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Wednesday, 7 January 2009

I watched the ITV programme: Claire Sweeney: My Big Fat Diet

I watched the Claire Sweeney My Big Fat Diet programme last evening. Here are my thoughts about it:

The peg on which the programme hung was that Claire would abandon her usual highly disciplined pattern of eating (about which I noted that she said she was always hungry! - not a healthy way of living, in my opinion) - and her rather heavy commitment to exercise, which seemed to involve a great deal of running up and down an outdoor stairway - very boring, I thought - and a lot of repetitive exercises like sit-ups, etc. accompanied by her personal trainer and a stopwatch.

I think most people would want to abandon that routine...

However, the idea was that after abandoning this unhealthy routine, she would take up a different unhealthy routine for 6 weeks - of eating whatever she felt like, whenever she felt like it, and eating/drinking as much as she wanted - and see how much weight she would gain and how unfit she would become.

She didn't stick to this though. At first she claimed not to be making a pig of herself and deliberately eating more than she wanted, but later on it was clear that she was forcing herself to eat more than she wanted, because she was, for example, really struggling to stuff a HUGE concoction of layers of bread bun and other stuff into her mouth when her mouth was nowhere near big enough to get it round the concoction...)o: - I forget what was in the ghastly mountain - was it a built-up hamburger? - meat/cheese/sauce etc etc squashed into the bread? - No way would I or anyone I know ever eat such awful 'food' in such quantity in such an ugly form or unattractive way...)o: -

She gained a load of weight very quickly indeed! - And raised her blood pressure and her pulse rate, etc.

If you force yourself to eat more than you have a stomach for you will of course gain weight, just as the guy in the 'Supersize Me' film did. - He gorged himself constantly, making himself feel ill and sick, eating far more than anyone in real life would.

This is NOT how people become fat. - It so clearly isn't. - And most fat people are constantly trying to lose weight or at any rate not to gain more weight. They are not trying to burst out of their skin. They are uncomfortable and long to weigh less and feel less bloated and not be laughed at and insulted... This means in reality that most fat people are watching what they eat, counting calories, etc most of the time for many years, often for most of their lives. - Yes, some of them eat too much, but that is a minority of them. And some slim people eat too much as well. - The apparent paradox there is that the naturally slim people simply excrete the excess calories/fat/salt they eat, whereas the fat people have a different body chemistry and cannot do this.

Such a pity that the programme reinforced yet again the false stereotype of fat people as greedy and lazy...)o:

It wasn't the amount of fat/food/calories that Claire ate that caused her to gain a lot of weight fast (though the amount of alcohol she seemed to be knocking back would certainly have contributed to the fluid retention in her abdomen). - It was that her salt intake must have been very high, and as a person who had in the past had an eating disorder - bulimia - she will have a tendency to salt sensitivity/fluid retention and so will easily put weight on.

I didn't think much to the programme. People need to be told the truth - namely that salt intake and fluid retention are the main critical factors that determine whether they are overweight or not. - Exercise has nothing to do with it, however many people insist to you that exercise helps you to lose weight. - It doesn't! - Reducing salt intake and avoiding dieting result in swift, safe weight loss, and if Claire happens to read this, then I advise her to adopt this easy, healthy way of living and give up always being hungry and constantly pounding those boring outdoor steps - and cut down on the booze! - Alcohol causes fluid retention in the abdomen if you are sensitive to salt.

A note about the clothes Claire wore in the show: - she seemed to go out of her way to wear the tightest clothes she could manage to get into, so that it was absolutely impossible not to notice her fatter tummy, etc. - Doesn't she have any clothes that are not skin-tight?

The final irony of the programme to me was that salt was not mentioned even once in the context of weight gain/loss, except that at the end Claire said something about taking something 'with a grain of salt'...(o:

Lose weight safely, reduce your risk of most cancers, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, heart attack, vascular dementia, osteopenia, osteoporosis, hypercholesterolaemia, depression, liver and kidney problems, and improve your health in many other ways without drugs, hunger or expense by eating less salt! - Try it! - You will feel so much better!

Read my Mensa article on Obesity and the Salt Connection

And see Sodium in foods and

Associated health conditions


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