Ditch the quick-fix

As consumers prepare to loosen their belts for the festive season, Hayley Coristine gains insights from the stores and brands who’ll be helping them towards post-indulgence recovery, exploring solutions beyond the diets pills and discovering the detox system which is attracting a celebrity following

Consumers have more information about nutrition available to them than ever before, but many still struggle to eat healthily and keep their weight on track: nearly two-thirds of British adults are overweight or obese, and as a nation the UK eats too much sugar and salt, while missing out on fruit, vegetables, fibre and oily fish. Time-starved modern consumers have long sought a single pill solution for health and weight loss – but the appetite for a silver bullet could actually be part of the problem.

No magic pill
For clinical nutritionist Suzie Sawyer of www.nutritionlifestyle.co.uk, a key part of helping people shed weight after over-indulgence is advocating against the appeal of the quick-fix. “Everyone is looking for that panacea. People intrinsically want weight loss to be quick, and of course it doesn’t happen that way.” 

This appeal is one reason why fad diets remain so popular when it comes to slimming down. These diets may mandate eating only one type of food (like the grapefruit diet) or may take account of personal characteristics (the blood type diet). Even the most unlikely of regimes may help people lose weight in the short-term simply by restricting calories.

Instead, Sawyer encourages retailers to highlight the options where claims can be supported – like green tea, which studies suggest may help promote weight loss. She also sees merit in the British Nutrition Foundation’s newly launched ‘quality calorie’ concept which helps consumers consider the types of foods they eat. The initiative sees foods as containing ‘quality’ calories or ‘empty’ calories: nuts are quality calories, whereas a few digestive biscuits – though potentially of the same calorific value – are not. “People may not realize they could be eating foods that are calorie dense but nutrient poor,” says Sawyer, who feels the initiative may help people understand whether the calories they take in can also deliver quality nutrients.

Fab ferments
For Gareth Zeal, nutritionist and owner of Little Green Social, a Newcastle-based health food shop and café, helping people lose weight means encouraging them to think about what they want to achieve. “Some people are honest enough to say: ‘I do eat more than I should’. But there are quite a few of those who are very disingenuous about how much they eat; that’s human nature.” Zeal is an advocate of probiotics with Lactobacillus gasseri and fermented foods because they help promote weight management and gut health. “You only need a spoonful [of ferments] to be truly effective; it’s not something that should dominate the plate,” he says.

But fermented foods aren’t yet common in British diets: forget kimchi or sauerkraut, Zeal laments, it’s tough enough to convince Brits to eat yogurt. Though there have been few clinical studies on fermented foods, research suggests improved gut microbiota could help with weight loss in overweight people. While putting gut flora back on track shouldn’t be touted as a route to rapid weight loss, it may help in the longer term, even if only by encouraging people to think about ferments differently.

Could the natural products industry help take fermentation – and its benefits – mainstream? Great taste has been cited as key to getting British consumers on board with fermented foods, and while taking the plunge on a whole jar of kimchi may be asking too much for some, in-store sampling could provide an opportunity to introduce more people to the benefits of fermentation.

Seaweed: a slippery subject
Some consumers face particular challenges controlling their weight due to medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism. Supplements that use seaweed as a source of iodine are becoming increasingly popular, but the British Thyroid Foundation (BTF) urges consumers to tread with caution as seaweed can contain it at very high levels. Too much iodine can be as harmful as too little, says Julia Priestley, CEO of development for the BTF, who underlines that ‘there’s no magic diet for people affected by thyroid disorders’, and that if people choose to take supplements they should do so ‘with care and not in excessive amounts, after appropriate advice from [their] doctor or pharmacist’.

Simon Ranger, founder of pioneering organic seaweed company Seagreens, highlights that the iodine content of seaweed – a category with as much variety as vegetables – varies significantly from one species to another. Ranger points out that the health recommendation defining what constitutes ‘too much’ iodine is based on synthetic sources, which are harmful if taken in excess. This is crucial, he says, because research has shown that iodine from natural sources isn’t absorbed in the same way, with any excess being excreted without adverse effects. As Ranger says, when it comes to research around seaweed and iodine, ‘there is still much to learn’.

