how to lose weight well presenters 2021 series 6

How to Lose Weight Well Series 6 Starts Jan 5 2021

By Trudi Purdy, wlr team

Dr Helen Lawal and, new to the show, Dr Javid Abdelmoneim find new (and old) weird and wonderful diets for their pick of would-be weight losers to try.

Season 6 looks like it will take a similar approach to previous seasons - 3 pairs of people with similar goals trying out 6 different diets between them.

The presenters are clearly looking forward to it, here's a warm-up tweet from Dr Abdelmoneim:

Episode 1 - From the Sirtfood to the Yoga Diet

Series 6 kicks off with two sisters and two pairs of friends (the 'mates' and the 'pals'). Between them they put six diets to the test that all seemed unnecessarily complicated when they were described, with either a lot of prep time or lots and lots of exercise.

Weight loss isn’t really that complicated – it’s calories in versus calories out when you break it down.

Here’s the 6 diets from episode 1:

  • Sirtfood diet
  • Mayr Method
  • Intermittent fasting (two versions of this)
  • Fitness challenge
  • Yoga diet

The two presenters also looked at how sleep can affect our weight and how we all respond differently to food.

Let’s meet the dieters and see which of the fad diets above they were given to try.

The Crashers

Sisters Debra and Lesley want to kick start their weight loss for a family wedding they have coming up.

They work together, go on holiday together and generally spend a lot of time together. Debra said that when they get together, it generally revolves around food and alcohol. She admitted that over the years she had pretty much tried every diet going. And, like a lot of people, she had put on nearly a stone over the first lockdown in the UK.

Lesley is a self-confessed ‘snackaholic’. She showed off her ‘heaven in a cupboard’ – a massive selection of chocolate and snacks – admitting that not a day goes past without chocolate on the menu. She adores snacks so much, she said she should change her middle name to Snax!

She certainly wasn’t alone in the urge to snack during lockdown. Between January and June 2020, the average sales of food and drink was up by just over 11 percent, with savoury carbs and snacks up by 18.8 percent.

Week ending 22nd March 2020 (just before lockdown started) saw the highest ever volume of sales recorded – 43.6 percent higher than the same week in 2019.*

And those figures don’t include any takeouts!

Debra introduced me to a completely new body part. The TUPs – tits in pits! Meaning the upper arms that touch your sides when your arms are by your side. She said she clapped when she waved and these were something that bothered her, along with her ‘thunder thighs’.

She said her eldest son was due to get married soon and she wanted to look her best for the photos.

Lesley said she had got some size 10 clothes, but they all had elasticated waists. She would love to get some size 10s with no elastic, no forgiving material.

  • Lesley weighed in at 11 stone 9lbs
  • Debra weighed in at 10 stone 13lbs

The Crashers’ Diets

Debra got given the ‘Sirtfood’ diet. Dr Abdelmoneim made a point of saying that singer Adele had used the diet and lost 7 stone. It includes eating lots of greens, garlic, blueberries and a bit of red wine but, for the first 3 days Debra would only be drinking the diet’s Green Juice. Yum!

The diet’s creator, Aidan Goggins, says it’s high in ‘sirtfoods’ which he says are special because they work by activating the proteins in the body, called surtuins.

Any kind of diet where fast and sudden weight loss is the goal rings alarm bells for me. As a lifelong dieter who has learnt that losing weight really is as simple as calories in versus calories out, I know fast and sudden weight loss is pretty much always followed by fast and sudden weight gain! This is summed up perfectly by BBC Good Food dietitian, Emer Delany,

"I would be very cautious of any diet that recommends fast and sudden weight loss as this simply isn’t achievable and will more than likely be a loss of fluid. As soon as people return to their regular eating habits, they will regain the weight. Slow and steady weight loss is the key and for this we need to restrict calories and increase our activity levels."

Anyway, back to the dos and don’ts of Debra’s new diet. For the first 3 days, she would have nothing to eat but the Green Juice and mustn’t go over 1000 calories. After that she could have up to 1500 calories a day but must adhere to the dos and don’ts below (hang on a minute, isn’t this the same as calorie counting??).

