Lose 7lb in 7 days - with no hunger

woman holding up seven fingers

Click here for your 7-day eating plan, on page 2

The secret to losing weight is to make sure that your body is in healthy nutritional shape, according to nutritionist Maryon Stewart from the Natural Health Advisory Service (www.naturalhealthas.com). Maryon has devised a holistic approach to weight loss called The Real Life Diet, which carefully analyses how the body's nutrient levels can affect weight gain. Maryon, who's been studying this relationship for over 25 years, found that by making simple changes, such as temporarily eliminating gluten, wheat and dairy from your diet and adding nutrients such as magnesium, you can get your body back in balance and shed those pounds.

"When I first started up the advisory service in 1984, we treated a group of women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and found that almost 80 per cent of them had a low magnesium score," explains Maryon. "We got them to normalise their nutrient levels by boosting their magnesium intake - using supplements and magnesium-rich foods such as almonds, nuts, seeds, beans and spinach. Interestingly, we discovered that, as well as improving their PMS, other health issues, including acne, fatigue, weight gain and flagging libido also improved.

"What we've found is that magnesium is the most common dietary deficiency, followed by inadequate B vitamins, iron, calcium and zinc. These nutrient deficiencies are mainly attributable to poor diet. The fact is that busy women have a tendency to put a healthy food intake at the bottom of their priority list. Often, they are so wrapped up with organising their families and work load that they fail to concentrate on whether they're getting a healthy nutritional diet, with enough iron, zinc and calcium."

Maryon's diet aims to educate people to eat according to their individual body's needs, and this will assist you in stabilising your weight and losing those excess, hard-to-shift pounds - quite often without even trying! The focus is all about getting the body's nutritional balance right.

"Often, when the brain is adversely affected by a lack of important nutrients, the immune system finds it difficult to work efficiently and will wrongly identify some foods as toxins," explains Maryon. "Wheat- and grain-based products are perfect examples of the kind of foods that are commonly mis-identified by your body, if you are lacking essential nutrients. When this happens, a chemical reaction can occur and as a result of this, fluid floods into the cells in an attempt to flush out the identified 'toxin' - so causing fluid retention, bloating and weight gain as a consequence."

Maryon asserts that she has often seen patients lose up to 14lb in just one month by improving their nutrient balance and dropping these ‘toxic' foods from their diet. "As soon as nutritional balance is restored, most people are able to reintroduce some wheat-based foods without further adverse reactions and their weight levels remain normal," she claims. Maryon has adapted the following seven-day diet plan for SHE from her book 'The Real Life Diet: Get the Balance Right and Never Have to Diet Again' (Piatkus, £7.99), to help you kick-start your weight-loss programme.

Maryon's top seven foods for optimum health

Broccoli Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre, which is associated with a reduced risk of bowel cancer. Said to protect the immune system, while improving skin and mood.

Garlic A natural antibiotic and immune booster, it helps protect against infection.

Kiwi fruit Contain almost twice as much vitamin C as an orange, and more potassium than a banana.

Oily fish, such as salmon, tuna or mackerel Rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which facilitate a healthy brain and nervous system.

Almonds One of the best non-meat sources of protein, also full of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Honey Twice as sweet as sugar, so you need use only a little for a sweetening effect.

Pumpkin seeds Rich in calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc.

Click here for your 7-day eating plan, on page 2

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