5 women 5 diets and one disgruntled Lydia

Did anyone read this article in the Daily Mail last week?

Its basically a whistle stop tour with 5 women each embarking on a different diet for 1 year. The opening line says “When it comes to shedding the pounds, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Each of these five slimmers put a different diet to the test throughout 2013”

Now I fully admit to having a preconceived idea what the 5 diets were going to be. I was convinced it would be SW (of course!!), WW, Rosemary Conolly, a VLCD (such as Cambridge, Lighter life or Slim n Save) and 5:2 which seems extremely popular at the moment. To me those five diets are sufficiently different to make the results of any diet trial more worthwhile.

I can’t help but say I was rather disappointed to see that the 5 diets were:

Harcombe
The Fast Diet (never heard of it!!)
Dukan
Gastrip Wrap (hardly a diet!!!)
Lighter Life (aka VLCD)

Now in my own honest opinion I count those all as “extreme dieting”, I struggle to see (other than surgery) how you can stick to the above long term for the rest of your life without some major tumbles of the wagon.

Don’t get me wrong its an interesting article and I enjoyed reading it mainly because it envoked a lot of emotion rom me, here’s my little run down and thoughts on each diet:

Harcombe
Reduces carbs increased unprocessed foods. The latter I have no problem with as I fully endorse a drive for more unprocessed foods and cooking from scratch. Reducing carbs long term I do have a problem with. Long term its not good for you, carbs are our main source of energy and its wrong to be made to think that complex carbs such as wholemeal pasta, brown rice, wholemeal/granary breads, sweet potatoes etc are bad for you. They stabilise blood sugar levels, are high in fibre often and make us feel fuller for longer. Win, win, win in my books.

The lady following this diets admitted she rarely ate dairy when her weightloss started to stall a little. She was advised she was “carb sensitive” and cut out “highly colouored and root vegetables such as red peppers and carrots” – two extremely nutritionally packed vegetables – cutting them out??? Don’t get it? She lost 5st 3lbs over the year, which is brilliant but you can see from the article she stuck well to the plan.

She seems very motivated at the end of year to be fair to her and if it works for her then great, I am just not convinced that there isn’t health risks with such a diet.

The Fast Diet
I had never heard of this one before.Its basically a fasting diet, you eat 500 cals for 2 days and normal the rest. Half way through her weightloss had stalled because of parties etc as she wasn’t able to fast for 2 days. Now call me cynical but if she had been doing Slimming World she would have been able to factor that much easier into her eating plan that week! She also suffered a gain after a holiday (don’t we all) She lost 1st 7lbs over the year.

Dukan
I tried Dukan once, I last 48 hours, it was torture, I’m not good with any restrictive diets in all honesty. Dukan like Harcombe is more carb restricted.

This lady worked away a bit and found the diet difficult to cope with when away and went back to the “attack” phase (the first of 4 phases on the diet) to compensate for this. She lost 3 1/2 stone in the year, again a great acheivement but I felt she reverted too much back to the attack phase as a compensation tool to counteract her busy lifestyle. She said she could have lost more if she didn’t have a busy lifestyle and Dukan was easy to stick to at home. I was at this point yelling at the paper saying “no your diet needs to fit your lifestyle not the way round, slimming world would have been so much easier for you” LOL!

Gastric wrap
Hardly a diet, its weightloss surgery, don’t really feel it deserves a spot in an article about “5 women, 5 diets, 1 year”. Its given the readers the impression that weightloss surgery is a diet, its not its an extremely serious operation that has consequences. Feel the Daily Mail are somewhat irresponsible for including this! Evidently even 1 teaspoon to much of food leaves this lady feeling sick. She’s lost 5st 4lbs but my honest opinon is that surgery doesn’t help you understand or overcome the issues that made you overweight in the first place.

Finally……

Lighter life
I know someone that has done lighter life. She originally started on WW and lost 10 stone over a period of 4 years then moved to Ligherlife where she lost 3 stone, fell off the wagon gained 3 1/2 stone, lost 4 stone, fell off the wagon gained 4 1/2 stone and so this vicious emotionally exhausting journey continues for her!. Lighter life is meal replacement/VLCD in a nutshell

Her opening sentences really struct home with me “I’m an emotional eater – I eat when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m stressed. Basically, I like food and I eat too much of it” – thats me in a nutsell!

Evidently Lighter Life also offer cognitive behaviour therapy to help you get to the route of why you eat a certain way. How whilst I totally endorse CBT as part of a weightloss plan and have seen amazing results in other people, and I feel quite strongly about this next bit – why the help do CBT then stick someone on a 550 calorie a day meal replacement plan, surely thats giving with one hand and taking away with the other – “oh this is why you are fat, now reduce your calories to a ridicously low level” I cannot in all honesty see the sense of this, sorry but thats how I feel. What are you teaching them? That a starvation plan with solve all their problems? WRONG!!

She lost 2st 9lbs which is brilliant and from the article she seemed happy to have done that. BUT honestly she could have lost that with slimming world eating 3 meals and 3 snacks a day and learnt a hell of a lot of healthy eating.

So thats my thoughts on the article, give it a read and let me know your thoughts.

Remember my opinions are my own 🙂

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