May
03

Patient Success Story: Michele & Tony Hamilton – Nutrition the Key to Getting Across the Line.

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Sports NutritionThe finish line of the 2012 Dublin Marathon in Merrion Square on 29 October marked the culmination of months of hard training for husband and wife Michele and Tony Hamilton. The training regime adopted was one where diet was as important as the miles run in the build up to the marathon.

“Myself and my wife Michele are keen runners. Not only is running a way to get fi t, it is great to release
stress from the pressures of everyday life. It is also a way to enjoy the adrenaline rush of running with thousands of other like-minded individuals on the streets of Dublin or the back roads of Limerick. We got the running bug back in 2009 and since then we have ran the Dublin Marathon four times. We have managed to shave off 40 minutes from both our first marathon finishing times in the Dublin marathon, achieving personal bests of 3hr 34 minutes and 3hr 44 minutes respectively this year.

We approached Elaine back in May 2010 to seek dietary advice in order to lose weight and to aid our training regime. Our training involves runs up to 4 times a week, starting from May to October, with distances ranging from 4 miles up to 23 miles in October. Returning home from training late in the evenings meant that we had no structure around our meals and nutrition. Initially we believed that this intense training regime would give us a passport to eat whatever we wanted, from chips to Mars Bars! We couldn’t
understand why we weren’t losing weight after all our running. We found rather than losing weight we were struggling to stay at an even weight.

We sought advice off Elaine and after she saw our eating diaries she recommended a low and controlled carbohydrate diet. We believe this decision to get help from Elaine changed our lives. We got a shock
when Elaine told us that we were “really partying” when it came to our eating habits and that if we hadn’t started the running the previous year we would both be two stone heavier! Elaine quickly recommended a complete change to our diet. We would have to learn to control our carb intake dependent upon the intensity level of the training. It meant that we cut down on unmeasured portions of pasta and potatoes, eliminated sugar in our diet in the form of biscuits and chocolate bars, and embraced our new best friend porridge. She also departed great dietary advice concerning hydration, starting food diaries, and cutting down
alcohol intake.

The results of the new food plans are that we have both lost weight – Michele 9.2kg (1.5 stone) and Tony 6.3kg (1 stone). We can now maintain healthy body weights, and stay injury free. More importantly we have been able to drastically improve our running times and are comfortable and confident both in and out of our running clothes. Visiting Elaine has changed our lives as she has taught us how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, something we feel we would not have been able to achieve on our own.

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About Elaine

Elaine graduated from Trinity College with a B.Sc., (Hons) in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. She gained wide experience working as clinical nutritionist in several hospitals prior to establishing her first private dietetic clinic in 1992.

Private Practice Experience
Elaine has gained vast experience specialising in providing private individual dietetic consultations for her clients in her clinics for the past 17 years. In recent years, her main areas of interest are weight management, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and nutrition and gastro-enterology.

Elaine is an active member of the INDI and was chairperson of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic weight management interest group from 2005 to 2007.

Dietetic and Nutrition Consultancy
Elaine has provided dietetic consultancy to a wide range of industries including private hospitals, hotels and catering companies. She has designed, piloted, implemented and coordinated workplace wellbeing programmes for several prominent companies and large international corporations.