Last week, the President of the British Obesity Surgery Society John Baxter criticized what he saw as the ‘rationing’ of expensive obesity surgery (also known as bariatric surgery) on the NHS. It’s a controversial procedure that inspires highly emotional responses. On the one hand we hear a UCL doctor hailing it as the ‘only means to healthy weight loss’; on the other we read stories from patients claiming that it ruined their lives.
The public sense of outrage when Fern Britten confessed to having had stomach surgery was very interesting. It seems that people felt so ‘betrayed’ because it was another blow to those trying to find a healthy, effective weight loss diet. Having seen Britton as an inspiring example that good nutrition gets good results, they wondered whether they should just give up the struggle and sign up to go under the knife.
It must be a tempting idea when you’re obsessively counting calories and trimming fat with little discernible result. It makes me only more aware of the importance of helping people discover a way of eating that feels natural and that works. If your diet doesn’t working, you haven’t run out of options. You just haven’t found the right diet.
Photo courtesy of Kaitlin M - Flickr
I’m delighted to announce that the Go Lower programme has just got a little rounder – in a way that will help our customers to become leaner, even more effectively.
Let me explain! We’re always looking for feedback about how Go Lower can be improved, and after one year of providing food and support to customers we have learnt a lot. Our main finding was that the best results come from when people commit to us and we commit to them in a truly holistic fashion. This means seeing Go Lower as a complete life change, not just a change in diet.
For example, we’ve learnt that it helps for us to give some extra special support at the very beginning of the diet, when newcomers to Go Lower need to break from old patterns and habits: so we’ve created the Detox period to get things off to a flying start. We’re also even more aware of the impact of changing minds and attitudes as well as nutrition, so we’re emphasizing our ongoing, practical and personal support and advice on the diet, to ensure it is truly sustainable.
As ever, leave a comment below with any stories, experiences or feedback of your own to help us help you Go Lower!
It’s one of the biggest dieting clichés there is: an anxious woman checking the labels of every packet and tin as she goes round the supermarket, determined to keep her calorie count below a certain magic number.
But life by numbers isn’t much fun.
Only today I had a phone call with a lovely lady who asked the simple question ‘How many calories will I consume a day on the Go Lower Diet?’ She was a little surprised when I asked her why this mattered. Because, obviously, she responded, she was on a low calorie diet. I gently pointed out that she wanted to try Go Lower because this wasn’t working. Why would I encourage her to keep doing the same thing?
Since the early 80s we have been told to count calories. But even though on average we eat less calories today and don’t do much less exercise, we are bigger than ever before.
Many scientific studies (you can see one example here) show that our weight is affected by the sort of calories we consume, not just the amount. To lose weight, we must look at the nature of the food we eat, not just the energy content. It’s one of the basic principles underpinning Go Lower.
It can be so difficult to overcome assumptions about diet that have been drilled into us for years. But admit it: don’t you sometimes long to see food as food again, not a guilt-inducing figure on the back of a jar?
Thanks to Richard Dawkins’ recent creationist-bashing Channel 4 series, evolution has been a hot topic over the
past few weeks. I enjoyed the programme, and I’d love to see one similarly debunking unscientific diet myths in favour of the evolution of eating.
We are physically designed to be hunter gatherers, surviving on a low carb, high protein diet which is low in grains, starch and sugar. A few weeks ago the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published an article which show
ed that this diet, that we evolved to eat, is still good for us. Hardly surprising, surely?
Well, in some ways it is. Because for most of us this doesn’t seem like our natural diet any more; we’re used to carbohydrates taking up most space on our plate. However, in evolutionary terms, we’ve only been relying on settled agriculture and mass production of grain for the blink of an eye. OK, so relying on carbohydrates for our energy wasn’t so bad in previous decades, when we worked the energy off with manual labour. But in a post industrial society it quite obviously leads to the obesity and ill health so many struggle with today.
So going back to our roots will help us ensure a healthy future: evolved eating, in other words.