Meal replacements. My arse.

18 Jan

I’ve been watching The Biggest Loser UK. It is inspiring watching these severely overweight men and women, who, as one of the contestants put it, had been ‘self harming’ by overeating. They came onto the show with no confidence whatsoever and in only two weeks a massive change has taken place.

However, I have issues.

Not with the programme but for the advert in between, which is associated with the programme. The Biggest Loser meal replacement shakes. Just the words meal and replacement together makes me shudder.

For the last week I’ve concentrated on eating proper food. It’s cold, wet and January so I’ve been eating stews, curries and bolognaises. Anything which can be made in one pot. The flavours are fantastic, I have left overs the next day for lunch and I don’t feel hungry (except coming towards meal times). They are full of fruit and vegetables (fruit? Oh yes I put apple in one of my curry recipes!) and I even *gasp* use olive oil. Because I feel satisfied I have no need to pick in between my meals. The end result? A 2 kilogram loss. Just over 4lbs. Plus my skin looks clearer.

If all this comes across as smug I apologise. I know there is nothing worse than someone who has lost weight and goes on to say a) it’s easy and b) you should do it my way. It’s just this diet industry, feeding on the insecurities of overweight men and women when the big message should be to eat normal meals, makes me so CROSS. Meal replacements, extra low fat cheese, low fat spreads (ugh).

Right, I’ve had my rant. I’m now off to make a Lancashire Hotpot.

 

14 Responses to “Meal replacements. My arse.”

  1. Sam Wyld January 18, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Helen, speaking as someone who is obese, I completely understand where you’re coming from. It’s incredible how having a proper understanding of food can help you to become a million times healthier. I only wish my boys would eat some of the casserole-type meals you speak of – I personally LOVE them!

    You’ve inspired me to kick-start my own healthier eating – since I had Harry, we’ve existed on takeaways again (I swore I wouldn’t fall into the same pit) but it’s amazing how eating a square meal curbs those midway hunger pangs. Go you! You don’t sound smug at all.

    • Helen January 18, 2011 at 11:39 am #

      Sam my daughter refuses to eat any of the delicious foods I prepare. She much prefers toast or a Hipp Organic jar!! *sigh*

      I’m so pleased I’ve inspired you to kick start your own healthier eating. But don’t be too hard on yourself about the take-aways. Having a baby and trying to do so many things all at once as many modern women do, takes up time. Good luck!

  2. Sam Wyld January 18, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Ohhh, I feel your pain! Funnily, I just had that conversation with my mum, about how J preferred jars!

    Thank you – it’s so good for the mental health too! Now I just need to schedule in some walking time and I’m away ;o)

  3. celestialpoet January 18, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    I’m with you. In the last few months, I’ve adjusted my eating to Lower GI foods – I have a Low GI gluten free bread, I focus on eating steamed vegies with a bit of seasoning and butter (I know! REAL butter!) rather than lots of pasta and rice for my carbohydrate requirements and I’ve taken steps to eat less junky, sugary and deep-fried foods. I love having tinned peaches as a sweet and have found an incredibly delicious soft cheese that goes brilliantly with carrot sticks or rice crackers. I eat at least three solid meals per day.

    Eating like this, I drop an average of 1kg per week, and I do 30-60mins of EXTREMELY gentle exercise three times per week (a paddle/swim, a Pilates-oriented “Body Balance” class x2). I’m not a terribly active person, so I don’t need all that “energy” from sugar and junk. And mind you – I was doing this exercise anyway, so it’s the change in food-i-tude that’s had the impact.

    And you know that research is showing that when we eat food that is natural, less processed, less sugary and slower burning, the body responds! Funny that – it’s what we used to eat, before we were sold on all this processed rubbish with no nutritional value!

    I’ve done the shakes. I’ve done the “Low Fat” (hah! Higher sugar more like!). I’ve done the Atkins. I’m sick of aspartame and sugar alternatives (that stuff makes me sick and gives me heart burn!).

    I feel good on Low GI, I still eat lots of real food, and I have a bit of junk each week, because I want to!

    (End rant! ;)

    • Helen January 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

      Thank you for your rant ;) Actually it wasn’t so much ranty as very sensible!

      Thinking about it I must be eating lower GI without realising. It’s funny because at the weekend we went out for a pizza and I felt so bloated afterwards. I much prefer having a stew or bolognaise leftovers for lunch instead of bread sandwich. I mean, I love bread, pasta, pizza etc, but my body prefers it in smaller doses.

      I remember you saying ages ago you were eating like this and losing 1kg a week. Hopefully I will do the same :)

      • celestialpoet January 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

        As an aside – I was told on Saturday that I look ten years younger since going Low GI. And I’m only 29! Skin’s better too. Gut’s happier. Mood’s shinier.

        Yep, I’m a big advocate! ;)

  4. Debs January 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    I think your meals sound wonderful and I completely agree with your rant. Good for you and well done with your weight loss.

    • Helen January 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

      Thanks Debs!

  5. Jenni January 18, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    I agree with you completely. My most successful weight losses have come when I’ve followed a healthy balanced diet allowing me to eat the foods that I wanted in appropriate moderation and not making me feel like I was going without. It’s sad that all of these manufacturers are so willing to take advantage of people’s vulnerabilities.

    • Helen January 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      I think it’s often because people are looking for a quick fix. A magic formula. Whereas it isn’t a difficult equation. Less in. More out ;)

  6. Michele Brouder January 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    If you listen, you can hear me clapping. As someone who is morbidly obese, you really hit the nail on the head. For myself, I just won’t diet anymore. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt. But I’ve decided to concentrate on making better choices. I have to keep trying until I get it right. But I am trying to eliminate white: flour, sugar, etc. But I eat when I’m hungry.

    • Helen January 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      I can hear you! Better choices is the way to go, Michele. Speaking of which I’m having Paprika Beef tonight. Can’t wait!

  7. Su January 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    I’ve tried meal replacement shakes, and you’re right, they don’t do anything for controlling hunger. Sounds like you are on the right track, though! Well done!

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