Secret Eaters - Episode 6

Engaged couple Ronnie Derrett and Stuart Ellaway from Farnborough want to find out why they're putting on weight.

Ronnie says she cooks fresh meals most evenings and only snacks on healthy foods, and Stuart thinks he eats a healthy balanced diet.

Episode 6: Fiancees Ronnie and Stuart
  Ronnie Stuart
Age 26 34
Height 5' 9" 5' 9"
Weight 21st 5lb 16st 11lb
BMI 44.2 34.7

The Problem

Both eat plenty of healthy food, including ample fruit and veg, with no snacks or fatty food.

Like many engaged couples, both want to look good for their wedding.

Ronnie suffers from PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) which she feels doesn’t help her weight.  In addition, she has tried many of the popular diets such as the Cabbabge Soup diet, Atkins, Dukan, Slimming World and Weight Watchers and has still been unable to shift the pounds.

Stuart has gained 4 stone in 3 years and doesn’t believe that he eats enough to explain the gain.

Ronnie and Stuart want to know why their healthy lifestyle is not working and they are still putting on so much weight.

How they fared

Ronnie seemed to eat well all day, with her diary recording just 1780 calories eaten in a day, around 1000 short of her maintenance calories. 

Surveillance revealed that she was guilty of eating healthy snacks to excess – with around 500 in a bag of sunflower seeds.  Her ‘healthy’ snacks could account for nearly 1500 calories over the week , enough to give her a 2st weight gain in a year.

An easy solution for her was to decant a tablespoon of the seeds from the bag into a small pot and just eat that

Ronnie was also spotted eating takeaways and meals out with friends, adding almost a day’s worth of calories in 1 meal or 700-800 calories in a snack.

Stuart’s diary showed that he ate around 2200 calories a day and skipped breakfast.

His secret eating turned out to be sweets and chocolates to relieve stress at work, getting a quick sugar rush from the treats.  He was also spotted eating large portions and takeaway snacks when not with Ronnie. Eating 1124 calories in just 1 meal, Stuart does read the calories but thinks ‘it’s just one’ and that it doesn’t matter to his waistline.

After 5 day’s surveillance, the Secret Eaters Team hit their first mystery, the food tables showed that the couple weren’t eating enough and put it down to Stuart and Ronnie being aware of the surveillance and adjusting their eating accordingly.

However, after 10 weeks of a reduced calorie plan:

Ronnie lost 1st 8lbs and is on target to lose a further 2st 4lbs for the wedding. 

Stuart lost 1st 6lbs and is on target to lose a further 2st 1lb for the wedding.


Additionally throughout the show, Dr David Lewis looked at how perception of shot size can be altered by the shape of the glass you are drinking from.  If you drink out of a short, fat glass, you will pour more that you would into a tall, thin glass – around 74% more!

See How Many Calories You Are Eating

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