Tag Archive for: overweight


We are excited to be launching our August  4-WEEK HEALTHY WEIGHT CHALLENGE: The Low Carb Way! An online support program for people wanting to lose weight, achieve a healthier lifestyle and combat metabolic disease.

Prepare to reclaim your body and your health, as our Registered Real Food Dietitians, Bridget and Tamzyn, guide you every step of the way: This program has been specially designed to provide the individualized dietary interventions that help our individual clients achieve weight-loss and health success, as well as heaps of information and resources used in our follow-up consultations and trainings. Plus more exclusive content designed just for this challenge! We want to do everything we can to help you succeed, so goal setting and monitoring, and support and accountability, are also key components of this challenge.


Start date:

12 August 2019

Entries close on Wednesday 2 August 2019


Here’s a rough guideline of what the program entails

  • Health and lifestyle assessment: To start off with, you will fill in a questionnaire so that we can get to know you and your concerns and goals. Your answers will also let us know about any medical conditions or health concerns that you may have.
  • Diet assessment: You will be complete 1.) an online questionnaire telling us which foods you eat and how often, as well as 2.) a 3-day online food diary. We will analyse this diet data to see how and what you eat, to help us design your individualised diet plan.
  • Individualized meal guideline: You will be given an individualized meal guideline (based on the assessment from the questionnaires and food diary).
  • Weekly menu and shopping list: Will be emailed to you each Friday to prepare for the week ahead.
  • “Hot seat”: Each Wednesday evening we will have a “hot seat” period where you can ask us questions on our private Facebook page and we will be available to answer them immediately.
  • Weekly virtual talk given by Tamzyn or Bridget: Each week you will also have a virtual talk to prepare you for the week ahead.
  • Goal setting: Weekly.
  • Monitoring: Tamzyn and Bridget will monitor your progress by analysing changes in your body composition and meal records and the achievement of your goals.
  • Support: You will receive bi-weekly emails from Tamzyn and Bridget to keep you on track and offer support. You will also have access to others on the program, as well as Bridget and Tamzyn, via the closed Facebook group for trouble shooting and support. You will also have live direct access to Tamzyn or Bridget to answer all of your questions during the weekly Hotseat.
  • Resources: You will be given interesting articles/TED talks to read / watch to help you along your journey.
  • Individualised report: At the end of the program you will receive an individualised diet report and assessment, as well as helpful tips for the way forward.


The following topics will be covered during the program


  • What to expect
  • Goal setting
  • How to use your individualised meal plans and shopping lists
  • Low Carb 101: How to get started on your low carb eating plan


  • Trouble shooting and avoiding side effects
  • Macros: A deeper dive into carbs, fats and protein – what’s enough/too much
  • Hurdles: Eating out/ social eating, and more
  • Psychology of comfort and addictive eating patterns and getting around them


  • Exercise
  • Intermittent fasting: what are the benefits, how to implement it, and which regimen should you choose


  • Addressing questions and concerns that have come up during the program
  • Wrapping up – interpreting your report, have you achieved your goals, sustainability, what next


The cost


Medical aid

As this program is being run by registered dietitians, it is covered by many medical aids. Contact your medical aid to inquire about your whether you can be reimbursed on your plan. We can give you a quote to submit to them.


We hope to instill in everyone that this is not a diet but a lifestyle change to achieve a healthier weight and improve your health.


To book your place in our Challenge or for any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


Yours in Health

Bridget and Tamzyn

Real food Dietitians


Are the chemicals in your environment making you fat?


By Tamzyn Murphy Campbell

BSc, BSc Med(Hons) Human Nutrition and Dietetics, RD


South Africans rank third fattest in the world after the Americans and British, according to Compass Group Southern Africa’s 2011 report.[1] And while we all know that diet and lifestyle are largely to blame, few realise that insidious little fat-making molecules permeating our environment are making the battle against the bulge even harder.



