Monday, 10 January 2011

Weight Loss 'Secrets' Revealed

I've just watched a BBC ONE documentary called '10 Things You Need To Know About Losing Weight', presented by science journalist (and qualified medical doctor) Michael Mosley.

Michael Mosley
If you're in the UK, you can watch it on BBC iPlayer until Thursday here.

The doc (which was first shown in 2009) concentrates on the solid science behind effective weight loss and makes, in part, for eye-opening viewing, especially as I'm currently trying to lose weight.

Here are the ten things that Michael Mosley thinks you should know about losing weight:

    • 1. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast, as it makes you crave more higher calorie food.
    • 2. Use smaller plates to control portion size.
    • 3. Count your calories.
    • 4. Don’t blame your metabolism.
    • 5. Protein staves off hunger pangs.
    • 6. Soup keeps you fuller for longer.
    • 7. The wider the choice, the more you eat.
    • 8. Low fat dairy actually helps you excrete more fat.
    • 9. Exercise goes on burning fat even while you sleep.
    • 10. Keep moving and lose weight – Just keep active.

It's well worth watching.  There's a revealing section where actress Debbie Chazen - who can't understand why she is overweight despite her healthy diet - keeps a food diary and has her actual calorie intake checked.  It turns out she's not eating the 1,500 Calories per day she thinks, but 3,000 - 1,000 more than her body actually needs!

But while weight loss may really be simple common sense, it's a fact that 95% of attempts at weight loss fail in the medium to long term.  So it's not easy.

I think what it comes down to are three things:

1. Be honest about what you eat - and be wary of 'hidden' calories in sauces and drinks - and try to find ways of swapping high calorie favourites with tasty alternatives (eg roasted sweet potato for chips).

2. Exercise needs to play a part in any healthy lifestyle.  Exercise will help to speed weight loss and it will also stop the body from breaking down muscle as it searches for energy to keep you going.  Exercise can also be very useful as a way of 'making up' for unavoidable nights out, parties, etc!

3. In order to be sustainable, it has to be a lifestyle change - not just a crash diet - and it will need to be something you can enjoy, or you will never keep it up.

Good luck!


  1. I have never followed a diet and when I've needed to lose weight I've just ate less, reduce carbs and exercised more. These are 3 of the 10 points recommended. The good thing about these recommendations is that some of them are just plain common sense. The thick soup suggestion is perfect for this time of year as it is warming as well as keeping you full for longer.

    Too much choice is definately bad and I avoid huge supermarkets for shopping and just use my local co op and buy fresh fruit and vegetables from the market and meat from the butchers. This stops impulse buying and being tempted by the smells of hot bread and cakes wafting through the supermarket that are used to entice you. Changing my shopping habits also increases my daily exercise as I don't use my car, and walk to the shops more often.

    I was delighted by the low fat dairy revelation as I used to drink more milk and ate more yoghurt; I gave them up as I was always told that too much dairy was bad for me and I didn't ever gain weight back then. I am now drinking low fat milk with meals and eating yoghurt as a pudding.

    I have taken up dancing this week and followed the ten points above and in less than a week have lost 5lbs which is quite amazing as I have not felt like I have eaten less and the plus factor is feeling so much better from the exercise.

    The only food I have to munch on in the house is fruit, vegetables and nuts should I feel like a snack, but so far I haven't really had the need to snack as I make sure I don't skip meals.

    It really is a simple and effective way to reduce your weight, stay healthy and feel good too.

  2. I was inspired by the programme to change my lifestyle. I wrote an article about putting the theory into practise (think its linked through my name). I'm getting to update my article each month to track my progress (and to keep me motivated!)

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  4. Hi everyone!!

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  7. Thanks for posting the hints, but hint 6 is slightly inaccurate. The point made in the TV show was that if you eat, say, chicken/rice/vegetables as solid foods but wash them down with water, then the water will flush the solid food out of your stomach. The point about the soup was that it was made of exactly the same chicken/rice/vegetables but, instead of the soldiers drinking water WITH their meal, it was added to the chicken/rice/vegetables in a blender and made into soup. Two sets of soldiers ate the same foods, but the group who drank water with their meal were flushing the solid food out of their stomach into their intestines. The soup eaters did NOT have a separate drink with their meal and thus did not flush their food out of their stomachs.
    The "magic" is not in eating soup, but in "not flushing out" the stomach.

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  9. I have been on a high protein, low carb diet for 4 weeks and have lost 14lbs (1 stone). The protein keep me feeling full, fish, eggs, chicken, low fat yogurt, skimmed milk. I have a sweet tooth and add splenda and vanilla or banana essence to the yogurt, carbs are brocolli,celery,asparagus,spinach,peppers, and oat bran in sweetened yogurt. I keep a food diary and drink at least 1.5 litres of water throughout the day, also coffee. I walk/power walk for at least half an hour a day. I have never felt or looked as healthy as I do now..IT WORKS

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