Plant power
Earlier this year the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ruled that Pukka Herbs could no longer advertise its popular Detox tea. Under EU regulations, ‘detox’ claims must be accompanied by a specific authorized health claim, and Pukka could not prove it could qualify for a transitional exemption which would have allowed it to keep using the term until 2022, before the loophole in the regulation is closed.

Euan MacLennan, herbal director at Pukka, says: “In recent years, unfortunately the words ‘detox’ and ‘detoxing’ have had other associations, including crash dieting – something we have never advocated at Pukka. Our mission is to bring people closer to the incredible power of plants and a cup of our organic herbal tea is a safe, delicious and easy way to do this.” 

From mid-January 2019, Detox tea will be rebranded as ‘Feel New’ to highlight the wellbeing messages originally intended for the tea when it launched back in 2004. The rebrand will also see introduction of a new pack design and the addition of turmeric to Pukka’s 100% organic blend. 

While Pukka has had little choice but to rebrand its bestselling brew, will other herbal tea brands selling detox products voluntarily follow suit ahead of 2022? Watch this space.

A different kind of detox
While nutritionists may argue that detox is an overused word with no scientific backing, it’s undeniably popular. Health coach and celebrity wellness guru Geeta Sidhu-Robb is the founder of Nosh Detox, the UK’s first home-detox delivery service whose fans include Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna. 

“There is a rising awareness that medical science deals with illness, and that wellness requires another approach,” claims Sidhu-Robb, whose juice and prepared meal business has gone from strength to strength since launching in 2008. In those early days, she won over an uncertain public by harnessing the power of bloggers and social media. “I think the biggest change since we started has been the attitudes towards juice diets in general,” she says. “Juice fasts didn’t exist in the UK at the time; in fact some people actually thought a detox could kill you!” 

So, what does this trendsetting businesswoman see on the cards for weight loss? Vitamin injections and IV vitamin drips. “Vitamin-mineral immune-boosting can play a role in helping people move toward optimal health and this is certainly one of the rising trends across the UK, the rest of Europe and the US,” she says. While there aren’t yet any clinical studies showing concrete evidence that the treatments offer any health benefits, Sidhu-Robb doesn’t expect the trend to stop any time soon.



HealthAid Ltd
Tel: 020 8426 3400
E-mail: [email protected]

CoffeeSlim™  – Help Support Weight Loss – CoffeeSlim™ is new weight management supplement with essential ingredients, such as Green Coffee Bean, Raspberry Ketones, Green Tea, African Mango Seed, Blueberry Extract, Cayenne Pepper and Chicory Root.  Green Coffee Bean Extract help’s to release fatty acids from fat stored in the body. Chlorogenic acid helps the liver to process these fatty acids more efficiently.  Raspberry Ketones are naturally occurring phenolic compounds found in red raspberries which help curb appetite and cravings for food. CoffeeSlim™ has the additional benefit of key Amino acids and Minerals to help support, healthy metabolism and weight management. Suitable for Vegans  CoffeeSlim™ retails at £19.99 for 60 capsules. Contact HealthAid Ltd on 020 8426 3400 for purchase and stockist information or visit www.healthaid.co.uk.


Garden of Life – Raw Organic Fit French Vanilla Protein

Kinetic Natural Products Distributor
Tel: 08450 725 825
E-mail:  [email protected]

Raw Organic Fit Vanilla is a certified USDA organic, Non-GMO verified, vegan high protein powder specifically designed to support weight management. Its unique content of clinically studied ingredients including Svetol® Green Coffee Bean Extract, Ashwagandha, Cinnamon and Baobab help provide dietary and exercise support, balance blood sugar levels and help you look great! Offering 28g of protein per serving with no artificial ingredients, it is tested and trusted as a clean supplement for competitive sports. Produced at low temperatures, preserving complete amino acid integrity, it is easy to digest with 13 organic sprouted grains, seeds, legumes; 3 billion CFU live bacteria and 13 enzymes. For more information or to order visit www.kinetic4health.co.uk or call 08450 725 825.


Live Life Lighter – Lepicol Lighter

Tel: 01460 243230
E: [email protected]

Compliance with most calorie-restricting weight loss programs is notoriously poor, particularly over the long-term, with up to two thirds of dieters regaining more weight than they lost on their diets.* There are, however, a number of complex contributing factors to the pathophysiology of obesity, not solely related to over consumption and lack of exercise.

