Neil’s Story

Neil’s Weight Loss Success


Neil was 30 years old when he suffered a stroke in June 2006 caused by a bleed in the brain, which initially left him with locked in syndrome. Fast forward to 2020 and Neil has made remarkable progress in his recovery, but in his own words, “[I] have been left physically disabled. People find it difficult to sometimes understand me when I speak. I fully understand everything which is going on around me.”


Neil was put in touch with Food For Thought Nutrition Coaching by PhysioFunction, who he sees regularly in-clinic and via telerehab to work on his mobility goals. Neil was keen to explore the benefits of nutrition and lifestyle coaching to “Lose and achieve a healthy weight whilst dealing with my disability. To feel more positive and have strategies to support stress management. To achieve more settled sleep.”


After meeting with Neil over Zoom to discuss his current diet and find out more about his sleep, physical activity levels and stress, along with completing an in-depth nutrition analysis, it was clear that Neil was already making some good progress towards his goals. However, a few simple adjustments would improve the overall quality and balance of his diet, ensuring he was eating enough to meet his daily nutrient requirements whilst still making progress towards his weight loss goal. Together we agreed a programme of action steps that would help Neil to achieve these outcomes with Neil jokingly saying to me, “I seem to be eating more when I should be cutting down!”


Neil and I also explored some wellbeing strategies to help support stress management; these included daily breathing exercises and taking time to reflect on things that had gone well. This latter action step prompted Neil to write a letter to PhysioFunction, thanking them for helping him through a tough year in which he writes, “Then Rhiannon put me forward to work with Hannah on health and well-being, where with a few dietary tweaks I have managed to lose some weight and part of the coaching made me think about writing this letter, reflecting on the best bits of a bad tough year we all have struggled though. I hope to keep the hard work going next year.”


After just 4 sessions of NLC, Neil’s results speak for themselves: he achieved a weight loss of 2.5kg and his BMI decreased from 27.3 to 26.5. As Neil puts it, “how would know by eat better and more you would lose weight”. Neil also reported an improvement in his blood pressure with a reading of 128/72 which he describes as “very good for me”, and whilst this was not a result that we set out to achieve, it was a welcome outcome nonetheless and demonstrates how making dietary and lifestyle changes can result in further, positive health improvements beyond the original goal.


When asked to comment on his overall experience of Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching and what worked particularly well for him, Neil said, “It all helped”.