Smorgasbord Health Column – Health in the New – Obesity Research – Fat Accumulation Table by Sally Cronin

I probably wrote most of the excuses for my life threatening obesity in my 30s and 40s in my quest to blame anything and everything other than myself.

“It must be my genes” is one of the favourite excuses, and certainly used by many of my clients over the years. Unfortunately, whilst there may be a small proportion of people who do have a real genetic reason for their ability to put on weight, it is not applicable to the majority.

I originally lost 11 stone or 154lbs 22 years ago and there have been times when that weight has drifted back by a couple of stones, it is usually because I have also drifted back into bad habits.

There is no doubt that age and lack of activity do count for some of it. Our body’s systems are not as efficient, and we still feel we can get away with eating the same way we did 30 years ago. Provided you are still very active, that may well be the case, but you still need to keep an eye on the amount of food you are consuming.

Eating a diet that is fresh and cooked from scratch is a great start, but unfortunately even the finest of fresh meats and whole grains still contain calories.

However many ‘fad’ diets there are littering the Internet, you cannot get away from the fact that if you eat more than you expend in energy…. you put weight on.

I don’t believe in giving up any food group that supplies the wide variety of nutrients the body needs to be healthy.

But, you can have too much of a good thing.

You cannot eat unlimited healthy fats and not put on weight. You only need a moderate amount to achieve the nutritional benefits, and the same applies to wholegrain carbohydrates which are so essential for our energy levels.

You have to find the balance, as I have as I have become less active. Portion control is a pain, but it means that you can eat all the foods you enjoy but just less of them.

I have found Intermittent Fasting to suit me best, and eat between 11.00 or midday – to 7.00 or 8.00 pm. every day. I do have a glass of coconut water and tea first thing, which is not strictly within the guidelines, but does not seem to impact the end result.  I eat a good lunch but only have a light supper at night and always make sure that I leave three hours before going to bed. The digestive process for a light meal is complete, and I sleep a great deal better.

The health benefits to me, besides helping me get back down to my optimum weight is that I am not on any medication and my BP, Blood Sugar and Cholesterol are balanced.

This does not suit everyone… if you have an active job or lifestyle, you need to start the day with a good breakfast. The key is to find what suits you, gives you the nutritional requirements your body needs to do the job you demand of it, and maintains a healthy weight and fully functioning immune system.

The magic bullet for treating obesity is like the holy grail, and billions have been spent on finding a short cut to reducing people’s weight. Gastric bands, fasting, fat busters, diet shakes and sometimes harmful diet pills and potions.

At the end of the day slimming clubs are probably the most effective as they limit your intake of less healthy food, and instil willpower which works for many of their members.

At the end of the day, if you are overweight then you are doing yourself harm. Some may like to assure you, that you can still be fit and be severely overweight, but it is not the fat that you can see is the problem. It is the fat around your major organs, such as the heart that are dangerous.

I have written several series on healthy weight loss and will repeat them from time to time. However, one of the most effective weight loss tools that I put together for myself and my clients all those years ago was this table.

It shows you the accumulative factor of having two or more portions of particular foods regularly on your weight.  In most cases, simply halving the quantity of that food will achieve your healthy weight in a matter of months and perhaps in some cases a year.

It is important to remember that 1lb of fat lost a week is 52lbs/24kilo in a year which is usually what most people are looking to achieve. At the recommended weight loss of 2lbs per week that is 104lbs/ 48kilo in a year.

Take a look at the foods in the table and see if there are some that you are eating a little too much of. And if your favourite daily snack is not on the list… check out the calories and multiply by 365 and then divide by 3,500 (equivalent to 1lb of body fat) and see how much weight you could lose by halving the amount you eat over the year.

Obviously weight loss is assisted when you combine sensible portion control with some moderate exercise too.

A brisk mile walk a day accumulates to 36,500 calories per year or in body fat terms 10lbs.


Here are some of the recent studies on obesity.

Effect of genetic factors on nutrition: The genes are not to blame

Individualized dietary recommendations based on genetic information are currently a popular trend. A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has systematically analyzed scientific articles and reached the following conclusion: There is no clear evidence for the effect of genetic factors on the consumption of total calories, carbohydrates, and fat. According to the current state of knowledge, the expedience of gene-based dietary recommendations has yet to be proven.

Overweight and obesity have become a global health problem. According to the World Health Organization, 39 percent of adults in EU countries have overweight. In Germany more than 50 percent of adults suffer from overweight, almost one fifth is according to the Robert Koch Institute currently considered obese. This is primarily due to the modern lifestyle which is characterized by low physical activity and high-calorie foods.

Also genetic factors play a role in the occurrence of obesity. To date, around a hundred genes (loci) have been identified which are related to the body mass index (BMI). However, the functioning of these genes as well as the biological mechanisms behind them are still largely unknown. The investigation of the relationship between genetic factors and nutrition can shed light on whether the genes which are linked to BMI play a role in nutrition.

You can read the rest of the report on how research is failing to implicate genes in the global obesity epidemic: Science Daily – Genes link to obesity.


Intermittent fasting has been gaining popularity among people looking to shed extra kilograms and maintain a healthy weight. Researchers argue that this type of diet may also slow down aging and disease.

In intermittent fasting, what essentially takes place in the body is that one source of energy — which can facilitate the accumulation of body fat — is switched for another.

Our bodies run on glucose, or simple sugar, but when we fast for a longer period of time, that energy source becomes unavailable.

