Over the last twelve years, hundreds of people have come through my doors wanting to lose weight. I have listened to their stories of weight loss programmes, fad diets, shakes, weightwatchers, soup diets, lighterlife, slimming world, starving and binging. In the end it comes down to treating the individual in a way that looks at their particular lifestyle, health issues and metabolism. There are the lucky few that do lose a lot of weight on fad diets, but the majority pile it back on and the sense of failure only succeeds in worsening self esteem.
Isn’t it better to completely forget the word diet, and go for a more upbeat phrase like “lifestyle change”. This implies you are in it for the long haul and more importantly, it has to be achieveable. You should never feel hungry or get cravings, your body should be well and vital. Your nutrient intake should be high and the quality of your food the best you can afford.
Earlier this year a woman came to see me and started crying when she told me that her friend had lost 3 stone doing a shake diet and she hadn’t lost anything. She couldn’t maintain the 500 calorie a day programme, she felt ill and faint but more importantly she felt a failure. I assured her that it was a near impossible feat to live off that fewer calories when she had bad blood sugar control and a very stressful life. Nearly three months on, she has lost two stone with me and is amazed at how much food she is eating. Here’s what she has to say:
“Since January Kate has asked me to eat five times a day combining protein with carbohydrate. I have never felt so full, but not in a bad way. She also put me on probiotics which has sorted out my bloating so my stomach feels flatter. What I have noticed apart from the weight loss and which I’m actually more pleased about is far greater energy and enthusiasm with life. I don’t get crashes in blood sugar any more, my headaches have cleared up and my whole attitude to food has changed. I was also really confused about food labelling and foods marketed for weight loss. Kate and I had an hysterical hour in Sainsburys as she took me around and really opened my eyes as to what to eat – it was a lot of fun and I learned so much. Whereas before it would be bottom of my list of priorities, I now go without other things so I can put my family’s health first. Our weekly food shop has completely changed. At first I was scared that it would cost so much more, but actually its about the same. As Kate told me when I saw her its a lifestyle change not something that lasts a couple of months and I’m so grateful that at last I have something that is achievable to do for not only myself but my family” .