Stop Dieting, According to Channel 4

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Super Slimmers: Did They Really Keep The Weight Off?
Last month I published a blog on Metabolic Slowdown, and I was surprised to find this documentary on Channel 4 discussing the same issue that I wrote about but in greater detail.
For those of you who missed it, you can catch it on the Channel 4 Player for the next 30 Days. If you don’t have the hour to spare, here’s a brief summary.
The documentary covered the experiences of some men and women who lost a dramatic amount of weight through various programmes including Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Lighter Life and US TV The Biggest Loser.
All who featured on the programme regained weight, except for the personal trainer who’s active 1-2 hours every day and follows his nutrition plan to include jellies when he wants them!
I’m not going to comment on the metabolic slowdown as you can read more about that on the other blog and again in further detail from the links provided there, but from a professional point of view I just want to clarify a few things before you think there is no light at the end of the tunnel and you should give up now. (Don’t)
A couple of things to note about comments passed through the programme, one lady said she wanted to lose weight, became very competitive and wanted Slimmer of the Week, every week. She wanted to lose weight as fast as possible and shed 15 stone over 15 months and was crowned Slimmer of the Year with Slimming World.
15 months later she regained all that weight and said it was down to eating too much again and not being as active as she used to be.
She did not keep up with the lifestyle she followed during her weight loss journey.
Another man shed 20 stone in 7 months from consuming meal replacements from Lighter Life, averaging at only 500 calories per day. No food. Just powdered shakes. He had full body corrective surgery to cut away all the excess skin from such rapid weight loss.
He regained weight because he could not keep up with the lifestyle he followed during his weight loss journey.
Interestingly, a woman targeting to lose 1 pound per week with Rosemary Conley and dropped 8 stone over 2 years. She regained weight but did not know how much and did not want to step on the scales until later in the programme when restarting with Rosemary. She mentioned that her husband used to do all her cooking for her and they are new divorced and she has moved on with another partner.
She regained weight because she did not keep up with the lifestyle she followed during her weight loss journey.

Starting to see a pattern?

If your plan cannot be maintained for whatever reason then inevitably you will end up back at square one.. or worse.
“When we go on a diet and lose weight that is a similar biological scenario to being starving”
They also mentioned that with weight loss, your appetite hormone Ghrelin increases, food becomes more appealing, the visuals, the smells, the taste makes you want more and more and as a result you don’t (or in some cases, can’t) listen to your fulness cues and then over consume.
Common diets, as we know all involve a restriction on something and a caloric deficit. You think diet, you think no bread, no sweets, no cake, no CARBS. Chocolate and crisps only if they’re pointed or syned and on and on.
It’s a vicious cycle. Go on diet. Cut out all the “bad” food. Buckle under pressure and consume all the “bad” food. Feel shit about yourself. Start again Monday. Rinse and Repeat.

So just bear with me for one second on this…

What if you didn’t say “no”? Or “I can’t have that”? Or “I’ve used up all my points today so no”.
Would it not make sense that if you took away the mentality of “no” then your hunger hormones would not respond as if you’re starving yourself?
Because you wouldn’t be starving yourself.
Weight gain happens from consuming an excess amount of calories than your body needs.
But how do I know when my body has had enough?
Without sounding patronising, I’ll put it simply.

Put the fork down.

Stop when you’re full, not stuffed.
You don’t need to clear the plate that’s in front of you, if there’s food left, save it for later. If you get hungry again later, have your leftovers. Ask yourself are you really hungry or is there something else going on.
In theory it’s simple, in practice it can be a bit harder. It’s about retraining yourself to listen to your cues. I do talk about this more with my clients as it can be a case by case basis and I’ll tell you weight gain doesn’t happen just because you really really like food.
The best diet is one that you can stick to for the rest of your life. It doesn’t even have be called a diet. If you work on your relationship with food you will never have to worry about dieting or weight loss again.
If you can do it alone, fair play to you. But know that it’s my job to help people with this, without restrictions, without counting, without dieting.
My members at #NoFilter receive nutrition advice as standard with their regular membership. The service itself is quite personalised. However, if you need a bit more of a push and a helping hand each step of the way, contact me for Nutrition Coaching and Personal Training.
But above all, take care of yourself and be well.
SJ x