Here's the dos and don'ts of the Sirtfood Diet:

Do

  • Drink Green Juice
  • Eat sirtuin-boosting foods
  • Drink red wine

Don’t

  • Drink alcohol in phase one

Debra’s fridge was a see of green with all the kale for the Green Juice she would need to drink.

Lesley got given a diet that Dr Lawal cited as ‘Rebel Wilson’s Mayr Method diet’. Again, the point was made that Rebel has lost 4 stone on this diet. Recent photos of Rebel show she really has trimmed down but, she doesn’t just follow the diet. She also hits the gym six to seven days a week with a personal trainer, according to news stories. So, I was waiting for exercise to be mentioned . . . I’m still waiting.

The main focus of the Mayr Method is a healthy gut. It states that the key to this is eating more alkaline foods like raw veg and fish, to balance the body’s acidity. But ‘no raw after 4’ to give the body a break for digestion.

I don’t know about you but if the last time I could eat was at 4pm, I’d be in bed by 6.30pm otherwise I would be starving by about 7pm!

The method also encourages chewing every mouthful of food at least 40 times. I guess that does mean that Lesley will be eating mindfully – a concept I can get behind. I’m just not sure that chewing every mouthful 40 times is actually doable in everyday life.

Here’s the dos and don’ts of the Mayr Method:

Do

  • Have raw veg, green tea, spelt bread
  • Chew 40 times

Don’t

  • Microwave
  • East sugar
  • Snack

Lesley doesn’t normally cook a lot at home, and she said it was a lot of faffing for lunch, making lots of washing up! She went on to say,

“I’ve been in the kitchen or shopping literally all day. Very, very time consuming!”

The Crashers Results

Two weeks after starting their ‘celeb’ diets was weigh in day. Lesley said,

“The hours of prepping have got to count for something on those scales!”

  • Lesley had lost 4lbs
  • Debra had lost 5lbs

They both said they would recommend their diets, but I would be really interested to know if they both carried on with any form of weight loss afterwards – the programme didn’t say. In fact, both sisters swiftly jumped into the hot tub with a bottle of fizz, possibly undoing some of their hard work.

Crash diets can be really dangerous, not to mention unsustainable.

You don't have to go on a diet to lose weight, in fact it's probably best that you don't - people lose weight and keep it off by developing several specific habits, as this study shows.

Have a look at wlr's Slim Habits Challenge, which brings together the evidence-based habits with a motivational daily focus to keep you going until you reach a weight you feel great at.

You can try the challenge free

You Snooze You Lose . . . Weight?

Hands up who actually gets 7-9 hours of sleep a night? We are a nation of bad sleepers and only a quarter of adults in the UK get the recommended amount of sleep.

We know that sleep and weight are linked, and numerous studies have been done. Dr Muhamad Usman explains some of the reason in his sleep and weight loss article.

With the help of sleep and metabolism expert Dr Greg Potter, the programme did a little experiment of their own.

They took 5 volunteers from London’s Goldsmith’s University and asked them to only sleep between 2am and 6am. They also asked them to keep a food diary during the experiment. The volunteers had filled in a questionnaire previously so Drs Lawal and Potter knew they would sleep for 8 hours on average and what their normal food intake would be.

During the experiment, all of the students expressed a need for sugar and one of them said she would happily nap right then and there but would probably have a snack instead.

When the doctors met up with the girls again to analyse their food diaries, the experiment showed that, on average, they had eaten 124 calories more than normal each day. That works out at an extra 848 calories over a week. Pretty substantial. One of the volunteers actually consumed an extra 500 calories each day!

The results also showed that the students ate more after 8pm than they would normally. So, making sure you get a decent night’s sleep will help you keep your calorie intake and weight under control.

Dr Lawal also took part in a sleep exercise. When your body is at a cooler temperature, it activates tissue called brown fat which burns extra calories as the body tries to warm up. She wanted to know if you could actually burn extra calories while you sleep.

