Instant Improver

The best diet changes and supplements for you


It's mid January. Your right hand is itching for a packet of crisps to delve into and that bottle of multivitamins on your desk is already starting to gather dust.

Fear not. We've sought the advice of expert nutritionists for practical diet changes and useful supplement solutions to help your New Year's resolutions survive a full 12 months.

The following tips from Alice Mackintosh, who practices at Harley Street's Food Doctor clinic, Dr Janet Aylott, consultant nutritionist for ilumi food, and PhD Nutrition strength and conditioning coach Phil Learney will help break down your goals and plan out your next food shop.


Improving your concentration

The diet change

Ditch sugar

Finding yourself running on empty by 3pm? Staring blankly at your screen and thinking about another cup of tea? Sugar is most likely to blame. "Sugar is a real no-no when it comes to supporting brain function, largely because it's the main culprit behind the energy dips that impact on concentration, sleep and mood," explains Mackintosh.

So biscuits are out, while snacks that are high in fibre and protein are in: oat cakes with hummus or guacamole on wholegrain toast are a good start. "Mackerel pate and smoked salmon are also excellent as they contain brain supporting omega 3s, essential for keeping the cogs clicking."

The supplement

Steady On

If you're still finding yourself dipping after a diet change, a carefully balanced supplement could help you out. "I get the best results from Steady On," says Mackintosh. "The formulation has a high level of antioxidants and nutrients that are vital for the production of our neurotransmitters – the chemicals which control mood, concentration, sleep and pretty much everything in between."


Gaining muscle

The diet change

Lean meats, obviously

There's no easy way to gaining muscle mass other than picking up heavy things and putting them down again - but you'll notice real differences if your diet is working as hard as you are. "Protein is an essential nutrient when it comes to gaining muscle," says Dr Aylott. "Get the right protein in your diet with lean meats, dairy foods, fish, nuts, seeds and pulses."

The supplement

Sunwarrior Warrior Blend

No, it's not got anything to do with Pagan rituals or getting a tan. "Brown rice protein is the primary protein source of this supplement," explains Mackintosh, "offering a full repertoire of amino acids, further complimented by cranberry seed protein and coconut oil." That means it's packed with far more important nutrients than the average whey-based protein powder.


Losing weight

The diet choice

Add more veg

Diets are tricky things. The numbers on the scale can tumble to your dream weight, only to creep back on as soon as you start eating 'normally' again. PhD Nutrition's strength and conditioning expert Phil Learney knows the score: "A large facet to creating effective weight deficits is to manage muscle or lean tissue loss. Although heavy, lean tissue loss is a critical reason as to why many pursue their given weight loss plans only to rebound, gaining more than they began with.

"Ensuring several basic things will make this whole process more manageable. Maintain a good level of fibre at every meal - fruit, vegetables are key. Remember that when we consume foods the digestive process is the catalyst to everything that proceeds that. Without good digestion this whole process fails."

The supplement

PhD Pharma Whey HT+

To help your body cut through the fat, it's vital to keep on top of your protein intake. "Aim for 1.6g/kg of bodyweight per day," says Learney. "This will help manage muscle tissue and allow your body to adapt. If you can't reach this intake level from whole foods, a supplemental protein such as PhD Pharma Whey HT+ is superb if combined with some fats and fibre in-between meals."


Improving your immune system

The diet change

Forage for nuts and seeds

Sick of picking up a lousy cold every time the wind changes direction? Chances are you need to balance out your diet, as Dr Janet Aylott explains: "Zinc, selenium, iron, vitamins A, C and E plus folic acid all play an important role in our immune systems. To get these in your diet make sure you get plenty of fruit and vegetables, seafood. Extra nuts and seeds will also help you on your way."

The supplement


Balanced nutrition is the name of the game when it comes to keeping your immune system stable. "Vitamin C and zinc are key", says Mackintosh, "as they work to support the production of the body’s T-cells that help fight off infection and viruses. Nutri’s Immunoblast is an excellent immune support that has good levels of vitamins A, D and E, alongside zinc and vitamin C. It has the added benefit of beta-glucans which are isolated from medicinal mushrooms that have long been used as an immune support."

(Images: Rex)