Environmental toxins are thought to accumulate in our fat tissue and are subsequently released as we lose weight.* One theory for the body to continue to hold onto weight when on a low calorie diet is the body’s reluctance to release these potential toxins stored away in our body fat. Their release is believed to be one of the causes of fussy head, nausea and weight plateau. This is one of the reasons that a detox is recommended before or alongside a weight loss program. In vitro probiotics have been shown to bind to and remove a variety of heavy metals* and toxins* from the colon, which could, therefore, potentially bring benefit to this scenario. I would also recommend consuming a wholefood organic diet to reduce the intake of any additional environmental toxins.

Eating plenty of local seasonal vegetables will provide soluble fibre to support digestive health and provide food for the healthy bacteria in our gut too. Regular removal of waste products via the colon is an important process in natural detoxification. Fibre has the additional benefit of helping us stay fuller for longer. If you feel you need to top up your fibre intake to reduce food cravings Lepicol Lighter is a high fibre product containing 7 strains of live bacteria, chromium, an essential mineral that helps the maintenance of normal blood glucose levels, glucomannan, a plant fibre which contributes to weight loss in the context of an energy restricted diet and psyllium husk, which contributes to maintaining normal bowel transit.


12 Days Cleanse – Kick Start Your New Health Regime

Chris James Mind Body Limited
Tel: 0208 538 9516
E-mail:  [email protected]

More than just another Slimming & Detox product, 12 Days is a complete program of blood and tissue regeneration, that combines the benefits of dietary guidance, vegan recipes, high quality food supplements and herbs, working to rejuvenate mind and body.  • Increase your energy levels
• Mental clarity  • Sound, refreshing sleep • Kick bad habits  • Drop a dress size
Whether you do 12Days to create inner wellness or just because you want to shift a few pounds in a limited space of time – it’s easy to fit in and around your normal day-to-day life. Prepare to be amazed by the results! 



Coyne Healthcare (Pty) LTD
Tel: 0207 921 0021 / 07831 446017
E-mail:  [email protected]

ORIGINE8®  The world’s latest breakthrough in nutraceuticals, a highly bioavailable, eco-friendly South African green tea extract called Origine8® which delivers the benefits of green tea with Liposome. Origine8®, for the first time delivers all 8 polyphenol rich catechins from fresh live green tea in a standardized supplement.  Origine8® is designed to be more bioactive and have 12 x greater absorption than other green tea extracts.  A human clinical study has demonstrated a single capsule delivers the equivalent potency of 25 cups of green and remains bioactive for 24 hours. A superior choice for those interested in vitality, slimming and detox.


FSC Liquid Carnitine

Tel: 0800 083 0356
E-mail:  [email protected]

L-Carnitine is an essential fat-mobilising amino acid. It is involved in the transport of long chain fatty acids into the cell mitochondria, thus enabling efficient energy production. As with all FSC’s products, FSC Liquid Carnitine is made in the UK with the finest ingredients and based on widely recognised scientific evidence of their health qualities. It contains no artificial flavours or preservatives. No added sugar, salt or colours. Suitable for Vegans.


Active Liver

New Nordic Ltd
Tel: 0800 389 1255
E-mail:  [email protected]

Active Liver is a natural health product that improves your liver’s health and helps you detox on a daily basis – all year round. With just one tablet a day, it gently but effectively uses known herbal extracts to facilitate detoxing of the body–without the “side effects”. Active Liver™ contains milk thistle, an herb known for protecting the liver and reducing heavy metal toxicity. It also contains turmeric, a superfood and one of the most anti-inflammatory and protective antioxidants known. Finally, Active Liver contains globe artichoke, a plant used for centuries for increasing bile production. Bile is used to bind and flush toxins and fats from the body. Active Liver is available in a 30 tablet pack – Take one tablet daily.


HRI Milk Thistle

Jessup Health
Tel: 033 022 08548
E-mail: [email protected]

Take HRI Milk Thistle after an indulgent night of drinking and eating to help with an upset stomach or digestive problems. Milk Thistle is a potent herb which has been used traditionally for its anti-inflammatory properties and acceleration of liver regeneration to help you recover from a big night out. HRI Milk Thistle tablets are the strongest available in the UK market and carry the government issued THR (Traditional Herbal Registration) symbol to indicate the highest quality and safety available. Based on traditional use only. Always read the label.