Professor Michael Symonds has been doing research into this theory. He set up thermal imaging equipment in Dr Lawal’s bedroom and they cooled the room down to 18 degrees. The thermal imaging showed where the brown fat was under Dr Lawal’s skin and how the cooler temperature activated it.

I was really excited about the possibility that sleeping in a colder room could help with weight loss as I prefer being cooler in bed to being hot. So, I waited for the results with bated breath.

Professor Symonds revealed that the extra calories you could burn by sleeping in a room at 18 degrees amounts to . . . drum roll please . . . 75! Wait, what?

I felt a bit let down by Professor Symonds. I’d had high hopes. I suppose it does add up to an extra 525 calories over a week. And therein lies the danger.

I fell into the trap. I was all excited about the prospect of burning extra calories. Why? So I could eat them of course! Dr Lawal even said that it adds up to a big slice of cake!

But hang on a minute, how do I know exactly how many calories I’ve burned by sleeping in the cold? I don’t. So how can I eat them? I can’t.

A really dodgy bit or programming here I’m afraid. Especially with Dr Lawal’s comments about the cake. People watching this might think, as I did, wahey, extra calories, where’s that chocolate cake? I can have a 500 calorie portion once a week and not worry about it. But that’s not exactly true.

It would have been better to explain that these calories burnt by sleeping in a cooler room will just add to your weight loss, not to your calorie count. It’s extra calories that you’ve burnt with no real extra effort (apart from sleeping in a colder room) and would add to your weight loss efforts. So, I guess the question you would have to ask yourself is, would it be worth it?

The Life Changers

Mates, Mick and Maurice were this week’s life changers. These two definitely had me chuckling with their quips throughout. A pair of cheeky chappies!

Their goal was to get fit so they could complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. An admirable goal but, in 6 week’s time? I’m not sure it’s advisable to go from couch potato to that kind of challenge in just 6 weeks. Maurice joked that he had walked to the bathroom at least twice a day and that his step count had got all the way up to 15 one day during lockdown! I guess they know what they are doing . . . maybe!

They both wanted to get rid of their bellies and moobs. Mick described his belly as one that wouldn’t fold anymore and Maurice wanted to check his feet were still there! He also wanted to be able to run around with his 5 year-old daughter.

  • Maurice weighed in at 18 stone
  • Mick weighed in at 19 stone

The Life Changers Diets

Dr Lawal told the mates the diets chosen for them were based on exercise – probably a good thing considering the challenge they wanted to undertake.

Mick got the ‘Fitness Challenge’ diet. This is a nationwide fitness challenge that includes cardio and strength training run by gyms across the country. It uses 45 minute workouts that you either follow in the gym or at home. You also get a personal trainer. A quick squizz on Google and I found you need to live near an F45 studio in order to take part and you are encouraged to order their meals. I found it impossible to ascertain how much it would cost me without downloading their app. And even when I did download the app, some aspects didn’t work and I’m still non-the-wiser.

Here’s the dos and don’ts of the Fitness Challenge diet:

Do

  • Cardio 3 x a week
  • Resistance training 3 x a week
  • Do both on a Saturday
  • Cap at 1900 calories

Don’t

  • Overdo the exercise
  • Drink booze
  • Eat processed foods

Mick was more than a little concerned with the amount of exercise. He said,

“I didn’t realise it was going to be 7 days a week. That’s going to be a challenge!”

Maurice got given the Yoga diet which includes online, beginner yoga tutorials, building up to 3 sessions of yoga a day. I am a fan of yoga but, 3 times a day? Who has time for that?

He would also have to follow yogic eating, which means stopping when you’re three quarters full. Not really sure that Maurice will know when that is. Do you?

He will also need to cook from scratch, using seasonal and organic ingredients. He said the only yoga he had ever done was falling over a bench backwards when he’d had too much to drink!

