Unlocking the secrets of weight loss

If you have read my blog will know I have struggled with weight loss over the years whether it’s a lack of motivation or simply not having the will power to succeed! It’s been a long  and painful journey!

As a child born in the 60s the food I ate at home and school was very different to what is available today, my Mum was a different generation and looking back there was not the nutritional awareness or variety that we have today of food types and diet.  Whilst the food was wholesome, I think back of the staple school dinners of pies, minced beef cobbler, vegetables and sponge puddings with custard I ask myself – was it really that healthy? My generation always ate school dinners and likely Mum cooked dinner in the evening when Dad came home from work. Perhaps by today’s standards of school dinners ours  were better but perhaps not as balanced. The food we had when I was a child was mainly cooked from scratch it wasn’t the over processed and fast food of recent years. Of course school dinners are a whole other issue #jamieoliver  #schooldinners and not a topic for today’s blog 

In my days of school, food and nutrition was not a subject that was widely available. PE or games was doing the activity not Learning about how the body works or responds to exercise and nutrition. Nowadays there is the option to learn more but should more time be spent in bringing these subjects into the general curriculum?

Of course Mum gave us a balanced diet at home but was it as healthy compared to today’s standards and have those bad eating habits developped through childhood lead the way to weight gain?

My Mum often says that she survived her pregnancy on chip butties as she could not tolerate other foods. I now know that did not help me in my body make up and the way I respond to food.

So how are the secrets to weight loss actually unlocked? Interestingly in his book The Obesity Code Jason Fung explores calorie deception, the new model of obesity what is wrong with our diet and the solution (amongst other aspects)

As a failed dieter and someone whose weight has gained after each relapse I can relate totally to his writings. My weight has steadily gained and in the last few years where my work has be come exceptionally stressful I can see the impact that has on my weight. I do now go  to the gym but only 2/3 times a week – This is not ideal but an improvement on not doing anything! No exceed isle is where I’d fallen to 6 months ago when my stress levels meant I could not be bothered to do anything. I don’t overreat, my diet is healthy but I can’t seem to kick start that weight loss. 

On Monday TOH and I decide to break the code with the suggested intermittent fasting. Monday was a total fast day and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I did it, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be! Tuesday I ate simply and to suggestions in the book and today Wednesday is another fast day. Ideally Friday I should fast too but I have a work BBQ so maybe just an evening meal! My aim is to try to follow the plan for 4 weeks doing the 36 hour fast protocol, i.e. fasting on 3 days a week to reset my homeostasis, my insulin levels and my body! Watch this space, please send your positive energy to my for success and I will report back to you!

Is eating fat good for you?

An article that may be of interest.

Eating fat is good for you: Doctors change their minds after 40 years
A DIET packed with fat is the healthy way to prevent heart disease, a leading British expert has claimed.
By: Jo Willey Wed, October 23, 2013

After 40 years of cutting fat from our diet, doctors may now be turning their advice on its head [GETTY]
Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra says the obsession with a low-fat diet has “paradoxically increased” the risk of heart disease.

Other experts have added their voices to his controversial call to end 40 years of advice to cut saturated fat – which has been described as “the greatest medical error of our time”.

They claim the guidance has left millions of people at risk of developing cardiovascular ­disease and “led to the over-medication of millions of people with statins”.

The public could just as effectively protect themselves by eating “real” food such as butter, milk and cheese and adopting the Mediterranean diet.

Dr Malhotra, an interventional cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital, London, slammed the routine prescriptions of statins and claimed a diet high in saturated fats could be three times more effective at lowering cholesterol.

Writing on bmj.com, he said a preoccupation with levels of total cholesterol “has diverted our attention” from the worse risks of a condition known as atherogenic ­dyslipidaemia, which is an unfavourable ratio of blood fats.

He said saturated fat has been demonised since the 1970s when a landmark study found a link between coronary heart disease and total ­cholesterol, which correlated with the percentage of calories provided by saturated fat.

He said: “But correlation is not causation. Nevertheless, we were advised to cut fat intake to 30 per cent of total energy and a fall in saturated fat to 10 per cent.”

Some doctors claim a diet high in fat could help to lower cholesterol (PIC POSED BY MODEL) [GETTY]

Lowering cholesterol, by whatever means, lowers risk

Professor Peter Weissberg, of the British Heart Foundation
But recent studies “have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and risk of cardiovascular disease” and saturated fat has actually been found to be protective.

A Journal of the American Medical Association study recently revealed that a “low fat” diet showed the greatest drop in energy expenditure and increased insulin resistance – which is a precursor to diabetes – compared with a low carbohydrate and low glycaemic index (GI) diet.

Dr Malhotra refers to the United States, where obesity has rocketed despite the percentage of calorie consumption from fat falling from 40 per cent to 30 per cent in the past 30 years. One reason is that the food industry “compensated by replacing saturated fat with added sugar”.

He says eight million Britons take statins yet there has been no major impact on heart disease trends.

Adopting a Mediterranean diet largely based on vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, olive oil and fish after a heart attack is almost three times as powerful in reducing mortality as taking a statin, he says.

“Doctors need to embrace prevention as well as treatment. The greatest improvements in morbidity and mortality have been due not to personal responsibility but rather to public health,” he said. “It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease and wind back the harms of dietary advice that has contributed to obesity.”

It seems a Mediterranean diet could be three times more power in reducing mortality than statins [GETTY]

Commenting on Dr Malhotra’s article, Timothy Noakes, a professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, said: “Focusing on an elevated blood cholesterol concentration as the exclusive cause of coronary heart disease is unquestionably the worst medical error of our time.

“After reviewing all the scientific evidence I draw just one conclusion – never prescribe a statin drug for a loved one.”

Professor David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum, said: “The assumption has been made that increased fat in the bloodstream is caused by increased saturated fat in the diet, whereas modern evidence is proving that refined carbohydrates and sugar in particular are actually the culprits.”

Professor Peter Weissberg, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Lowering cholesterol, by whatever means, lowers risk. Cholesterol levels can be influenced by diet, exercise and drugs, in particular statins.

“There is clear evidence that patients who have had a heart attack, or are at high risk of one, can benefit from taking a statin. This needs to be combined with a balanced diet, not smoking and taking regular exercise.”

Mmmm all food for thought……