Like many working mothers Faith Toogood has to juggle her time and energies; dividing her time supporting her action man husband Charlie, her fairy tale three year old wild child India, the adorable but demanding family Jack Russell terrier Scampi and her work as a dietician and nutritionist.
Charlie has a double life running a summer water sports business in Cornwall and a winter skiing business near Gstaad, Switzerland . Faith felt that although water sports were popular with holiday-makers they did not involve local girls and women enough so she introduced a weekly “Paddle and Prosecco” session. A ladies only leisurely cruise on paddle boards up or down the Camel Estuary, depending on the wind and tide, with the finishing touch of a glass of Prosecco that has initiated unexpected closeness between the diverse 14 to 75 year olds, turning the event into a ritual girly social.
As a specialist dietitian Faith’s professional mission in life is to help reduce obesity and restore a healthy lifestyle and self-esteem; having worked in weight management for The National Health Service for ten years, Faith has helped some chronically overweight people with her sympathetic understanding of their issues and her practical advice derived from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She appears regularly in the ITV programmes “Good Morning Britain” and “This Morning” and previously was the nutritional consultant for the first season of “The Biggest Loser”.
Being overweight can be lonely, depressing and painful, people can be filled physical aches and added to this are feelings of confusion, anxiety, shame, guilt and frustration. In Faith’s experience gastro-bands can help if people need the physical aid to spur them but there is a massive “But” Bands and other weight loss surgeries only work with the right psychological support, in that the foundation reasons for the over-eating are dealt with simultaneously, successful results need exactly the same changes with or without the band, but some people need that extra placebo.
Faith’s big thing is improving people’s relationship with food and over-eating, she tries to help people not to resort unsuccessful extreme diets, most people’s over-eating is emotional so Faith promotes “mindful eating” which separates the mind from the mouth.
Faith’s big thing is improving people’s relationship with food and over-eating, she tries to help people not to resort unsuccessful extreme diets, most people’s over-eating is emotional so Faith promotes “mindful eating” which separates the mind from the mouth, this is quite scary for some so Faith helps them plan mental and physical strategies to stop the chain of events that is destructive. Her advice is solution focussed and centred around accepting and then parking the psychological issues, she encourages patients to move on and look forward.
She puts overweight down to three basic underlying factors:
. Portion size is the most important, do not let your eyes be bigger than your stomach, use a smaller plate and don’t have seconds
. Do not pick… emotional picking, boredom picking and social picking are all as bad as each other, subconscious eating must be consciously avoided
. Lack of planning, “try and avoid being starving” and bingeing when you are over tired; so often people get home from work late and do not have the right meal planned, out of tiredness they will order fishnchips or pizza, or perhaps eat a packet of biscuits while deciding what to cook. If people make time to plan, they can have 4-5 accessible healthy meals ready to go in the store cupboard or fridge. It is not so much about leaving out sugar or carbohydrates or fat she says “most people know what a sensible healthy meal consists of, they just don’t allow the time to plan it, then out of desperation dive into the unhealthy alternative”.
Faith’s new project is in development, an interactive website that integrates advice from four renowned experts: nutrition, psychology, fitness and medical.