Nutritionists give stressed executives food for thought

Newsroom 12/10/2009 | 16:02

When was the last time you skipped a meal? Today? Yesterday? A week ago? The path to healthy nutrition has been under the lens for some time and the basic principles for a healthy lifestyle may be widely known, but they are seldom put into practice. “The solution to all these problems is to change your lifestyle, so that concern for your health can find room on your much too busy agenda. A healthy lifestyle includes: balanced diet, hydration and exercise,” Maria Spiridon, nutritionist and dietician at the Medsana Medical Center, tells BR. The reality is that even when you make up your mind to eat well, you are in danger of falling into the trap of false myths which can do more harm than good. Cristian Panaite, MD nutritionist at KiloStop Nutrition Clinic, tells BR about several generally-accepted “truths” about a healthy diet. Myth: drinking cold water speeds weight loss. “If it sounds too good to be true… well, you know! Cold water is just one of those myths that defy explanation. Water, cold or hot, is good for you, but it won't make you lose weight,” he says. Myth: If you're trying to lose weight, avoid nuts. In reality, this is false. Nuts to that! Nuts are full of fiber, healthy unsaturated fat and protein. Walnuts are an especially good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect against heart disease and cancer. Almonds are high in vitamin E, an antioxidant, explains Panaite. Another myth is that you lose weight more easily if you skip breakfast. Myth busted! Scientific studies have shown those who skip breakfast are more likely to become obese, because they will consume food in larger quantities in the second half of the day when the body no longer burns so many calories, says Dr. Serban Damian, sports nutritionist at Superfit clinic. Myth: skipping meals helps you shift weight. In reality, it is just the opposite: by depriving the body of its food, it enters an alert state, and you will only eat more in the next meal,” says Damian. These are just a few examples which show that eating is not necessarily the same as eating well. Make no mistake about it: an appointment with a nutritionist requires you to book time for both nutrition sessions and for exercise (unless he or she tells you otherwise).”Exercise improves blood circulation and heart function, the transport of nutrients to the tissues but also the elimination of toxic residues resulting from the cellular metabolism and induces a better oxygenation of the brain,” says Spiridon. Since there is no quick fix, the first consultation is meant for assessment purposes, in order to establish a long-term strategy. This is when a medical and nutritional assessment of the patient is done. “Usually, I send my patients a questionnaire via e-mail which they fill in before the consultation and which we use as a basis for discussion. My aim is to identify the profile of the patient, the lifestyle, the moment when certain disorders appeared – since all these help me establish future steps,” says Damian. An evaluation consultation at the Superfit clinic costs RON 80. The programs cost from RON 700 and can take from two to five months, depending on the case. The Royal Fit Clinic offers, in addition to nutritional programs, anti-aging therapies, for which the consultation is rather extensive. Eugen Dunca, specialist in anti-aging, nutrition and fitness and president of the Royal Fit Clinic, tells BR that more than 100 blood tests, RMN and CT are carried out on each patient. Results are received on the same day and then doctors interpret them and decide if the client qualifies for anti-aging therapy. “Anti-aging treatment with HGH and testosterone, which is the most effective, contains products considered medicines,” says Dunca. The cost of this treatment is EUR 20,000 for three months of therapy, EUR 30,000 for six months and EUR 50,000 for a year. Anti-aging treatment without HGH and testosterone is totally natural and prices are approximately three times lower.The KiloStop clinic, located in the center of Bucharest, specializes only in nutrition and weight management. It sees around 35 patients per week, several of them French or German expats. The first step is to set up a meeting to define the patient's goal, get his/her history, and establish together the right time and the right approach to start the treatment plan. Secondly, the patient undergoes a series of tests at the clinic and a complete blood analysis. The tests usually consist of a body composition analysis (percentage of fat and muscle), rate of metabolism check, an ECG for the heart, a vascular test to establish the actual age of the vessels and a hair mineral analysis (needed for personalized nutrition at a biochemical level), Panaite explains. “Then, we ask the patient to complete a weight and lifestyle questionnaire and keep a food diary for a week, not changing anything in their diet so as to reveal their eating patterns,” says Panaite. The cost of a 30-minute session is RON 75. The clinic offers two-, four- and six-month treatments, all-inclusive Kilostop Complete packages, especially designed for weight management. “People who come to us for help usually come for weight loss programs. We offer also nutritional advice to people who want to increase their muscle mass. Another category is people who are not feeling 100 percent, usually with an upset stomach or other digestive problems, or just the feeling that something needs improving in their diet in order for them to be happier and healthier,” says Panaite.

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