It’s nearing the end of January and some of us may have already said goodbye to our new year’s resolutions. But what if you want to make a change now? Where can you find out about healthy eating? Have you bought the latest celebrity fitness DVD or diet book? Did you watch a t.v. show about the latest ‘clean eating’ fads? Are you tempted by a weekly diet plan that encourages you to eat branded ‘low calorie’ products?

Next time you take nutrition advice from a friend who lost 2 stone or an article in the news, ask yourself where this advice has come from. One of the first things I was taught on my Nutritional Therapy masters at University of Worcester, was to question everything! Who wrote this article or weight-loss programme? What training or qualifications do they have? It is not enough just to know a bit about nutrition. In addition, a practitioner should be trained for at least 2 years in critical thinking and evidence based practice, biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, psychology and behaviour change theory. It is extremely important to be properly trained in the use of supplements as these can interact with medication and can worsen certain health conditions. Finally people who give nutrition advice need to be ‘clinically trained’ to work with people. Look out for practitioners who are members of the CNHC, a government founded regulatory body.

But if you’ve already bought the latest hot celebrity diet book, don’t throw it away. Just take a common sense approach to the advice that you’re given, be wary of purchasing any miracle products and check with a health professional before taking supplements that you may not need.

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