Why Metabolic Balance® ?
by Viviane Höger
For some time now I have felt the need to offer some of my clients a more structured approach to the nutrition coaching process, particularly to those experiencing health issues that result from unhealthy and consequently unsustainable lifestyles. Popular commercial diets and plans don’t deliver my aspirations or fit with my philosophy, and so were a complete no-go, but then I came across the Metabolic Balance® method.
An established German program endorsed by nutrition professionals and physicians alike, Metabolic Balance® is backed by over 25 years of scientific research. In a nutshell, it is an all-natural nutrition program designed to re-set our metabolism and hormone levels, particularly insulin, in order to enable our body to reach its natural weight.
In order to qualify as a Metabolic Balance® Coach, I was required to undergo the program myself. I am delighted this is the case and would have done it regardless. If I am going to be coaching people through it, I should know exactly what it entails, what it feels like, highs, lows and all.
I was excited to get started but also felt slightly concerned. I have never in my life followed any kind of diet. I gained eight kilos during my first semester at university, and tipped the scales at the heaviest I’ve been so far in my adult life. But even then, I simply cut down on the eating and became a little savvier with my choices. All-you-can-eat cafeterias can really mess you up is all I can say! My weight has remained somewhat the same since then, except during my two pregnancies naturally, and even then, I was back at my ‘usual weight’ within a few months.
I took an interest in the Metabolic Balance® method though precisely because it’s not a diet, but a nutrition and lifestyle program. It prescribes natural foods only, so no shakes, powders or magic weight loss potions. And although weight loss is what drives most people to try the program, personally, this wasn’t my motivation. I saw it as a way to mitigate and hopefully heal health issues that are most likely caused by the way we eat. Most of all, I saw it as an opportunity to really get to know my body.
Before I started, I wondered whether the program would have any effect on my digestive health. I have struggled with varying IBS like symptoms for many years. I wondered and hoped, it would have a positive impact on my rheumatoid arthritis. I’ve lived with it since 2016, and often experience slight to moderate pain in the small joints of my feet and hands. I was also hopeful it would help me sleep better. Ever since I had my daughters I struggle to sleep through the night, although they’ve been sleeping through for quite some time now. And yes, I was curious whether it would have an impact on my weight, which has been pretty stable over the last couple of decades.
I don’t have a problem with my weight or shape. I’m more active than most people as I work as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. This doesn’t mean I always find the time to work out myself though, but still, I am fairly happy with my fitness level.
As a qualified Nutrition Coach, and avid researcher of all things health and nutrition related, I have a very good understanding of what the body requires to be healthy. I cook most of the meals my family and I eat from scratch. I ensure we get our daily five or more portions of fruit and veg. I’m crazy about probiotics and make my own sauerkraut and keep milk kefir at home. I drink a reasonable amount of water. I favour wholegrains over refined carbs and try to keep my sugar consumption to a minimum. But I am also human. I love socializing. I enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner most nights, sometimes more on the weekend. We have take-away pizza once a week, and I treat myself to some dark chocolate most days too.
Like most women, I have a chaotic life that revolves around trying to juggle work and family life. Although I am fairly good at not snacking between breakfast and lunch, I often have a small (sometimes not so small) pre-dinner snack while my daughters eat dinner. My husband doesn’t get home until late, and so I’ve always found it hard to keep going until dinner. This is a no-no in the Metabolic Balanceâ method. Three meals a day with no snacking. I knew I was going to struggle with the long afternoons before I got started.
Despite knowing it would be hard, I was excited to find out whether the program could teach me some new tricks. Could I make improvements to what I feel is already a pretty good diet? If I lost weight, would it be mainly water, or worse, would I lose muscle mass? I definitely don’t want this to happen. I’ve worked hard for my somewhat toned figure, and would like to keep it!
Before I embarked on the program, I did the required blood test. My nutrition program was be based on the results of the blood test and is therefore completely individual. I arrogantly thought that my blood-work results would be stellar. Please. I’m healthy. I work-out!
Well, as it turns out, my cholesterol levels were far too high. My LDL cholesterol (the bad one) was also above the desired range. My markers for inflammation were high, which could mean anything, from my body trying to fight off a cold to my rheumatoid arthritis acting up. Regardless, inflammation is always bad news.
So, will the Metabolic Balance® nutrition plan help me reduce inflammation? Will it help me get my cholesterol to normal levels? Want to find out how I got on?