they’re consuming for lunch, may well start to think twice once faced with their meal’s total.

 

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS

 

In focusing on supporting people in losing weight, it is important we do not forget those struggling with eating disorders.

Eating disorder charity Beat’s Chief Executive Andrew Radford said: “Requiring calorie counts on menus risks causing great distress for people suffering from or vulnerable to eating disorders, since evidence shows that calorie labelling exacerbates eating disorders of all kinds.”  What I would like to see is the option for people to request menus without calorie counts. In the same way separate menus are available detailing all of the allergens in a dish at most restaurant chains. Then, if you prefer to ignore the calorie count, the option is available to you.

 

Let us not forget that this applies to chains with more than 250 employees. If you want to avoid calorie menus altogether, you can choose to support smaller businesses.

 

If you’d like some tips for healthier restaurant dining that don’t involve choosing the lowest calorie option on the menu, here’s an article I wrote on that very subject: 8 Tips For Healthier Restaurant Dining

 



AILSA HICHENS

 

Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.

 

Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.

 

Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.

 

To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

NIKKI ANDRIANI

 

Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.

 

Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.

 

A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

STÉPHANIE ACHAR

Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.

 

Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.

 

To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.

INNA WEARN

Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.

 

Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.

 

Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!

 

To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.

ANIA MASON

 

Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.

 

After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.

 

Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 

 

To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.