Here’s the Dos and Don’ts of the Yoga diet:

Do

  • Breathing exercises
  • Increase yoga to 3 times a day
  • Make lunch the main meal
  • Sip hot water

Don’t

  • Drink more than one coffee
  • Snack

The Life Changers Results

Maurice said he felt much more flexible than he did when he started the diet but, he didn’t think he would be continuing with the yoga.

Mick said he felt much better after his diet. He was a better version of himself. He said,

“If I can do it at 53 and 5½ stone overweight, anyone can do it.”

Although he didn’t say if he would be carrying on with the exercise. It was a lot for anyone to do and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t.

  • Maurice lost 6lbs
  • Mick lost 1 stone 9lbs

The Shapeshifters

Bose and Temi wanted to slim down for Temi’s 30th in 4 weeks’ time. They both love Nigerian food. Temi said,

“With Nigerian food you can pretty much deep-fry anything.”

She said it wasn’t portion size that was her problem. It was going back for a 2nd portion, then a 3rd, and . . . maybe even a 4th. She’s a comfort eater and is working from home, which is proving problematic. Her home office is in the family kitchen with other members of the family constantly popping in for snacks and drinks. She’s also partial to a large portion of apple crumble.

Bose enjoys snacking on lots and lots of popcorn. Her and her husband want to have another child, but she wants to work on her weight first.

  • Bose weighed in at 23 stone 9lbs
  • Temi weighed in at 19 stone 8lbs

The Shapeshifters Diets

The diets the team had chosen for them were both based on intermittent fasting.

Temi got the Eat. Stop. Eat diet where she would have to fast for 24 hours a couple of times a week. On her non-fasting days, she would be allowed to have up to 2000 calories. Once she realised that fasting for 24 hours didn’t mean you couldn’t eat for a whole day, she was a bit happier with her diet. She said,

“I am so happy now I know it’s dinner to dinner or lunch to lunch. That is so much easier.”

Here are her dos and don’ts:

Do (on fasting days)

  • Drink water
  • Drink black coffee
  • Drink zero calorie drinks

Don’t

  • Fast on 2 consecutive days
  • Eat junk food
  • Overeat

Temi struggled wit the healthy food. She said, on day 3, that she wanted to have something to eat that wasn’t healthy. She also had to deal with her sister trying to sabotage her diet by standing next to her scoffing a bag of crisps loudly and offering her some when she said,

“Could you crunch any louder?”

Bose got the Bodhimaya Diet. This has an 8-hour eating window and restricts the types of food you eat. For every portion of carbs, you must eat 7 portions of fruit and veg and 2 portions of protein.

From the start, I wasn’t sure how well Bose was going to do with this diet. She had a holiday booked in Spain during the diet period and said she might have problems sticking to it while she was away. In fact, later in the programme she said,

“What happens in Barcelona, stays in Barcelona.” While tucking into a pastry.

She was happy that she would still be able to drink in the first week.

Let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts of the Bodhimaya diet:

Do

  • Cut out snacking
  • Fast for 16 hours
  • Eat fresh vegetables

Don’t

  • Eat after dinner
  • Drink alcohol (week 2 onwards)

Bose’s first meal was spinach with eggs on toast. She ate some and then said she would save the rest for a snack a bit later – not sure that was really in the spirit of the diet.

The Shapeshifters Results

Bose said there were elements of her diet that she had enjoyed. She felt that cutting out processed foods had really helped her skin.

Temi said that she would do intermittent fasting again but would want to change the meals she was eating. She said,

“They need to draft one for Nigerians!”

Bose lost 2lbs over the 4 weeks and Temi lost 4lbs.

Calorie counting would have helped both of them and, possibly, given them far better results. They would have been able to eat a lot of what they normally did, just within a calorie allowance and they could have swapped some of their normal meals for more healthy ones, cutting out some of the processed food they would normally eat.

Let’s Get Personal

Dr Abdelmoneim looked into whether different foods effect each of us in different ways. He visited Dr Sarah Berry at Kings College in London who is leading the world’s largest personalised nutrition research program.

