After a summer of indulgence, September is the perfect time to get your health back on track. On Tuesday Gabriela joined Phillip and Holly in the ITV This Morning studio to talk through her simple tips for getting back into routine, covering everything from liver cleanse to intermittent fasting.
Watch the full interview below:
Holly: If your healthy habits fell apart during the summer holidays, September is the perfect time to get your diet back on track.
Phil: Well, today celebrity nutritionist Gabriela Peacock is joining us to share easy ways you can lose weight and feel great in just 2 weeks and this is the title of the book, ‘2 Weeks to Feeling Great, because who seriously has the time?’ Why September?
Gabriela: September is the ideal time. You’ve just got back from holiday, back to normality, kids back to school and us back to work and it’s really important to pick up your healthy habits…
Holly: …and start looking after yourself. And something that is quite key to this is that you say ‘small and sustainable changes are better’ because it’s more realistic I guess?
Gabriela: Absolutely, and what we need to recognise as well, is that September can be quite stressful with going back to routine, so it’s really important to start a dietary plan that works for you and your lifestyle as opposed to something drastic which may just raise your stress levels.
Phil: So, what do you do then? Here we are, we’re in September. What should we be doing?
Gabriela: Well, I do love intermittent fasting. I think it’s fantastic, it’s really effective, it’s relatively easy to do and most importantly, it’s very sustainable and well scientifically researched. So for September I recommend the 16:8 method, which is where you have an 8-hour eating window followed by a 16-hour non-eating window, during which you sleep as well, just to give your body a bit of a break.
Holly: So that would look like waking up and having breakfast at around 8am in the morning and then you finish eating…?
Gabriela: 8 hours later. What’s great about this plan is that you can move your eating window as you want. Some people prefer to have breakfast, some people are happy to skip breakfast and have a later dinner, so it’s very much based on you and your lifestyle.
Phil: Is it, sort of harking back, because no matter how hard we try, with our minds, to be forward thinking and modern, many parts of our body are extremely primordial and so human beings developed by not having regular meals - you ate when you could, as much as you could and then it could be days before you ate again. And so, is that still in our DNA?
Gabriela: Absolutely. You know, we are just a bit spoiled. We have food around us we eat for longer periods of time. What I love about intermittent fasting, and I do struggle with the word ‘fasting’, it is just about reducing your eating window.
You're still eating healthy and well balanced meals, but we do just have access to food, most of us, and we eat for long periods of time. This is about giving your body a break to readjust and rejuvenate. It’s a very healthy method and there’s a great link to longevity with fasting as well.
Holly: So, when you are in your eating window, what sort of things should you be eating? It’s not a free-for-all?
Gabriela: Well balanced meals. So obviously, always focus on good quality protein and good quality, fibre-rich carbohydrates. Fibre is a huge one these days, we really don’t have enough fibre in our diets and it’s really beneficial and healthy for us, for our immunity, our digestion and weight management, very much focusing on your healthy vegetables. The more you chew, the more fibre the vegetable has, that’s a trick I tell my patients. Your broccoli, your cauliflower, your green beans, you need to chew them a lot, so combining that with a good quality protein is how we should be eating.
Phil: What about alcohol?
Gabriela: I am a great believer that it’s all fine in moderation - it really is! If I told my patients not to drink for several weeks they would run and never come back to me. I very much believe you need to work with your lifestyle. Definitely reducing alcohol intake after summer would be beneficial…
Holly: …Well, after COVID! ‘The pandemic actually increased alcohol consumption, with over 47% of adults in England now drinking higher levels than pre-COVID’ so we do, as a nation, need a bit of a reset with this, don’t we?
Gabriela: Absolutely, we do. It is really about balance. Over the summer people do tend to drink much more, but giving your body at least 2-3 consecutive days of no alcohol consumption will be very beneficial and when you do drink, drink mindfully.
My little simple tip is, after a glass of wine, always have a glass of water. Your tummy will be fuller, you will drink less alcohol, but you will also increase hydration. Stay away from sweet mixers and also, never drink alcohol on an empty stomach because it will make you crave more sugar and more alcohol.
Holly: A-ha! Ok.
Phil: And is that the liver cleanse, or is there more that you can do?
Gabriela: I don’t believe in a huge liver cleanse, I really don’t think we have to do that, it’s just the little tips and tricks to moderate things as opposed to putting someone through a hardcore detox as such. What really helps as well is supplements to support your liver function.
Phil: What sort of supplements?
Gabriela: I always focus, with all of my patients, on a good-quality multinutrient to cover all of your baseline vitamins and minerals because most of my patients are deficient in something.
So if there was one tablet I’d recommend, it would be the multinutrient and maybe some additional fibre. Maybe some greens, a green powder, perhaps some broccoli or spirulina that we can mix into our juices.
Holly: Just to give you a boost?
Holly: And sleep is incredibly important too?
Gabriela: Sleep is very underestimated, but this is the time when your body rejuvenates, resets and completely switches off, so again, look at your bedtime habits. Are you having a lot of screen time before you go to sleep?
Holly: We all know what we’ve got to do, don’t we? We’ve just got to do it.
Gabriela: Yes, definitely. Something else is, look at your room temperature. We should be sleeping in a cooler room if possible and if not, lighten up your blankets. Magnesium baths and Magnesium supplements are very good, it’s all about little tips and tricks to make yourself feel better.
Holly: Thank you, thank you!
Phil: And it’s ‘2 Weeks to Feeling Great, because seriously, who has the time?’ Gabriela's book which is out now. Thank you Gabriela.
Gabriela: Thank you very much for having me.