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Lose Weight Quickly?

Answered By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Q: A friend of mine is on a diet called Herbalife, which consists of a green tea drink, some powders that are mixed with milk, a few vitamin tablets (I think) and a ‘no carbs but lots of salad and meat’ diet. It says you’ll lose 1lb a day or 20-30lb a month and costs £85 a month. My friend is very overweight and says she’s fed up trying to lose weight slowly by calorie counting or joining a club. But surely it’s not healthy to lose this much weight so quickly?

A: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! In my experience, any product that claims it’ll help you lose more than 2lb a week isn’t worth spending money on. I agree that a weight loss of up to 30lb a month is far too much. However, I’d be really surprised if your friend achieves anywhere near this. Many ‘get-slim-quick’ products work on the basis that you’ll be so pleased you’ve lost some weight, you’ll forget the outlandish initial promise.

It’s likely your friend will lose some weight though, mainly because the diet plan that comes with this product sounds as though it’s low in calories – cutting out carbs and surviving on vegetables and protein-rich foods will almost certainly result in weight loss. As for the other components, it’s unlikely the powder mixed with milk is anything more than a glorified milkshake – a glass of skimmed milk and multivitamin would probably provide a similar range of nutrients.

Meanwhile, a limited amount of research shows that green tea might help to boost metabolism, but more research needs to be carried out before any firm conclusions can be drawn.

Your friend might not want to lose weight slowly – let’s face it, none of us do – but a slow, steady weight loss of no more than 2lb a week really is the only way to stay healthy and keep those pounds off for good. And when you look at it this way, it still adds up to a staggering 8 stone in a year. My advice to your friend is that at the moment, she’s probably losing the wrong sort of pounds!

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