The study, called PREDICT, of over 2000 people has shown that even twins can have different metabolic responses to meals. One of the factors that drives these responses in the microbiome.

Dr Berry wanted to test Dr Abdelmoneim to see how his body reacted to carbs.

She gave him some specially designed muffins to eat for 2 days. The muffins had standardised amounts of different nutrients in them. Some of them were blue so Dr Berry could measure Dr Abdelmoneim’s ‘transit time’ – the time it takes for food to travel through his body. He had to record when he ate them and when his poo turned blue.

Measuring Dr Abdelmoneim’s response to carbs would show how much of a blood glucose spike he would get after eating carbs. People who have big peaks in blood glucose after a meal are more predisposed to weight gain. In theory, if you know how eating a meal affects you, then controlling the big peaks in blood glucose can help you control your weight.

Dr Abdelmoneim was fitted with a glucose monitor and sent away with his two days’ worth of muffins.

His transit time was 24 hours – well within the healthy ½ day- 2 ½ days. His blood glucose results showed that, according to the parameters of the study, his glucose control is quite poor and his reaction to carbs is bad with worse results if he eats carbs in the afternoon.

Dr Berry said that, by looking at his results from the glucose spike and the blue poo, they would be able to advise him on which foods would be best for him to eat for a healthy microbiome.

Not surprisingly, the PREDICT study is being undertaken so they can produce an app and ‘personalised’ diet plans for the people wanting to lose weight. There is still more work to do and whether it will actually help, rather than restrict, remains to be seen.

Next time . . .

Two mates try the coffee and chocolate diets, a father and son give the Mexican and Korean K-pop diets a go, and two girlfriends try the macro and smart app diets. Plus: biohacking and gym bikes.

Episode 2 – K-Pop, Chocolate and Biohacking

This week, the presenters took a closer look at Biohacking and portion sizes. Some of the crazy diets they dished out included the chocolate diet, the coffee diet and the K-Pop diet. But they did at least throw some semi-sensible ideas into the ring for the Life Changers. Let’s find out more.

The Crashers

Heena and her friend, Dhruti both wanted to purge the lockdown pounds. Like lots of friends, when they meet up it revolves around food. But during lockdown, they’ve both found they have been constantly looking for food to keep busy. A story that I would think resonates with a lot of people! Heena’s family have a history of diabetes and she said that was a worry for her.

Heena is a self-confessed Carb Queen with a bit of a chocolate addiction, while Dhruti has a very sweet tooth. Dhruti said,

”I need sugar to get through my day. Anything that’s sweet. All the things that are bad for you, I love!”

Because she was at home during Lockdown 1.0, she spent a lot of time cooking with her daughter, making chocolate brownies, chocolate fudge cake, banana cake . . . you get the picture!

  • Heena weighed in at 11 stone 2lbs
  • Dhruti weighed in at 12 stone 3lbs

The Crashers’ Diets

Dr Abdelmoneim said the basis of the diets chosen for both Heena and Dhruti is that they are both high in antioxidants.

Heena got the Coffee diet. It includes up to 5 cups of coffee a day. Sound good? Heena thought so too, until Dr Abdelmoneim said it would be black coffee with no sugar! Oh, and she wouldn’t be allowed to eat anything for the first three days. She would be consuming a special chia seed smoothie instead. Even in the 2nd Phase, she would only be eating one solid meal. But it’s okay ‘cos in Pahe 3, she would be having 2 solid meals a day. Wahey!

Do

  • Drink coffee from the Equator (allegedly higher in antioxidants)
  • Eat balanced meals (Phases 2-3)
  • Drink water and chia seed smoothies

Don’t

  • Drink milk
  • Consume sugar

Heena said that she normally had syrup in her coffee and lots of milk and wasn’t looking forward to black coffee. She loves a pumpkin spice latte!

Dhruti got the Chocolate diet where she would be encouraged to eat chocolate before and after her meals. Again, sounds good doesn’t it? Like all faddy diets though, if it sounds too good to be true, it generally is.

