With Liane Wansbrough, CNP, NNCP

Liane Wansbrough, Holistic Nutritionist

Liane Wansbrough, Holistic Nutritionist

Holistic Nutritionist, Liane, is passionate about helping patients to navigate their nutritional needs despite their busy lifestyles. As a mother of 2, she understands that cooking for yourself, let alone your whole family can be a challenge. So many people come to Innate Wellness seeking help with weight loss, which is an area of special interest for Liane. We decided to ask her about her biggest challenges and successes when helping clients lose weight.

Q1: First off, there are so many different weight loss programs. You must get tonnes of questions on what program is the best. Do you have a favourite weight loss philosophy? 

There is a reason for unwanted behaviors such as overeating. It’s helping us deal with discomfort and stress—things in our life that aren’t easy to deal with. I believe that coupling quality food choices along with awareness around the emotional driving forces, usually stress-related, in a person’s life provides a good framework for working with weight loss. In terms of specific dietary strategies, I think there is a lot of merit to returning to a plant based, traditional diet—meaning foods that our great grandparents would have eaten. That eliminates most refined, processed food and is a powerful shift towards a nutrient dense diet that’s not only good for weight loss but overall health.

Q2: What are the top things you are listening for during a weight loss intake and why? 

I look for, essentially, what is this person’s relationship with food? Do they regularly skip meals? Are they grab and go eaters? Do they eat really fast? Do they grocery shop and cook? Are they hooked on a lot of poor quality foods such as refined carbohydrates? This information helps me determine what the most realistic first step is for the client. Often diet is a huge source of stress for people and I’m looking for ways to help clients de-stress in this realm along with making changes.

Q3: What are the most common stumbling blocks people run into when trying to shed pounds? 

The “all or nothing” mentality is a big one. People are either on a diet or off. They beat themselves up when they fall off the wagon and have a binge or eat something forbidden. They think they’ve really blown it now so they might as well throw in the towel. I encourage clients to a middle way state of mind—so diet is realistic and not too extreme. We all need to live a little. I would also say that the amount of contradictory nutrition information out there is a challenge. People are confused and overwhelmed about what is a healthy diet – they don’t know how to take that first step.

Q4: Do you have any tips or recipes to help people manage food cravings?

When people start getting higher quality food into them that often helps diminish cravings. L-glutamine is also helpful for people who are struggling with sugar and alcohol cravings. However, my perspective is that instead of trying to banish cravings entirely my approach is to work with them by getting clients to plan an occasional splurge. My rule is don’t keep it in the house—nobody can resist the call of a bag of cookies at the end of a stressful day. Instead, go out and buy a single cookie from a bakery or coffee shop or enjoy a favourite dessert out at a restaurant.

Q5: What is healthy weight loss and how many pounds should people be expecting to loose?

To me healthy weight loss is whatever is sustainable over the long term. The truth is nobody really knows how much weight a person can lose—how much and how fast will be different for everyone. Sometimes if a person has been yo-yo dieting for years it might take time for the body to rebalance because the message has been starvation mode for so long that the body wants to hold onto weight. The person might be doing everything right but they won’t necessarily see a big shift in terms of numbers on the scale for awhile. It can be discouraging for people. For others just cutting back on alcohol consumption gives fast results. I try to take the focus off numbers and instead get my clients to play the long game—weight loss as a product of excellent health.

Q6:  Are you drawing on personal experience when making meal plans? 

Yes, I do a lot of cooking and experimenting in the kitchen with my own family. I have more than 50 cookbooks. It’s always a moving target even for me how to fit healthy eating in with a busy lifestyle. I’m constantly looking for ways to make it work.