Our system needs to identify a different kind of “fuel.” That is when the body begins to convert certain types of body fat into fatty acids, which are easily absorbed by the blood.

Fatty acids, in turn, produce molecules called ketones, which the body uses as its new source of energy.

Stephen Anton, a researcher at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, calls this process “flipping the metabolic switch.”

“This switch,” explains Anton, “can happen after a certain period of time fasting. It’s a gradation in which your metabolism over time shifts to use higher and higher amounts of ketones for energy.”

He and his team were interested to learn more about how this switch occurs, and whether it could bring other health benefits, alongside weight management.

For this purpose, they reviewed numerous recent studies focused on the mechanisms and benefits of intermittent fasting.

The team’s review, published in the journal Obesity, suggests that intermittent fasting may be more healthful than other dieting strategies, as ketones put less stress on cells than the byproducts of other dieting styles.

Significant weight loss regardless of style 

Read more about the research and its conclusions: Medical News Today – Intermittent Fasting


Half of Britons will be obese by 2045 if current trends are not halted, according to new forecasts.

Experts said that without radical action the NHS will be “overwhelmed” – with one in eight suffering from type 2 diabetes.

The condition already costs the health service around £10 billion annually.

Almost one in three British adults are now estimated to be obese, according to the study. by University College London and pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk.

And if trends continue, 48 per cent of adults will be classed as obese by 2045.

The figure is more than double the forecast global average of 22 per cent, with the US the only developed country predicted to fare worse, reaching 55 per cent.

Around 10 per cent of adults in the UK already have type two diabetes, which is closely linked to excess weight. And the data presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna suggests this will reach almost 13 per cent by 2045.

Read the rest of the article: Telegraph – Obesity forecast.

©Just Food for Health 1998 – 2018

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook from

And Amazon UK:

I would love to connect to you on social media.

Google + :

You can find all my health posts this year in the directory:

I hope this has given you something to think about, not just in relation to your own health but that of your family. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks Sally.

31 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health Column – Health in the New – Obesity Research – Fat Accumulation Table by Sally Cronin

  1. A good post, Sally, Forthright and very true…I only eat two meals a day as it suits me but as you say it depends on your lifestyle some good advice and a great little chart 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Is there anything you have not studied and then put into practice!!! Your blog posts continue to amaze me with their combination of well-researched wisdom + gentle common sense. I wasn’t sure if skipping breakfast (I usually drink some miso broth with nutritional yeast and lemon juice in the morning) and starting to eat solid food around lunchtime was an OK habit. Thank you for sharing what you have learned AND put into practice in your life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Will that is very kind of you and much appreciated. I came late to understanding how important our bodies are, and very dismissive of the expression that our body is a temple. But it is the only real asset we have. Whatever material assets we have accumulated pale in comparison to how beneficial it is to lavish time and attention on ourselves in a very different way… best wishes Sally


  3. Good post and thanks for converting stones to pounds. I have lost 40 pounds over the past year- and this is at least the 3rd time in my life that I have done this! But I’m determined to maintain this time! Using a Fitbit for exercise and logging my calories helps me. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Thanks Sally

    Liked by 2 people

  4. THAT’S IT SALLY…not eating nothing ever again… just kidding even reading the list made me hungry! Seriously though, you are right moderation in all things is the best and adjusting your expectations to your age also helps a bit too. Pxx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sound advice here Sal. I spent most of my life not eating breakfast until I reached my 40s I trained myself to do so. I was the type of person who could go all day without eating, not healthy. Now I eat breakfast and a very light lunch and small dinner. Honestly, I’m not much of an eater, I don’t deserve these extra 5 that won’t leave my side LOL 🙂 xxx Old age sucks!<3

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Health Column – Health in the New – Obesity Research – Fat Accumulation Table by Sally Cronin | Retired? No one told me!

  7. Dear Sally,
    I am 90 kgs in weight and I am 170 cms tall. I am obese. I am trying to lose weight but it doesn’t go. The fact is I think i don’t care enough for it to go. I am numbed in my brain because of something that happened about a month back. And if you ask me if I am happy, I will tell you, I guess I am but I guess what I really am is I don’t care anymore.
    I am glad you made this post and it will benefit many.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Summer Jazz, Noodles, Great Books and Mamma Mia! | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  9. Pingback: Healthy Eating…No more diets…Eat yourself slim… | Retired? No one told me!

  10. Pingback: Healthy Eating…No more Diets | Retired? No one told me!

  11. Pingback: Eat Smart, Eat Healthily… | Retired? No one told me!

  12. Pingback: Healthy Eating, Eat Smart, No more Diets… | Retired? No one told me!

  13. A wonderful post, Sally. I like your chart.
    My husband and I are health nuts. We eat nutrition (that’s how we refer to food). The reference on the last section of my nutrition text book is my guide when it comes to eating. My stomach is small so every bite counts. One of the nutrition classes assignment was to analyze the food and nutrition intake for three days, then modified it to have enough vitamins and mineral needed for my age and weight. I still do that once in a while. We post a illustrated nutrition chart on the back of the cupboard door and refer to it often.
    We basically eat two meals a day, brunch with fruit, vegetable and eggs, dinner with veggies plus salmon, and eat meat once or twice a week.
    I agree with you that as we get older, a few extra pounds helps to give a little cushion under the skin, or when we’re too sick to have appetite.

    Liked by 2 people

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.