Admittedly, Dhruti’s diet did seem like a better option to the Coffee diet. Dr Lawal said this diet was about ‘training your sweet tooth away’ by eating unsweetened dark chocolate. Dhruti’s worst nightmare as she said she didn’t like dark chocolate.

”The only chocolate I don’t eat is dark chocolate!”

And she was more than a little disappointed when she realised her chocolate diet included such small quantities of chocolate – just thumb-sized pieces. Here’s the dos and don’ts:

Do

  • Eat a small amount of chocolate before and after meals
  • Eat 3 meals a day
  • Drink alcohol in moderation

Don’t

  • Consume any other sugar
  • Drink fizzy drinks

While we at wlr agree that chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can be a part of a healthy, balanced diet, basing a whole diet around it may not be so good!

The Crashers’ Results

Heena said that she didn’t mind the coffee and the smoothie didn’t taste too bad to start with, although she wasn’t keen on the texture. But 24 hours later, she was totally fed up with the smoothie.

”I literally cannot stand another smoothie!”

She found the amount of drinking in her diet was a real issue. She said that after her diet, she would probably stick to drinking black coffee without sugar when she was at home. But would still opt for a latte with syrup on the odd occasion when she was out. The thing is, depending on how many syrupy lattes she would normally drink, just cutting back on those could have helped her lose weight.

  • Black coffee 5.4 cals
  • Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte 301 calories

Heena lost 6lbs.

Dhruti said that, although she hadn’t enjoyed the dark chocolate to start with, she felt like her diet was made for her. She said it had stopped her sugar craving. She lost 10lbs.

Biohacking

The fitness industry has embraced science and tech like never before over recent years. There are a whole host of gadgets and gizmos on the market that claim they can give you the body you want or make you fitter and healthier. They promise shortcuts to losing fat and getting fit. This is known as biohacking – a techy shortcut to upgrading your body.

Dr Abdelmoneim met Tim Gray, a leading biohacker to find out a bit more about biohacking. Tim said the most relevant form of technology for fitness using biohacking is Minimum Effective Dose Exercise and the equipment used to achieve that. This is equipment that helps you get the minimum amount of exercise to be effective. He said,

”You get all the benefits, without the work.”

Dr Abdelmoneim went on to visit a clinic in London who have the only Vasper machines at the UK. A Vasper machine promises the benefits of 2 hours of exercise in just 21 minutes of a low impact workout.

The machine uses cold packs, in what looked like a large blood pressure cuff, to compress the muscles which reduces blood flow to the areas. That, in turn, increases lactic acid production which stimulates the brain to releasing anabolic hormones – supposedly mimicking really strenuous exercise.

Dr Abdelmoneim gave it a go and said he could definitely feel the lactic acid in his legs. He said it felt strange because, when you normally have that much lactic acid, you wouldn’t be able to carry on.

He said it seemed very clever but did go on to say that to be sure of the actual results, more trials were needed.

”But it does seem that we are on the cusp of a new generation of ways to trick our bodies into doing what we want them to do.”

Fasted Exercise

Some of the suggestions that biohackers make don’t involve tech. One of these is working out fasted – exercising on an empty stomach. This is something I do anyway but, mainly because I like to work out early in the morning, before my brain works out what I’m doing!

Dr Abdelmoneim met with Dr Adam Collins to find out if there are any benefits. Dr Collins said that when you exercise normally, you predominantly burn carbs. Fasted exercise tries to force your body to burn more fat.

Dr Abdelmoneim was fitted with a special mask to measure how much carbs and fat he burnt while he exercised. He ran for 20 minutes after not having eaten since the night before. Then he rested while he drank a special carb-rich drink. Then he ran for 20 minutes again.

The results showed that he did indeed burn more fat when he was fasted. After he’s had the drink, he burnt more carbs.

The Life Changers

Rosie and Joan had 6 weeks until their 2nd anniversary and both wanted to slim down a bit for it. Both had taken full advantage of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme during the summer and blamed that for some of their weight gain.