Glutathione Complex

Tel: 0121 433 3727
E-mail:  [email protected]

Glutathione Complex is a synergistic combination of nutrients including reduced glutathione, vitamin C, B5, B6, zinc, molybdenum and selenium. Together, these nutrients support the detoxification of various substances, protection of cells from oxidative stress and normal function of the immune system. 30 days’ supply, suitable for vegetarians and vegans.


Lamberts® Green Tea 5000mg

Lamberts Healthcare Ltd,
Tel: : 01892 554313
E-mail:  [email protected]

The green tea extract used in this Lamberts® product has been concentrated to ensure a high level of the active ingredients called catechins, providing 250mg per tablet. For Lamberts® to ensure the very best quality, and a high level of active ingredients, the extract is obtained from whole green tea leaves harvested young and without the leaves being fermented (the process that turns green tea in to black tea). Just one of our tablets is equivalent to ½ litre of traditionally brewed green tea but with a caffeine content a fraction of normal tea.


9 Day Detox Pack

Tel: 0370 3341575
E-mail:  [email protected]

The 9 Day Detox Pack, developed by Patrick Holford, gives specialised nutritional and antioxidant support to help a detox programme.  It contains potent liver support nutrients including alpha lipoic acid and N-acetyl cysteine that have been shown to support the body’s natural detoxifying processes and eliminate unwanted substances.  In order that the toxins can be removed, the pack includes digestive support which contains a combination of digestive enzymes, probiotics and glutamine powder. It not only powers the gut but heals it too. The 9-Day Liver Detox book by Patrick Holford is also available from HOLFORDirect.


GL Support

Tel: 0370 3341575
E-mail:  [email protected]

GL Support, developed by Patrick Holford, is the perfect supplement to recommend to clients following a weight loss diet, as it combines three supporting nutrients.  Chromium helps stabilise blood sugar, burn fat and reduces sugar cravings.  5-HTP increases serotonin levels which controls appetite – the higher the level the bigger the reduction in appetite. Garcinia Cambogia is an appetite suppressant and has fat-burning properties, making it harder for the body to turn glucose into fat. It is the perfect supplement when following a low-GL diet. The Low GL Diet Bible by Patrick Holford is also available from HOLFORDirect.


Pro-Ven Probiotics Adult Acidophilus & Bifidus – 25 Billion

ProVen Probiotics
Tel: 01639 825107
E-mail:  [email protected]

Good digestion is key to detoxification and weight management and Pro-Ven Probiotics products contain the comprehensively studied Lab4 and Lab4b groups of bacteria, which have been shown in clinical studies to support digestion in adults, children and babies. Using proprietary production processes that ensure the stability of the live bacteria in combination with appropriate vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, the Pro-Ven Probiotics products are specifically designed for every lifestage.

Pro-Ven Adult Acidophilus & Bifidus – 25 Billion is gluten and dairy free and suitable for vegetarians. A pack contains 30 capsules, each providing 12.5 billion Lab4 bacteria.


Seaweed Diet

New Nordic Ltd
Tel: 0800 389 1255
E-mail:  [email protected]

Wakame seaweed aids in weight management and fat metabolism. Globe artichoke helps support digestion. The Seaweed Diet tablet is based on the latest scientific findings on effective functional ingredients from seaweeds. Modern research has proved the link between the marine carotenoid fucoxanthin and the benefits of seaweed in weight management and fat metabolism. The Seaweed Diet tablet contains fucoxanthin rich wakame in combination extract with Norwegian kelp. The tablet also contains artichoke and black pepper which helps support digestion, dandelion and white mulberry leaf. It’s content of chromium helps maintain normal blood glucose levels and metabolism.


Solaray 48 Hour Cleanse with Mightidophilus 

Au Naturel UK
Tel: 0800 0851697
E-mail:  [email protected]

Life in this day and age means we are exposed to a lot of toxins without our knowledge. Even if we eat pure, clean food and use organic, clean products on our skin and breathe what we think is clean air, we are exposed to what’s in the water, what’s flying through the air and even undisclosed elements from packaging. Even a healthy digestive system will produce toxins from the perfect food we think we consume. Luckily we have Solaray’s 48 hour cleanse which is loaded with herbs and friendly bacteria to enhance our overall health and well-being.