I can’t believe this happened a few weeks ago and I didn’t tell you guys about it. I was sitting on the sofa watching Scream Queens the other Monday when a message flashed up on Facebook. ‘The High Fat Diet is on Channel Four’ said my friend Sally.
‘What my High Fat Diet, the actual book? – I pinged back
Cue frantic scramble to find the remote and record Channel 4 +1 so I could see what had already been said.
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And look above MY NAME WAS ON THE TELE
The story was this: The show How to Lose Weight Well presented by Dr Xand Van Tulleken compares different ‘in the news’ diets.
In this show, which is Season 1, Episode 3 if you want to try and find it online, they were putting people on plans including The High Fat Diet (which I wrote alongside top trainer Zana Morris), The Paleo Diet, a Mediterranean Diet, being fed through a nose tube (and I thought High Fat was severe) and the Cookie Diet and see what happened.
I was frankly terrified. I know the plan works for me, I know the plan has worked for the hundreds of people my co-author and the creator of the plan Zana Morris has used it on in her gyms, I know we’ve had lots of good reviews on Amazon with people losing lots of weight, but on actual television – oh god.
I don’t know who was most worried at first me, or tester Natasha – her face, when they said she was going on a High-Fat diet, was a picture. ‘I’m scared,’ she said. ‘I’m going to be a hippo on the beach’. She honestly thought she was going to gain two stone.
I was pleased that the presenter Dr Van Tulleken reassured Natasha by saying ‘Fat is not the enemy – fat does not make people fat.’ Of course, it can if it’s attached to chips, chocolate and other carby friends – it’s that combination that causes so many of us problems. If you eat sensible amounts of fat and protein with just a few vegetables though you won’t gain weight.
I admit my heart sank when one of the next shots was of Natasha feeding her cheesy omelette dinner to the dog as it was super rich and making her feel a bit queasy…..not least as I worked very hard on those recipes.
We’re going to get destroyed I thought – but no, by the end of the show Natasha had lost 8lb in two weeks, four times more than her friend on the Med Diet – and she was thrilled to bits (even if she did say she’d never do it again….yes, Natasha I said that too the first time I tried it).
There are a couple things I’d like to just point out though…
Natasha did cheat for a meal – yes she still lost weight, but throughout the book, we say ‘don’t cheat, don’t cheat, don’t cheat’ for a reason.
It slows your results but also the plan relies on you going into a state called ketosis where your body burns fat for fuel not sugar.
This is not an easy process and you can feel a bit rubbish at first – stay in ketosis though and your body gets used to it and your energy returns and any symptoms vanish, knock yourself out of ketosis though and you might find the symptoms last a bit longer than they should.
If you do follow the diet and find yourself getting what’s known as keto flu, check out this post on how to tackle the symptoms.
For some reason, they filmed Natasha running – which isn’t part of the plan. She looked miserable and exhausted – which you will, especially if you run in the first few days when energy can be low – there’s a reason why the exercise on the plan is a short 12-minute weights workout.
That’s doable – try and do much more and it can feel like moving through mud
Yep, I Practise What I Preach
I’m on the plan again myself – I tried ‘sensible eating and portion control’ and shedloads of exercise for two weeks to get rid of the Burrito Belly I picked up in Vegas and absolutely nothing happened.
I know The High-Fat Diet works for me and so both The Boyfriend and I are currently eating a lot of avocados and cream cheese.
On the ten-day plan you tend to stick to two meals a day – don’t worry, after about day two you won’t feel at all hungry, and my meals go something like this…
Skip breakfast – just drink tea or coffee with cream
Lunch: Scrambled eggs with butter and cream cheese and rocket; or mozzarella and avocado salad.
Dinner: Steak with creamy mushroom sauce and spinach or pulled pork lettuce parcels. If I’m feeling super lazy, I will also just have salmon and asparagus and then add extra fat with Coyo coconut yogurt or cream for dessert – yes, you actually do lose weight doing this.
So far I’ve lost 7lb since Sunday, he’s lost 10lb – we’ve got till next Tuesday to go. I’m currently at the tough stage, where my energy is a bit low, I’ve got a headache and I’m sick to death of creamy foods, but it’s only a few more days – I could do with shifting 3lb more.
Fast Diets do Work
Now some of you will be reading this and saying ‘yes, but you lost it fast so you’ll put it straight back on.’
Well, this is where emerging weight science is changing – recent research has shown that just because you lose weight quickly there’s no biological reason why you should put it back on any more quickly than someone losing the same amount of weight slowly so long as you realise that if you go back to eating exactly what you ate when you got fat that weight will go back on. (Here’s a nice explanation of the study).
This isn’t a problem for me… as I say in the book, I gain weight when I go on holiday. If I simply eat normally though, and don’t fall into a sugar trap, my weight stays off.
In other words, if I’m stupid, it goes back on…..but that would happen if I’d taken six months to lose the same number of pounds as I’m basically gorging on burritos and not burning them off!
And I’d rather be super strict for 10 days than fixated on rigidly controlling my food for three months – because I already eat healthily (I only gain weight on holiday – but I do have a lot of holidays) so I don’t need to do ‘a change of lifestyle’ – I need to do a diet!
So, there you have it, my brief moment of fame on the tele the other week. If you want to try the plan yourself, here’s a handy link to the book. The High Fat Diet: How to lose 10 lb in 14 days
Avocado image: freedigitalphotos.net
Who is The Wellness Nerd?
My name is Helen Foster and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.