Rosie enjoyed snacking on lots of chocolate and Joan loved crisps, especially when she was on a night shift as a custody officer.

  • Rosie weighed in at 17 stone
  • Joan weighed in at 15 stone 13lbs

The Life Changers’ Diets

Dr Abdelmoneim told the girls that their diets were going to be less about calorie counting and more about nutrient counting.

Rosie got the Macro diet where she would need to calculate the carbs, protein and fats in all het food, sticking to a 25% carbs, 35% fats and 40% protein ratio.

She wasn’t looking forward to all the maths involved in her diet with making sure she hit the macros. And, Dr Abdelmoneim had said there was no calorie counting involved but, it turned out, that Rosie had to make sure she didn’t go over 1800 calories a day – erm, isn’t that calorie counting?

He told her that no food groups were banned and that she would be cooking from scratch, using quality ingredients.

Here’s the dos and don’ts of the Macro Diet:

Do

  • Consume 450 calories of carbs
  • Consume 360 calories of fat
  • Consume 720 calories of protein

Don’ts

  • Eat processed food
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Consume a lot of sugar
  • Eat too many refined grains

Dr Lawal told Joan that her diet would be focusing on the quality of the food she would be eating too. She got the Smart diet which uses smart technology to encourage a change in eating habits. Joan would need to download a special app that would be linked to a set of smart scales and an activity tracker. She would also get daily, one-to-one advice from a dietitian.

Dr Lawal said she would have to do a 5-day reset where she wouldn’t be able to drink alcohol and would need to drink 2 litres of water a day.

A quick Google told me that for this diet, she would need to track her weight, habits, food and steps using the ‘tech’. It also promotes menu planning for the week, limiting ultra-processed foods, eating more veg, being active and lost of other good habits. Great! But what I did find out was that she would indeed be calorie counting and the dietitian wasn’t actually a dietitian but a nutritionist – both very different as a dietitian is qualified whereas anyone can call themselves a nutritionist.

It’s also a low carb diet and will cost you a whopping £60 a month! Anyway, let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts of the diet:

Do

  • Eat complex carbs
  • Count your steps
  • Track habits

Don’t

  • Drink beer
  • Drink cider
  • Consume sugary drinks

Her first meal was mini omelettes with onions and tomatoes. She said,

”I like tomato flavoured stuff, it’s just got a very odd smell to it. It smells like the outside.”

By day 22, Joan was getting very frustrated because her weight was shifting quite as quickly as she had hoped. Losing weight has it ups and downs, quite literally. Successful weight loss doesn’t happen overnight.

The Life Changers’ Results

Rosie said that she was excited to see her results.

She lost 1 stone 4lbs and said that being on the Macro diet had helped her realise that she didn’t need snacks.

Joan lost 1 stone 5lbs and said she had been very happy with her diet.

Both diets included tracking their food intake. Keeping a food diary really does aid your weight loss but, cutting out food groups and spending a fortune on tech isn’t necessary.

The Shape Shifters

The Shape Shifters this week were dad and son, Joe and Jad. They wanted to slim down for Joe’s 50th birthday in 4 weeks. They both love pie, mash and liquor, always having double pie, double mash and lots of liquor. Joe said,

”I’m probably the biggest I’ve ever been.”

He weighed in at 17 stone.

Jad said he wanted to lose 2 or 3 stone and, if he started to see a change when he did his diet, he could push himself even more. He weighed in at 16 stone 5lbs.

The Shape Shifters’ Diets

Dr Lawal said the two diets the guys would be doing were the hottest and healthiest International diets being talked about at the moment.

Joe got the Mexican Food diet. This diet uses SMART ingredients that supposedly tackle toxicity, emotions, inflammation and hormones. According to the author of the diet, you could lose up to 7lbs a week and get a flat stomach. She also claims that it can even make you more beautiful.

On this diet, he would have to avoid gluten, dairy and beer.

