Secret Eaters - Episode 2

The Castle family from Welwyn Garden City cannot understand why they are putting on weight; even though they eat healthy, home-cooked food.

Episode 2: The Castle Family
  Belinda James Sarah Lewis
Age 53 50 21 19
Weight 15st 2lb 17st 8lb 16st 3lb 15st 10lb
BMI 41.4 32.5 42.9 34.5

The Problem

Mum Belinda wants to lose four or five stone before she goes on a family holiday She is struggling to lose weight and can’t understand why. She believes she has spent £1000s on slimming pills over the years.

She has eliminated dairy, bread and cheese from her diet and even bought smaller plates. Belinda believes that she is eating something that stops her losing weight.

Dad James was always ‘the fat kid in the class’ and has put on around five stone in 10 years. He admits to eating substantial meals, but wants to know why he is putting on so much, especially as he doesn’t snack a lot.  He believes his eating habits are the result of good manners.

Daughter Sarah says that she hates her appearance, even hiding her bedroom mirror. Being a fussy eater, she doesn't like vegetables. But is partial to a roast potato!

Son Lewis thinks of himself as a 'typical 19-year-old.' He loves his snacks and diet coke – his parents have even put a lock on the food cupboard to stop his grazing.

How they fared

Large portions and sides along with snacks and alcohol are not helping the family. 

Belinda mindlessly munches as she prepares the evening meal, adding 722 calories before she sits down to eat, plus a further 1223 calories from alcohol.

Her food diary claimed she ate 1800 calories a day – the evidence showed she ate 4176.  She needs to cut out the alcohol and snacking.  By preparing the meal’s vegetables first, she can snack on them as she prepares the rest. By just cutting out  her grazing, she could lose nearly 1½ st in a year.

James finishes his extra large portions.  His evening roast dinner was a whopping 1824 calories, and his weekend fry up nearly topped 1000.  Snacking didn’t help and he added another 1000 calories before his meal. 

With a food diary showing only 1970 calories a day, he was actually eating 3969.

Sarah also enjoyed extra large portions, with 1260 calories on her plate.  Daily takeaways and snacks added more calories and although her diary recorded 1200, she was actually eating 4349.

Lewis was a nonstop snacker, with a love of fizzy diet drinks. The show suggested that diet drinks may not be as good as they appear. The artificial sugars may fool the brain into expecting actual sugar, then the body compensates by craving snacks.  By swapping to juices and water, he should be able to combat his snacking.

Additionally, the show looks at why we reach for snacks at work and the impact on our weight.  With hints and tips for coping with the office treats, there’s some good advice to be had.

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