A Q&A with London’s leading nutritionist Dr. Cristina Golfomitsos
The need-to-know nutritionist based at Mayfair Aesthetics, Dr. Cristina Golfomitsos has a wealth of experience. Practicing as a nutritionist for over 10 years, she knows exactly what you should be having in your diet for a healthy body and mind.
Leading health and fitness writer Felcity Williams sat down with Cristina
Tell us how you started in the industry
I have worked for the NHS for the last 13 years as a Doctor of Cardiology and Acute Medicine. I am also a qualified nutritionist and a health and wellness consultant.
I developed my interest in nutrition several years ago after being overwhelmed by the number of patients who would attend my cardiology clinic asking me for nutrition advice to improve their heart’s health through losing weight, reducing their blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol levels and stress hormones levels.
So in back 2011 I completed a Master program in Human Nutrition to enable me to give scientifically proven advice to my patients and provide a more holistic approach to their problems.
What do you love most about your job?
I am very passionate about healthy living and I strive every day to achieve it myself and to help my patients to achieve it. I strongly believe that healthy living starts with a good eating plan. As more and more people read articles online and in magazines, what foods are good for them and what are bad it can be a great help to get someone with unbiased scientific knowledge of how different foods will effect you rather than trying to build an eating plan around the latest fashionable ‘super-foods.’
Food is a great healer, if used correctly it can perform miracles. Food is such an important part of our life, it’s one of the greatest pleasures in life and should be considered an ally rather than an enemy which can be an enormous problem for many people. I really love helping my clients to live a healthier, happier life. Seeing them reach their goals, whether that is losing weight, reducing stress, improving sleep quality, improving their skin, hair and nails or helping them with food intolerances and allergies has always been my primary motivation. A good diet can also help greatly with conditions such as diabetes, eczema and psoriasis.
Tell us about the service you offer
I offer private consultations that can help my patients to take charge of their well-being, and achieve a healthier, happier life with a few simple modifications and adjustments to daily routines.
Typically, prior to a first consultation, I email a food diary and health questionnaire to complete which is reviewed and discussed. This is followed by taking height and weight measurements and calculating BMI and basal metabolic rate which will give a good indication of how much fuel a body needs to function on a daily basis. Specific goals will be set and I advise on methods and techniques to help achieve these goals. This is followed up with a personalized diet plan, recipes and an exercise plan. Possible blood tests will be advised and list of suitable supplements will be recommended which may be helpful. This all takes place in a private consulting room. I particularly like working from Mayfair Aesthetics as they have wonderful bright, spacious rooms with lots of natural light.
The aim of my consultations is to provide my patients with a nutrition education and an eating regime that will remain with them for the rest of your life. Helping my patients recognize bad habits which in the short or long term could be very harmful is very important as is motivating my patients to replace poor food choices with foods that will help them live a happier healthier life. It is certainly possible to enjoy food while losing weight and eating healthily.
Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? What do you recommend?
Breakfast is indeed a very important meal and not to be skipped. We all lead very busy stressful lives but it’s vital we find a little time in the morning to provide our body with the right fuel to face the day. Breakfast doesn’t have to be heavy, usually between 250 and 400 calories.
It’s preferable to eat a source of whole grains such as oats and/or fruit with a source of protein such as eggs or nuts to help keep sugar levels down.
Before breakfast, just after waking up it’s very beneficial to drink a glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon juice to boost your metabolism and to strengthen the liver and immune system, especially in the autumn and winter months.
What are your top tips for a healthy diet?
Never skip meals.
Eat 5 times a day: 3 main meals and 2 snacks.
Try to eat a balanced diet with lots of colourful vegetables, get 5 a day minimum.
Avoid binge eating or prolonged fasting.
Drink plenty of water (between 2 and 3 liters a day).
Keep to a minimum the amount of alcohol, caffeine, fried food and sugary foods and drinks.
Avoid excessive salt wherever possible.
Avoid processed foods and ready meals as they are high in salt, sugar, saturated fat and preservatives.
Avoid eating late at night so as not to disturb the quality of your sleep.
Find out more here: mayfair-aesthetics.co.uk