“[The obesity pandemic trend] is more akin to an infectious disease, a contagion, or some other mass environmental exposure [than]… purely a mass alteration in behaviour change” – Professor Lustig, paediatric endocrinologist at the University of California.[2]

Indeed, recent evidence indicates that various environmental hormone-disrupting chemicals increase the number of fat cells and their storage, thereby promoting obesity.[3] These obesogens can also boost appetite and reduce feelings of fullness, increasing the calories you consume.[2] Plus they can shunt the calories you eat into storage rather than allowing them to be burned as energy. [2] Exposure to obesogens in the womb and during early development could increase fat cell quantity for life and programme you for future obesity, even if the exposure is short-lived.[3]

Despite this field being so new, scientists know of at least 20 obesogens. Some of which have been found in 95% of the American population; implying that chemical exposure has the potential to affect most if not every member of a population.[4]



They’re everywhere. In our water, food and plastics. Possibly our biggest environmental estrogen exposures are DDT, bisphenol-A (BPA) and genistein.[2] DDT use as a pesticide has ceased worldwide with a few exceptions. However, it’s still used indoors in countries including South Africa to reduce malaria.[5] DDT is detrimental to health, specifically reproductive health and has been implicated in diseases like cancer.[6] In the US, where it’s been banned since 1972, DDT’s metabolite DEE is still being found in pregnant women’s urine, even in those born after 1972. Pregnant women’s urine-DEE concentration predicts the weight of their children at age three.[2]

BPA (in hard plastic bottles numbered ’7’, babies’ bottles and toys and the plastic lining of tins) is also linked to cancer, reproductive changes,[7] fat cell production and increased adult body mass index (BMI).[2]

Newborn rats given genistein (from soya and alfalfa) were fatter at age three and four months. It’s not known whether genistein contributes to human obesity. Though it’s possible the large amount of soya commonly found in our food supply is cause for concern.[2]



  • Pthalates are plasticisers that make plastics soft and pliable and have a distinctive new-plastic smell. They’re in hundreds of products from cling wrap and beverage bottles[8], to shower curtains, raincoats and children’s rubber duckies. [9],[2] They’re even in personal care products[9]. Everyone’s contaminated. Recently, urine phthalate levels have been linked to increasing waist circumference[2]
  • Atrazine and other organochlorines Atrazine is a widely used pesticide and it’s teratogenic, meaning it causes malformations during pregnancy. Blood atrazine levels are linked to fat stores and insulin resistance in adults[2]
  • Tributylins (TBT) and other organotins TBT is used to paint boats’ hulls to keep them barnacle free. So it’s also in our general water supply. TBT tells fat cells to multiply, boosts dangerous belly fat (via the hormone cortisol), and promotes fatty liver in infant rats whose pregnant moms were exposed to TBT once. Scientists know we’re exposed to TBT because it’s found in our urine, but still need to confirm if it’s a primary cause of human obesity[2]
  • Cigarettes and air pollution are both linked to weight gain and obesity in studies. In children, thiocyanate (cyanide’s cousin) from second-hand cigarette smoke reduces thyroid hormone levels (responsible for metabolism). And traffic within 150 miles of a child’s home appears to increase BMI at age 18.[2]



If you’ve been exposed to obesogens, particularly before puberty, your metabolism’s adjusted to be more efficient at storing fat. So, is this an excuse to give up your lifelong weight battle? Dr Bruce Blumberg, professor of developmental and cell biology at the University of California, Irvine, who coined the term ‘obesogen’ back in 2006, says that exposure doesn’t ensure obesity. It just means you have to try a little harder.[4]

It’s probably best to copy Dr Blumberg’s strategy to minimise his and his family’s obesogen exposure: reduce plastic in your life; avoid sugar (for more on this read Lustig article on page X) and processed, canned and packaged food; and eat organic, fresh, home-made food whenever possible. [4]


References include

[1] South African Institute of Race Relations. Press Release. African women and white men weigh in heaviest. Feb 2013

[2] Lustig RH. Fat Chance. Hudson Street Press, London, England. Jan 2013

[3] Grun F, Blumberg B. Endocrine disruptors as obesogens. Mol Cell Endocrinol. May 2009;304(1-2):19-29 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19433244

[4] Ahearn A. What do we know about obesogens? with Bruce Blumberg. Environmental Health Perspectives. Jul 2012;120. Published online http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/july-podcast/

[5] South Africa.info. WHO follows SA’s lead on DDT. Sep 2006 http://www.southafrica.info/about/health/malaria-190906.htm#.UahjMECmg1I

[6] US Environmental Protection Agency. Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) Chemical Program. DDT. Apr 2011 http://www.epa.gov/pbt/pubs/ddt.htm

[7] Breast Cancer Fund. Bisphenol A (BPA). May 2013 http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/chemicals-glossary/bisphenol-a.html

[8] Sax L. Polyethylene terephthalate may yield endocrine disruptors. Environ Health Perspect. Apr 2010;18(4):445-8  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2854718/pdf/ehp-118-445.pdf

[9] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Factsheet: Pthalates. Apr 2012 http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/Phthalates_FactSheet.html