He had real problems with some of the ingredients in his breakfast on the first day, not knowing what quinoa was and struggling to pronounce it. I totally sympathise – when this grain first became popular, I had no clue! But he did seem to enjoy the meal when it was ready. He is also allowed to have a glass of wine a day – he may well need it with all the hot peppers he would be eating! Here’s the dos and don’ts:

Do

  • Eat Avocados
  • Use limes
  • Eat hot peppers

Don’t

  • Consume dairy & sugar
  • Eat processed foods
  • Eat carbs after 4pm

Jad got the K-Pop diet. For those who don’t know, K-Pop is Korean pop so, this diet is based on mostly Korean food with a lot of kimchi (fermented cabbage). Apparently, this is a wholefood, Korean cuisine diet that will not only help you to lose weight but will also give you pop start looks! Jad really didn’t look pleased about the kimchi. He said,

”I don’t even have cabbage on me kebab!”

Do

  • Eat vegetables
  • Eat rice & grilled meats
  • Eat tofu
  • Do 30 minutes of cardio a day

Don’t

  • Snack
  • Consume processed food
  • Drink alcohol

By day 3, Jad was really starting to struggle and was craving mashed potato. Joe’s wife wasn’t helping Joe on his diet – she cooked sausage, mash and onions with gravy, making him break his diet. But it was only one meal so, not the end of the world.

The Shape Shifters’ Results

Joe was nervous before he stepped on the scales. He had been hoping to shift a stone. He lost 9lbs. Still a good loss but, I’m fairly certain eating only Mexican food, quite often cold, wasn’t really worth it for him. He said,

”I got on with it. Stuck with it. I’ve eaten it. Now I’m done with it!”

Jad had lost a stone on his diet. He said he was proud of both of them. He went on to say the K-Pop diet was horrible and it was a real effort to eat the food. So, safe to say, he wasn’t going to continue with it.

Portion Distortion

Dr Lawal took to the streets to find out if the general public knew what a recommended portion of various foods consisted of.

She had pizza, a packet of dry spaghetti and a tub of Quality Street. She asked passers by what they thought a portion would be.

To be honest, some of the guesses were a little ridiculous. One guy said that the whole pack of dry spaghetti was a portion when, in fact, it is 7 portions.

Someone else said that 10 of the Quality Street chocolates would be a portion when it’s actually just 2.

Dr Lawal talked to a leading consumer expert from a Which study on serving sizes. They found that manufacturers are using different serving sizes on the same foods. One of the examples they gave was a well-known cola drink. A bottle was 500ml and, according to the label, was 2 servings. But a can of the same drink that was 330ml stated that it was 1 serving. The maths there doesn’t work does it? Food labelling in terms of portion/serving sizes need a revamp. With unrealistic and inconsistent serving sizes it really isn’t surprising that the general public are confused about serving sizes.

At wlr, we know that portion sizes have increased over the years. In fact, there have been various studies into the increase and restaurant portion sizes are much bigger than they used to be. We have a few tricks you can check out on reducing portion sizes without leaving you feeling hungry.

This section of the programme has to have been my favourite so far and I really wanted to know more.

Dr Lawal went on to take a look at some really unusual tableware like a mirrored bowl, a mirrored plate and something called a crinkle plate. These items are designed to trick the brain into thinking you’re eating a larger portion. While I do agree that fooling the brain can help in the battle of the bulge, I’m not convinced that the mirrored tableware would work for me. I did like the look of the crinkle plate though. This was like an upside-down bowl that raised the food up higher, making it look like there was more on the plate. I wonder how gravy would work?!

She was then served some food that had been coloured with some blue food colouring. This was done to deliberately make it look mouldy. Again, this is to trick the brain into not really wanting to eat much of it and put you off. I think I’ll give that a miss.

Normally, this programme continues for a few more weeks. But, according to the TV guides, there doesn’t seem to be any more episodes planned. This could be due to COVID-19 restrictions affecting filming.

How to Lose Weight Well

No banned foods or mysterious concoctions required. There are a wide range of delicious recipes and diet plans in WLR. You can add any plan to your food diary and mix, match, swap and change as much as you like. Try it free for 24 hours.

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